Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

What Gives You Hope?

26/07/2012

Grafton Pond, NH

“The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
Alfred Lord Tennyson

I started Mountain Spirit Institute in 1998 when we led our first trip to Peru, with the basic mission “to facilitate a deeper connection to the natural environment, each other and ourselves.”  Since then it has become ever more apparent how we need “nature time” more than ever. It’s good to see people out on the trail, and in kayaks these days, but National Park use is down in the U.S, and technology competes for the breath of fresh air. We just offered a presentation last night in a small town in New Hampshire called “Get Outside While You Still Can.” The piece below echoes a lot of what we covered in our presentation, and why we started MSI.

 By Eric Utne,
Founder, The Utne Reader

As I’ve said in this column before, I’m afraid it may be too late to avoid the devastating effects of global climate change. (more…)

Vanishing Rivers of Ice – Dave Breashears

06/04/2012

Mountaineer and Filmmaker Dave Breashers presents Rivers of Ice, Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya

Before and After Shots..Not Good.

The Greater Himalaya has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar ice sheets, providing vital fresh water for almost every major system  of Asia. Over the past five years, Breashears and the team of his nonprofit organization, GlacierWorks, has conducted ten photographic expeditions to the region, to study and document the effects of climate change on this delicate landscape.

Dave Breashears

Breashears presents at the Boston Museum of Science on April 12, but alas, tickets are sold out. Nevertheless we thought it was worth the post here. You might try to try the climber’s move and squeeze in somewhere.

Retracing the steps of pioneering alpine photographers and explorers George Mallory, Vittorio Sella and others, Breashears and the team have captured  high-definition photographs that  match those of the earliest expeditions. By comparing this contemporary imagery with the historic photographs, Breashears and his team are discovering staggering changes to the region—changes with potentially devastating consequences.

There is  debate in the scientific community about the rate and extent to which Himalayan glaciers are shrinking.  Nevertheless, scientists agree that there is a trend of melting beyond what is expected to occur naturally. Although future impacts of glacial melt cannot be known, any disruption to the water supply will inevitably present challenges to the millions of people living  downstream.
Breashears plans on sharing his work in a blend of first-person story telling and imagery.
More info: Mount Washington Observatory

Thursday, April 12, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Museum of Science, Boston

Asylum in Czech Republic on Ecological Grounds

30/08/2011

A true story, this short documentary from Culture Unplugged is about a Danish citizen who seeks asylum in the Czech Republic.  I include it here to stimulate self-assessment of your assumptions. Tell us what you think.

Brian Kulkaer Larsen of Copenhagen

Snowbound at Kingston Cafe

16/08/2011

Bolivia Enacts Law of Mother Earth

20/04/2011

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation
and social measures in South American nation
From: The Guardian

Bolivian President Evo Morales

Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.

The Pacha Mama, Earth Mother

But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks. While it is not clear yet what actual protection the new rights will give in court to bugs, insects and ecosystems, the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and to appoint an ombudsman. It is also committed to giving communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries. (more…)

Bolivia: Fighting the Climate Wars

20/04/2011

From: The Guardian
John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day. Their president has called for an urgent 50% cut in emissions – action that is essential for the country’s survival. Click on the image to view video.

Excellent Video on Bolivias Iniatives

Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle with MSI

10/04/2011

As our world moves closer to facing climate change and its consequences, MSI is doing our part to provide education and awareness on how to achieve some measure of personal sustainability.

We invite you to come to Vermont on June 10-12, 2011 for a weekend retreat to explore how to make healthier choices about food, relationships and navigating everyday life in a healthier and more conscious way.

In our upcoming Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle program, we feature some of New England’s most gifted teachers and facilitators.

Henry Homeyer

 

Henry Homeyer, author of four gardening books and New England garden columnist, will share insights from over 60 years of organic gardening experience.

Jen White

 

 

 

Jen White, Sustainability Coordinator at Colby Sawyer College, will help us understand the global impact of our choices, connect with our values and live sustainably from the heart.

Miles Sherts

 

 

Miles Sherts, author and founder of Sky Meadow Retreat in northern Vermont, has been teaching about conflict resolution and communication skills since 1990. Miles will lead a workshop on Conscious Communication.

 

So please think about joining us at Sky Meadow Retreat in June – at the very least it will get you thinking about what you can do to live more in alignment with the earth, and we guarantee, you’ll learn a few good things about Creating A More Sustainable Lifestyle.

Maple Syrup Builds Up in Trees

01/04/2011

A downturn in the maple syrup market is having harmful side effects for trees in northern New England. For the first time in decades, the maples are remaining untapped, with sometimes-dangerous results.

At right: Maple-syrup maker Ryan Tilley braves a forest aflame with exploded maple to tap his trees.
Hear the mp3 story here.

Big Winters = Climate Change

04/03/2011

Extreme winter weather linked to climate change
By Deborah Zabarenko,
News Daily

Abandoned Cars, Chicago 2011

WASHINGTON, Mar. 1, 2011 (Reuters) — This winter’s heavy snowfalls and other extreme storms could well be related to increased moisture in the air due to global climate change, a panel of scientists said on Tuesday.

This extra moisture is likely to bring on extraordinary flooding with the onset of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, as deep snowpack melts and expected heavy rains add to seasonal run-off, the scientists said in a telephone briefing.

As the planet warms up, more water from the oceans is evaporated into the atmosphere, said Todd Sanford, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. At the same time, because the atmosphere is warmer, it can hold onto more of the moisture that it takes in. Read the rest of this story…

Glacier Melting & Time-Lapse Photography

27/09/2010

“More ice is released into the global ocean, from this glacier*, than from any other glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. If sea level rises, this is where it all begins. This is it, ground zero.”

EIS's James Balog

From: NPR’s Living on Earth
A photographer was one of this year’s Heinz environmental award winners. James Balog’s project — the Extreme Ice Survey — documents the rapid melting of glacial ice through time-lapse photographs from cameras in some of the world’s most remote areas. Host Bruce Gellerman talks with James Balog about the Extreme Ice Survey.

GELLERMAN: Winners of the prestigious Heinz environmental award have just been announced. This year the Heinz Foundation is honoring a wide variety of environmental innovators including a distinguished academic for his work in sustainable transportation, a pioneer in green chemistry, and a scientist who studies the suspected endocrine disrupting chemical BPA.

Awards and checks for a hundred thousand dollars will also be going to several winners who focus on climate change, among them James Balog. He’s director of Earthvision Trust and a one-time climate change skeptic. James Balog joins us from Boulder Colorado. Welcome to LOE…and congratulations.
BALOG: Well, thank you so much. It’s a wonderful week, and a wonderful honor and a privilege. I feel very blessed.

GELLERMAN: A climate change skeptic winning one of the premier environmental awards. Now, that’s an achievement.

Greenland ice sheet melting fast

BALOG: Well, I’m not a skeptic, and I haven’t been in a long time. Twenty years ago, I thought this whole science was based on computer modeling, and I’m a bit of a technological Luddite, and I thought that if it was all based on computer modeling, there could be something wrong with it. But then I took the time to learn about the evidence that was in the ice cores, and then I got out into the field and looked at what was happening to the glaciers, and I realized that this was not about models and projections and statistics. This was incredible concrete and real and immediate and happening really quickly.

GELLERMAN: In a sense, seeing is believing.

BALOG: Yeah, absolutely. As a photographer, my whole career and as a once-upon-a-time experiential educator for Outward Bound School, and as a mountaineer for forty years, I am quite keyed in to the feeling of experience. You know, seeing things, feeling things, touching things. Letting the vibrate in your chest, well when you are standing at the side of these glaciers and you’re watching huge masses of ice go away, you really get it.
Read the rest of this interview….