Dark Knight Rises Hits Home on Energy Issues

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

ATTENTION: MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!!!

For those of you who made it past that warning, I’m safely assuming that you’ve either seen The Dark Knight Rises or just don’t care (and should reconsider your priorities) because this movie, as you likely know, was EPIC. While I could ramble on for hours about the merits of the movie, there is, as always, that specific aspect of the movie I want to discuss: One of the major plot points of the movie centered around clean, sustainable energy.

Christopher Nolan‘s Gotham is designed to be a mirror of real life. Over the three movie arc, the city has been plagued by issues with clean water, terrorism, an income gap, organized crime, corruption, and everything in between. For the third and final movie of the trilogy, however, Nolan decided to tackle perhaps the biggest real-world issue he has to date: the environment. Right from the start, Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are involved in a discussion about a sustainable energy project that they had invested in. As it turns out, the project, which was incredibly expensive, did in fact successfully create a nuclear fusion-powered device –  something in our world that we are years away from.

The problem with the nuclear fusion device parallels the issues faced throughout history with nuclear power: There is incredible danger involved, in contrast with the incredibly high levels of efficiency. If everything goes right, nuclear power is the perfect solution. If not, however, the damage would be catastrophic – in the case of Bruce Wayne’s device, being able to be turned into an immensely powerful nuclear bomb.

My point? As I always love to point out, sustainability and environmentalism is truly becoming mainstream – do I sense a Captain Planet movie in the making? (PLEASE CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, PLEASE!)

 

Announcing GEF Institute’s Sustainability Literacy Blueprint | Green Education Foundation GEF

July 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Check out this awesome post from the Green Education Forum all about sustainability education!

Announcing GEF Institute’s Sustainability Literacy Blueprint | Green Education Foundation GEF.

The History of Environmentalism: Part Three: Making a Mess (The Industrial Revolution)

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

When we last left our planet, the Middle Ages were dawning, and people were crowding closer and closer together. Sure, there were some ups and downs – kingdoms rose and fell, peoples who were once considered barbarians settled down and became the emerging peoples of Europe, and intercontinental trade was once again begun, on a scale like never before. Perhaps the most important change during this period of time, however, was the largest influx of people to cities the world had seen to this point. As you would imagine, when more and more people crowd together, they create more and more waste. But this is just where the problem begins.

The Industrial Revolution, which followed the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is perhaps the most significant turning point in the history of environmentalism thus far. With the mechanization of the Western world came a whole new set of problems and challenges. First and foremost, what was powering these machines? Coal, and a lot of it. The problem? Coal is dirty. To create the steam needed to run the newly mechanized world, ungodly amounts of coal were ripped from the British landscape, and then from all over Europe, the United States, and eventually from the entire world.

If you think that the environmental impact of mining all of this coal was pretty serious, the environmental impact of burning all of this coal eclipses that by a long shot. A personal favorite anecdote that I’ve always been told about this period of time involves the adaptation of a species of insect which was forced to adapt by becoming black in order to blend in with the soot-covered buildings of London. From coal mines to cities and factories, there was coal dust, soot, smog, and smoke in the air everywhere – by far the most pouted skies in history.

This environmental impact was not the only effect of the industrial revolution – there were plenty of other things that resulted out of the Industrial Revolution, though most of them would end up being detrimental to the environment in the long run. Our consumerist culture, our complete disregard for our world’s air and water supply, a lack of concern for the limits of our natural resources, and the exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels would all play a role later on in history.

Before I wrap this up, let me remind you that the Industrial Revolution wasn’t all bad. The technological advances led to a higher standard of living for the world at large, and created widespread employment and limitless opportunities. Social mobility finally peaked out from it’s hiding place, and the old world order began to decline. Perhaps most importantly, we could never fix the environmental problems of the early industrial revolution without the technologies it helped to create.

Environmental Video of the Week (7/1 -7/7/12) DOUBLE FEATURE

July 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week I’m excited to present you with not one, but two insanely awesome environmental videos. Both come from the amazing series, “The Story of Stuff” on YouTube.

The first video is a unique take on the anti-bottled water campaign. Not only does the video cover the dangerous effects of the bottled water industry, it delves into how and why it got to be the way it is, and provides plausible solutions for the problem.

The second video explains something that even I find very difficult to understand, the Cap and Trade system:

 

 

Three Cool Stories (Bro)

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Check out these three cool stories about environmentally friendly products!

1. Coca-Cola: A011 Energy Efficient Vending Machine – Cat: Creativity and Technology – Creativity Online.

2. Best Buys first small step into green education – Business – Going Green – msnbc.com.

3. Funerals undergoing an eco-friendly makeover – Business – Going Green – msnbc.com.

Environmental Video of the Week (6/24 – 6/30/12)

July 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

So, I know this is coming a little late, but this is a video you have to see.

Ever have trouble defining sustainability? I have. Well, this video will clarify things for you almost perfectly.

Check it out:

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