Young Activists

Young activists

There have been many waves of environmental activism, each gaining a broader demographic as climate change becomes more apparent. Because the Internet and other forms of electronic communication are accessible at a younger age, children not only have the means to express their views about the environment – their ideas are finally being heard and applied. As a result we are seeing more teen and kid activists, as well as young entrepreneurs of green ‘enterprise’. The following examples may illustrate why our youth make the best activists, as they are the inherit-ants of the current ecological mess. We will begin with Alex Lin, who was only eleven… read more

Fracking Follies

Hydraulic fracturing

As it turns out, the short-term solution to combat rising costs and foreign dependence on energy, along with attempting to limit environmental damage, hydraulic fracturing, i.e. fracking, may be doing the opposite: costing the United States more, and driving up carbon dioxide emissions. It has been debated whether fracking leads to earthquakes, pollution, and disease, among other things, but the scale of the damage may be much larger. While no judgment on fracking based on merit should be made, given the small sample pool of functioning fracking sites, a trend does appear to be emerging suggesting fracking isn’t what was… read more

Silence Finally Broken

Climate change issues

Despite climate change getting little attention during last year’s Presidential campaign, President Obama finally addressed the issue in a press conference a week after the election. According to MediaMatters, from August 1st to November 6th, television news coverage outside of MSNBC of climate change totaled 51 minutes. To give further perspective on the miniscule amount of time given to climate change, after the vice presidential debate, 91 minutes of television news coverage, again outside of MSNBC, were allotted to Joe Biden’s smiles and other aspects of body language toward Paul Ryan. A piece of “news” which had the lifespan of… read more

Benefits of Butterflies

butterfly_perched_flower

Butterflies are among the most common insects to frequent gardens. Adding an ornamental touch, a yard full of butterflies can only be good. As sensitive indicators, the very presence of butterflies may be enough to detect the health and vitality of the surrounding area. However, they are more than a by-product of healthy landscapes. Butterflies in themselves can prove essential to the overall health of plant life. Like bees and flies, butterflies are excellent pollinators, fertilizing trees, flowers, and shrubbery. The pollination of a plant is necessary for it to reproduce, contributing to the production of flowers and berries. This is an important process, required by all plants with the exception of grass, wheat, and corn. Butterflies also… read more

A Pilgrim’s Way

Montserrat monastry

I had been hiking for hours and I knew I was lost. The ascent of Montserrat near the Spanish village of El Bruc was arduous but to this point there had only been one path. Now I stood some eight hundred meters above the plains below and had to choose between three paths. “Stay on the trail”, I had been told by my host. But which trail? Left? Right? Straight ahead? The finger-like rock formations of Montserrat were known to be treacherous. Alone, and with diminishing water, I needed help to find my way across the mountaintop. My goal was… read more

Climate Aid, Climate Change

Climate change

Despite the American presidential race being done and over with (thankfully, for some), it is still a relevant and important note to make that climate change was mentioned once during the campaigns, amidst the flurry of other, lesser topics which happened to be more alluring to the consensus. However, the election may be over, but the threat of a worsening climate due to human action is far from gone. Public opinion has experienced a massive sweep toward taking action against climate change, and it has also recognized human activity being responsible for the changing climate; over two-thirds of those polled… read more

Organic Farming

Organic farming

With our global population increasing our needs for food and shelter are growing too. And to meet that need we are clearing off farmlands and chopping down forests at an alarming rate. Further, to feed this population we are forcing high yielding fertilizers and pesticides on the land in order to grow a bumper crop year after year. Seeing the consumption figures of artificial fertilizers, one thing is certain, we are “over-extracting” the produce from the soil; which in a short time will not be able to suffice even the bare minimum produce. Remedy: switch over to organic farming techniques…. read more

Next Oil Victim: Alaska

Oil drilling

In what comes as a surprise to no one with any semblance of common sense or critical thinking skills, Shell’s Arctic drilling rig ran aground off of the Alaskan coast, just as experts predicted, on the evening of December 31st—a fitting way to end 2012, and begin 2013. Fortunately, the Coast Guard did not report any visible sheen on the water, signaling that no oil has leaked into the ocean. The Alaskan coast dodged an ecological and environmental disaster, and Shell dodged losing about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid. No harm,… read more

Surprise from the EPA

Surprise from the EPA

In recent memory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been more disappointing than gratifying in the eyes of environmental advocates. Oil and gas extraction has been a thorn in the side of the EPA. The organization has had to balance environmental concerns with economic woes. The Obama administration has not made it easier on the EPA since it has been equally unwilling to take a real stand supporting or opposing the dangerous methods of extraction. Yes, the Obama administration has maintained and prolonged the status quo of oil and gas extraction, development, and use; and yes, the EPA is subject… read more

Still Reliant on Nature

Travelling for traditional medicine

Traditional medicine is still used in many African communities in the present day. The blending of numerous herbs is usually a science not recorded in text books, but passed on from one traditional healer to another through either apprenticeships or informal training. Although western medicine is available in most communities, there are still people who prefer to use traditional medicine for many reasons including religious beliefs and economic circumstances. As mentioned above, traditional healers generally do not have any form of formal training. However the process of blending the medicine they use is quite complex in that it involves a… read more