Archive for the ‘conservation’ tag
When I came across this in the NYRB — an august politics and culture institution — I though, jellyfish!? And then I greedily thought, “This far outside the norm means this will be fantastic.” And it is. By turns amazing and terrifying, you’re almost guaranteed to learn something:
On the night of December 10, 1999, 40 million Filipinos suffered a sudden power blackout. President Joseph Estrada was unpopular, and many assumed that a coup was underway. Indeed, news reports around the world carried stories of Estrada’s fall. It was twenty-four hours before the real enemy was recognized: jellyfish. Fifty truckloads of the creatures had been sucked into the cooling system of a major coal-fired power plant, forcing an abrupt shutdown.
I’m no economist nor libertarian, but I was pretty intrigued by the points Michael Munger makes about recycling in this essay. A non-recycling thing (that turns out to be pretty important) I was surprised by:
Officials need keep landfill prices artificially low to discourage illegal dumping and burning.
I was kind of shocked that I hadn’t posted about this before, and then I realized that my original exposure to the topic came from the constantly solid audio program, Radiolab. If you prefer text, Keith O’Brien’s story (title link) is what reminded me of the idea. From him I take this summary of the issue:
What he’d like to see more of, however, is in-depth discussion about animal welfare, how to best gauge it, and what to do about it if zoos are falling short of meeting animals’ needs. It’s a discussion that may lead to the conclusion that the zoos’ ultimate mission means giving up more of its animals, but Kagan’s all right with that.
This blog has briefly mentioned the idea of giving legal rights to nature before, but Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow offers an interesting analysis of the logic, history, and ramifications of the practice. Consider:
Richard Stewart, a law professor at New York University, believes that inanimate objects such as trees and rivers do not have interests or values. Rather, he says, the argument really concerns “human ideas about what’s good for nature.”
It’s daunting and distressing to look in the face of all the waste of the way we’re living.
That seems a little surprising. How many searches do I get if I add loading the first result? It seems likely that there’s more green information in a newspaper, but only if you’re interested in all they’re delivering to you. Which I guess in the primary argument for the web in the first place.
Mark Dowie — in an adaptation from his recent book — examines a conflict I’d never considered: that between those trying to conserve a wilderness and those who’d historically made their home there.
Refugees from conservation have never been counted; in fact they’re not even officially recognized as refugees. But the number of people displaced from traditional homelands worldwide over the past century, in the interest of conservation, is estimated to be close to 20 million, 14 million in Africa alone. It is a sad history, and one that has forced conservationists to reevaluate the hero status of their movement’s founders, and to reconsider the idea of protecting biological diversity by removing humans from the mix.
Someone finally asked the Green Lantern the question I’d been meaning to since Slate started the column:
Green Lantern, you’re always telling us how bad meat is for the environment. I’m willing to throw some more zucchini kebabs on my barbecue this summer, but are all meats equally awful? Or are there some that I can grill with a little less guilt?
The answer’s pretty much in line with what had been my assumption: the bigger the animal, the less efficient the meat.
These are thoughts I can get behind:
…you can never get properly clean by simply wiping, since you are, effectively, pushing the [shit] into your skin.
I felt obligated to add the mild profanity that the author’s editor needlessly removed.