The Learning Garden
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Friday, August 05, 2011
The garden this summer is full of busy bees, humming with concentration around the Russian Sage and sedums. I wonder how the smoky tang of the sage will make the honey taste differently. Little bits of Learning Garden, hiding in tablespoons of Okanagan honey.
The area is becoming quite the oasis, as more and more development surrounds on all sides. Ducks and sparrows work diligently, performing pond rituals and other important bird things. They squawk and chirp loudly while I am weeding or watering, and I know their tales are true.
Pines and ground squirrels, we all have our work to do. The hornets that are living in the greenhouse are the most diligent of the lot of us. As calm and serene as the Learning Garden seems at first, it swells with the busy purpose of summer.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The Film WASTE LAND follows artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores” (Associação dos Catadores do Aterro Metropolitano de Jardim Gramacho (Association of Collectors of the Metropolitan Landfill of Jardim Gramacho) - an organization of "pickers" who sort through garbage finding recyclables as a means of survival. Muniz collaborates with the artists - and recreates photographic images of themselves out of garbage.
Satellite images of 15 Global Trash Sites that are bigger than towns.
Landfill information for province of British Columbia.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
A Practical, Urban Response to Global Warming
A story in the New York Times describes how cities are preparing for global warming.
Climate scientists have told city planners that based on current trends, Chicago will feel more like Baton Rouge than a Northern metropolis before the end of this century.
So, Chicago is getting ready for a wetter, steamier future. Public alleyways are being repaved with materials that are permeable to water. The white oak, the state tree of Illinois, has been banned from city planting lists, and swamp oaks and sweet gum trees from the South have been given new priority. Thermal radar is being used to map the city’s hottest spots, which are then targets for pavement removal and the addition of vegetation to roofs. And air-conditioners are being considered for all 750 public schools, which until now have been heated but rarely cooled.
“Cities adapt or they go away,” said Aaron N. Durnbaugh, deputy commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Environment. “Climate change is happening in both real and dramatic ways, but also in slow, pervasive ways. We can handle it, but we do need to acknowledge it. We are on a 50-year cycle, but we need to get going.”
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
New Report: A Forest of Blue
Canada’s boreal waters - the wetlands and peatlands - store an estimated 147 billion tonnes of carbon. That is more than 25 years worth of current man-made emissions.
The input of fresh water from boreal rivers to the Arctic and other northern seas is critical to forming sea ice, which cools the atmosphere and provides the basis for much of arctic marine biodiversity.
Unfortunately, Canada’s boreal forest is increasingly affected by large-scale industrial activities. The rapidly expanding development footprint already includes 728,000 km² (180 million acres) impacted by forestry, road building, mining, oil and gas extraction, and hydropower.
Canadian and international environmental organizations, corporations and aboriginal First Nations have built the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, endorsed by 1,500 scientists around the world. The Boreal Framework calls for protecting a minimum 50 percent of the region’s land and waters, and applying strict sustainable development rules on the remainder.
Read more here.