COP21

michael-charles-tobias-the-many-shades-of-green

“Between its celebrations of privilege, and the angst of its reckonings, human life gathers unto itself a chaos of contradictions… If we are ceaseless tamperers, we are also from time to time unobtrusive, Though we shout, so may we whisper.” (Michael Charles Tobias, quote from his work, After Eden: History, Ecology and Conscience) My guest this week is Michael C. Tobias, President of Dancing Star Foundation, who is a global ecologist, humanitarian, explorer, author, filmmaker, educator and animal rights activist. 195 nations are set to converge in Paris, a city recently struck by incomprehensible acts of terrorism, for the COP 21 (Conference of Parties), with the hopes of reaching an agreement to to set limits on carbon emissions to reduce the detrimental effects of global warming. Rich and poor nations must gather to form partnerships to be agents of change, rather than agents of destruction. Negative ideology has to be redirected, and ethics, compassion and morality, along with science and technology must lead the way to solutions. For more information go to www.dancingstarfoundation.org

#1534: The End of Plenty

bourneCan we feed the world without wrecking it? Are we farming ourselves out of food? My guest, Joel K. Bourne Jr. and I delve into those questions on this week’s show. Joel’s new book, THE END OF PLENTY: The Race to Feed a Crowded World, discusses the world food crisis, as it relates to population increase and environmental concerns. Farm land is becoming decimated, as water shortages are spreading globally, thus reducing growth of crops needed to feed the populace. Political unrest and revolutions have occurred in various hot spots around the world, as wheat crops have failed, which has lead to tightening grain supplies. Lives are lost as fights break out over bread. Will 3D printing of food save us? Probably not, but there is hope, as farmers are using innovations in food irrigation, as well as conservation methods to solve some of the problems. A new land ethic must be put into place to feed the world. For more information go to joelkbournejr.com and amazon.com for his book, THE END OF PLENTY.

#1525: The End of Plenty by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1333: Any Fish You Wish?

Noah-Bressman-2In the 1984 film Flamingo Kid, Matt Dillon’s character Jeffrey Willis, dines with his family at Larry’s Fish House, where the slogan is “Any Fish You Wish”. Cut to the summer of 2015, and my guest Noah Bressman, who is a budding marine biologist at Cornell University, has a big wish. That wish is to encourage more sustainable fishing practices on both the industry side and the sporting side. Fisherman should catch and release fish not caught for food. Regulations should be enforced to ensure more sustainable fisheries and fishing practices. Find out what mummichogs are, and how Noah’s research on that ‘intertidal killfish’ was featured on the Discovery Canada Show, The Daily Planet. Learn about what the signs at your local grocery fish counters mean when they say “all natural”, “wild caught” or “certified sustainable”. Noah is making great strides in his research, and he will continue to do great things in years to come. For more information visit Noah’s Facebook Page: Noah and Carl Fish.

#1533: Any Fish You Wish by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

How Killing a Lion Destroys Our Planet

By Susan Lutz

Tracking a lion for 40 hours must have been exciting. Far from home, stalking the king of beasts in the wilds of Africa, feeling the thrill of not only the hunt, but the exotic power of ruling over animals, taking, leaving the rest to rot must have been exciting. This desire to take, this desire to own, this desire to control is the consciousness that is killing our planet.

Cecil-the-LionA Minnesota dentist and the men he paid to take him hunting in Zimbabwe are now being sought for questioning. This from CNN:

“All persons implicated in this case are due to appear in court facing poaching charges,” it said.

Officials said they believed Palmer had paid between $50,000 and $55,000 for the hunt to kill the lion.

We see what we want. We take what we want, often without regard for the effects our choices have on the environment. Killing a lion for thrill is taking for oneself and oneself alone, leaving no regard for life, animal or human. This mentality doesn’t stop with the animal kingdom.

We take by ignoring ramifications. When we purchase products that are made in sweatshops, we mistreat human beings. When we find out there’s a hole in the ozone layer, we claim we didn’t know our choices made a difference.

We take by consuming. We drink water in plastic bottles and toss them after one use; smug in our belief that recycling will take care of it. We pop a K-cup in the machine for a cup of coffee and drink 8 ounces of convenience, leaving behind billions of plastic cups to choke the planet.

We take by selling out. We ignore when politicians pass laws that make it OK to put toxins in our food.

We take by waiting for someone else to do it. For years, activists have tried to ban trophy hunting. We wait for the tragic to motivate us to change.

I searched hard on how to not judge this dentist from Minnesota. I’m from Minnesota. We’re not saints, but there’s this belief that we hold ourselves up to standards. My family hunts. I’ve been surrounded by the climate of hunting since birth, the camouflage, the orange vests, the guns, and the deer hanging from the garage in the cold of the fall. I’ve stood on the sidelines while this ritual, tradition, and sport took place. The hunters I know would be as devastated by this story as I am.

It’s hard to understand that in the entire time this dentist was planning his trip, it never occurred to him it might be wrong. He spent thousands of dollars, traveled thousands of miles, and then tracked the animals for 40 hours. He and his guides skinned the animal and beheaded it. Wasn’t there just one second, one moment, a fleeting thought that perhaps this is wrong? Even if not legally, morally?

I lived in a foreign country. I understand the lure of another country. Seeing the tropics, or the jungle, or the rainforest, or an animal in its habitat is exciting. It truly is interesting, educational, and enlightening to see and experience another land and culture. Tourism helps many countries. It’s critical to many economies. Yet, there are those who go take, forget, and ignore the ramifications of their actions. We’ve watched tourists climb mountains and take pictures naked for the sake of an interesting shot to put on social media. In Central America and other countries, many tourists travel for cheap sex, including with children. This is the mentality of take. Take for me – I don’t care about the rest.

I feel a deep sadness for the final hours of this regal animal, walking to his slow death in pain, suffering. I feel sadness for the country that lost a true, breathing, wonderful part of their culture. I feel sadness for the cubs left behind, the destruction and disorder inflicted by man on their pride. I even feel sadness for this dentist. In the time he spent hunting this animal down for sport, he lost time, time he can never take back. He does have a chance to change things. In the hours to come, in the actions he takes, he has the opportunity to give back instead of taking and find a way to make amends.

We’re meant to take. The cycle of life is giving and receiving. Yet, we must understand that we have a responsibility to act with care in how we take and be sure in all we receive, we are giving back.

End the Use of the Tiny, Terrible Microbead

By Susan Lutz

microbeadsScrub some natural face cleanser on at the end of the day. Feels wonderful. A shea butter body cream can only be good, right? Read the ingredients. Many of the cosmetics on the shelf today contain microbeads. What’s a microbead? I hadn’t heard of them either. Yet, they are now so proliferate in many of the products we use, approximately 69 NGOs from 33 countries are supporting the campaign to end the use of the microbead, according to beatthemicrobead.org.

What exactly is a microbead? Imagine a teeny, tiny bead of plastic. Now, image something smaller. Microbeads replace more natural ingredients, especially in health and body care products like scrubs, creams, and toothpaste. The tiny beads, less then 1mm, are composed of polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethyl methacrylate, or nylon, in short, plastic. Use a microbead for seconds, rinse, and it goes down the drain to stay in the environment forever. The cycle of water pulls the plastic fibers all the way to the oceans. They don’t break down. Instead, they mush into plastic-like goo; floating, unnoticed by a fish that eats a smaller fish – tasty, yet environmentally deadly. Catch the bigger fish and the contaminant ends up back on our table, in our mouths. See anyone pick up a tiny piece of plastic on the ground and eat it? That’s exactly what’s happening.

How did this happen? And, right under our nose? All of these ingredients are approved and “safe” to use. Safe bet companies are making money on the short-term benefit of making a product cheaper, getting it on the shelf quicker, and selling more than we really need. Natural ingredients take more time, most likely more investment – in the short run. (And, I’m not even talking about organic ingredients yet, just “natural” like putting in more real shea butter instead of cutting the real product with these tiny plastic beads.)

Step in a movement to end those tiny, terrible microbeads. Like so many other products we discover for the quick, availability and cheaper price, we buy it: plastic bags, the k-cup, or processed food. The ramifications of our choices always, not sometimes, but always come back to bite us in the bags and beads. Without seeing the long-term effect before we eat too much sugar or throw all or allow GMO modification of our food, we suffer the consequences of our choices and have to work to not only end the use of the danger, but also find ways to reinvent how to educate, make healthy choices, and show our children things like tiny microbeads just are a bad decision.

A movement has started to ban the microbead. Annie Leonard, founder of The Story of Stuff, began an idea to look at our prolific use of stuff. Her animated movies are short, great for anyone – I’ve showed them to my kids – and poignant. She’s always working on a solution. Pointing out the problem is one thing, doing something about yet another. Learn what products carry microbeads and stop using them. Check out sites that offer more information on microbeads and how to join a campaign to ban the bead.

So, let’s get started, below is a list of companies and products as posted from beatthemicrobead.org that contain microbeads. You can get the full list, for many countries, on their site.

A few examples of products with microbeads as listed by beathemicrobead.org:

Ahava: Dead Sea Essentials-Relaxing Almond Exfoliating Body Cleanser – Polyethylene (PE)

CVS Pharmacy: Oil Free Scrub – Polyethylene (PE)

Neutrogena/Johnson & Johnson: Deep clean gentle Scrub (oil free) – Polyethylene (PE)

Note the brands; be familiar with the all the chemical names of the microbead. Changing brands, really going natural or organic is a choice not just for better skin or whiter teeth, but a choice that makes a difference for our children and our planet.

#1521: The Xerces Society

Xerces-LogoBees… what’s all the buzz about? I talk with Matthew Shepherd, Communications Director for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, to find out why bee colonies are collapsing, and what programs Xerces has created to help protect pollinator insects. Habitat creation, planting flowers, shrubs, trees, creating nest sites, and reducing or stopping the use of pesticides, are all very important to keep the bee and other invertebrate insect population thriving. Find out how urban areas have become home to many insect species from far away lands, and how the Milkweed Project works to build up habitats for the Monarch Butterfly. Visit BumbleBeeWatch.org to check out what is being done to protect and increase bumble bees, and what you can do to help. For more information go to Xerces.org and BringBackThePollinators.com

 

#1521: The Xerces Society by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1520: Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA

Born-Free-USA-The-Many-Shades-of-Green-square-2This week’s show takes us to jungles, plains, back lots and road shows to focus on animal welfare and the need for wildlife protection. My guest, Adam Roberts, CEO of the organization Born Free USA, and I discuss the plight of elephants and lions and what is causing them to be endangered. We also talk about the cruelty and neglect of Exotic pets, and the treatment of animal actors in circuses, film and TV. Lions may be sleeping, but we need to ROAR to save them. For more information go to BornFreeUSA.org.

#1520: Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud