Tag Archives: conservation

The writing’s on the wall

5 Jul

The tricky part of public service announcements – reaching the public! Public communication can be especially challenging when large segments of the public you wish to reach live in poverty and lack education.  In Kathmandu several awareness campaigns have circumvented problems of illiteracy with clever and colorful graffiti displays.  As you walk by many walls of the city – ringing parks, schools, government buildings,etc. – you can see graphical messages inspiring everything from health practices to environmental concerns…

Wow!  Who knew hand-washing could inspire such creativity?!

Wall murals for World Handwash Day ring the walls of the central parks along Drubar Marg

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A post card from an alternative car road trip

19 Sep

Massive thanks to my guest blogger – Jen S.!   Jen lets us tag along on her trip to the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair!

Strolling around the fair in the shadows of renewable energy.

An electric vehicle charging station that doubles as a carport, wind turbines slowing rotating high above the tall white tents, a myriad of LED lights, a green dragon guarding the renewable building materials hut, Will Allen (45 minutes late, but nobody seems to mind), Chris Paine, an Amish family, a polyurt, dreadlocks, rainbow PACE flags, cars running on vegetable oil, compressed natural gas, and all electric.  This is the 22nd annual Midwest renewable energy fair in Custer, WI.  People from across Wisconsin and the Midwest convene this weekend every year to talk renewable energy and sustainability.  It draws a diverse crowd.  I am here on a date with a guy I am just getting to know.  We drove up from Madison, WI in a converted compressed natural gas 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier.  This is our first weekend together and my first time at the renewable energy fair.

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Aldo Leopold, Jon Stewart, and the evolution of our ecological consciousness

23 Jun

Aldo Leopold, known as a great ecologist and visionary thinker, was also forecaster of great things to come for human society.  Decades ago, in one of his essays in A Sand County Almanac, he wrote of “The Land Ethic”.  It was something of a hopeful premonition.  For, writing back in the 1940’s, Leopold did not believe we had yet achieved an ethical sensibility about the human’s membership in the greater ecological community.  But, he flattered us with the suggestion that development of such an ethic was within our potential; and, even an imminent step in our social evolution.  After all, we’d developed moral standards for interactions between individuals, then norms of conduct between individuals and community.  Leopold thought it only logical that we next develop feelings of right and wrong concerning human’s interactions with the land;  “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.”

Well, what better way to judge the evolutionary position of a society, than through the progress of its popular culture?  Oh dear.  Perhaps Leopold would second guess his prophecy of our grand potential if he could see us now – bill boards, plastic crap, reality TV!  Well, while undertaking my own favorite pop culture indulgence, I was struck by an interview I saw on the Daily Show.  Recently Jon Stewart spoke with EPA administrator Lisa P Jackson.  Amidst congressional cries to slash EPA funding, and claims that they represent government over-reach at its most frightening, one could certainly doubt that we’ve developed much of collective consciousness of our responsibility for land stewardship.

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