Blue bubbles helped “make the cause of climate change visible” say visualisers behind viral video

by Jennifer Hahn  A 2012 animation showing New York City being buried under a mountain of giant bubbles allowed people to appreciate the scale of carbon emissions for the first time, according to its creators Real World Visuals. Released in 2012, the computer-generated timelapse shows the city being buried under a mountain of bubbles representing the city’s 54 million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions. “Carbon emissions are invisible and that’s a core part of the problem,” said Real World Visuals co-founder Antony Turner. “If carbon dioxide was purple, we would start taking notice.” Making abstract concept of emissions more understandable In the video, the communications agency depicted the … Continue reading Blue bubbles helped “make the cause of climate change visible” say visualisers behind viral video

The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation

The story of the countercultural courage and persistence that shaped the modern ecological conscience. BY MARIA POPOVA It is 1928 and you are walking in Central Park, saxophone and wren song in the April air, when you spot her beneath the colossal leafing elm with her binoculars. You mistake her for another pearled Upper East Side lady who has taken to birding in the privileged boredom of her middle age. And who could blame you? In some obvious ways — polished and traveled, born into a wealthy New York family to a British father whose first cousin was Charles Dickens … Continue reading The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation

HONEY VERSUS BLOOD – THE BATTLE BETWEEN COMFORT AND COURAGE

by Gary Z McGee, Self-inflicted Philosophy Waking Times “Remember: you are master of your own destiny, digger of your own rut. Destiny can be altered. Ruts are filled all the time. If you lay in yours too long, someone will bury you in it.” ~Pat Mestern Fortitude. Backbone. Gumption. Grit. Mettle. All too often our abundant privilege and soothing creature comforts rob us of these vital aspects of character. We grow soft, weighed down by extreme convenience, uncontrolled contentedness, and a cultural conditioning that brainwashes us into believing that maintaining the comfort zone is the be-all-end-all. As a culture, courage is … Continue reading HONEY VERSUS BLOOD – THE BATTLE BETWEEN COMFORT AND COURAGE

I Was a Climate Change Denier – This Is Why I Changed My Mind

Inside one man’s journey to the dark side and back. By Moya Lothian-McLean Oscar*, 36, didn’t believe global warming was real until his late twenties. Here, he explains why – and what finally opened his eyes to the problem.  Before climate change denial, there was economics.   Shortly after starting my economics major at a US college in 2001, I fell in with a group of libertarians. For those who aren’t that familiar with fringe US political parties, libertarians believe in complete individual freedom – they’re often described as “economically conservative but socially liberal”. In my case, it meant I believed that the … Continue reading I Was a Climate Change Denier – This Is Why I Changed My Mind

They are prisoners

Captive orcas are tormented by boredom and family separation, but they cannot be simply released. What’s the solution? Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and an expert in animal behaviour and intelligence. Formerly on the faculty at Emory University, she is the founder and executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy in Utah, and president of the Whale Sanctuary Project.Listen here Edited by Pam Weintraub Alone, the female orca, also known as a killer whale, circles her small, shallow tank stopping only to surface and open her mouth as trainers drop in dead fish. She thinks of a time when … Continue reading They are prisoners

‘Everyone else does it, so I can too’: how the false consensus effect drives environmental damage

Author Brock Bergseth Postdoctoral research fellow, James Cook University There’s a useful concept from psychology that helps explain why good people do things that harm the environment: the false consensus effect. That’s where we overestimate how acceptable and prevalent our own behaviour is in society. Put simply, if you’re doing something (even if you secretly know you probably shouldn’t), you’re more likely to think plenty of other people do it too. What’s more, you likely overestimate how much other people think that behaviour is broadly OK. This bias allows people to justify socially unacceptable or illegal behaviours. Researchers have observed the … Continue reading ‘Everyone else does it, so I can too’: how the false consensus effect drives environmental damage

WHY MIGHT VEGANISM BE MORE POPULAR WITH WOMEN THAN MEN?

By Rosie Frost This year saw a record number of people signing up to Veganuary. With growing anxiety about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and evidence that a plant-based diet can be beneficial to our health, the number of vegans has doubled across Europe and the US. This year, the “urgent need” to reduce our intake of meat, dairy and eggs has received more coverage than ever as experts have pointed to farmed animals as a possible origin for COVID-19. From eco anxiety to concerns around animal cruelty, it’s clear many more people are turning to veganism as a way … Continue reading WHY MIGHT VEGANISM BE MORE POPULAR WITH WOMEN THAN MEN?

Unrest in your backyard

Rich nations with strong governments can no longer assume that political violence is a problem for other, poorer countries Mark Kukis is a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute and an assistant professor of social sciences at the Minerva Schools, where he teaches government. He is the author of Voices from Iraq: A People’s History, 2003-2009 (2011). Edited by Sam Haselby Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha aired a dire warning to the thousands of protesters who thronged the streets of Bangkok for days in the summer of 2020 demanding his resignation. Prayuth accused the demonstrators of bringing Thailand to the brink of collapse. ‘If that … Continue reading Unrest in your backyard

GOLF IS A GIANT BOARD GAME DAMAGING THE PLANET: TIME FOR IT TO GO

Golf is damaging for both planet and society, argues Abbie Richards.    By Abbie Richards Science communicator Abbie Richards argues that the game of golf is both socially and environmentally destructive. Society has evolved past the need for golf. Few things make me angrier than poorly purposed land. Land, for instance, that could be affordable housing, a community farm, a public park, or a natural habitat, but instead has been converted into a massive board game that functions more as a status symbol than as a form of entertainment. There are almost 40,000 golf courses in the world. They sit there, using 26 times … Continue reading GOLF IS A GIANT BOARD GAME DAMAGING THE PLANET: TIME FOR IT TO GO

Earth Is on the Cusp of the Sixth Mass Extinction. Here’s What Paleontologists Want You to Know

There have been five mass extinctions in our planet’s history. The sixth will be more of a slow burn, and unlike the ones before it, humanity is to blame. By Avery Hurt Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science newsSign up for the NewsletterSIGN UP Rhinos, elephants, whales and sharks — the list of endangered species is long and depressing. But it’s not just these big, beautiful, familiar animals at risk. Earth is hemorrhaging species, from mammals to fish and insects. The loss of biodiversity we’re facing right now is staggering, thanks to habitat loss, pollution, climate change … Continue reading Earth Is on the Cusp of the Sixth Mass Extinction. Here’s What Paleontologists Want You to Know