Monday, December 24, 2007

Ask Dr. Green: Why Should We Care?

I was recently asked a very good question by Tebben Lopez of Shetland Connecticut: "Why should we care about what’s going on in the environment? AND How can kids get involved?" Not gonna lie, that's a tough one. And there are a lot of different answers out there, depending on who you ask. So here's mine.

I think that we should care about the environment for a very practical and fatalistic reason: because we will have to live with our mistakes for the rest of our lives, not to mention pass them on to future generations. I think that the idea of living in a flooded tropical world is extremely frightening; the most effective part of "An Inconvenient Truth," for me, was the simulated effects of the rising water level on major cities like San Francisco and New York--our homes, our business, our landmarks. I think that we should care because it's good sense, and because I don't want to believe that it's too late. I think if we don't care about our environment, then we are basically writing off the fate of the planet as of maybe 40-50 years from now. That's just my opinion though, I'm hoping our readers will have things to add in the comments.

As for ways for kids to get involved, I think that a good place to start is educating yourself. When people know what's going on and what's at stake, they're much more likely to make better decisions and to try harder to change the course of the future. There are literally hundreds of great sites, like this one, that are built to inform and influence--scroll down to the list on the sidebar for some ideas. Joining a local environmental organization like Earthteam is also a great idea, and there are tons of them all around the country, so they're not too hard to find. Also, there are many community efforts going on, like the Do the Green Thing campaign that require very little effort and are often actually fun. Of course, there are also the cliché things that people tell you to do every day, like recycle, walk or take public transportation to spare the air, etc, that are easy and quite beneficial when added all together.

I hope that answers your question, Tebben.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

December's Green Thing: Buy an old thing

Here's something easy to do for the environment this holiday season: instead of buying something new and adding waste to the environment, buy it used (or "vintage," as the cool kids call it). With a little luck and a little tenacity, you can find lots of cool gift ideas involving old items. Not convinced yet? Just take a look at this video:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Check it out (a little late)

Here is a satellite picture of the SF Bay a few days after the oil spill. Really puts it in perspective...

For more, click here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Stuff: Poll and Slideshow

Hey everyone. I've just updated the blog with a new poll question and a winter-themed slideshow. They're both located on the sidebar to the right, about halfway down. Enjoy.And here is the rest of it.

Great New Green Site: Project Global Cooling

Earthteam recieved an email a couple of weeks ago from a Korean organization called the Global Cooling Collective. Apparently it's a group of students who are trying to organize an international network of young environment-o-philes (like YOU guys) to help spread the word about environmental issues. They've got a lot of very ambitious projects: Earth Day concerts, Youtube PSAs, and lots more. The project is rather new (it started in September) but already they've made a lot of progress in networking with organizations around the world (including Earthteam!). Click here for a synopsis on the Collective on their official website, or join their interactive and rather impressive social network. I think this is a really exciting project, and I can't wait to see what they come up with in the next few months--watch this space for updates. And here is the rest of it.

The SF Bay Oil Spill: 3 weeks later

I'm sure our Bay Area readers will recall the Nov. 7 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay (it made headlines nationwide!), but for those who haven't heard, here's a synopsis: A Hong Kong-based oil tanker dubbed the Cosco Busan bumped into a tower of the Bay Bridge and came away with a serious gash in its port side, causing 58,000 gallons of crude oil to leak into the Bay. Quite a lot of people were pretty angry, and the spill caused significant damage to both the San Francisco economy and, more importantly, to the Bay ecosystem. So what happened after the dust settled? Click "Read More" below for an update.

Many Bay Area residents and city officials were appalled at the way this incident was handled, especially the clean-up efforts immediately following the spill. A state senate committee last week criticized the responsible government agencies (namely the state Dept. of Fish and Game) for their sluggish efforts (read full article here), and stated that they are looking into the implications of this incident as it relates to future spills. The US government is suing the owners and pilot of the Cosco Busan for the damages incurred by the spill; the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. This comes after several lawsuits from SF fishermen and others who claim economic losses caused by the spill (see full article here). The ban on commercial fishing in the SF Bay has finally been lifted by Gov. Schwarzenegger after studies showed that the spill's dangerous chemical consequences had subsided, but officials from the California Dept. of Fish and Game warn consumers to stay away from some oysters and mussels (read full article here).

Commenting on Dr. Green P's Blog

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