Time for climate change fix running out, IEA warns

How often have we heard these pleas? How many times more will headlines warn against a ticking time bomb that is our planet’s welfare? It is headlines such as this one that remind me why post-apocalyptic themes run rampant, and for good cause, within our pop culture. Images of factories pumping plumes of pollutants into the crisp yet suffering sky is a common sight. It seems as though little effort is taken to source an image that will actually create impact to readers. Rather it is more efficient to a newspaper to slap a generic Getty-sourced image of any tower, from any country, and insist it is relevant to the story. It is a type of lazy journalism that goes beyond agenda-setting theory. Our news feeds cycle through various headlines throughout the world, ranging from topical and unexpected, to typical and anticipated. It is unfortunate that climate change issues are being shuffled into the latter category, implying to news readers that, “Yes, you can skip past this one.”


"Australia has passed legislation that would impose a tax on the nation’s  500 largest polluters, a deeply unpopular measure that the government  defended as necessary to control climate change." CBC News
After weeks of spending time in a class focused on how we as a society communicate about the natural world, it is as though I myself am some sort of Green Party die-hard when reading this article. Though opinion polls have shown that the recent legislation is “unpopular,” it is with a stern gaze and a broad smile that I read this article and conclude, “Good on ya, mate.” The image associated with this article is particularly intriguing, as it is depicting a night-time scene which could imply to viewers that pollution happens in Australia at all times. When you sleep, corporations are polluting. When you rise, corporations are polluting. It is an interesting message that the top 500 polluters (who was the lucky government worker that got to decide send those letters?) will be taxed. It actually shows that the easily quantifiable amounts of carbon being pumped into the air could land you in some level of hot water. Perhaps not boiling, but not tepid, either. The tax may not ease any of these corporations pollution levels, however it does send a message to the masses, both at home and abroad, that the Australian government is doing their part and making an effort that not many others have tried. Perhaps, if nothing else, this story communicates an inspiring message for those governments previously stuck between a rock and a hard place.

"Australia has passed legislation that would impose a tax on the nation’s 500 largest polluters, a deeply unpopular measure that the government defended as necessary to control climate change." CBC News

After weeks of spending time in a class focused on how we as a society communicate about the natural world, it is as though I myself am some sort of Green Party die-hard when reading this article. Though opinion polls have shown that the recent legislation is “unpopular,” it is with a stern gaze and a broad smile that I read this article and conclude, “Good on ya, mate.” The image associated with this article is particularly intriguing, as it is depicting a night-time scene which could imply to viewers that pollution happens in Australia at all times. When you sleep, corporations are polluting. When you rise, corporations are polluting. It is an interesting message that the top 500 polluters (who was the lucky government worker that got to decide send those letters?) will be taxed. It actually shows that the easily quantifiable amounts of carbon being pumped into the air could land you in some level of hot water. Perhaps not boiling, but not tepid, either. The tax may not ease any of these corporations pollution levels, however it does send a message to the masses, both at home and abroad, that the Australian government is doing their part and making an effort that not many others have tried. Perhaps, if nothing else, this story communicates an inspiring message for those governments previously stuck between a rock and a hard place.



Sustainable Agriculture

(c) National Geographic, via Louis Daria

Sustainable agriculture takes many forms, but at its core is a rejection of the industrial approach to food production developed during the 20th century.

This system, with its reliance on monoculture, mechanization, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, biotechnology, and government subsidies, has made food abundant and affordable. However, the ecological and social price has been steep: erosion; depleted and contaminated soil and water resources; loss of biodiversity; deforestation; labor abuses; and the decline of the family farm. (National Geographic, http://is.gd/N1JGrs)

It is interesting that the subtle association made in media communication between “the 20th century” and the decline in the family farm. It is as if the typical discussion of “back in My Day” consistently rears its head when identifying and critiquing present social and economic problems. Prior to our collective concern over the erosion and decay of our natural resources, notions of living off the land and being a part of a rural community were often presented as though a quaint, far-away ideal. Though farms have always existed, those who live in urban centers and write for newspapers and online news sources have often “remembered” it as though farms belonged to a distant place or time. Perhaps this was merely a reflection of society’s collective understanding of what a farm was.

Now we must all switch gears. Now, as both writers and readers, we are forced to rethink our previous dismissal of “farming” and allow room for understanding today’s “agricultural industry” instead. We must grasp the concept that our cities have been fed efficiently and affordably by employing the same regimes of corporate industry we are accustomed to in our urban lives. The association with Big City Bustle is kept separate from our notion of Quaint and Quiet Farm Life. Increasingly we are shown, by way of media communications, that this mental separation cannot exist if we are to fully comprehend the ways in which agriculture has changed, and must change again. The use of pesticides is one prime example of the ways in which the agricultural industry has managed to maintain the demands of its consumers, and the difficulties of its production process. Now that this silent system has been fine-tuned to near perfection, we as consumers are being increasingly aware of its existence. With our enhanced appreciation for the capitalist structure of agriculture, we the consumer are conflicted: Yes, we want to eat. No, we don’t want cancer. Yes, I want to keep paying what I’m paying for an apple. No, I don’t want to pollute our land.

Increasingly with communication regarding the agricultural industry, the organic food wave, and the rise in degradation to our countryside, readers and writers alike struggle to align everyone’s notions of who the players are, and how it’s possible that Farmer Brown may be killing out beautiful countryside in an effort to keep our food on the table.


realrawrefine:

The Whale… If you read a front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

realrawrefine:

The Whale… If you read a front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

(via natureconservancy)



Fail Whale? Nope! It’s Greenpeace’s parody.

Fail Whale? Nope! It’s Greenpeace’s parody.



I don’t run a car, have never run a car. I could say that this is because I have this extremely tender environmentalist conscience, but the fact is I hate driving.
David Attenborough