Daily Archives: March 9, 2014

BBC News – Mysterious new man-made gases pose threat to ozone layer

9 March 2014 Last updated at 14:09 ET
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News

Dealing with the hole in the ozone layer has been one of the most successful international science projects
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Scientists have identified four new man-made gases that are contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Two of the gases are accumulating at a rate that is causing concern among researchers.

Worries over the growing ozone hole have seen the production of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases restricted since the mid 1980s.

But the precise origin of these new, similar substances remains a mystery, say scientists.

Lying in the atmosphere, between 15 and 30km above the surface of the Earth, the ozone layer plays a critical role in blocking harmful UV rays, which cause cancers in humans and reproductive problems in animals.

“We don’t know where the new gases are being emitted from and this should be investigated” Dr Johannes Laube University of East Anglia

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey were the first to discover a huge “hole” in the ozone over Antarctica in 1985.

The evidence quickly pointed to CFC gases, which were invented in the 1920s, and were widely used in refrigeration and as aerosol propellants in products like hairsprays and deodorants.

Remarkably, global action was rapidly agreed to tackle CFCs and the Montreal Protocol to limit these substances came into being in 1987.

A total global ban on production came into force in 2010.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling



Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, shepherded the bill through Congress over two and a half years, with the help of broad bipartisan support. Credit Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The farm bill signed by President Obama last month was at first glance the usual boon for soybean growers, catfish farmers and their ilk. But closer examination reveals that the nation’s agriculture policy is increasingly more whole grain than white bread.

Within the bill is a significant shift in the types of farmers who are now benefiting from taxpayer dollars, reflecting a decade of changing eating habits and cultural dispositions among American consumers. Organic farmers, fruit growers and hemp producers all did well in the new bill. An emphasis on locally grown, healthful foods appeals to a broad base of their constituents, members of both major parties said.

“There is nothing hotter than farm to table,” said Representative Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican from a district of vast cherry orchards.
….(read more).

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Ian Haney López on the Dog Whistle Politics of Race | Bill Moyers

Part 1
February 28, 2014

Part 2
7 March 2014

What do Cadillac-driving “welfare queens,” a “food stamp president” and the “lazy, dependent and entitled” 47 percent tell us about post-racial America? They’re all examples of a type of coded racism that this week’s guest, Ian Haney López, writes about in his new book, Dog Whistle Politics.

Haney López is an expert in how racism has evolved in America since the civil rights era. Over the past 50 years, politicians have mastered the use of dog whistles – code words that turn Americans against each other while turning the country over to plutocrats. This political tactic, says Haney López, is “the dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests.

“It comes out of a desire to win votes. And in that sense… It’s racism as a strategy. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s considered,” Haney López tells Bill, “it’s the decision to achieve one’s own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity.”

Ian Haney López, a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, is a senior fellow at the policy analysis and advocacy group, Demos.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

US is top exporter of world’s weapons

E145, e120,

Independent Lens | Facing the Storm


Published on Apr 25, 2012

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/fa… Premiering April 26, 2012. Check local listings: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/br…

In 1933, a white buffalo was born on the National Bison Range in Montana. He was named “Big Medicine” by the Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Valley. White buffalo are sacred to many Native American tribes. In the companion video to the documentary “Facing the Storm,” we see a special ceremony held in 2006 commemorating this earlier appearance.

Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison documents the complete history of human relations with the largest land mammal on the continent. From the first North Americans who relied on bison for food, shelter, and clothing for at least 10,000 years, to modern wildlife conservationists — descendants of those first North Americans among them — Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison introduces viewers to a rich history of human sustenance, exploitation, conservation, and spiritual relations with the ultimate icon of wild America.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Independent Lens | The Island President


Published on Apr 18, 2013

Premiering April 22, 2013. Check local listings:

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary, The Island President, we see then President Mohamed Nasheed visit one of the islands of the Maldives to see the effects of the rising sea level along one of its beaches.

About the Film

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives is a man with a bigger problem than any other world leader has ever faced — the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives, he must now ensure that his tiny country doesn’t disappear under rising sea-levels. That means capturing the attention of global superpowers, forging alliances, persuading the skeptical, and learning the ropes of international political horse-trading. Despite the size of his country and his political challenges at home, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.

Learn more about “Independent Lens”:

Watch “Independent Lens” films online:

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Wilderness: The Great Debate


For 40 years, the American West has been the nation’s battleground for the preservation of wild lands. This one hour documentary explores a host of environmental issues in the American West. Robert Redford joins a cast of leading experts and activists on both sides of this complex conversation on the future of land management in American West and its affect on the planet.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics