Archive for October 27th, 2009

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Off the Hook

October 27, 2009

U.N. Taps Tinker Bell as Ambassador of Green:

“We’re delighted Tinker Bell has agreed to be our Honorary Ambassador of Green,” said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “This beloved animated character can help us inspire kids and their parents to nurture nature and do what they can to take care of the environment.”

You can’t say she doesn’t deserve it. As Wonkette aptly notes: “Tinker Bell is a fucking whore.”

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Up, Up, and Away

October 27, 2009

David Owen argues here that New York is one of the eco-friendliest locations in the US. As a transplanted New Yorker, this sounds about right to me. Somehow my wife and I lived in a 650 square foot apartment for more than three years. Because we only shared one wall with the outside, much of our heat was shared with our neighbors. Our refrigerator was small. We went grocery shopping every day, only for what we needed. Waste was relatively minimal, as our trash bags had to be small enough to send down the chute. Plus, we didn’t drive, we didn’t have to water any lawns, we didn’t worry about destroying our natural surroundings.

Yet there is a somewhat strong argument against New York being the greenest city: ultimately, and there’s no hiding this, it is the belly of the consumer beast. Walk down any street and there are towering monoliths to money and consumerism. More than most towns — with the possible exception of Hollywood — New Yorkers control our popular culture. Don’t get me wrong, I  NY. I just wanna go on record that, while it’s probably true that any given New Yorker is greener than the average Ameri-bear, it’s not true that New York is a shining bastion of eco-hope.

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Moo.

October 27, 2009

Apparently London’s climate chief, Lord Stern, has recommended that people adopt a vegetarian diet for environmental reasons. Startling. Outrageous. Ludicrous!

This, of course, has been the recommendation for more than 20 years. There are innumerable books on this topic, the most recent of which, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, even turned Queen-cum-Senator Amidala away from the dark side. Maybe this will help contextualize: MotherJones has a story on environmental push-back from big agriculture.

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Capacity Building and EJ

October 27, 2009

Ariel Salleh (sociologist at the University of Sydney) gives a nice interview on environmental justice to Robyn Williams over at Ockham’s Razor. After a very long, jingle-bells-&-tinkling introduction, the discussion begins. What to do about the impoverished and poorest peoples?

Governments and international agencies have not given due credit to the capacities of peoples at the margins of capital. There’s a tacit environmental racism too, in letting these others pick up the tab, like when a nuclear waste dump is put in Aboriginal country; or when a REDD scheme converts the livelihood of Kalimantan farmers into a carbon sink for our coal-based consumer lifestyle.