Urban Roots, a film about food and Detroit + a project for schools

In a bygone American era, Detroit shone proudly as a center of industry, home to the Model T and other symbols of American progress. The decline of the car industry in recent decades, though, has cut the city’s population in half and left poor neighborhoods in even more derelict condition. Detroit is now home to thousands of acres of vacant land, most of it unmaintained, left to collect weeds and waste. The result? Many of the city’s residents live in what is termed a
“food desert.”

First CODA drives off the line, giving consumers another EV option

CODA, the innocuous looking sedan that boldly promises the best range of any electric car on the market, officially entered its production phase this week.

The first fully outfitted silver, all-electric five-passenger Coda rolled off the assembly line at the plant in Benicia, Calif., on Monday, as factory workers cheered and company executives pledged to kick butt in a field that includes the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt and the pricey Tesla Roadster.

350.org captures Earth’s woes and hopes from space

Climate action group 350.org wants us to see, really see, what’s happening as the result of climate change here on Earth.
So it’s taken to space to get a better view. Satellites began snapping photos of giant art installations, many involving humans forming pictures, last Friday and will continue through this week. The photos include one of a giant eagle in Los Angeles, created to represent the “Earth to Sky” solutions to climate change; a mural in New York City that shows how the area would look after the seas rise; a picture of a girl on a delta in Spain and a flash flood in New Mexico created by humans with blue posters.

Hands Across the Sands: The story in photos

In a symbolic but moving gesture, the Hands Across the Sands oil drilling protest on Saturday brought out people from Miami to Melbourne to stand in solidarity for clean beaches, and against more offshore oil drilling.

There were events around the world, but the turnout was especially heavy in the U.S., spanning the nation from High Line Park in New York City and Nags Head in North Carolina in the East, to Puget Sound and Los Angeles and several beaches in between on the West Coast. People lined up in Anchorage and Maui.

Southern California’s Planet Fest/Vegan Earth Day this weekend

Get ready to sample vegan cuisine and rally around the idea of going vegan to save the planet at the second annual Southern California PlanetFest in Orange County this Sunday (June 27).

This event, billed as environmental, health and food festival, will feature celebrities, sports stars, musicians and doctors, all discussing how our food choices can help address climate change, deforestation, drought and habitat loss and animal suffering.

Google this: Carbon emissions for your city or town

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

As we drive deeper into our Orwellian future ala Google, where you can practically peer into our uncle’s windows in Toledo via Google Earth, it makes complete sense that we should also be able to track how we’re corrupting the atmosphere.

Thus, today, you can view CO2 emissions, thanks to a new Google Earth application developed by Purdue University researchers and funded by NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Purdue Showalter Trust and Indianapolis-based Knauf Insulation.

The interactive CO2 emissions map will mostly confirm what you already know – that it’s getting thick out there, especially in cities like Los Angeles, plagued by higher than average auto emissions, and Houston, afflicted with bad air from industrial processes like oil refining. This is readily apparent because the chart color codes carbon pollution from different sectors, such as aircraft, on road and off road transportation; commercial and industrial sources; electricity production and residential emissions.

California leaders positioned to green U.S. policy

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

For years, California has been a leader of environmental policy — writing it’s own stricter rules for pesticide controls, air pollution and waste disposal as it sees fit, regardless of whether the nation is following along.

In the 1990s, the state pushed the leading edge of a technology that many of us wish had been pursued more aggressively when it hosted a test of modern electric cars, a fairly successful experiment that was regrettably shoved into neutral by U.S. automakers.

We’re not in Kansas — or even Arizona or California — anymore

By Barbara Kessler

If global warming wasn’t so devastatingly tangible, it would sound like part of a doomsday cult. Consider these projections of the future for a swath of the U.S.

First up: Kansas, the American heartland, breadbasket to the world, a place of amber waves of grain…a place we might not recognize by century’s end.

Under projected global warming scenarios, Kansas will become hotter and drier, with more insects and more storms during the next several decades. By century’s end, western Kansas will be so arid, it will need 8 more inches of water to sustain crops there. Eastern Kansas will be wetter, but so warm that evaporation will claim the extra rainfall and southwestern Kansas will be a virtual desert. All this according to a report released last week by University of Kansas scientists Nathaniel Brunsell and Johannes Feddema for the Climate Change and Energy Project based in Salina, Kansas.

But wait, Dorothy, there’s more.