Corporate Greenwashing

Greenwashing - Street Art in Nantes, France (by elkhiki CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Advertising is an incredibly powerful tool for convincing us to buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Last year the United States spent nearly $300 billion on advertising, and now that we are only about six weeks from Christmas, we can expect to be inundated with ads to convince us to get out our credit cards and close out the year on a spending spree. According to the latest data from the National Retail Federation, individual American consumers spend an average of $998 on gifts and holiday stuff each Christmas, which is the same as the median pre-tax weekly salary of $1,001…

Hurricane Ian Hits Home

Hurricane Ian Approaches Florida on September 27, 2022 (courtesy of NOAA Satellites via Flickr).

There are some important lessons from Hurricane Ian that we need to think seriously about before we start into yet another cycle of federal aid and rebuilding in the same areas again. Hurricanes are getting more powerful as the oceans continue to warm. It is the evaporation from the warmer ocean waters and the subsequent atmospheric circulation and winds that produce these hurricanes with their associated heavy rainfall and storm surges. They aren’t going away and if anything, all indications are that they will become even more powerful.

Patagonia’s New Owner…is the Earth

Patagonia Label (photo: ajay_suresh CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

One of the planet’s most dedicated individuals, who has spent nearly his entire life both exploring and experiencing the natural world and making novel and long-lasting contributions to saving it, has again stepped forward with a monumental effort that will have far-reaching impacts for decades to come. Yvon Chouinard, who has always said that Patagonia’s mission was to protect nature, along with his wife Malinda and children, are donating their company to planet Earth… literally.

The Earth is Heating Up

Earth's surface temperature each year from 1900–2020 compared to the 1981-2020 average, based on temperature histories put together by three different research groups: NOAA (red), University of East Anglia (pink line), and NASA (orange line). All show Earth is warming. (Image courtesy of NOAA, adapted from State of the Climate 2020).

The entire planet is feeling the effects of a warming atmosphere and ocean, from Sudan to Siberia, and we are way passed denial or debate. Whether forest and brush fires, or droughts and water shortages, we are all in this together and we need to continue to take the steps needed now to get off of fossil fuels and move to renewables as fast as humanely possible. I think of action in terms of sober optimism and aggressive incrementalism…

Coastal armoring and disappearing beaches; By Gary Griggs

Coastal erosion or retreat is a natural ongoing process that has only become a problem because people have built structures or infrastructure in areas exposed to wave attack and erosion. Beaches, dunes, bluffs and cliffs are all temporary features that will continue to be shaped by wave, wind and tidal forces as well as a rising sea level.

The Greek islands and their beaches; By Gary Griggs

The Eastern Mediterranean, including dozens of Greek islands, have a complex geologic history. This area has been the site of both a primitive ocean that existed 250 million years ago that preceded the present day Mediterranean Sea, and also an area where several very large tectonic plates have been converging for eons.

California’s Coastal Harbors, Beach Compartments and Sand Dredging; By Gary Griggs

Every year the dredge at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor along central California’s northern Monterey Bay sucks up about 250,000 cubic yards of sand, on average, from the entrance channel and pumps it out onto Twin Lakes Beach where it continues its journey down coast. If it were put in dump trucks, it would fill about 25,000 of them, but the waves can move all that sand without any human labor, and without any noise or carbon emissions.