It’s been over four decades since Greenland lost an ice chunk like the one “born” last week. The ice island – four times the size of Manhattan – calved off of northern Greenland’s Petermann glacier on August 5th. At its thickest parts, the ice island is half the height (excuse all the NYC-centric comparisons) of the Empire State building. A loss at that scale hasn’t occurred since 1962. One immediate danger is that the glacial rupture will pave the way for currents to strengthen in the area, leading to increased rupture rates: a vicious cycle.

Keep reading Show less

Bzzz. Bzzzzzzzz. Bz.

Keep reading Show less

Pertinent news for anyone who uses soap, shampoo, perfume, sunscreen, lip balm, moisturizer, etc etc etc: last Wednesday, Congress introduced a bill that would give the FDA the power to protect your hide from companies that use toxic chemicals in your personal care products. It’s called the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (HR 5786 – check it out on Thomas), and it could turn out to be a desperately needed game-changer in the bath and body aisle.

Keep reading Show less

A friend of mine, who works in the sustainable food industry, was alarmed by my recent post on overfishing. Not alarmed to learn about the demise of marine ecosystems (she already knows all that), but alarmed by my lugubrious tone. What I’d intended to accomplish with the post was to add my voice to the cacophony of people talking, shouting, and debating the extent to which we’ve overfished the seas, and what we can do about it. What I’d actually done, she worried, was make the whole scenario seem overwhelmingly gloomy and doomy. Not – I agree with her here – the greatest catalyst for change.

Keep reading Show less