After spending four years connecting dozens of dots, two Oregon State University professors published a study crediting Yellowstone Park’s reintroduced wolves with unilaterally beginning a dramatic restoration of the ailing Lamar River valley. And the implications, like the wolves themselves, have spread beyond the borders of Yellowstone to other regions of the Pacific Northwest, where splinter packs are eventually expected to take up residence.
The rapid growth of “car sharing” companies—five have sprouted up in the U.S. since 2000—do more than fill a growing niche market. Car sharing also reflects a green business trend called “product service systems” (PSS), otherwise known by its more ungainly iteration, “servicizing.” Morph a product into a service, so the logic goes, and you reduce the ecological footprint of the product itself.
A growing number of smart, ambitious people are rejecting the lure of lucrative careers for the promise of a simpler agrarian lifestyle. Many of those in the new crop of young farmers boast the kinds of diplomas typically found in Silicon Valley cubicles, Wall Street suites or Hollywood editing rooms. But instead of pursuing fast-paced careers, these members of the so-called "best and the brightest" class are choosing to spend their days weeding carrots and building compost.
Mira Engler, associate professor at Iowa State University, says, “Waste should be brought closer to our lives and our landscape.” Her 2004 book Designing America’s Waste Landscapes (Johns Hopkins University Press) suggests ways to make garbage dumps and sewage plants architecturally more prominent and dignified, as well as more accessible to citizens. She challenges designers to plan waste landscapes as integral and essential parts of community life.
Because it is surrounded by oceans, many Australians have wondered for years if desalinization could provide fresh water to the country’s growing population. But desalinization is an energy-intensive process and has thus far proven prohibitively expensive. Now, two Australian companies have joined forces to test a unique desalinization plant that is run on wave energy.
Although the International Whaling Commission has authorized a global moratorium on the sale of whale products since 1982, this has not stopped Japanese fleets from continuing to kill whales (under the banner of “science”) and sell the meat and byproducts on the market (see “The Whale Killer,” Currents, January/February 2003). In late December, two Greenpeace ships came upon a Japanese “research” convoy in the Southern Ocean that was hunting for whales. The Southern Ocean is an Antarctic Whale Sanctuary, which is supposed to be protected from commercial whaling.
Cape Wind Associates’ plans to build a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts have been met with heavy opposition (see “Catching the Wind,” cover story, January/February 2005). Offshore wind projects received a boost from the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gave the Department of the Interior the authority to grant leases […]
When Kanye West quipped on national television last September, as an astonished Mike Meyers looked on, that George Bush "doesn’t care about black people," he was only partly right. George Bush doesn’t care about white people, either. In fact, George Bush only cares about rich people.
Some environmentalists, and many animal rights advocates, believe zoos are inherently inhumane; others argue that if zoos use kind practices, they’re valuable to society and help preserve wildlife. But in the case of the Chiang Mai Night Safari in northern Thailand, there’s been widespread outrage from many observers. A persistent issue has been where and how the animals were obtained.
Andrew Millison is helping to spearhead a community sustainability initiative around permaculture in the Lincoln-Dameron Street district of Prescott, AZ.