Wednesday, 23 October 2013

SYLVIA EARLE: For the shake of oceans



National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations. 
 
Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the Advisory Councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth.

She has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications and lectured in more than 80 countries. Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation, and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments.
 
Her special focus is on developing a global network of protected areas on the land and in the ocean to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

THE STORY OF SOLUTIONS

The Story of Solutions, explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal.

In the current ‘Game of More’, we’re told to cheer a growing economy – more roads, more malls, more Stuff! – even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting.
But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn’t that be what winning means?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

EMMANUEL DE MERODE: A Story of Conflict Renewal & Hope

Emmanuel De Merode, Director for Virunga National Park, gives an account of the struggle to save one of the world's great national parks with its population of mountain gorillas. He renders accessible to an audience one of the darkest conflicts in recent history, the bloody civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is not just a story of bleak and bloody facts: ultimately it is a story of determination and courage and how a small unit of Congolese park rangers, community workers and local environmental activists brought about a miracle in African wildlife conservation.
 


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

GEORGE MOUSTAKI: In Memoriam


 
Je déclare l'état de bonheur permanent
Et le droit de chacun à tous les privilèges.
Je dis que la souffrance est chose sacrilège
Quand il y a pour tous des roses et du pain blanc.
Je conteste la légitimité des guerres,
La justice qui tue et la mort qui punit,
Les consciences qui dorment au fond de leur lit,
La civilisation au bras des mercenaires.
 



Friday, 24 May 2013

SCARCITY-MIND OR ECO-MIND: Where Do They Lead?

By Frances Moore Lappé The Solutions Journal Volume 4 | Issue 2 | May 2013

 
Julie Falk/Flickr
 
Anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology increasingly recognize that human beings are “soft-wired” for profoundly social behavior, says the author. This puts a better world within reach.
 
Humans see the world through largely unconscious frames that determine what we believe our nature to be and therefore what we believe to be possible. To address our biggest global challenges, we can shed this non-ecological mental map—what the author calls “scarcity-mind”—based in lack and fear. Locked in scarcity-mind, we remain blind to our own power and end up creating together a world that none of us, as individuals, would choose. But humans can actually change how we see, moving from a frame of lack and limits to one of alignment with nature. Based on research in neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, this article explores a world seen with the emergent “eco-mind” in which possibility is all around us. Thinking like an ecosystem, no one is bereft of power.
 
  • Humans see the world through culturally formed filters that determine what we can and cannot see and what we believe to be possible.
  • Based on core assumptions of separateness, stasis, and scarcity, we see ourselves in perpetual competition with other selfish creatures.
  • These assumptions drive a political and economic system characterized by concentrated power, a lack of transparency, and a culture of blame.
  • Based on assumption of connection, continuous change, and co-creation, we can move away from this toward Living Democracy, which is positively aligned with our nature via the continuous dispersion of power, transparency in human relations, and cultures of mutual accountability.

It’s the GDP-obsessed growth model, many reformers argue, that’s leading us to perdition. They decry the irresponsibility of a relatively few taking more than their share, who are profligate with the earth’s dwindling resources. Certainly this “we’ve hit the limits” framing rings true, for, inarguably, human societies have exceeded the limits of destruction, depletion, and disruption our planet can sustain without massive human and nonhuman loss and suffering.
 
But is there a more effective way of understanding the roots of our predicament?
 
Here’s a possibility.

Click on the link to read the full article: http://thesolutionsjournal.anu.edu.au/node/22191 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

WATER IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

Water in the Anthropocene is a 3-minute film charting the global impact of humans on the water cycle. Evidence is growing that our global footprint is now so significant we have driven Earth into a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene.

Human activities such as damming and agriculture are changing the global water cycle in significant ways. The data visualisation was commissioned by the Global Water Systems Project for a major international conference (Water in the Anthropocene, Bonn, Germany, 21-24 May, 2013). http://conference2013.gwsp.org 

As datasets build upon one another, the film charts Earth's changing global water cycle, why it is changing, and what this means for the future. The vertical spikes that appear in the film represent the 48,000 large dams that have been built. The film was produced by Globaïa and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. http://globaia.org // http://igbp.net

The film is part of the first website on the concept of humans as a geological force, http://anthropocene.info





Wednesday, 8 May 2013

THE OVERVIEW EFFECT


For more than four decades, astronauts from many cultures and backgrounds have been telling us that, from the perspective of Earth orbit and the Moon, they have gained such a vision.

The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface. It refers to the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void.



Monday, 25 February 2013

GASLAND

The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.