As you might expect, I’ve got a soft spot for environmental activists: I love the passion they bring to their actions, and I respect their willingness to put themselves in sometimes-dangerous situations. But while street theater, march and sit-ins might have been all the rage in 1968, they don’t even make the local news anymore. And if media — any media — aren’t covering it, then the corporate targets of your activism aren’t paying attention.
Ever protested the actions of a big company? It can feel kind of hopeless: They’ve got money and power, and unless the word spreads widely, big businesses can just ignore those pesky protesters outside. Without some kind of “force multiplier,” activists can easily become disillusioned.
Count Xena: Warrior Princess among your guilty pleasures? Got a thing for leather armor mini-dresses and overdubbed battle wails? Miss that smack-you-over-the-head sexual tension between Xena and Gabrielle? Hey, who doesn’t? But since the show’s been off the air for over a decade, actress Lucy Lawless has time on her hands – and is dedicating at least some of it to environmental activism in her native New Zealand.
Just because we’re all trying to stay warm right now doesn’t mean that some techies aren’t thinking about cold – or at least cool. From climate-friendly freezers to arguments for space heating, we’ve got what’s cool – and what’s cold.
Assembly lines rolling out the Focus Electric: Think Nissan’s the only game in town for a true electric vehicle? Not anymore: Ford’s started production of its 2012 Focus Electric in Michigan. (via @edbegleyjr)
Ranger Rick comes to the iPhone: Your kids bug you to play games on your smartphone? The National Wildlife Federation has created a way to make sure they’re learning something. The new Ranger Rick mobile apps provide games for kids as young as 2 (yes, 2!) to sharpen their knowledge about wild animals.
Think what you will about Greenpeace and their often aggressive brand of activism… they do know how to create clever, eye-catching campaigns around important environmental issues. Rainforest destruction is a big one for them (as well as most of us), and after tracing the pulp source of packaging for toys from brands like Mattel, Hasbro, Lego, and Disney back to Indonesian rainforests, they did what any responsible organization would: they broke the news to Barbie’s longtime companion Ken. You can see the fallout in the video above…
A new green smart phone, water from diesel, and the dirtiness of your data… your Earth Week green tech finds.
Recyclemania at Dell: The Austin, TX-based computer and electronics maker announced it recycled more than 150 million pounds of e-waste in 2010. (via GreenTech Pastures)
Google, Department of Energy mapping EV charging stations: The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working with Google to map electric vehicle charging stations, along with other alternative vehicle fuels. (via Earth Techling)
Electricity from beer, DIY electric bikes, and purple wind turbines… it’s green tech finds time!
Beer power: Suffolk, UK’s Adnam’s Brewery will be contributing waste to an anaerobic digestion plant which will create enough power for 235 homes in the area. (via Green Upgrader)
Florida utility offers solar hot water option: Lakeland Electric became the first utility company in the country to offer fixed-rate solar hot water service this week. (via The Ledger)
Lots of energy news and ideas this week, as well as another big green crowdsourcing project, and reviving wetlands with sewage… your green tech finds.
- Another cell phone sustainability study: Market research firm IDC came up with quite different results on cell phone sustainability from O2… but focused on companies vs. phones themselves. Apple comes out on top in this one, followed by LG and Nokia. (via The Boston Globe)
- Harnessing gravity power: Gravitational Energy Corporation claims its Feltenberger Pendulum works through hand-power and gravity. The company’s first product, a water pump, could prove indispensable for areas of the developing world, as well as post-disaster relief. See how it’s working in Haiti in the video above…
The glove-covered hands of Dan Howells, deputy campaign director with Greenpeace, are coated with a layer of oil after he dipped them in oil floating on the surface in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill near Grand Isle, Louisiana, June 10, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Like most Americans, I am horrified by the unending catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Even with the latest containment cap in place, oil is likely to hemorrhage from BP’s ruptured well until August or beyond.
As I try to convey in my new video, “The Fix,” I am appalled by what this spill is doing to Gulf fishermen, families, communities and wildlife. But I am also disgusted by what it reveals about the oil industry’s role in American political life.
With their deep pockets, oil companies have purchased loose safety regulations, slack oversight and support from key lawmakers. Last year alone, the industry spent a $168 million on lobbying — $16 million of which came from BP. The blowout on the Deepwater Horizon is a symptom of this undue influence.
It is time for the collusion to stop. As long as it continues, Americans will pay the price in the form of devastated ecosystems and a fossil fuel addiction that benefits oil companies, not ordinary citizens.
Energy to ice, and cardboard to energy… and much more. Here are your green tech finds for the week:
Nokia still tops in greener electronics: That’s the word from Greenpeace, which released the latest update on its Guide to Greener Electronics. The Finnish company has stayed ensconced in that position; the biggest mover this time was Toshiba, which dropped from 3rd place to 14th. (via Fast Company)
Alabama airships: 21st Century Airships, a division of E-Green Technologies, will build its updated versions of the blimp (they prefer airships) in Alabama… so another win for the green jobs push. The vehicles can be used for transporting cargo and people very efficiently, and could even be employed by the military for high-altitude observation.
If fireworks and gas grills didn’t feed your techie jones last weekend, here are some of the latest stories in the green tech world.
Drive time: Danielle Brigada, social media guru at the National Wildlife Federation, just loves the ’10 Ford Fusion hybrid.
Wearable lighting?: That’s one potential use envisioned by art students for GE’s planned “flexible, paper-thin lighting panels” featuring organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). (via OLED-info.com)
“It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies…. To those who were arrested, we thank you.”
Ever heard such a statement from a politician? Me either. Yet, last week, EU leaders thanked European citizens who’d participated in months of non-violent direct action on the causes of global warming, and noted this activism had resulted in the political will to address climate change in a meaningful manner.