• August 31, 2012

Zoos and aquariums are a trusted source of scientific information on climate change, and 82% of visitors to accredited zoos believe climate change is happening. That’s according to a 2011 survey by the Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network, (CLiZEN), which has been working to develop educational programs to engage and activate zoo visitors on the subject.

More than 130 million people visit zoos and aquariums every year, offering a unique opportunity to influence a captive audience, what’s the right approach?

The senior vice president for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Paul Boyle, believes in the soft-sell, telling the New York Times that big billboards informing people about the ozone layer and rainforest...

• August 23, 2012

If a giant asteroid was hurtling towards planet earth, the world’s governments, scientists and engineers come together to focus and save the world without any hesitation at all.

So says Stephen Emmott, the head of Microsoft’s computational science laboratory at Cambridge, and the star of a play that recently closed at the small and, recently sold-out Royal Court Theatre in London. Called 10 Billion, the performance is actually more of a lecture on the perils of consumption, climate change, and the sky-rocketing global population (which is predicted to reach 10 billion by the middle of this century).

Standing at a mock-up of his office, in front of a laptop and with a screen of various graphs...

• August 14, 2012

In the late 1980s, the US Department of Energy started making plans to dismantle and decommission old nuclear weapons factories and found they had little choice but to fence off and guard the former sites, to keep people away from the zones of lingering contamination. According to the New York Times, engineers with the Energy Department had privately begun calling such contaminated sites ''national sacrifice zones.'' They grimly joked that some zones could turn out to be larger than many of the 39 national parks.

The term “sacrifice zone” has come up here and there ever since. The 2011 documentary...

• July 28, 2012

In the mid-Sixties, Stuart Brand campaigned NASA to release a satellite image of the earth from space. He believed that the perspective on earth would impact people’s environmental consciousness. An image doesn’t preach, but offers its viewer the opportunity of interpretation. Its hard to say what impact, exactly, the image of the earth from space made (it was released after an astronaut took a picture in 1968) but it was definitely emblematic of the growing environmental movement which led to the first Earth Day two years later.

In recent years Brand himself has come to the perspective that progress and environmental salvation requires the embrace of science and technology....

• July 11, 2012

There are plenty of wars left to be won but, environmental activists can take a moment to pat themselves on the back: in just a few short years pipelines have gone from being a non-issue to front-page news. And the big players in the pipeline industry are NOT happy about it.

Daniel Bloom, Chair of the Canadian Energy and Pipeline Association, for example, told the Vancouver Sun:

“Any spill right now is going to be bad timing. There's such a focus now with Gateway and with Keystone XL and other projects going through regulatory review. Any time there's any kind of an incident no matter how large or how small, it's going to...

• June 29, 2012

“The Future We Want,” according to the leaders who convened at the Rio +20 Summit , is not much different than the future we wanted at the Earth Summit in Rio back in 1992. However, following the conclusion of this second summit, it is clear that world leaders don’t have much motivation to create that future. Which is why this summit has been declared, by a vast majority of people attending an observing, an epic failure.

Martin Khor, a member of the U.N. Committee on Development Policy put it this way:
We've sunk so low in our expectations that reaffirming what we did 20 years ago is now considered a success.

Nicaraguan representative, Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, was even more bleak on the results:
The final...

• May 23, 2012

Money talks.
And for Exxon, money in the right pockets insured that legislation enacted by the US government never seriously challenged the company's business model.
In 2006, the company saw the tide turning - as Democrats of a less-oil-friendly-ilk than those under Clinton, were gaining power, and as their misinformation campaigns were brought to light. The head of Exxon's Washington office declared the need to start a conversation.
In the April 2009 issue of the New Yorker, public policy writer Steve Coll tells the story of that conversation, and what happened afterwards.
There was a very polite dinner, pointed questions, awkward laughter, followed by an ascendant Barak...

• May 15, 2012

President Barak Obama leads Republican contender Mitt Romney as a trustworthy source for information on climate change, while car companies follow closely behind Romney with the trust of 20% of Americans.

These numbers and others (3% more Americans believe global warming is happening than in November, while the number who understand it is caused by human activities has dropped from 50 to 46%) can be found in the latest research released by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

• May 10, 2012

Post September 2008, governments around the globe rushed to bail out desperate banks that were  “too big to fail.” The governments justified handing over billions of dollars to bankers who got rich off investors by taking foolish risks that proved disastrous, in order to save the economy.

Four years on, the European economy continues to sink, while the US hangs on by a thread. The world of investment bankers marched on, bonuses intact. But the country that crashed first and hardest, and listened to its people, not its bankers... is on the mend.

So maybe its time we started paying a little more attention to Iceland?

Maybe it was the rocks that citizens hurled at parliament that resulted in such heretical (by conventional standards) action by the...

• April 22, 2012

Our 2011 Summit brought great minds of all many disciplines together to brainstorm on the subject of bringing climate change back to the top of the public agenda. The outcome of their discussions and a summary of the events can be found here.

Our delegates have listed their favourite resources on the summit’s topic.

Delegate Sally McFague has expressed her thoughts on the 2011 Summit in this follow-up interview.


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