Label: Earth Day 2010

April 25, 2010

We received an interesting letter today from Sharl Heller, who works with her husband, Dr. Eric Heller, on his art. You may have seen some of it several months ago on this blog, where we used one of his spectacularly beautiful images in a post explaining Rogue Waves and why they happen.


Ms. Heller wrote:


Since reading the Seymour Science blog,  ART & SCIENCE: "Working Together to Explain Rogue Waves", based on my husband Eric Heller’s work,  I have been enjoying Dr. Simon’s website and your postings. I am delighted to see so many interesting topics explained in a way that makes complicated issues accessible to non scientists and children.  Besides helping my husband with his artwork, I am working locally to raise awareness about global climate change, encouraging the people in our area to replace their landscaping with native plants to help mitigate global climate change and maintain biodiversity. In searching Seymour’s website I was very pleased to see that you are researching a new book on butterflies. The page mentions planting milkweed to sustain monarch butterflies, so I know you will be promoting the idea that people should plant native plants that support wildlife. I believe your book will be very important and useful to those of us who think we must all do whatever we can to mitigate global climate change. Thank you for including my husband on your blog. I look forward to your new book and the new blogs.
 
In fact, we’re going to be doing a whole series of posts this spring and summer about sustainable gardening, both as a nurturing family activity and as a way for individuals to move the needle when it comes to reducing their own carbon footprints and combatting global warming. And, I will be posting about the design of our new Butterfly Garden, at the same time that Seymour is finishing up the manuscript for his upcoming Collins/Smithsonian book, BUTTERFLIES.

All coming up on the Seymour Science Blog.  Thanks for writing, Ms. Heller!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Butterflies, Global Warming, Gardening, Earth Day 2010   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 24, 2010

As we close out the week of celebrations around the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we thought we’d share this quote from Albert Einstein.

 

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

- Albert Einstein               

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Earth, Earth Day 2010   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 22, 2010

     
   

COST-SAVING, HIGHLY EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES

YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF

 

         

Everyone knows that you can reduce your carbon footprint if you go out and buy a hybrid car, or replace all your household appliances with new EnergyStar models. But most people can’t afford to make these kinds of big changes.

Here are three effective actions that cost little or nothing, and you can start TODAY!

 

1. Consider eating vegetarian one or two nights per week.[1]

Producing one calorie of meat protein means burning more than ten times as many fossil fuels (generating more than ten times as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide) as does the production of one calorie of plant protein.

As surprising as it may sound, raising animals for food creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases. A recent report by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences concluded that almost a fifth of all greenhouse gas come from livestock production. That’s more emissions than from all of the world’s transportation (cars, buses, trains and planes) combined.

  

2. Get the best fuel economy out of the car you have.[2]

Not everyone can afford to buy a new hybrid, but fuel consumption is directly related to the amount of CO2 emitted no matter what kind of car you drive.

Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid...

read more

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Climate Change, Global Warming, Earth Day 2010   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 21, 2010

Today’s Earth Day post comes from my friend and fellow science writer, Jordan Brown. Hope you enjoy it! - Seymour

 

    On Earth Day, as we celebrate our planet’s biodiversity, and marvel at all the remarkable ways that species are interconnected, why do many people ignore the tiniest creatures?

Be honest: When’s the last time you thanked a microbe? I’m guessing “never.” You’re not alone! Most folks are unaware of the HUGE impact that teeny-tiny creatures, such as bacteria, have on our planet.

             

 

 

 

 Brown, Jordan. MICRO MANIA. Morganville, NJ:  Imagine Publishing, 2009. Page 13 Photo: iStockphoto

 

 

Earth Day is the perfect time to learn more about at all the little life forms that share our home. While writing my new kids science book MICRO MANIA, I learned           

"There is a Native American proverb that powers and informs the reasons and ideals of our approach to the problems of climate change and global warming.

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents;
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors;
we borrow it from our Children.

        

 

 

I was a teacher in the New York City School System for nearly 25 years. I’ve written over 250 books for children about animals and the wonders of Earth and Space. Each year, I speak to thousands and thousands of children in schools in all parts of the country, in the South to the North, from East to West. I tell them about butterflies and polar bears, I talk to them about lightning and tornadoes; I take them on a journey from Earth to the ends of the universe using the words and images in my books. I’ve written books about nearly every science and nature subject you can imagine.

The earth is so big and the subject is so vast, that you might think that kids get overwhelmed. ‘What does all this mean to me?’ you might think that they respond. Well, you might be surprised at what they really do say. Here’s what many of them ask me: ‘Where do I fit in? What’s my place in the universe? What is it all about? And what about me?’ ”

        

 And then he read excerpts from his GLOBAL WARMING book, with images projected on the big screen. He finished and left the crowd with the following thought:

"Knowledge empowers people with our most powerful tool: The ability to think and decide. There is no power for change greater than a child discovering what he or she cares about."

 By the way, does anyone know the name of the red brick building in the background of this photograph? It’s the Smithsonian Institution - how appropriate a setting for Seymour’s Earth Day speech!

   

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Global Warming, Earth Day 2010   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 2010

                     

When I was in Washington, DC this weekend to speak at the Climate Rally in honor of Earth Day, I picked up this hand-out, provided by The Alliance for Climate Protection, Earth Day Network and The Nature Conservancy.

CONSIDER THESE SOBERING FACTS:

·      Climate change is linked to stronger hurricanes, more drought and increased coral deaths from bleaching.

 

·      One-fourth of the Earth’s species will be headed for extinction by 2050 if the warming trend continues at its current rate.

 

·      Oceans span 70% of the Earth’s surface. And only one percent of oceans are protected.

 

·      The current pace of sea-level rise is 50 percent faster than in the last century.

 

THINGS THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS CAN DO:

·      You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.

 

·      Plant trees. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

 

·      Turn down that air conditioner! Air conditioning and heating account for almost HALF of electricity use in the average American home.