17 October 2008

banksy dolittle

Instead of talking to the animals, he talks for them. Today, I took a look at British street artist Banksy's latest statement at The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill (7th Ave South btwn West 4th and Bleecker). Animal testing, commodity meat, fur, and general animal exploitation all demonstrated in a fun animatronic medium. Now through October 31st.

Baby McNuggets

Cat? No coat.

Fishy sticks

Thirsty dog

Monkey pawrn

Bunny beauty
(I found it interesting that he chose Orly nail polish, which is NOT tested on animals. Though there is also a Revlon polish on that bunny's bureau.)

bcue: introducing third thursday public forums

The Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE) launched their series of Third Thursday public forums yesterday, October 16th at 6pm. The series will explore the economic challenges facing the borough in greater detail.

I couldn't make it to yesterday's forum (and sorry I'm just announcing it now!), but I hope to attend future events. Stay tuned to BCUE's website, or sign up to receive their announcements.

“Being Your Own Pied Piper: How the Song of Local Business Will Save NYC’s Economy,” will feature leaders in NYC’s local economy and discuss how our locally owned and operated industries are weathering the recent and ongoing storms on Wall Street. From manufacturing and construction to the food and event planning sectors, learn who and what the anchors of the new “local living economy” are —and how they can benefit businesses and local communities. Join us at our first “Third Thursday” forum to learn more about how strong community relations and environmentally responsible practices serve as capital to support and strengthen your portfolio and neighborhood economy.

Panelists include: Carl Hum, President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Max Carey, CEO, CRD Analytics; Jennifer Stokes, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership; and Catherine Bohne, Owner, Park Slope Community Bookstore.

Check here for details.

the lost 8 years

Many in the environmental community consider the past 8 years of Bush Administration Policy as the lost 8 years. Here, Environmental Defense Fund shows us some of the devastation that ensued under the watch of our careless rulers.

Lost Eight Years by the Numbers

Over the last eight years, global warming took its toll on the world.

While climate scientists confirmed that it is undoubtedly a man-made phenomenon and predicted its disastrous future effects, the Bush Administration worked with various members of U.S. industry to bury this evidence and block action.

Check out our 10 Facts About the Lost Eight Years to learn more.

The number of people who died in 2000 due to debilitating diseases caused by climate change in 2000, according to a 2003 study by the World Health Organization.

20 billion
The net tons of water oceans gain each year through melting glaciers and ice caps, according to a 2006 study by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Square miles in area of the Larsen B ice shelf that collapsed off the Antarctic Peninsula in 2002 – this area is roughly the size of Rhode Island.

Year by which polar bears could be at or near extinction according to the U.S. Geological Survey in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

4.5 feet
The amount the seas could rise by the end of the century, according to scientists at the University of Arizona.

Number of peer reviewed papers used in a study that found there were no serious challenges to the global warming consensus that the phenomena was real and largely man made.

385 ppm
The concentration of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere in 2008 - the highest level in at least the past 800,000 years and 37% higher than CO2 concentrations at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

$200 billion
The amount of economic losses resulting from the intensity of climate change through the year 2005, according to the reinsurance company Munich Re.

Number of global warming bills passed by the Senate.

Number of global warming bills passed by the House.


  • McMichael, Anthony J., ed. Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Responses. World Health Organization. 2003.
  • "NASA Finds Arctic Replenished Very Little Thick Sea Ice in 2005." The Earth Observer. Volume 19, Issue 3. May/June 2007.
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center. “Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapses in Antarctica.” March 18, 2002.
  • Roach, John. "Most Polar Bears Gone By 2050, Studies Say." National Geographic News. September 10, 2007.
  • Borenstein, Seth. "Global warming's rising seas projected to overtake unique U.S. coastal spots in 100 years." Associated Press. September 22, 2007.
  • Oreskes, Naomi "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" for Science December 4, 2004.
  • Hansen, James. "Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near on Global Warming." The Huffington Post, June 23, 2008.
  • Faust, Ebhard. "Climate Change impact on the (re-) Insurance Industry and Munich Re's Response." Global Roundtable on Climate Change Session II at Columbia University. November 14-15, 2005.

What do you think?

Leave your answer to the following questions posed by Environmental Defense Fund:
With a new administration only months away and a significantly new Congress just around the corner, do you think the United States will finally give environmental concerns the priority they deserve? Or will we end up falling into the pitfalls of the past, with political disagreements hindering progress?

apple day, this sunday

Eat some apples in the big apple while learning simple ways to go green, this Sunday on the Lower East Side. It's New York City Apple Day!

Sunday, October 19
11am to 4:30pm
Orchard St btwn Broome and Grand

  • Apple Tastings - Apple Pie to Chicken Apple Sausage to Chocolate Apple Truffles and Apples and Honey for Sukkot

  • Face painting and Family Activities for kids

  • Free giveaways! Toys, 500 Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, T-Shirts

  • Live Entertainment

  • Learn the best way to recycle

  • Learn how to save energy and money

  • Learn the simplest things to do in your home to Go Green

It's true what they say, "an apple a day..."

I just read this fitting little tidbit from Yoga Journal editor Andrea Kowalski:

According to Ayurvedic medicine, apples help draw out of the body the heat that accumulates over the summer—heat that can dry out and cause digestive distress in the winter season. The pectin in apples also helps to clean and heal digestive mucosa, according to Ayurvedic doctor John Douillard.

Love apples? Share your favorite apple recipes here.

Honeycrisp, one of my favorites

an open letter to the new president

[Image source: 7x7]

Michael Pollan challenges the future president to take a serious look at revolutionizing the current state of the food industry in a recent NY Times article. An excerpt:

After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent. And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study. Whenever farmers clear land for crops and till the soil, large quantities of carbon are released into the air. But the 20th-century industrialization of agriculture has increased the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the food system by an order of magnitude; chemical fertilizers (made from natural gas), pesticides (made from petroleum), farm machinery, modern food processing and packaging and transportation have together transformed a system that in 1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used into one that now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food. Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases. This state of affairs appears all the more absurd when you recall that every calorie we eat is ultimately the product of photosynthesis — a process based on making food energy from sunshine. There is hope and possibility in that simple fact.

Read the rest. [NY Times]

meet the new macs

Apple makes some advancements in sustainability with their new MacBook and MacBook Pro. Both MacBooks achieve EPEAT Gold status, which means that they met all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria under their gold certification standards.

Below, some of the eco-friendly features of the new laptops.

MacBook and MacBook Pro 15"

  • Meet EPEAT Gold status
  • Arsenic free
  • Brominated fire retardant (BFR) free
  • Mercury free
  • PVC free
  • Recyclable
  • Energy efficient LED-backlit display
  • Meet Energy Star 4.0 requirements
  • Ship in a a 37% smaller packaging

Get all of the tech specs at Gizmodo.

bill niman and his goats (!!!)

Bill Niman is going back to his roots. He walked away from Niman Ranch -- and even his name -- after disagreements with new management over protocols in animal treatment. (I'm not sure I'll be able to eat Niman Ranch anymore, I'll have to do some more research on this one.)

[Image: Chad Case for The New York Times]

This time, he's focusing on goats. I love goats, but I'm not sure I can eat one. They're almost like dogs in my mind. But if they're humanely raised (ie, able to live a healthy life, doing the things that goats like to do) I guess the practice of farming them for meat is okay with me. I don't know Mr. Niman, but I think I can trust that he takes good care of his goats. And his vegetarian wife probably wouldn't have it any other way.

Read the NY Times article about Niman and his goats.

Check out some picture I took recently at the Central Park Zoo: