Brian Eno, Jacob Collier, Anna Calvi and more will add ‘Earth’ to songwriting credits so that royalties are diverted to environmental causesMusicians including Brian Eno are to name the Earth as a co-writer of their music, in order to divert a portion of their royalties towards environmental activism.Described as “a poetic construct … a beautiful idea” by Eno, the likes of Dave and Stormzy producer Fraser T Smith and multiple Grammy winner Jacob Collier will add the Earth to the credits of a forthcoming song or composition. A royalties percentage of their choice will be given in perpetuity to EarthPercent, a charity of which Eno is a founder and trustee, that raises money from the music industry to fund environmental activism. Continue reading...
Past Presentation | WONDERWALL is a short film/narrative cinematic music video, which tells the story of unconditional love that helps overcome the loss of a loved one and helps one cope with grief. A musical story follows a young man whose heart has been broken due to the loss of a loved one, and he is trying to escape reality. But his surreal experience while in the Chernobyl exclusion zone gives him a chance to discover himself.
Past Presentation | They want to build a road here! Music and images over a beautiful part of the world where the City People want to build a road, to expand the City into the Country.
Past Presentation | Ian Cheny and Curt Ellis use innovative animation and music by Force Theory to tell the funny and poignant story of the challenges facing the union teams that constructed the revolutionary green buildings of tomorrow in today’s South Boston.
Past Presentation | The Colorado River has carved a deep imprint both on the physical landscape and on the people who live near its waters. Confluence follows an up-and-coming indie folk band as they traverse this endangered river system and document the people who rely on it through original music.
Now Playing | This film was made as a tribute to the wonders of our earth and the importance of protecting them. Follow a young woman, armed with her banjo and her spirit, as she enters a portal from a post-apocalyptic world into a realm of rhinoceroses, gorillas and ancient trees to recover magical seeds and make the world wild again!
Past Presentation | The director’s father lost his hard-fought battle with cancer on October 25, 1989, at the age of 31. He was my dad. I was too young to remember much about him, but I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by many people who knew him well and enjoyed telling stories about him. This is a story about me and my father’s shared passion for nature, wildlife and exploration and how learning about him guided me to that passion.” Music: “Awake” by Kevin Mately.
Now Playing | A dance and music collaboration between sisters exploring a 1920s coal mining site where an iconic structure called the Gronk still stands. The sisters collected stories and myths about mines from elders in Crested Butte, Colorado. The Gronk overlooks spectacular views of Paradise Divide in the West Elk mountain range. The sights are beautiful and popular for outdoor recreation; however sadly still toxic. The land has only partially recuperated from destruction. Mosses are the first step in ecological restoration of toxic mine sites. Very few mosses are growing here. After land violence, how is spirit of place honored?
Now Playing | The experimental short film ANSAGE ENDE is an artistic reflection on being engaged with the world. Combining fiction and documentary, music and text, this hybrid film calls for a collective and activist approach to the climate crisis. The visually stunning ANSAGE ENDE opens with an imaginative journey through an empty landscape where water meets land. Two characters walk through the mud, away from the viewer, into an open yet unknown future. They fantasize about what our rapidly developing world might bring and question their personal participation in this possible future. Slowly the film moves away from the imaginary into the real. Climate destruction becomes ghastly visible: huge machines in a brown coal mine eat up the soil, searching for energy and profit. Policemen and women enable sawers to cut down the neighboring forest for the expansion of the mine. Young activists occupy the trees, trying to stop the destruction of this primeval forest.
Now Playing | While foreign and Indian tourists visit Goa’s beaches and night life, others clean the accumulating garbage and sell the fish that was caught in the sea. Due to its proximity to the ocean, Goa is highly prone to disasters caused by climate change. While the lifestyle of most tourists is accelerating the climate crisis, fishermen and marginalized locals are particularly vulnerable to floods or changes in the biodiversity. This artistic project explores the radically different worlds of Goa that the tourists and those particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis inhabit. Our lives are so connected, but the connection is all too often invisible. How can contact be made and a conversation be initiated? As can be experienced in any of the live jams characterizing Goa’s beaches, music is a universal practice that can create joy and community. But which communities are part of the live jams on the beach and which are not? The video traces an intervention that interrogates a highly unequal status quo. The results are sometimes awkward, sometimes heartwarming.
Past Presentation | "Mighty Oak" is a portrait of Dr. Oakleigh Thorne, II, an extraordinary environmental pioneer, transformative educator, joyful musician, and an effective, inspirational leader. The wonder and reverence that Oak sees in the natural world has been a guide through his life. Starting as a child he explored the wild woods of Long Island, often as a photographer or filmmaker. As a teenager he was mentored by a Native American cowboy at a ranch in Wyoming where they would travel on horseback to remote wilderness areas. The experience radically changed the course of his life. He moved on to create non-profit organizations such as Thorne Films, Thorne Ecological Institute, Thorne Nature Experience, and achieved successes in land preservation through community action across the country that preceded the EPA and much of the modern environmental movement. He has directly and immeasurably contributed to the environmental education of hundreds of thousands of youth. His enduring legacy is a significant contribution to the environmental movement and to those he has inspired along the way. This extraordinary 93 year old man continues to mentor young people and spread an environmental consciousness, and with his astounding musical skills, still plays the piano and arranges a cappella music for choral groups. The filmmakers who both have a personal friendship with Oak, followed him for several years as he spread wisdom and joy in his journey through life, whether it be with the music of a bird or the human voice.
The traditional Mule Festival will be held at the fairgrounds of the Association for the Welfare in Parrita starting today, February 9 and goes until February 20th. The Costa Rican Mule Festival in Parrita is an annual celebration of the country’s rich cultural heritage and a tribute to the hardworking mule. The festival, which takes […] The post The Costa Rican Mule Festival in Parrita appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.
Past Presentation | Inspired by the popular OMI song Cheerleader, this musical parody set to a student-written song, highlights the importance of “bringing your own” in the fight against plastic pollution.
Now Playing | Catriona Armour's body art and a special appearance by Dana Lyons of "Cows with Guns" propel the musical narrative about noise pollution in, around, and above the Salish Sea of Washington State and British Columbia.
The iconic singer has a long history of taking seemingly "political" positions that say less about her convictions than about our own.
Past Presentation | The history of humanity and of our planet in four minutes. An eco-friendly statement developed in a single shot that has it all: humor, action and tragedy.
Now Playing | Flying With Monarchs is a short dance film celebrating the beauty of Monarch butterfly migration.
Past Presentation | Set amidst the stunning red desert landscapes of Utah, this surreal journey explores the worlds we create for ourselves, the absurdity of our fears, and what lies on the other side of them.
Past Presentation | “Now, I think I'm the coolest of the creatures in the sea but sometimes it's confusing - even just for me! 'Cause I'm a little polyp - maybe not what you call 'hip.' They named me a 'cnidarian' - who knows, but some librarian??”
Now Playing | Jenny goes out for a drink with a polar bear, and they hit it off. But can they solve the bigger problems the world faces?
Now Playing | Four theater-makers from Belgium travel to the melting glaciers on Greenland. Their goal: to play a new composed requiem and say goodbye to the world as we know it.
Past Presentation | As a young man, American Louis Sarno heard a song on the radio that gripped his imagination. He followed the mysterious sounds all the way to the Central African rainforest and found their source – the Bayaka Pygmies, a tribe of hunters and gatherers. Louis did not return home until 25 years later. Carried by the contrasts between rainforest and urban America, the stories of Louis and his son, Samedi, are interwoven to form a touching portrait of an extraordinary man and his son.
Now Playing | Set at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Port Aransas, Texas, the film is supportive of the international efforts to utilize wastewater treatment facilities as bird sanctuaries. The film features an original jazz score and commentary by naturalist Jeff Anderson and provides a glimpse of some of the diversity of bird life found along the Texas Coast while conjuring a Zen-like union with nature.
PORT ST. JOE, Florida — Dannie Bolden strolls down a wide thoroughfare and points to places that are no longer there: barber shops, grocery stores, a live-music lounge. Laundromats, restaurants, a small hotel. Decades ago, the former main street in North Port St. Joe bustled with dozens of Black-owned businesses. The…
The Oregon Symphony presents the U.S. premiere of a new work by composer Vijay Iyer.
Now Playing | A moving, powerful inside look at what has happened to the wild, rarely seen, real Florida. A compelling, emotional soundtrack carries the viewer through the past destruction of wild Florida habitats, to beautiful scenes of Florida's rarely seen native wild animals, including the most endangered cat in North America, the Florida Panther, and ends with a positive message encouraging the viewer to work to protect Florida's wildlife and habitat before it is too late.
Offices of Citibank in New York and Wells Fargo in San Francisco targeted by activists urging shareholders to actAs they exited their office in Tribeca on Monday afternoon, Citibank employees were confronted with a boisterous crowd chanting and dancing along to the music of a mariachi band.It was a funny sight: New York banking professionals in black and gray business attire coming face to face with a loud, colorful group on a mission to engage in a conversation about the climate crisis. Continue reading...
Now Playing | "Alles hat Grenzen, NUR DER MONDFISCH NICHT" is an environmental film musical, in which nature acts and speaks in a diversity of voices. Surfacing evocatively from micro- and macrocosmic layers, she resonates with water as the source of life and resounds as exploited resource. She echoes from the trenches of an inverted world and speaks out as a human being. Reverberating through ecological-cultural depths, images, sounds and associations push to light, giving shape to a vision of humanity being in tune with nature.
Now Playing | When will the ""last"" time be the LAST time? Chris Oledude's single ""George Floyd"" has now been re-presented in the powerful video, ""George Floyd: Say Their Names."" America's struggle for equality and fairness throughout law enforcement parallels those struggles faced by minority groups in every society where the majority feels empowered to disregard civil and human rights. The powerful protests that erupted worldwide after George Floyd's murder in May, 2020, are celebrated here. The enduring power of Black women as determined healers of a torn community is celebrated here. The victims had names. We honor their lives by saying their names. The pressure for change must continue. No justice? No peace!
Check out this list of events for the week of April 14-20, 2023
Dr. Robbie Parks joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss the need to treat destructive storms, hurricanes and typhoons as public health and justice issues. Parks, a current fellow and assistant professor in environmental health sciences at Columbia University, also talks about moving to the U.S. from the U.K., population-level health lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and his love of football (soccer!).Parks also plays an original song for us — a first on the podcast! Visit his Bandcamp to hear more of his music. The Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast is a biweekly podcast featuring the stories and big ideas from past and present fellows, as well as others in the field. You can see all of the past episodes here.Listen below to our discussion with Parks, and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher. Agents of Change in Environmental Justice · Robbie Parks on climate justice and mental healthTranscriptBrian BienkowskiAll right, I am super excited to be joined by Robbie Parks. Robbie, how're you doing today?Robbie Parks Very well. Thank you. How are you, Brian?Brian Bienkowski I'm doing excellent. And where are you coming at us from?Robbie Parks I'm in New York City, or Brooklyn to be precise. We're at home. And that's where I live and work, in New York City. So here I am.Brian Bienkowski Excellent. And you are not from there. Of course, maybe people have already picked up a slight accent. You are from the UK, having been raised in London. Tell me about your upbringing. Tell me about the beginnings.Robbie Parks Yes, very perceptive. I am indeed not from New York City. I'm a transplant from the UK, in London. So you know, London was an amazing place to grow up, I grew up specifically right in the middle in a place called Pimlico. So just to give a quick shout out to my local area there. And I really loved growing up there. You know, it was sort of, in some ways people might say as a first pass, it was like New York City in that you could really feel the world in the city in lots of different ways. It was very multicultural, and it still is. Lots of different things to do. You can never be bored if you you know, they say "tired of London, tired of life." So, you know, really, there was always stuff to do. I really had a great time and lots of opportunity from, you know, the education system and was really fortunate to get a couple of really good breaks there that changed my life. And, you know, though I grew up without, you know, huge amounts of means, most of the time, I didn't really think about that I was just really excited to to be in such a big and vibrant city. And I think my friends and family would probably agree that it's turned me into a real city person. I am really comfortable in the city. So yeah, I loved growing up in London.Brian Bienkowski Well, we, we have had the chance to meet and I feel like you're a kindred soul. But I will say that is one place that we part ways as a person. So I'm glad. I'm glad there's some of you out there. So places like where I live can stay remote and, and sparse. So you mentioned London's multiculturalism. And I think that's an interesting point, because maybe I'm pigeon-holing my fellow Americans, but I think there's this misinformed notion that all British people are royal or wealthy and London is a full of that. And it's not, of course. So when you came to the States, how would you describe that transition? And if you felt that coming here?Robbie Parks Well, you know, just to be clear, all British people do know at least one royal member of the family. So you know, we are very well-versed and we do often go for tea at Buckingham Palace. But that aside, in all seriousness, yeah, it is a very vibrant, diverse place, London in particular, but also many parts of the UK. And I sort of came over after my Ph.D. finished in late 2019. And, you know, I think I was quite naive really, with the transition because I'd never lived anywhere else really apart from UK. And so I thought coming to New York would be relatively easy in the grand scheme of things because you know, one of the main languages being English, I thought it'd be very straightforward, but you know, the transition was anything but straightforward. I found it incredibly stressful and traumatic, especially because I didn't really didn't know anyone when I moved to New York, but also, you know, lot large parts of my life was still in, in London, in the UK. And, you know, I taught that when I moved, I knew that 2020 was coming. But in 2019, what everyone was thinking about in 2020 was the presidential election. And that's all everyone was talking about, you know, when I first moved, and little did we all know, that that wouldn't really even be one of the biggest events of 2020. But it would be merely one of the top five, probably, and so, you know, the transition into the pandemic really was a real shock to everyone. But for me, away from family and friends and family, I would say that, that was particularly difficult. And I was really blessed and fortunate to have so many new and good friends that I'd made in New York City in a large part because of, you know, meeting people through my university there. And so, you know, in terms of the other elements of it, where I think I was naive, I think, on a first pass, you know, New York City and London are quite similar. You know, there's similar populations, similar sorts of multicultural nature. They both got subways, you know, one is better than the other, I would say, but then I'm biased towards London, probably still. And, but really, I think culture and society are actually quite differen when you scratch below the surface. I think one of the first things I realized, you know, the silly example is I, I needed to fill in tax forms before I even started working, that was incredibly confusing, but really, I think that there's just a different sort of flavor on the way that people behave. I think, you know, the, the old cliche with with New Yorkers, they're trying to get somewhere all the time. And that really is the sort of case. And I found that that was, you know, very different from London, where people were in a rush. But I think there's a certain dynamism in New York and a certain... I don't know what the word is, but maybe you might say grittiness that, that isn't really necessarily everywhere in London. And I think that, my friend, Russ, told me that something I remember in New York, he said, Now, I still to this day, use it to sort of justify why I live here. And he said that, you know, "it makes the easy thing is hard, and the hard things easy." And I think, you know, getting groceries can can take half a day. But you know, if you want to see world-class art and science, it's right here, and it's easy to get. So that's the way I think about it. And that kind of helps me live day-to-day here.Brian Bienkowski I've never heard that. And that's, that's so true. What a great what a great way to put it. And you're mentioning, I didn't actually didn't know that you move there during pre pre-pandemic right before. And when you mentioned a difficult transition, I find cities can be some of the most lonely places, despite the fact that you're surrounded by billions of people. And it's kind of a little bit of... screws with your mind a little bit because I had that in Chicago a little bit just feeling very lonely, but surrounded by a lot of people. So I'm glad you've found your footing. And of course, your research has helped us understand that pandemic a little bit. And we are going to get into that soon. But I wanted to know, what is the defining moment or event that shaped your identity up to this point?Robbie Parks Yeah, what a great question. I think, you know, there are many things in everyone's life every day that shape your identity. If I had to reduce it to one life event, it would probably be you know, in relation to my parents passing away. My dad passed away when I was relatively young, in my early teens, and my mum passed away a few years ago, and both events, looking back and the longer I think about it, and the longer I sort of write my research and do my research and go through my career, and just in general, my interactions with everyone, I feel like it's a lens – that bereavement and that grief from from both my parents loss – I feel like that's really a lens through which I see a lot of my life and that's personal and professional as well. I think it's influenced a lot from from my professional life. And I think I'm looking forward to sharing the essay that I've written with with you, because I think that that will sort of help as well put flesh on the bone there. But yeah, definitely sort of those bereavements for me.Brian Bienkowski Well, thanks so much for sharing that. And I don't know, I don't know when your essay will come out, but I encourage everybody to read it. You should be reading all the essays. But Robbie's in particular has really stuck with me as we've started the editing process. So as I mentioned, now you are studying all kinds of important things and I want to start with COVID, because we're still dealing with it here in 2023, unfortunately. So you're, broadly you're researching how environmental hazards impact the world's population, both now and in the future. And you've researched the pandemic and its responses from different angles and in different countries. And I'm wondering if you could just kind of share some of the more important and interesting bits of research you found, and how it can or should inform us as we still deal with it today.Robbie Parks Yeah, so just to be clear, I would be speaking from a population health expertise perspective. So you know, of course, I'm not an expert at all in sort of the medical side of things, but really, from a demograph/population health side of things, but I, you know, I do have a voice and based on my research on what we found, from official death records, essentially in many different countries. And the way that we would, and we have analyzed COVID-19's impact on public health is through excess deaths. And excess deaths, in a nutshell, what happens to the number of deaths now relative to similar periods in the past. Now, of course, we all know that lots of people died from COVID, and is a tragedy, and it's an ongoing tragedy, this global pandemic, however, the way you would manage –let me start again. However, the way you would manage that impact, really is a function of, you know, the infrastructure of recording deaths in each country, and that varies. However, you know, assuming you have reliable death records, you can create models and design models to measure the difference between the expected number of deaths at one point and the actual number of deaths at that particular point. And of course, during many parts of the COVID 19 pandemic, a lot more people died than otherwise would have had there been no pandemic. So why did that vary between countries? And why did that, in fact, vary between states? Well, of course, policies matter. So, you know, we're seeing a sort of unfortunate natural experiment. And we did see that in the United States, especially over the first couple of years, how different policies and different behaviors would impact something like infectious disease, like COVID-19. And so, you know, lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, made a critical difference, especially at the beginning. And so, you know, in the first half of 2020, if I invite you, your day you to, to go back to that particular time, especially in the United States, you know, over half of excess deaths really were –at the beginning half of 2020– for countries like England and Wales and Scotland and Spain, whereas in the second half of 2020, you know, that's when the bulk of excess deaths in that year happened in Bulgaria, Croatia, other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. And so why was that? it was largely a function before vaccines, remember, that the pressure and the scale of lock downs and the speed at which, and the timing of which those lock downs were placed. And, you know, that is inevitably a political decision, as well as the scientific position. And that goes, of course, in terms of, you know, the United States too. And, you know, behavioral science is probably, I would say, an underestimated element of the way we understood the pandemic before it happened. And in early stages, because the idea of telling people, a pandemic was happening, we thought probably was enough to make people sort of think we have to look down. But now what we realized is there's lots of unintended consequences to those ideas. And in the end, people's belief in science is really, really important. And, of course, there are forces that don't always help with the belief in science, but it's sort of incumbent on scientists to sort of understand that we need people to believe the science that we produce. And that's super important. And, of course, vaccines matter. And that's relevant to it. I'm not a vaccine expert, but, you know, the impact of vaccines has been clear. But really, if we're talking about non-pharmaceutical measures, then preparedness matters. That's before, during and after a pandemic. There are lots of lessons to learn there in terms of what politics and what the social fabric can do if we work together. Now, of course, in the United States, and, you know, other sorts of high-income countries, you know, vaccines are readily available. And so, you know, the latest sort of insights I would talk about really would be would be in the younger ages and how COVID-19 is impacting the children and adolescents. And, you know, recent research that I've been involved with is really highlighting how important it is to focus on the health of our children and adolescents with respect to COVID-19. because it is one of the top 10 causes of death for most age groups below 19. And in fact, the death rates for many of those age groups for COVID-19 pre-vaccination was higher than many of the worst regarded diseases like measles were before vaccines were available for those diseases. So it's really important to frame it in a historical context of how dangerous COVID-19 is, even for people we regard as safe from COVID-19 it is still very dangerous, potentially deadly virus that we need to contain.Brian Bienkowski I don't want to give listeners whiplash here, but you are studying lots of things, not just COVID. And I want to switch gears to tropical cyclones, which I've noticed, when I was looking at your your body of work. So you're focusing a lot of your effort here now and we think, I think we... in terms of infrastructure damages, the first place my mind goes when I think of tropical cyclones. But can you walk us through why this is also a public health and and climate justice issue?Robbie Parks Of course, you know, when a tropical cyclone, hurricane, typhoon, cyclone, whatever it's called anywhere in the world, you know, life can be destroyed by a tropical cyclone. And that includes, you know, infrastructure from buildings, of course, that's what people think of when they see the press, the tropical cyclone having laid waste to a particular area, or flooded a particular area or destroyed buildings, etc, etc. And there's no doubt that the damage to property is one of the huge influences of tropical cyclones. But, you know, as I said, life can be destroyed very quickly by a tropical cyclone, or actually in slow motion over months and years. And so the impacts on public health, the impacts can be short to mid-term to long-term. You know, in the sort of hours and days after a cyclone has arrived at a particular place, there are direct impacts on public health. Now they can be deadly or in fact, they can damage your health but not kill you. And the first obvious example would be from injuries, fron electrocution, clearing up debris, being hit by flying debris. Then, of course, you've got a multitude of other causes, which sort of span into the days, weeks and months and even years after a cyclone has hit without appropriate recovery. And that could include infectious and parasitic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric conditions and respiratory diseases. Now take a few in turn, you know, infectious diseases can can spread from compromised drinking water, sanitation, damage to water pipes, which is related to infrastructure and disruption to treatment plants. Whereas cardiovascular diseases, you know –increases to heart attacks–, I'll start again. Cardiovascular diseases have increased related to heart attacks, cardiac arrests, from physical overexertion. People with pre-existing conditions who are taken unfortunately over the edge to death, from the stress and over-exertion of tropical cyclones, and, of course, traumatic psychological consequences, with a high prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders, evident of the, you know, American hurricane such as Harvey and Katrina, and increased risk of dementia, and decreased survival rates of people living with those conditions after tropical cyclone disasters and other similar ones. And of course, you got respiratory diseases disrupted from dust kicked up after tropical cyclones. But really one of the main issues of interest is for me, is really the power network and how robust that is to attacks from disasters. And so disruptive power supplies can disrupt all sorts of care, including breathing aids. And of course, we all know that, you know, cyclones are essentially stochastic events – they're random – but where they tend to hit, you know, both of is biased towards hitting more disadvantaged areas, and historically disadvantaged communities, both in the US but also in the world. But also, when those places are hit, they are really unprepared or less-well prepared than other areas. And in terms of the money that goes in afterwards, you know, it's harder to make sure that that money goes to the places where it's needed most. And I think that's why really, it's an issue of environmental and climate justice. So the disruption is, can be short term. It could be, but it can also be a matter of decades. And I think you're seeing that in some areas of America too.Brian Bienkowski What are some of the ways – and I'm thinking about the US in particular here, just picking up on the notion of this as a justice issue – that our responses is lacking? Where can we do better? And do you have thoughts how we can better serve these communities and dealing with the aftermath of the storms?Robbie Parks Absolutely, I think, you know, though, cyclones will inevitably arrive each year. The worst consequences on society and public health are often avoidable, with an equitable, long-term approach. So, you know, resilience to tropical cyclones is actually built over a long time. And so the depth of preparation is really a function of the amount of time needed. And so, robust societal infrastructure, including social services, housing stock, power distribution, and the recognition that you know, in the United States and elsewhere, one tropical cyclone or one hurricane can can affect communities differently, and that those differences are driven, you know, in large part by demographic, economic, social factors. You know, in non-affluent communities, impacts are often exacerbated due to institutional neglect and historical racism. And, of course, the recovery is, is also often very inequitable, with federal aid and private insurance, particularly difficult to obtain by Black and low-income individuals compared with other individuals. Now, of course, people talk about evacuation as a useful way to provide short term relief from a cyclone. But again, it's a very short term fix. And you know, what people come back to may not be what they left in any way, shape, or form. But I also want to stress the point that evacuation is a luxury in some ways. Because, you know, even if you've got an adequate early warning system, your family may not have the financial resources or adequate transport, or indeed, the faith and belief that their belongings are safe. And, you know, others are also expected to stay because of long-term health conditions for themselves or their close loved ones. And it's a very reasonable expectation that they wouldn't leave because they're actually worried that leaving may imperil people's health, more than actually staying. And so, you know, with evacuation, I would say this: it's a luxury for some people. But you know, if you evacuate the next question, I would say is where to, and so some simply have nowhere to go and cannot leave. And so in summary, really, you know, all of the all of the above is important, you know, resilience, recovery. And in understanding that people in place require a resilience that is not just moving people around, which is going to solve the public health impact of disasters like tropical cyclones.Brian Bienkowski One area research that is really interesting to me, and I'm starting to see more coverage both in the scientific community and in kind of the media writ large, is the link between environmental issues and mental health. And I'm sure there are some of these with tropical cyclones as well. But can you talk about some of your work examining the impacts of high temperatures, on things like assault, suicide, alcohol use and other kinds of mental health downstream impact?Robbie Parks Yeah, absolutely. You know, of course, it's related to tropical cyclones. But there are other things you know, which are known as ambient exposures, if you like, like pollution and temperature, which are essentially there all the time. And there's more and more research on the impacts of those on mental health related outcomes. Now, of course, for me, I'll talk about what I've done. Now in, you know, in previous published work that I led, in part from my Ph.D., I researched how anomalously warm temperatures were associated in the United States with suicides and assaults. And I found that there was indeed a robust association, which has actually been borne out by other studies around the world and in the United States, over the past few years. And you know, what I found, which is very interesting, really, is that we predicted from our analysis that the majority of the additional suicides and assaults would be largely concentrated in younger males. And so there's an element of trying to understand what would be driving that particular vulnerability in those people. And you know, it's an emerging subject in the global stage as well. And so I've been working in a working group with the WHO on a report on the impacts of climate change on mental health worldwide. And you see, you know, the idea that, you know, having scarcer resources, having higher temperatures put stressors on the body and the mind, which would potentially lead to more conflict and more sort of violent behavior and actually more despair. And that's sort of related to the idea that, you know, feeling like, you've got nothing, feeling like, you've got a loss of the place that you call home, your friends and family, you know, all of that ties together to sort of highlight the idea, and really the concept that climate change impacts not just physical health, but also mental health.Brian Bienkowski I can imagine this work can be a mental stressor for you, you're looking at things that... COVID deaths, climate change, cyclones – I mean, these are these are heavy things, you're looking at population-level impacts. What are you optimistic about?Robbie Parks I think, you know, one of the reasons that I probably am still doing the work that I do, and have still got body and mind to gather in some way is because I am, I think, automatically optimistic, or by default, I am optimistic. And I think I still hold true. The idea that, the basic idea really, that humans care about each other fundamentally, and, and given the choice with, you know, the right availability of those choices, they're always do the right thing. But you know, society is constructed that mostly that sometimes we're not given a fair shot. But really generally what I see every day, in day-to-day interactions with people is that, you know, humans do care about each other. So I do have hope about the idea that we can tackle this beast called climate change and other huge problems in the world.Brian Bienkowski And for more on that, I would encourage listeners to check out I believe the podcast was titled "Meet Maria and a COP 27 review," where I spoke with Robbie and Alexa White, another fellow, about their experience at COP last year, and Robbie speaks more about kind of some of the things he's optimistic about when it comes to the activist presence at some of these larger climate negotiation events. So Robbie, I know you're a football fan or soccer for us, here in the States. Tell me about who is your favorite team because I think that's a big deal where you come from, just like, American football would be here and maybe describe to me and listeners the passion that comes with football fandom in the UK.Robbie Parks Yes, so you're completely right that, you know, soccer or football as we choose to call it, because we do touch the ball with the foot, So it kind of makes more sense than than American football or football, as you call it here. But that, you know, that's the minor jibe. But really, so my dad was from Glasgow, Scotland. So, you know, I'm always gonna have a soft spot for Celtic football Club in in Scotland. But of course, for people who follow football or soccer, they know that, you know, it's actually the UK is one country, but has four nations. And so Scotland has one league, or several Scottish leagues, and England has the Premier League and, and, you know, I, I sort of have great admiration for Marcus Rashford of Manchester United as a player and as a person. I think, if listeners haven't heard of Marcus Rushford, then I think I'd really recommend looking him up not only he's an excellent player for the England team, but he's also just from what I can tell just a fantastic person. And you know, speaking of the England team, I think, you know, really watching the England team makes me nostalgic about the way that we would grew up, we would sort of go to pubs and drink, you know, a pint of beer while watching the football during World Cups and European Championships. And I think we'd get very excited. And then invariably, we'd be disappointed. And I think that sort of peak and trough was very, very imprinted in my mind. So I've been beaten out of them enthusiasm. Now surprisingly, over the past few years, the England team has actually been quite good. And so, you know, despite not having won anything still, since 1966, yes, 19 66 is the date that most England fans will will have on their wall, when we won the World Cup. It was in England, so you know, whether or not that was played a role, I don't know. But I think you know, the idea that Englands are, you know, an ascendant force in football, gives me sort of a bit of solace. And so now I do allow myself to get a little bit excited. But you know, football instills, a lot of passion in the UK, and England in particular, as well as other places. But it sort of goes hand-in-hand, as I said, with pub culture. And so it has positive implications and negative implications. But for me, I'm going to focus on the positive because it's inherently social. And, you know, I am still, you know, if any, any listeners have any idea about the best place to do that in New York City, from a football fan, that replicates the English pub experience, I'd be all is.Brian Bienkowski Oh, that has to exist somewhere. I remember being in New York and finding a bar that catered to Detroit fans, I was there to watch a Tigers game. And it seems like there's everything there. So there has to be a good football bar. Do you get to play in New York? Do you ever get out and, and play soccer?Robbie Parks I have now and then but you know, really, I I focus on trying to find time to do exercise in between work and sort of music that that tends to be alone, so tend to go on a run to Prospect Park or go to Fort Greene and do exercise. But you know, when I do see people playing team sports, I always, I am always a little bit envious of the fact that, you know, it's a social event, rather than just having to focus on the pain that you're going.Brian Bienkowski I'm, I'm a cyclist here. And I spent a lot of years as a runner, and it was obviously a solo – well, not obviously, you can run with folks – but it was mostly a solo activity training. And I switched to cycling, and I ride a lot alone, but I started riding with a group and I look forward to that group or that group ride so much every week, there's something about being around other people that brings out a little competitive spirit, and also just makes the time kind of click by, soRobbie Parks Absolutely. Absolutely there.Brian Bienkowski And you mentioned your other hobby, passion, former job maybe, is a musician. So what role, what role does making music plays in your life now, and if it at all intersects with your research and the rest of your professional life?Robbie Parks Yeah, so, you know, after my undergraduate degree, and my Ph.D., I did spend a lot of time really focusing on on music and trying to build myself as a, as a musician with a band. So you know, music for me, really, is, you know, to avoid a cliché, or barely avoid a cliché sort of, music is the soundtrack of my life. And, you know, I mean that, whatever I'm doing, I'm always thinking about music, I'm always looking at music, reviews, I'm always trying to find new music, I'm always listening to my favorite records while I work. So for me, you know, probably like most people, music has provided a lot of that secure that I need in my good times, and my bad times, in my low times, I think whatever my mood, there's always music for it. And so for me, it's that universal, sort of self that I always need in my life. And, you know, that sort of originated from, you know, my parents. You know, in Filipino culture, my mom was Filipino, you'd always have a piano in the house, electric piano that tended to be an instrument, which gather dust more than anything else. So like, it was always the idea that you wanted your, your child to learn piano. And so I was lucky enough to learn piano and I taught myself guitar. And then, when I was 11, or 12, I was in a supermarket in UK and I saw this record called Kid A, and I was fascinated by the cover. And then I was like, mom, who's that, and she had no idea. And then, you know, turns out was a band called Radiohead, and I, and they're British band, for those you haven't heard of them. And for me, they really sort of provided the compass direction that informs really the rest of my musical tastes and career. So, you know, other British bands like Pink Floyd and The Beatles, and some other American groups, but really, it sort of starts and ends with Radiohead for me. And so I really love that band. And, you know, I think in terms of my research, it sort of activates a different side of my brain than I use in science. So you talk about left and right brain sort of ideas. But I think using the two sides of my brain at different times, they kind of merge into each other in in good ways, I think. And so the creativity of, of music and the creativity of science, I think, are complementary, but also the logical side of, I guess the objective side of science can really help me to sort of think of the way I write songs as well. So, so I think, you know, I don't think there's a direct obvious way in terms of me, you know, playing music at scientific conferences or something, but I think in terms of the way that informs my art and science, I think there is something in that keeping both activated. It really helps meBrian Bienkowski We might have to do a whole podcast on Radiohead just a couple of quarter life to midlife dudes talking Radiohead. That's, that's what the podcast world needs needs another one of those, but I love that record. Kid A is a fantastic record, as was The Bends, was the other one that really that really stuck to me. I hate to put you on the spot. But I happen to know that there's a guitar around there and would you be so kind as to play us, play us a song? it would be a first for the podcast.Robbie Parks Well, I really never thought you'd ask. So you know, thank you for the invitation. So that Yeah, sure. Sure. Why not?Brian Bienkowski Wonderful. And what is this song called?Robbie Parks So this is a song I wrote in collaboration with my fantastic partner, Elissa, who is an excellent fiction writer. But we also quickly discovered while collaborating that she's actually a fantastic lyricist, so this song is called "Heaven not far away."Brian Bienkowski All right, Robbie, that was beautiful.Robbie Parks Oh, thank you very much.Brian Bienkowski Excellent. Well, thank you so much. Well, we will make sure to include a link. And before I get you out of here, I just have some last fun questions. Hopefully they're fun most of the time they're fun. And these first three, you can just answer with a word or a phrase. If I wasn't a researcher, I would want to be aRobbie Parks musician.Brian Bienkowski The best way to spend an hour of free time isRobbie Parks playing music.Brian Bienkowski I notice a theme. My favorite concert I've been to isRobbie Parks As I said Radiohead several times, but if I picked one, it probably be at Lollapalooza in Berlin in 2016.Brian Bienkowski And what is the last book you read for fun? you don't have to confine yourself to one word here. I'd love to hear a little bit about it.Robbie Parks So, you know, my favorite author, author of recent times, is a British author called Kazuo Ishiguro, and my favorite book of his, which I only really read recently, is "Remains of the Day." And really, it's this very strange English situation. It's about a butler. And it's about a butler called Mr. Stevens during the sort of interwar period between the First World War and the Second World War. But really, you know, the reason I love Kazuo Ishiguro so much is because he sort of deals with issues about loss and yearning, and covering up that loss and yearning, which is in many ways, sort of fundamental to British society, but lots of different societies everywhere. And I find the way that he sort of writes, which is used the writing is, is filled with with something else. And as I think as you read it, you sort of get a sense that there's something coming and I really love that book "Remains of the Day."Brian Bienkowski Excellent. Well, Robbie, this has been a lot of fun. I have found myself, since I met you and talk to you, reading specific environmental articles, and thinking to myself, "I would love to talk to Robbie about this." And I think that is the highest praise I can give a scientist and I hope you take it asRobbie Parks Thank you. So yeah, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.
The MacArthur Foundation announced 25 "genius" grant winners Wednesday.Why it matters: The award is seen as one of the most coveted and distinguished honors in academia, arts and science, and it includes a massive cash prize.Driving the news: The 2022 list of MacArthur Fellows included an ornithologist, a computer scientist and a human rights activist, among others.The MacArthur Fellows will receive an $800,000 grant, which is a "no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential," according to the MacArthur Foundation website.The foundation did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.Below are the the 25 recipients.2022 MacArthur Fellows grant winnersJennifer Carlson is a sociologist from Tucson, Arizona, who has been investigating gun culture in the United States.Paul Chan is an artist from New York who has depicted political and social topics.Yejin Choi is a computer scientist from Seattle who has helped "develop artificial intelligence-based systems that can perform commonsense reasoning," per the foundation's website.P. Gabrielle Foreman is a historian and digital humanist from University Park, Penn., who has researched early African American activism.Danna Freedman, a chemist from Cambridge, Mass., has worked to create "novel molecular materials with unique properties directly relevant to quantum information science," the foundation said.Martha Gonzalez, a musician and artist from Claremont, California, has used art to build community and promote social justice.Sky Hopinka is a filmmaker from Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, whose films elevate Indigenous perspectives.June Huh, a mathematician from Princeton, New Jersey, has made connections between combinatorics and algebraic geometry.Moriba Jah is an astrodynamicist from Austin, Texas, who has worked to create solutions for Earth's orbital structures.Jenna Jambeck is an environmental engineer from Athens, Georgia, who has investigated the scale of plastic pollution and has worked to stop plastic waste.Monica Kim, a historian from Madison, Wisc., has researched the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and global decolonization. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a plant ecologist and writer from Syracuse, New York, who has been researching how to build a better environment through scientific and Indigenous information.Priti Krishtel, a health justice lawyer from Oakland, California, has worked to build access to affordable medications.Joseph Drew Lanham, an ornithologist and writer from Clemson, S.C., has researched the impacts of forest management on birds and wildlife.Kiese Laymon is a Houston, Texas, writer who examines Black people's experience with violence.Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist from Chicago who has researched the aftermath of incarceration, primarily among communities of color.Ikue Mori, an electronic music composer from New York, has expanded the range of technical music space through her own techniques.Steven Prohira, a physicist from Lawrence, Kansas, has used new tools to research "ultra-high energy sub-atomic particles" that could help us all understand the universe.Tomeka Reid, a jazz cellist and composer from Chicago, has used a number of musical traditions to create her unique sound.Loretta J. Ross, a human rights advocate from Northampton, Mass., has worked to link social justice and human rights with reproductive justice. Steven Ruggles, a historical demographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has helped build the world's largest public database of population statistics (the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series).Tavares Strachan is an artist from New York and The Bahamas who has promoted "overlooked contributions of marginalized figures throughout history" by using science, history and other projects, per the foundation's site.Emily Wang is a primary care physician and researcher from New Haven, Connecticut, who has studied the health effects of incarceration and people exiting prison.Amanda Williams is an artist from Chicago whose work "uses ideas around color and architecture to explore the intersection of race and the built environment," per the foundation's website.Melanie Matchett Wood, a mathematician from Cambridge, Mass., has used number theory and algebraic geometry to provide a new understanding of the properties of numbers.
Cinema Verde presents an interview with Jayraj Patil, Nirmika A, and Carolijn Terwindt about their film, "Free Pass." While foreign and Indian tourists visit Goa’s beaches and night life, others clean the accumulating garbage and sell the fish that was caught in the sea. Due to its proximity to the ocean, Goa is highly prone to disasters caused by climate change. While the lifestyle of most tourists is accelerating the climate crisis, fishermen and marginalized locals are particularly vulnerable to floods or changes in the biodiversity. This artistic project explores the radically different worlds of Goa that the tourists and those particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis inhabit. Our lives are so connected, but the connection is all too often invisible. How can contact be made and a conversation be initiated? As can be experienced in any of the live jams characterizing Goa’s beaches, music is a universal practice that can create joy and community. But which communities are part of the live jams on the beach and which are not? The video traces an intervention that interrogates a highly unequal status quo. The results are sometimes awkward, sometimes heartwarming.
There is a critical need for stories about Africa to be told by and from the perspective of African people. To address this, National Geographic Explorers Noel Kok and Pragna Parsotam-Kok co-founded Nature, Environment, and Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF) and collaborated with the National Geographic Society to develop Africa Refocused to create a space for African...
In the face of those environmental injustices, Chicago’s Southeast side community has come together to create green spaces that educate and feed residents and serve as meeting points. With the help of organizations like Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), community-focused environmental nonprofits like Urban Growers Collective (UGC) are spearheading efforts to make green spaces more […] The post These Chicago Urban Farmers Are Growing Local Food in the Wake of Steel Industry Pollution appeared first on Civil Eats.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it’s investing $177 million to create 17 technical assistance centers around the country to help environmental justice organizations successfully apply for federal funds. Better training on how to navigate the complex federal grant making process is something environmental justice organizations have been demanding since the beginning of...
After months of federal inaction and environmental devastation, a community of neighbors organized a resistance and won. The post Borderland Residents Shut Down Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s Illegal Wall appeared first on The Intercept.
U.S. company Frontier Airlines inaugurated a new route from Hartsfield-Jackson AtlantaInternational Airport to Guanacaste Airport. The A320 aircraft landed in the country with186 passengers greeted with gifts and live music. The flight will depart every Saturday. It will arrive in Guanacaste at 12:27 a.m. andreturn to Atlanta at 1:32 p.m. “It is great news for […] The post Frontier Airlines starts new route to Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Airport appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.
The Biden administration will reassess its relationship with Saudi Arabia following OPEC+ production cuts. Meanwhile, the president is touting a new EV battery plant in Ohio. This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk....
Seaweed is in the spotlight for so many reasons. It all sounds too good to be true. So can this wonder weed live up to expectations and fulfill its promise to save us from ourselves?
Ever wonder why ads show SUVs dashing through the forest?
The National Orders, presented by the President, recognized individuals who have demonstrated bravery and fostered international friendship. National Orders are the highest awards that a country through its President, bestows on citizens and emminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and have put themselves at the service of the country and […] The post National orders recognize remarkable contributions – Ramaphosa appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.
MIT community members lent their voices to news articles read globally, and described their work to make a better world.
A rundown of a major protest against the LNG buildout in Lake Charles, La. in early November. The post Americas LNG and gas summit protest appeared first on Southerly.
This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. I thought it was a blood moon at first. The dark orange glow appeared at dusk on the far side of the shimmering silver band that is the Xingu River. It was just before 8pm, after the parrots had […]
Humans are expert pattern-finders. But artificial intelligence tools are better at trawling through vast data sets to find anything from waste dumps to heat-tolerant corals.
Dr. Denise Moreno Ramírez joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss how she came to embrace community-centered research, and her research on the hidden toxics in auto shops and beauty salons.Moreno Ramírez, a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Toxicology and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona, also talks about how we can better protect workers, the uphill climb against harmful beauty standards and how punk rock changed her life.The Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast is a biweekly podcast featuring the stories and big ideas from past and present fellows, as well as others in the field. You can see all of the past episodes here.Listen below to our discussion with Moreno Ramírez, and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.Agents of Change in Environmental Justice · Denise Moreno Ramírez on protecting workers in auto shops and beauty salons from toxicsTranscriptBrian BienkowskiHello and welcome back to the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast, a partnership between Environmental Health News and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. We are here every two weeks, so please subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts and join us. I'm Brian Bienkowski, senior editor at Environmental Health News in the editor of Agents of Change. I just want to take a moment and point out the fantastic job our social media team does and encourage you all to follow Agents of Change in Environmental Justice on Twitter and Instagram. Not only will you get to know the next generation of environmental justice leaders, but you can be part of our community. So hop on board. Today I am talking to fellow Dr. Denise Moreno Ramirez, a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Ttoxicology Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. We talk about how she came to embrace community-centered research, the hidden toxics in auto shops and beauty salons, how we can better protect those workers and the uphill climb against harmful beauty standards. Enjoy. All right, I am super excited to be joined by Dr. Denise Moreno Ramirez. Denise, how you doing today?Denise Moreno Ramírez I'm doing pretty good. And how about you, Brian?Brian Bienkowski I'm doing excellent. And where are you today?Denise Moreno Ramírez So today I'm in sunny Tucson, Arizona.Brian Bienkowski Sunny Tucson. Well, I drove through whiteout conditions to be here back at my house today. I was west of here. So we have different experiences. But let's stay on this theme of place. So you grew up near the U.S.-Mexico border. Tell me about your upbringing there and how this cross culturalism may have shaped you.Denise Moreno Ramírez I guess so I grew up in Ambos Nogales, or the sister cities of Nogales, which is located in the Arizona-Sonora border. And my family is divided by an actual political boundary. But I grew up surrounded by family members from Mexico. We were the first family to migrate to the US side where my parents purchased a home. And I grew up hearing stories about the fluidity of this border in the olden days. There were specific times I guess, during the holidays, when it was easy for individuals to walk back and forth for commerce and family. But that was a long time ago, before my time. And today the border is different. But it was a great place to grow up. I lived Monday through Friday on the US side. And on the weekends I would travel with my grandmother to her home on the Mexican side. So my grandmother raised me because my parents worked to give me the life I had, which was different from theirs. And these two very different experience shaped me into the woman and scientist I am today to tell you the truth. For example, when I went to Mexico, we didn't have running water. So in Mexico, I viewed water very differently as compared when I was on the US side when we did have running water. And on the US side, I grew up with a lot of kids, it was really good for me because I was an only child. And my parents still live in that same neighborhood as well as a lot of my friends and parents. Until this day, I go to my parents house and the neighbors call my parents home or they come to see me, I still have the same group of friends and they completely understand me. So it was a great way place to grow up. And it taught me a lot about life to tell you the truth.Brian Bienkowski At what age -maybe you can't pinpoint an actual age- But I'm just wondering, it's such a unique, a unique geographic location to be on a border and as a kid, you don't you know, what's a political border to a kid? It's all land, you know, you look and there's places to play. I'm wondering, do you remember when it kind of struck you that this was a this was a border and things may be different on both sides?Denise Moreno Ramírez Yeah, I guess it was during that experience of a child going back and forth. So it was like living in my house on the US side and actually going through the physical border, seeing all the different customs agents, you know, having to stop at the Mexican border inspection and things of that sort. And then how I said I guess then living in my grandmother's home and then experiencing that, you know, here we don't have water, here we don't have hot water. And you know, we actually have to, it's a big thing to actually bring the water to our home and have it. So I think that that really kind of had I had like these sharp contrasts that really kind of opened my eyes to kind of what happens in Mexico as compared to what happens in the US.Brian Bienkowski Right I, I live on the Canadian border up here, where I-75 ends. And I talked to folks. And obviously those borders are vastly different for all kinds of cultural and political and social social reasons. But even talking to people that were live, where I live now 20 years ago or so, saying how different the borders were back then where people lived on both sides, and it was basically kind of one community. And now, it's it's not that anymore, it it's become increasingly difficult to pass through easily. And I can imagine on the Mexico border, that's even, that's even more so. So what role did science or the environment play in those early years? And when did you know that you wanted to be a scientist?Denise Moreno Ramírez Well, as a scientist, I obsessed about the ocean and Jacques Cousteau. I asked my parents for the Jacques Cousteau encyclopedia, I wanted to be an oceanographer, so bad. And I think that it was influenced by my dad's hobby of diving, like him and his friends had a piece of land in Puerto Lobo, Sonora, Mexico, where we would travel in an RV to camp and this is typically not within the Mexican culture. But my dad hung out with race car mechanics, that he that that's what they did. So I was exposed to the beach environment early on as a child and the sea life. And the freedom to explore the environment really got me thinking about nature. And my dad also watched a lot of science programs with me as a young girl, and he encouraged me to watch them, and even bought me like World for Kids subscriptions, like he would always encourage my science curiosity. And then my grandmother also encouraged me to become a plant hobbyist, she would teach me about plants and how to make them grow. And I had a piece of land in my parents garden. And as I, that I started growing exotic cactus and succulents when I was in elementary, believe it or not, and like my collection got really big. And as I got older, I started becoming introduced to like plant identification books. And so I would go out to the Patagonia mountains where my dad was born, and identify plants that were part of the region. And in the pandemic, I became reconnected with it. But and also an additional story is that, as a young adult, I experienced helicopter science in my community, because industrial chemicals and military contamination was causing people in my community to become sick or die. And after that experience, that's really when I realized that I should become an environmental scientist.Brian Bienkowski That's excellent. So you both had this kind of intro to the beauty of the environment and the ways that can really invigorate us and make this planet worth saving. And then kind of the ugly side of the, you know, environmental injustice and environmental issues, and scientists doing things the wrong way. So I really appreciate that. And it sounds like you had a lot of pivotal moments in what you just said, but what is the defining moment that has shaped your identity up to this point?Denise Moreno Ramírez You know, what, Brian, I was gonna give you originally a very generic answer. But I'm not. I really thought about it. Because, you know, you have that generic question that you have in your back pocket, but I actually thought about it. And a defining moment for me was when I discovered punk rock music. I heard the Dead Kennedys song "Holiday in Cambodia." And that was it. That son describes things in a way that impacted me. I remember, there was another person in my junior high they had listened to them. And we were, we thought we were super cool. When I was older, I became immersed in the punk rock scene, I started going to punk rock shows in the United States and in Mexico, and it was a movement. I listened to bands like Minor Threats, Fugazi and then I became a fan of radical punk from Spain and the Basque Country that includes bands like Eskorbuto. And all that music became my anthem for my undergraduate period to tell you the truth, it was the best way for me to learn about ideas that were not readily discussed in school or in the university. For example, that is where I first started reading about books about environmental racism, and social justice. At a lot of the shows, they had books and 'zines that were discussing these radical ideas, and there were books from all over the world sometimes and it was definitely a big defining moment. I still to this day, have some of the books and zines that I bought in the punk rock shows as well as the mixed tapes and records.Brian Bienkowski I love that! that is such a great answer and I could really relate so when I was in college, I got really into the Grateful Dead which is kind of a punch line for people you know you're smoking pot and listening to the dead and sure there was plenty of that, but it opened my eyes and brought me in front of people who were very interested in not only kindness and love and peace and values I still hold today, but also the environment and protection of the earth. And it kind of... god it kind of changed me as a human in so many ways. And I, so I totally understand that. And when you talk about the punk movement, it's not just the music, like you said there is, they were speaking to a lot of social ills. So I think that's, that's a great answer. That's one we've never had on this podcast. So I'm glad you didn't take the generic route. So let's talk about some of the work that you've done since since you became a scientist. So I want to talk about the Voices Unheard: Arizona's environmental history project I saw that you were part of. So this was a community-engaged oral history to study the narrations of people living and working near two Superfund sites in Arizona from 2016 till 2020. So can you tell us a little bit about the project and most of all, what we can learn from these kinds of community narrations when we think about contaminated sites?Denise Moreno Ramírez The Voices Unheard project was my doctoral research project. I collaborated with communities in South Tucson and Dewey Humboldt, Arizona. The research question was provided by community members who observed that the history of the contamination in their community and all the efforts to get it cleaned up were being lost as people aged or left the area. Government documents and academic papers are sometimes the only lenses into the historical happenings and many times undermine the community's experience. So I partner with community members at the Tucson International Airport area Superfund site, and the Iron Key Mine in Humboldt Smelter Superfund site where I implemented a community-engaged oral history process, and completed 22 interviews 11 at each sites, and this resulted in a digital archive, that's easy access. So if the audience is interested in reviewing or seeing this archive, you can just Google my name and Voices Unheard and it should pop up. But what I learned from this research is that these narrations that individuals have are valuable environmental observations, they're actually empirical observations that can supplement or fill in scientific data about a Superfund site or the health outcomes here. To improve the qualitative tools available for environmental historians. I also provided analytical lenses, that you can read deeper into the narrations that are provided by these oral histories. So I utilize the lens of social heteroglacia, and critical race theory to offer new ways of approaching how individuals are knowledge brokers in the spaces and how they function here. And also the counter stories that are emerged to point to the systematic inequalities in popular history.Brian Bienkowski So I'm wondering, you mentioned growing up that there is helicopter science in your community. So there's a big time gap there between that happening in this and your doctoral project. And I'm wondering if there was other instances or other things, lightbulb moments, because it's not always common to partnering with the community the way that you did here. It's not always popular in academia. That's not how research is always done, wrongly, as we've pointed out on this podcast a lot. So did you get pushback for wanting to go that route? And kind of where along the way did you have, were there other instances where this was the way that you wanted to go when it came to approaching community research?Denise Moreno Ramírez Because of my experience, as a young individual in Nogales, and experiencing that helicopter research, I really, it really made me think about the methodologies we apply. And I had to extend into medical anthropology to kind of find some of the methodologies that I felt would actually support and uplift a lot of communities. So because of that, it just became a mission of mine, to be able to discover like these participatory methods, and in a way manipulate them that they can, I guess, like how I said uplift voices and do things for community members. I definitely have had people question the type of research right, that I do. I know that a lot of the granting systems also do not provide the funding and a lot the time that is needed for a lot of this. So it's definitely an uphill battle. But because I'm from an environmental justice community, I have a stake in all of this as our I don't know if I'm supposed to use that word, so I apologize. So I have basically an interest in all of this. And for me, it's really important because for me, this is not like something that when I retire, this is the end of my career. This is actually where people were that I grew up with. It's like a whole other level of responsibility I feel I have. So I think I've just been very, you know, like, strong-headed to push these methodologies,Brian Bienkowski for sure. And now some of your research is focusing on exposure to toxic in auto shops and beauty salons, right there in Arizona. So first, what exposures have you found? And why are they concerning?Denise Moreno Ramírez Yeah, I'm a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr Paloma Beamer at the University of Arizona. And we're focused on volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, found in the air of beauty salons and auto shops in Tucson, Arizona. And these VOCs get into the air because of the products that are used in each of the workplaces. And in the case of beauty salons in combination with heat styling that's applied. And the VOCs in these workplaces have also been shown to have negative effects on individuals health, in particular, the workers that are here spending a long period of their time here. And individuals exposed by these VOCs usually experienced like eye, nose and throat irritations, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, damage to liver, and damage to central nervous system. So these workplace environments are concerning because of workers in these industries are exposed to these compounds for long periods of time. And also recent studies have shown that salon workers actually have direct impacts by these chemicals in their body.Brian Bienkowski So what are some of the ways, whether it's at the workplace level or at the policy level, that we could be better protecting these folks?Denise Moreno Ramírez Well, in the workplace placed level individuals can implement the hierarchy of controls. And that's something that we have based the project on. And that's elimination, substitution, engineering, administrative controls, personal protective equipment. But then on the policy side, we need to pressure governments to strengthen existing worker policies that result in safer work environments or join coalition's pressuring companies to develop cleaner products. We need to eliminate harmful chemical products period.Brian Bienkowski When you, when you talk to some of the workers that are in these auto shops and salons, are they aware of these exposures? Or are you are you bringing them news, bad news?Denise Moreno Ramírez No, I'm not bringing them any news at all. They're actually very intelligent. And they've observed the diverse health outcomes that they experience. So a lot of time people self-report like allergic reactions in their skin, or different headaches or things of that sort. And a lot of them are aware. And a lot of times when we approach them, it's kind of a game for them to try to say, Hey, do I want to know what I'm exposed to or don't I? Kind of thing.Brian Bienkowski Right, because they have to continue to work, unfortunately, in these conditions. And, and this is somewhat related to the beauty salon track that we're on. And I happen to know that you're pretty passionate about beauty justice, and we've talked about this quite a bit on this program. Especially how many beauty products for women of color can be especially toxic. Can you talk about your experience navigating harmful beauty standards and why this issue means so much to you?Denise Moreno Ramírez Yeah, for me, beauty justice is personal. When I learned that women of color have higher body burdens of chemicals, because of the products they use, or the racialized marketing that corporations apply to increase sales, the topic of beauty just captivated me because I ultimately understand this topic at an intimate level. I'm a woman of color. And for a long time, I've been pressured by a lot of racialized beauty standards. And that has influenced the products I use, and, and the way that I style or make my looks. So this is a very personal topic for me. And that's why I'm so passionate about it.Brian Bienkowski Do you do you have plans to or are you engaging in any research specific to personal care products?Denise Moreno Ramírez No, I'm not. We're only focused on the volatile organic compounds in workplace air at this point.Brian Bienkowski And where did those VOCs... so if we're talking about salons, I think auto shops are maybe a little more intuitive. Where do VOCs come from? What are they, what is making them go into the air?Denise Moreno Ramírez Yes, so a lot of them are found in the actual products that a lot of the salons utilize. So once they're applied either through shampoo, conditioner, style, I mean products, hair oils, different things like that, you start actually placing those chemicals into the air, they conserve volatile lighting. And then when you apply the heat styling, that's actually really important. That's when you actually make the chemicals volatilize more into the air.Brian Bienkowski So when there's heat applied, things get worse gets into the air, and then it can be inhaled.Denise Moreno Ramírez Correct. And that's kind of what we're trying to figure out is what's happening in that air? Are you VOCs being generated because of the amount of VOCs in there, and then also the amount of heat that's being applied just to the entire salon? Those are the questions we're trying to figure out.Brian Bienkowski I think one of the things that surprised me as a younger journalist covering chemical policy, chemical regulation toxics, was I just figured that if something was used, that it was safe, that it was proven safe. And then if it was in shampoo, or whatever, that that someone had said, Okay, this is good. And of course, that is not the case, is it?Denise Moreno Ramírez Yes, that is not the case, unfortunately.Brian Bienkowski Unfortunately, we are being failed. Well, some of the signs can be heavy. Of course, most of the folks we talked to on this podcast, they're the research is kind of down, it's a little bit of a downer, understanding that you're doing this to make people's lives better. But I do want to ask you, what are you optimistic about whether it's about your research or other other kinds of areas of interest, what makes you hopeful?Denise Moreno Ramírez So I'm optimistic that the earth is resilient. During the pandemic, I had the privilege to be able to go out into these beautiful spaces here in Arizona, and I started just realizing how, you know, meanwhile, we're experiencing this pandemic, when I was out in nature, I was just seeing how everything was just so perfect. And I realized, and that brought a lot of comfort to me that the earth is going to be alright.Brian Bienkowski So we noticed that animals returned in some areas that we hadn't seen before. And air pollution plummeted in some cities during the pandemic. And of course, we say all this knowing that there was a lot of pain and suffering going on, in concert with that, but was there anything kind of geographically that you noticed, that was different? Or was it just kind of seeing things with new eyes, because maybe you had more time?Denise Moreno Ramírez It was really just great to experience for the first time hiking and camping. And then it was also great to just experience everybody else that was rushing to nature. So we're very fortunate here in Arizona, that we have a lot of open space and very gorgeous, beautiful desert. So there was a lot of people just going out and trying to just be in nature during the pandemic. So it was great to see others trying to do the same things.Brian Bienkowski Yes, I found my, I live in a very rural area. And I found my experience of the pandemic was vastly different than many friends that lived in dense cities because they felt trapped and confined. And I was like kayaking. And again, this is not in any way to make light of what was a very, very kind of crisis-ridden situation. But in terms of being quote, unquote, locked down. I didn't I never felt very locked down. It was just a lot of outdoors time. So I'm glad. Glad you got to experience that as well. So before my last question, I have three fun rapid-fire questions for you where you can just answer with one word, or a phrase, my favorite movie isDenise Moreno Ramírez The Muppets Take Manhattan.Brian Bienkowski I just watched the Muppet Christmas, this past Christmas, and I could not get enough of it. It was fantastic. The best piece of advice I've ever received isDenise Moreno Ramírez Behave well.Brian Bienkowski If I could live anywhere in the world, it would beDenise Moreno Ramírez An island in Belize.Brian Bienkowski And, Denise, this has been so much fun to get to know more about you and your work. And I really appreciate your time. And my last question is what is the last book that you read for fun?Denise Moreno Ramírez Oh, Brian, you know what, I really tried to read a cool book before this interview. I really did. But that did not happen. The last book I read for fun was Charles Dickens' "Great expectation." Believe it or not.Brian Bienkowski Yes, that's a fan, That's a fantastic one. And since it's been a while what How about like, Have you watched a good movie or TV show lately? What are you What How about on that front?Denise Moreno Ramírez Well, I you know, what I've been watching a lot? is those new programs that their reality programs, but it's the individuals that have to survive in nature. I've been very interested in those programs, because that's one of the things I don't think I could do. So it's been great watching.Brian Bienkowski Yeah, I think there's a lot of so I actually I do hunt and fish but I do think there's a lot of that more than sometimes I'm comfortable with thinking about being out there for months having to survive like that. So it is a different different mentality to go and be there with a knife and nothing else but. So Denise This has been so much fun again. It's been so great to hear more about your work and I've really enjoyed my time working with you here at the fellowship. So thanks so much for doing this.Denise Moreno Ramírez Me too. And thank you Brian for inviting me. This has been great.
Activism isn’t only for the young. Many seniors are eager to join the climate movement — and they have the power to achieve key goals, says Bill McKibben. The post Elders Seek to Supercharge Climate Action appeared first on The Revelator.
Over 300 social impact leaders from around the world convened on MIT’s campus to discuss global challenges and how to solve them together.
A Roseate Spoonbill flew over our heads as our group of about 20 assembled in the parking lot of the High Island Bird Sanctuary in Texas. We caught our breath. Welcome to SEJ 2022, the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference.
On Thursday, one of Ohio’s former top politicians will be sentenced to prison for up to two decades for his role in a massive bribery scandal that left his constituents paying to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants. Yet last week, Republicans in the state legislature—some with interests in keeping coal plants open—pushed back on an attempt to repeal one of the most egregious elements of this bad legislation. Even while prison terms are being handed down, Ohioans remain on the hook for propping up two 1950s-era coal plants. The message sent to Ohioans is clear: Our health and pocketbooks matter far less to some state-level politicians than protecting the coal industry. Former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder and former state GOP leader Matt Borges will be sentenced this week for a racketeering conspiracy that traded $61 million in campaign donations in exchange for a $1.3 billion bailout for two Ohio nuclear plants, one Ohio coal plant, and another coal plant in Indiana, while also reducing energy efficiency standards across the state. Householder and Borges were convicted in March, when a federal jury found that the two took and offered bribes using money from FirstEnergy Corp, a powerful regional utility and owner of the nuclear plants, and others as part of a broader dark-money scheme involving a piece of legislation called House Bill 6. It is the largest public corruption case in Ohio history—and Ohioans are still footing the bill for the crooked legislation to the tune of $130,376 per day in coal-power subsidies, according to the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. Ohioans have already paid out over $400 million to subsidize the coal-fired power plants, according to a report commissioned by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, with a total of $850 million anticipated by 2030.Even before the public knew that our state leaders were on the take from utilities and coal companies, H.B. 6 was wildly unpopular with Ohioans. Passed in 2019 and with the subterfuge name “Creates Ohio Clean Air Program,” H.B. 6 was opposed in polls of Ohioans regardless of political affiliation, with unsurprisingly steep opposition across the board to bailing out a coal plant in another state. Most Ohioans are not awash in cash to toss into a cesspool of political intrigue. Ohio’s poverty rate has exceeded the nation’s since 2016. Levels of student debt are higher in the state than nationally, while large swaths of Ohioans spend at least half their income on housing alone. Ohioans’ energy costs are also spiking for reasons many cannot discern from their monthly bills, which now include, along with other hidden riders, one for those coal plant subsidies. People stretching every dollar may not even realize how much of their money is going toward those coal plants, even while Ohio’s outdoor air quality is worse than most other states’.“In order to justify the cost of bailing out” the nuclear and coal plants, “lawmakers effectively eliminated the renewable portfolio standard in Ohio, which required Ohio utilities to purchase a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy,” said Nolan Rutschilling, managing director of energy policy at the Ohio Environmental Council. Without the renewable energy requirement, Ohio utilities largely went back to purchasing energy from coal and natural gas, which now source most of Ohio’s energy, Rutschilling said. Presently, Ohioans are seeing even higher energy costs, exacerbated by supply chain issues dating from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. “If we had a more diversified electric grid, we’d be able to reduce the impact” of the natural gas market’s volatility “by purchasing more from wind or solar,” Rutschilling told me.After Householder’s and Borges’s convictions in March 2023, Democratic state Representatives Casey Weinstein and Sean Brennan led a bipartisan push to repeal the coal plant bailout and require full repayment of the bailout to date. Days after Householder’s arrest in 2020, Governor Mike DeWine, who had been instrumental in the effort to pass H.B. 6, changed course, asking for legislation to repeal the nuclear bailout portion of H.B. 6; DeWine signed the repeal into law in 2021. But the coal bailout and decimated renewable energy portfolio standards remained.Last week, a bill aimed at repealing the portion of H.B. 6 that created subsidies for the two coal plants was blocked by Ohio House Republican leadership. One coal plant receiving subsidies is located in current Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens’s district. Representative Derek Merrin, also a Republican, pointed out to local media that the same utility lobbyists who backed Householder and lobbied for the subsidies supported Stephens’s speaker campaign. The bill to repeal the coal plant subsidies, which was introduced months ago, had not received any hearings, leaving Weinstein and Brennan to attempt a procedural method called a discharge petition to try to go around the speaker and get a floor vote. Now that Stephens has recalled the bill, it’s unclear how or when the bill might proceed. Weinstein, whose repeal was garnering bipartisan support, told me he senses voters are shocked at the corruption around H.B. 6. It’s astounding, after all, that a piece of legislation now resulting in jail sentences and massive fines “is still very much Ohio’s energy policy—what passes for an energy policy for us.”“We’re screwing Ohioans,” Weinstein said. “Ohioans are having to pay the bill for this corruption, and that’s not fair. That’s not right. And now we’re denying them even a vote on the issue,” as energy bills continue to rise and “the guy at the center of the whole thing is going to jail.”Given the former speaker’s looming prison sentence, the average voter might expect contrition from the state representatives who also benefited from Householder’s PAC and the dark money flowing through it. FirstEnergy has confessed to the scheme and paid a $230 million fine. Yet, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, candidates in all but 15 of Ohio’s 99 House districts received help from Householder’s PAC and for-profit Hardworking Ohioans, Inc.—either directly or through ads attacking their opponents. Governor Mike DeWine, for his part, appointed energy lobbyist Sam Randazzo as head of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio months before H.B. 6 was introduced to the legislature. FirstEnergy later admitted to regulators that it had paid Randazzo, who helped write the legislation, a $4.3 million bribe. While Randazzo and former FirstEnergy executives have not been charged with any crimes to date, the lawmakers most likely to carry the tarnish from Householder’s dirty dealing aren’t actually that beholden to Ohio voters. Due to gerrymandering, many legislators in Ohio “never face elections they worry about. Many don’t even face opponents,” said David Pepper, former Ohio Democratic Party chair and author of Laboratories of Autocracy. In such a system, incentives get warped. Lawmakers in severely stilted districts get “rewarded for being extremist rather than mainstream” and “for giving everything to private players and entities … even if that is taking those things from the public.” Every once in a while someone like Householder gets caught on tape, said Pepper, but more often, a “broader corruption of public service” almost becomes a norm, and leaders are rarely held accountable.Representative Weinstein too believes gerrymandering factors into the lack of reform in Columbus. “The vast majority of our legislators, particularly in the majority,” benefit from or helped design districts to shield themselves from voters. “They are protected and insulated,” he says. “So they just do whatever they think is going to keep money flowing and keep from having a primary.” This makes it difficult to strike compromises or motivate introspection. The rhythm of corruption and scandal has become a sort of background music at the Ohio statehouse.Ohio is certainly not the only state gripped by gerrymandering: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have seen their share of lopsided districts and extreme legislation. And Ohio is also not the only state in which Republican legislators are protecting or propping up the coal industry. In West Virginia, where some regulators had ties to the H.B. 6 scandal over the state border, Governor Jim Justice signed a law this year that would make it illegal to retire a coal plant without approval from a panel stacked with former coal lobbyists. In Kentucky, Republican lawmakers this session pushed through legislation that would make retiring aging and expensive coal plants more difficult. Despite the potential costs to ratepayers, that bill became law without the governor’s signature in late March. Other pro-coal bills have been proposed in Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming. Some other states have even seen their own mini-scandals: A 2021 law in Montana meant to help keep a coal-fired power plant open was thrown out last year for violating the U.S. Constitution, and the state now has to pay $825,000 to the owners of the power plant who were targeted by the bad bill. Pepper believes that in a state like Ohio with shrinking local media, people may be aware of their U.S. Congress or tuned in to their local officials, like the mayor, school board, and city council. Yet many voters don’t understand the relevance of the state legislature, even when a former speaker is headed to prison—and even when the result of their crimes, in the form of a coal bailout, is tucked into our monthly bills. “Many don’t know how the statehouse impacts them,” said Pepper, “and that’s a real problem.”
Apple TV's sprawling series depicts the "messy middle" of climate change.
By Matt Simmons (Local Journalism Initiative Reporter) Klabona Keepers weaves together footage of Tahltan Elders, community members and supporters in the fight to protect the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of three major salmon rivers
After months of anticipation and buildup, California’s general election came and went — and so far, things don’t look very different than they did before polls closed Tuesday night. But some of the races that could be among the most consequential for the country’s direction have yet to be decided. Early returns tabulated by CalMatters’ […]