Talking with Spiders

Spiders

People rarely believe this story, but every word of it is true. For many years, since childhood, I had a phobia about spiders. My arachnid fears were so pronounced that I struggled to be in the same room as I spider if I knew it was there. One night, I met a Native American woman called Wynd. She told me that spiders weaved the language of life and were potent symbols for communication. She said that all I needed to do was talk to spiders and they would listen. Sometimes the universe has a remarkable sense of humour. At the… read more

The Norquist Bombshell

Carbon tax swap

Grover Norquist, the influential lobbyist who has bound hundreds of Republicans to pledge never to raise taxes, said a proposed “carbon tax swap”—taxing carbon pollution in exchange for cutting the income tax—would not violate his pledge. This admission may help open the bipartisan dialogue on climate change, given the reluctance (to say the least) of Republicans to have those important discussions regarding the environment. On the heels of the election where the Americans who voted showed a rejection of the status quo environmental policy, it would behoove Republicans to jump on the progressive bandwagon, at least pertaining to reducing the… read more

Pocket Towel to Go

Photo Credit: Jimmy Pocket Towel

Did you know that 13 billion pounds of paper towels end up in our landfills every year? The Jimmy Towel is a reusable hand towel that folds down into a durable case for people to use whenever they find themselves in need of a towel away from home. The invention launched November 27th on crowd funding site Kickstarter and will be available there until December 27th. Ramsey and Lee Johnson hope that the Jimmy Towel will grow beyond just a project on Kickstarter but to an extension of the green movement that saves trees, reduces waste and brings greater consciousness… read more

Tax Credits for Wind Power

Wind Farm subsidies

The US federal wind power production tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year, and many have been advocating for the expiration or the continuation of the credits. Supporters of letting the credits expire claim the national fiscal situation has become so dire that the government can no longer afford to maintain a wind power production credit. Opponents of the expiration claim the wind industry would be stunted and damaged by the expiration, in more than one way. The production credit allows for the wind industry to be bolstered by federal funds, which leads to more… read more

Dawn Saves Wildlife

Saving wildlife

Dawn currently has donated over $250,000 each the International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center in their effort to save wildlife. Over the last 30 years, the success rate for wildlife rescue from oil pollution has increased exponentially. Dawn dishwashing liquid has been a vital tool for wildlife conservation organizations, with thousands of donated bottles cleansing and helping more than 75,000 animals in the last 30 years. The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered… read more

EU Carbon Emissions Bill

US airlines and EU regulations

The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill in September which will prevent EU carbon emission regulations for airlines from applying to U.S. flights. The European Union has been attempting to apply across-the-board carbon emissions so both domestic and foreign flights abide by the same rules, but this action from the U.S. Senate has escalated pressure on the EU to back down on enforcement. The Emissions Trading Scheme, which contains an overall goal to combat climate change, has been advocated since January by the European Commission, and it requires all airlines to participate. However, it is that requirement which has… read more

Green Engineering

Development in Africa

Swaziland like most African states is a developing economy with ambitions of attaining first world country status in the future. These ambitions are pursued in numerous ways, one of which is the improvement of infrastructure in the country. The improvement of infrastructure includes numerous construction and excavation projects throughout the country. Currently, the iron ore deposits are being mined, a new international airport is under construction, new tarred roads are being built, electricity is being made accessible to remote areas, and water pipes are being installed to ensure that rural communities also have access to water. All these projects are meant to increase the economic standing of the… read more

Sustainable Tuna

Sustainable canned tuna

Consumers are demanding change. We want information about what goes into our systems. We are concerned about sustainability. We want to know that the world will be able to continue with all the present joys of nature, way after we depart. A great source of protein and a healthy snack, the canned tuna is stacked high on the supermarket shelf. An easy go-to. In terms of sustainability though, it is high on the list of species to be protected. Due to extreme over-fishing, some tuna species have been reduced dangerously close to the point of extinction. Tuna can be caught far… read more

The Future Of Coal

Future Of Coal

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal demand is growing everywhere but the United States. Coal demand in the United States grew 4.3% (304 million tons (mt)), compared to Chinese demand growth of 233 mt. The amount is misleading though, because despite the demand growth, it is less than the growth in previous years. Unfortunately, from an environmental advocacy perspective, the decrease in coal usage is a result of the increase of shale gas production and usage, specifically in the United States. Additionally, a decrease in domestic usage of coal will have negative impacts on employment in the coal… read more

Seeing with Fresh Eyes

Lifestyle change

Sometimes it takes just one event to change the way we see the world. In the mid-90s, I was working in the Australian music industry, frontline entertainment marketing for an independent record company that was part of a mega-giant. The clichéd “sex, drugs, rock n roll” was not too far from the truth of my lifestyle. Hectic. Superficial. Expensive. A producer and consumer of an image-making industry, I was not particularly concerned about the people, plants and animals of the Earth. But I was concerned about myself. I wasn’t happy. Despite the flash car, fancy-pants clothes and cool job, I was… read more