Environment

The Light Brown Apple Moth, Aerial Spraying, and You

Light brown apple moth

For the past few weeks, the SF Bay Area news venues have erupted in talk about proposed aerial spraying of a pheromone product over large swaths of our urban communities in order to combat the spread of an agricultural pest, the light brown apple moth. I had never heard of this insect or known anything about previous sprayings in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties until after reading up on the subject. Now it’s time to educate my internet brethren about the facts surrounding this issue and resultant controversy.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In the broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and sailors rarely travel through the gyre. But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It’s the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean. howstuffworks, “Why is the world’s biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?”

Minimum Sea Ice: 2005 vs. 2007

This animation compares the difference between the perennial sea ice minimum extent on September 21, 2005 and September 14, 2007. With a split screen, the area of the melted region is compared with the size of the state of California. — NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Save the Polar Bears!

Polar bear cubs standing behind their mother

Today Al Gore jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work to bring the issue of global warming to skeptical audiences and provide much-needed leadership. Greenpeace has been campaigning to save the polar bear, which is highly threatened by the loss of artic ice caused by global warming:

According to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a study conducted on behalf of the Arctic Council, polar bears “are unlikely to survive as a species if there is an almost complete loss of summer sea-ice cover, which is projected to occur before the end of this century by some climate models.”

Free Gift Ideas

My friend has a page of Free Gift Ideas for the 2003 Holidays that are oriented for those of us who are sickened by the rampant commercialism of the season. There are many opportunities for creative recycling this time of year: for example, re-use last year’s gift bags and remember to save packaging for next year, and make ornaments out of dead lightbulbs by painting them and attaching a hanger. Try to remember that the most important gift is your love.

On Independence

This country once rebelled from the tyranny of monarchy. Now it is time to rebel from the tyranny of oil dependence. As we pump gas into our cars, we fuel the system that has brought us terrorism and imminent environmental disaster. The corporations and governments are not going to change for the better until we rebel from the patterns of thought that doom us.

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