The climate summit vs. the iPhone: A mainstream media mismatch

September 17, 2018 by  
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The latest iPhone introduction garnered hundreds of times more coverage than the worldchanging commitments made in San Francisco. Why?

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The climate summit vs. the iPhone: A mainstream media mismatch

Lemurs are now the most endangered species of primate on the planet

August 3, 2018 by  
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Approximately 94% of the 111 species and subspecies of lemur are under threat of extinction in their native country of Madagascar – the only place they exist outside of captivity. Of the remaining lemur groups, only six do not face high risk of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species . This retrogression was revealed by the Primate Specialist Group , a conservation organization that has been analyzing current threats to the survival of lemur populations and their habitats. Chair of the Primate Specialist Group and Chief Conservation Officer of  Global Wildlife Conservation  Russ Mittermeier indicated that the “very high extinction risk to Madagascar’s unique lemurs” would compound, generating “grave threats to Madagascar’s biodiversity as a whole.” Loss of habitat poses the single greatest threat the lemurs now face in the wild. Developments in illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture, as well as mining activities and charcoal production, are ultimately determining the fate of these endangered animals. Related: Conservationists sound the alarm to address ‘America’s wildlife crisis’ Lemurs also face threats from pet trading hobbyists or hunters who wish to turn them into food. Once a delicacy, lemur’s presence on menus has become more and more mainstream in Madagascar, according to Professor Christoph Schweitzer of the Bristol Zoological Society . In an interview with BBC News , Schwitzer commented, “More and more, we are seeing unsustainable levels of lemur poaching. We see commercial hunting as well – probably for local restaurants. And this is a new phenomenon for Madagascar – we didn’t see it at this scale 15 years ago” Although many would bow their heads at the unfortunate fate of the lemurs, Schwitzer is an optimist. People “need to shout about these problems and get the message out there” he remarked. “When we published the lemur action plan and the media picked up on it, suddenly we had people call offering to help – to donate money or other resources. That can really make a difference,” he remarked. The “lemur action plan” has already had an effect, protecting habitats that contain the densest numbers of lemur species while helping Madagascar boost its ecotourism in the hopes of tackling poverty. By helping the local people economically, the groups involved in the plan are deterring hunting and other activities destructive to the tropical forests that provide the lemurs with their natural habitat. + Global Wildlife Conservation + IUCN Via BBC News

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Lemurs are now the most endangered species of primate on the planet

Flint representative’s staff barred from attending EPA chemical summit

May 24, 2018 by  
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been trying to keep certain people out of a toxic chemical summit, according to reports. Some journalists were barred from entry on Tuesday, and representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan), who represents Flint , said on Twitter  that his staff wasn’t allowed to attend the EPA’s summit on Wednesday. Kildee said EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s “lack of transparency and willingness to deny access to Members of Congress and the media is deeply troubling.” My staff was not allowed to attend today's @EPA #PFAS summit, and I represent communities affected by drinking water contamination. @EPAScottPruitt 's lack of transparency and willingness to deny access to Members of Congress and the media is deeply troubling. https://t.co/TK6ojDQ77o — Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) May 23, 2018 Several sites in Kildee’s district are contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Kildee’s district, according to Earther — and those substances were the focus of the National Leadership Summit on PFAS. So, it seems like it would have made sense for Kildee’s staff to attend an event on the chemicals. Pruitt said in an op-ed piece published by the Detroit Free Press that, at the summit, representatives “from more than 35 states — including Michigan — more than 20 federal partners, several tribes, dozens of industry, non-governmental groups and other national organizations will share valuable recommendations for how EPA should deal with PFAS in communities and communicate the risks associated with PFAS.” Related: The EPA wants to limit what science can be used to create regulations Tuesday’s attendee list included Kildee’s staff, and they were told Wednesday sessions were “limited to federal agency folks and states.” A spokesperson for Kildee said that was accurate but the “larger issue, in the Congressman’s opinion, is the EPA limiting or denying access to the taxpayer-funded PFAS summit, either to Members of Congress, the media, or the general public.” Pruitt said Michigan is to spend $1.7 million on testing water supplies — “including in 1,380 public water systems and 461 schools” — after finding PFAS in drinking water and lakes. Michigan stopped providing bottled water to Flint residents in April and said the water is safe. Many Flint residents don’t buy that; local LeeAnne Walters, a 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winner , and other residents launched an ongoing Chuffed campaign to get water to the housebound, elderly, and disabled. + White House Via ThinkProgress and Earther Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Flint representative’s staff barred from attending EPA chemical summit

Stunning home in California wine country seamlessly opens up to the outdoors

April 9, 2018 by  
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Feldman Architecture completed the beautiful House in Healdsburg, a contemporary home that embraces the outdoors with large pivoting walls that blur the boundaries between inside and out. Created in collaboration with Arterra Landscape Architecture , the House in Healdsburg comprises a 2,100-square-foot main home and an 850-square-foot guesthouse. Created to feel like an open-air pavilion in the middle of Sonoma wine country, the House in Healdsburg was built for a couple with a love of the outdoors and entertaining. Thus, custom garage-style glass walls were installed around the open-plan common area, which comprises the living area, dining room, and kitchen. The operable glazed walls can also be found in the media room and master bedroom in the perpendicular wing. Related: Stunning solar Butterfly House masters resource conservation in California The modern home’s concrete flooring and black steel components give it an industrial feel that’s tempered by dark-stained cedar siding and low stone landscape walls. The guesthouse, located a short walk away, is a smaller interpretation of the main house. + Feldman Architecture Via ArchDaily Images © Joe Fletcher

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Stunning home in California wine country seamlessly opens up to the outdoors

Here’s your once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay in a life-size LEGO House

November 3, 2017 by  
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Get ready to live out your childhood dream! The LEGO House in Billund, Denmark has partnered with Airbnb to offer one family the chance to spend the night in a home made of 25 million bricks . This is an incredible opportunity, and the two-story residence has some amazing features – check them out after the break! The home is well-suited for children, as nearly everything inside is made from LEGO bricks – from the bed in the middle of a LEGO-filled pool to a pixellated “waterfall” and even a giant teddy bear. Other quirky objects on display include a brick newspaper and a breakfast tray for the morning. There’s even a brick-built alarm clock! If guests do feel as if they are missing something, there are plenty more bricks to build with – patrons can use the LEGO molding machine in the lobby to build extra amenities. Other attractions a family might enjoy include the “Tree of Creativity” (which is built from over 6 million bricks) and “Experience Zones” that allow you to direct your own movie , create robotic cars and even design entire cities. LEGO also showcases fan-made masterpieces from all around the world in the Masterpiece Gallery. Related: LEGO relaunches its beloved Taj Mahal model with almost 6,000 bricks Though the LEGO House is a popular tourist attraction in the Danish town, visitors aren’t normally allowed to stay the night. To enter the competition, a family needs to share the one thing they would build if they had an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. The winners will get the opportunity to bring the object to life, thanks to the help of Master Builder Jamie Berard. Said Berard, the Design Manager Specialist at the LEGO Group: “I am so intrigued to see what people will imagine . We have unlimited bricks here, and in some ways it can be a bit challenging but it also liberates you to imagine something that is truly meaningful and expressive. The uniqueness of the opportunity to stay in the home of the LEGO brick should hopefully inspire everyone. That’s how I feel when I come here.” Added James McClure, Airbnb’s General Manager for the UK and Nordic countries, “This really is a dream come true for any family with a passion for LEGO and I doubt there will be much sleeping as there is so much to enjoy in this incredible space.” + LEGO House + Airbnb Via Mirror UK Images via Airbnb/LEGO Home

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Here’s your once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay in a life-size LEGO House

Major climate science denial group admits to using false temperature data

August 21, 2017 by  
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Though 97 percent of leading scientists agree that climate change is a very real threat that needs to be addressed immediately, certain factions refuse to accept mounting data on Earth’s rising surface temperatures . In fact, some groups have gone as far as to fabricate information – including the so-called Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The climate science denying group recently admitted to providing false data in an interview with the BBC. On August 13, 2017, the climate science denying think tank admitted to sharing “erroneous” temperature data to support Lord Lawson’s false claims he made to the BBC that global temperatures are not rising. The interview was immediately criticized by both the media and scientists, reports DeSmog . This is because Lawson was wrong to claim that the average global temperatures have “slightly declined” since 2007. In reality, the global surface temperature over this period has increased. 2014, 2015 and 2016 are now the three hottest years on record. Related: Koch brothers is launching a new, multimillion-dollar group to fight the rise of electric cars Screenshot of GWPF tweets taken on August 14, 2017. Three days after the interview, the climate change denial group tweeted that it was “happy to correct the record.” It has since removed the tweet, as requested by climate scientists Ed Hawkins . Thanks for acknowledging this Benny. Are you could to delete the original tweet so that this erroneous claim doesn't spread further? — Ed Hawkins (@ed_hawkins) August 13, 2017 Indeed. My bias, my mistake. — GWPF (@thegwpfcom) August 13, 2017 The tweets reveal that the graph was originally produced by US meteorologist Ryan Maue, who is an adjunct scholar of the libertarian group the Cato Institute. Weather forecaster and climate science denier Joe Bastardi later published the graph. Both Bastardi and Male work for the private weather consulting firm WeatherBell Analytics , which is funded by climate change deniers such as the Koch brothers. After admitting to fabricating data, the GWPF immediately tweeted that the rest of Lawson’s claims to the BBC were true — despite many being demonstrably false. Additionally, the group went right back to proclaiming that climate change is a hoax. While the situation is frustrating, at least in this instance it has been verified that  global temperatures are, in fact, increasing. Via Desmog Images via Pixabay

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Major climate science denial group admits to using false temperature data

Amazing shapeshifting unit transforms your home interior at the touch of a button

June 5, 2017 by  
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MIT Media Lab and design genius Yves Béhar are making tiny apartments more livable in a big way. One year after their big unveil, Béhar and MIT’s line of transforming robotic furniture, called Ori, just launched for developer pre-orders. With the touch of a button or even a voice command, the amazing “apartment-in-a-box” quickly transforms any studio space into an apartment with a bedroom, living room, and office. Ori, Inc.’s commercial launch includes the Ori Full and Ori Queen Systems, which combine smart robotics with elegant design to effortlessly transform any small living space into a multifunctional home. The compact module consists of a sliding bed and a closet on one side, and an office and entertainment area on the other. The unit can be activated and moved with a push of a button, through an app, or with voice commands. Powered by a standard outlet, Ori slides in and out on a gliding track to maximize the area for the living and entertaining space or the bedroom. The bed glides in and out beneath the full closet. Surfaces pull or fold out to create workspaces or a bedside table. Ori also includes open shelving, cabinets, hooks, and a built-in area for an entertainment system. Each type of space can be preset with preferred integrated lighting so that a simple push of a button will morph the room. “The Ori Full and Ori Queen Systems will transform the experience of contemporary urban living. Ori Technology animates the furniture, walls and other parts of the living space in ways that maximize space, comfort and living,” said Ori CEO and Founder Hasier Larrea. “However, Ori’s vision is much broader. This first family of systems is just one of many applications of Ori Technology. We will continue to explore more spatial challenges and create new families of Ori systems for a variety of interior settings. ” Related: Yves Béhar launches world’s first smart crib to help parents get more sleep Built of poplar plywood, the multifunctional furniture module is available in light or dark and is flatpack. The Ori systems are currently available in ten cities and have already been installed in a dozen apartment complexes across North America. Pre-orders by developers can expect delivery of these systems later this year. + Ori Systems

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Amazing shapeshifting unit transforms your home interior at the touch of a button

Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

June 5, 2017 by  
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Helsinkians and visitors take note—a beautiful new public sauna has popped up on a tiny island in the Finnish capital. Architecture firm OOPEAA designed the recently opened Lonna Sauna, a contemporary building constructed solely of natural materials. Built on a former military outpost in front of Helsinki’s city center, the timber sauna is an easily accessible escape that promises tranquility with a view. Commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna , the Lonna Sauna on Lonna island is one of several initiatives transforming the former sea fortress islands into recreational destinations. Accessible via a short waterbus ride from the city’s harbors, the new 190-square-meter sauna sits on the island’s southeast tip near six heritage-listed buildings that date back to Russian rule of the island in the 19th century. The wood-heated sauna was built as a continuation of Finland’s tradition of public saunas—a dwindling culture seeing recent renewed interest—with a modern twist. The log cabin -like building is constructed of handcrafted wooden logs left untreated and topped with a sculptural pitched roof clad in zinc . Related: Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun “The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere,” wrote OOPEAA. “The unique natural features of the Lonna island create a special and authentic atmosphere adding a new aspect to the experience of an urban public sauna. It brings together the calming and peaceful experience of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.” The Lonna Sauna is open daily from 2PM to 7PM throughout the summer. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA and Lonna Sauna

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Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

How to communicate the urgency of climate change

April 28, 2017 by  
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Jon Meyersohn, co-executive producer of National Geographic series “Years of Living Dangerously,” discusses the challenge of climate change reporting.

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How to communicate the urgency of climate change

How soil sparked a new sustainable ag movement

April 28, 2017 by  
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As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.

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How soil sparked a new sustainable ag movement

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