Guilty Planet

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It’s Hard Being Green

Almost as soon as you commit yourself to caring about the planet (or anything else), you commit yourself to a lifetime of disappointment (but also infinite room for improvement). As proof, I present news I received in just the last 24 hours specifically related to my work. I am not even talking about the 200,000…

Bluewashing. It’s everywhere. In his article Beware of ‘bluewash': Which fish should you buy? Nic Fleming covered our research on confusing seafood eco-labels in this week’s NewScientist. In addition to the dangers of seeming eco-friendly, consumers are also up against an industry very set on convincing consumers seafood is healthy. Earlier this week, Dr. Melina…

Hope for Fisheries in Piracy?

According to some recent news sources, Somali piracy seems to have scared away foreign fishing vessels and have led to increased fish catches off northern Kenya. Some scientists working in the region disagree with the piracy hypothesis, though, saying the increased catches have more to do with environmental changes associated with warmer waters that shifted…

I rolled in the New Year like most people — in a gummy movie theatre watching Avatar. Caveat: go no further if you’re worried about spoiling the plot (for a film that, like it or not, stands mostly on its technological innovations). I don’t want to seem like some Cameronophile. I found Avatar too long,…

The Benshi

Randy Olson, a scientist turned filmmaker (his film Flock of Dodos premiered at Tribeca and recently made the Smithsonian blog’s list of ten great science films from the 2000s), opened up a new online journal this week where he explores the worlds of science and cinema called The Benshi. The title, as Olson explains, “refers…

Need a New Year’s resolution? Consider signing this seafood boycott. It’s that time of year where we welcome changes and commitment to ideals. New gym memberships. Re-committing to flossing every day. Giving up seafood… My New Year’s resolution was to finally write this blogpost compile a list of people that will boycott seafood (all farmed…

Dolphin in Utero

National Geographic has a series out about animals In the Womb and here is just one of the images: a representation of an eight-week dolphin fetus inside its mother’s womb.

Vertical Agitation

As part of an ideas series for 2010 at The Tyee, I wrote a piece on vertical agitation — the idea that to make a real difference, you need to go straight to the top. Here are the first two paragraphs: People who buy green products can apparently more easily justify subsequent greed, lying and…

More Eco-Irony

After the post on Threatened Trees, a friend passed along this photo of Endangered Species Research journals, which come wrapped in heavy plastic (they are printed on acid-free paper, however).

A new study suggests collective guilt can inspire action, but only if people feel reasonably hopeful that things can get better. The study, based on questionnaires to ~150 undergraduate students, also found that guilt was a more effective emotion in encouraging mitigation behavior than anxiety. The article is titled Collective guilt mediates the effect of…