Monthly Archives: October 2008

Livin’ Off the Grid


Despite how kitschy this video is, the guy has a certain charm about him (I think it’s his tiny carbon footprint). Our friend here doesn’t make it look completely easy or anything, but still manages an amazing proof of concept design here. Not to be a fearmonger, or something, but I hope this type of design makes it to your ordinary consumer (read: Joe Six-Pack) before it’s too late!

Why another video, you ask? Well, why our resident green expert is on her mini-sojourn, we must keep the house tidy. Expect more and better to come soon.


One Quarter of Earth’s Mammal’s Face Extinction

The baiji dolphin is functionally extinct, orangutans are disappearing and even some species of bats—the most numerous of mammals—are dying out. A new survey of the world’s 5,487 mammal species—from rodents to humans—reveals that one in four are facing imminent extinction.

“Mammal species that are just declining, not necessarily near extinction, that’s 50 percent,” says conservation biologist Jan Schipper of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps the Red List of Threatened Species. “And 836 species—especially rodents and bats—we determined they are threatened but we don’t know how threatened, because we don’t know enough about them.”

Schipper and more than 1,700 scientific colleagues spent the past five years surveying the state of the world’s mammals. The results, published in Science to coincide with IUCN’s conference on biodiversity this week, reveal that 1,139 mammals around the globe are threatened with extinction and the populations of 52 percent of all mammal species are declining.

South and Southeast Asia are home to the most threatened mammals, from monkeys to rare rats. And many mammals in the species-rich tropical Andes Mountains of South America, Africa’s Cameroonian highlands and Albertine Rift as well as the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are also in trouble. Deforestation, along with hunting or gathering food are the prime causes of the rapid declines in land mammals, such as elephants in Asia; most endangered marine mammals, like the vaquita in Mexico’s Gulf of California, are killed by fishing nets, ship strikes or pollution.

.::Read the rest @ -> Scientific American

Only one-quarter?  SWEET! Does this include NeoCons?  I’m just asking, I’m not, like, hoping or anything.

The photo above is a map of predicted extinction hotspots from 2006.  More info can be found here.  PS. yes, it’s a kid’s site.  Can you handle the truth, I ask?

and sweeter.


PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — National forests and parks — long popular with Mexican marijuana-growing cartels — have become home to some of the most polluted pockets of wilderness in America because of the toxic chemicals needed to eke lucrative harvests from rocky mountainsides, federal officials said.

The grow sites have taken hold from the West Coast’s Cascade Mountains, as well as on federal lands in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Seven hundred grow sites were discovered on U.S. Forest Service land in California alone in 2007 and 2008 — and authorities say the 1,800-square-mile Sequoia National Forest is the hardest hit.

Weed and bug sprays, some long banned in the U.S., have been smuggled to the marijuana farms. Plant growth hormones have been dumped into streams, and the water has then been diverted for miles in PVC pipes.

Rat poison has been sprinkled over the landscape to keep animals away from tender plants. And many sites are strewn with the carcasses of deer and bears poached by workers during the five-month growing season that is now ending.

.::Read the rest at -> AP Website

Well, isn’t that just the sweetest thing you ever heard…? Fortunately, I’m sure there are one or two simple solutions to this problem.  Thanks to Jen for the link.