Sunday, June 29, 2008

Green Destinations in Chicago

Smart Home: Green + Wired, Powered by ComEd and Warmed by Peoples Gas, which is open through January 4, 2009.

Tour the “Greenest Home in Chicago!” at the Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit invites you to explore a real, three-story modular and sustainable “green” home learn about latest innovations in reusable resources, smart energy consumption, sustainable gardens and green roofs,and clean, healthy-living environments in a contemporary setting. Your tour will conclude on the roof, which is covered by a green-roof garden as well as photovoltaic film, which harvests daylight and provides much of the home’s electrical energy. Rooftop gardens not only act as a source of cooling in the summer and insulation in the winter, but also absorb precipitation, which reduces storm water runoff, which can be reused for landscape irrigation.

Another exhibit from the Chicago Architecture Foundation "Green With Desire: Can We Live Sustainably in our Homes?" This installation offers a look at eight desires for home life: permanence, convenience, ownership, affordability, status, privacy, comfort and shelter. Open from June 24 through September 5 at 224 S. Michigan Avenue, this free exhibition explores how homes determine the quality of our lives—and the health of the planet.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Enviromental Skepticism is Pseudo-Science

"A review of environmental skepticism literature from the past 30 years has found that the vast majority of skeptics, often identified as independent, are directly linked to politically oriented, conservative think tanks."

Skeptics on climate change have every right to voice their opinion. "But the statements of a few think tank-supported experts should not be regarded as equal to scientific findings that have been vetted through an intense peer-review process", says a blogger from the WorldWatch Institute. Click here to see the blog article and also find the study of environmental skeptic literature.

Environmental Network News also has a good article entitled "Another Blow to the Pseudo-Science of Global Warming Skeptics -- A Guest Commentary". My conference at the University of Chicago confirmed for me that the skeptics are engaging in pseudo-science every bit as much as the "Intelligent Design" scientists do by challenging the established biological evidence for evolution. It's really no different.

Human Development Reports - 2007/2008 Streaming videos

The Human Development Report 2007/2008 warns that "the world has less than a decade to avoid a climate change crisis that could bring unprecedented reversals in poverty reduction, nutrition, health and education to the world's poorest people".

Connected to this report are a series of worthwhile streamed videos which highlight the summary aspects of the report:Climate Change and Human Development; Climate Change and Human Rights; Climate Change and Effects on the Poor.

In addition there is broacast footage for the Science of Climate Change and videos relating to water, agriculture, Ecosystem Collapse, Adaptation and Mitigation efforts.

These are wonderful teacher resources for teaching the complex topic of Climate Change. I love the Climate Change advocacy posters available for printing in any size. Since our AV department got a new poster maker, I will make these available for the Environmental Club or any teachers who would like them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Read Green, Live Green: Summer Reads for Adults

The Chicago Public Library, in partnership with Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago Department of Environment, presents Read Green, Live Green: Summer Reads for Adults – a summer long exploration of the environment through a unique combination of great books, author appearances, tours, performances and fun “green” workshops and events designed especially for adults and teens.

See the list of titles and summer programs focused on the environment. The program, which runs through the month of August, will offer books, reading tours and performances for both adults and kids on climate change, energy conservation and even farming.

I attended the Climate Change Conference at the University of Chicago this week. I want to share a great blog published by one of our speakers David Archer, a computational ocean chemist at the University of Chicago. He has published research on the carbon cycle of the ocean and the sea floor, at present, in the past, and in the future. His textbook Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast has been well received. His new book The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate argues that not only are massive climate changes coming if we humans continue on our current path, but many of these changes will last for millennia.

Archer suggested two titles worth reading: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert.

New Trier Organic Garden