I read an article recently about our species ongoing bid to destroy our natural habitat. In the article (possibly 'The Guardian') it invoked a concept invented by (I think) a cultural critic (whose name escapes me), the general premise being that our slow-motion environmental collapse falls into a class of ideas that are so vast that our minds can't process or focus on it and therefore it tends to disregard it. I'm sure the article gave this concept a name...any ideas?
posted by Rufus T. Firefly
on Apr 23, 2014 -
I'm looking for a relatively fine-grained source of health and environmental data for Contra Costa County, CA. County-by-county is no good, and even city-by-city isn't that great. I'd like to see it by block if possible (zip code would be useful). Anything that fine-grained would be fine: cancer rates, mortality rates, air quality, etc. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet
on Apr 10, 2014 -
I want to learn about climate change and the challenges facing the environment today. Please recommend resources! [more inside]
posted by Hey Judas!
on Apr 7, 2014 -
This is a question about NYC real estate, specifically about a building maintenance issue. After many years of renting, I am in the market for a co-op apartment in the five boroughs of NYC. There is a problem with my current building that I am willing to tolerate as a tenant that would be a complete deal-breaker as an owner
The issue is this: [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 6, 2014 -
We are considering setting up a coworking space in a nearby small town. It would be very helpful to hear from people who have tried working in one. What did you like or dislike? What suggestions do you have? If you haven't worked in one, why not? Does the idea appeal to you or not? [more inside]
posted by ridingtheranges
on Mar 25, 2014 -
I'm in a PhD program pursuing a degree in conservation biology. When I finish (and possibly after completing a postdoc or two) I'd like to end up in a job where I can maximize my real-world conservation impact. I'd like to hear some suggestions on how I can do that; lots more detail to be found inside, as well as my reasoning on the subject so far. [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Mar 18, 2014 -
With all these winter storms here in the Northeast (and Midwest and South), I've been hearing a lot about salt supply issues. Supposedly much of it has to come from Chile...but there are plenty of salt mines in North America, aren't there? What about solar evaporation from the ocean right here? Wouldn't such sources save on the costs and environmental impact of shipping long distances? Are domestic sources just exhausted by demand in the Midwest and parts of the South far from ports?
posted by Seeking Direction
on Mar 2, 2014 -
For a number of reasons, my work environment has become particularly stressful, to the point where it has visibly impacted my well-being. Do I quit, or stay and defend myself? [more inside]
posted by Ashen
on Feb 24, 2014 -
I'm a grad student in conservation biology who has always had a strong interest in conservation issues. However, I feel like the technical side of my education is much stronger than the philosophical side, and I want to restore that balance. Who should I read, what resources should I look into, what organizations or publications are out there that will help me gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical, and cultural components of environmentalism? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Jan 24, 2014 -
Which facility was constructed first, the WVa American Water treatment plant, or the Freedom Industries chemical storage place? In other words, did WVAW "come to the nuisance," or did Freedom choose to build upstream from the water plant? what dates was each facility constructed? (and if Freedom came subsequently to WVAW, did the latter protest at the time?)
posted by mmiddle
on Jan 15, 2014 -
It's taken as a given that reusable nappies and sanitary pads are more environmentally friendly than their disposable equivalents - but are reusable cotton pads/rounds better for the environment? [more inside]
posted by mippy
on Jan 8, 2014 -
Many people I know who aren't global warming skeptics are still planning to procreate. Though I might like to have a kid someday, the thought of their future quality of life strikes me as a potentially decisive ethical objection to it. While I've seen plenty of arguments against procreation that deal with the ethics of creating more consumers, that issue is distinct from the ethics of creating new sufferers. Can you point me to any well-reasoned arguments--whether yours or something you've seen, on either side of the issue--that deal with the ethics of choosing to bring children into a hotter world? [more inside]
posted by Beardman
on Jan 3, 2014 -
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Jan 2, 2014 -
So it's too late for this to matter for the 2013 tax year, but I wanted to ask this while it was fresh in most people's minds: If you give to environment-based charities, what are your favorites? [more inside]
posted by Borborygmus
on Jan 2, 2014 -
I unpack a cardboard box. I cut the tape and flatten the box, and a person with a truck takes it to the recycling center, where it is chopped up and wetted into a paste and made into other boxes. What happens to the tape that held the box together? Is it soaked off before the box is chopped up? Is it a total waste, or is it incorporated into a recycled product? How bad is plastic tape for the environment?
posted by blnkfrnk
on Dec 24, 2013 -
I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Nov 19, 2013 -
Our vanpool just switched to a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a FlexFuel vehicle and we'd like to know when/if it makes sense to use E85 fuel.
We live in Minnesota. Our typical commute is 40 miles at highway speeds.
Environmental concerns will be weighed, but so will economical ones.
posted by advicepig
on Oct 9, 2013 -
One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to
"identify a cause with lots of leverage".
posted by defmute
on Oct 2, 2013 -
Does it make ecological sense to return glass bottles from Switzerland to Belgium for re-use? [more inside]
posted by eurandom
on Aug 7, 2013 -
I'm will be looking for a car soon.
A USED car, as I simply can not afford a new hybrid or anything like that.
I have heard of TDI Jettas being as few efficient as Prius's. I am aware that
diesel is not so awesome environmentally. But I want to know if it evens out.
I'm looking for links to reputable information on the topic.
NOT - opinion of hear say. If you know enough to talk my ear off about it then
you know where to find the information, then do so and send me a well resourced link to back it up. [more inside]
posted by misformiche
on Jul 30, 2013 -
I have a can of old art fixative. Is it better for the environment if I use it or dispose of it? [more inside]
posted by kristi
on Jul 9, 2013 -
We'd like to at least consider cloth diapering twins, mainly for environmental reasons (which, by the way, Is it totally settled that cloth diapering is greener? We live in SoCal so water is more of an issue than in most areas). Has anyone tried it, either with singletons and multiples, and would you recommend it for twins? If so, any specifics on brands/methods/tips would be great.
posted by Anonymousness
on Jul 8, 2013 -
I have £150 spare this month and would like to spend it in a way that benefits the environment (climate change related). I'd love your suggestions about how I can use this money to have the most impact, whether that's donating to a top notch environmental charity or investing it in a green tech (renewables, insulation etc.) company that is doing particularly good work.
posted by jonrob
on Jun 14, 2013 -
Surely when people try to be more "green", some efforts are significant and some are mere rounding error. What are some examples I could use, with an emphasis on the quantifiable and counterintuitive? [more inside]
posted by quarantine
on Apr 30, 2013 -
I think the EnergyStar program could do more good, and may actually be doing harm in its current form. In what ways could I try to impact it? [more inside]
posted by spbmp
on Apr 3, 2013 -
What does it mean for palm oil and soya to be 'organically farmed'? Is it ethical to buy products with organic palm oil in? (I know that in general palm oil is bad news
and I try to avoid it.) [more inside]
posted by daisyk
on Jan 18, 2013 -
Canadian politics question. Screwing the environment and shutting down science - what's in it for Harper? [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb
on Dec 25, 2012 -
Any National Park Service or other closely affiliated agency (BLM, Army Corps of Engineers, etc) able to speak about their experience with said agency? [more inside]
posted by melizabeth
on Dec 13, 2012 -
So, what is the most oil-dependent thing that most people do / western lifestyle choice?
How do we discourage that thing / encourage an alternative? [more inside]
posted by wormwood23
on Nov 12, 2012 -
Some friends of mine live in a brilliant location in downtown DC, and one of them is leaving, giving me an opening to move in. This is far and away the best apartment I've ever had a shot at. Just one possible catch: the building's ground floor is a dry-cleaning business, so I'm concerned about exposure to PERC
. Should I be?
Does DC have any more stringent regulations than those enforced by the EPA? Can I request a test of air quality in the building before I move in (as appears to be available in NYC
posted by phrontist
on Nov 6, 2012 -
I'm looking for stories about hydrofracking. Specifically, for stories about how a drilling company obtains leases and commences operation, and how it manages its relationships with the locals. Ideally I'd like stories from the perspective of neighbors and people in the local community where they have operated, but stories from the drilling company side would be interesting, too. [more inside]
posted by gauche
on Sep 13, 2012 -
I have an ongoing (friendly) disagreement with a guy I know. He drives a Toyota Prius because it's "better for the environment" than buying, say, a new Subaru Outback. Fine. I get that. But my argument is that it would be even better
for the environment if he were to buy a used
Subaru Outbook. I've never run the numbers, but it seems to me that if you were to buy the most gas-guzzling of used cars, the fact that you're not causing a new vehicle to be produced would make up for the lack of fuel efficiency. Can you help support my position? Or, alternatively, give me solid numbers as to why I'm wrong? Are there websites that have run analyses on this sort of thing already?
posted by jdroth
on Aug 10, 2012 -
Should I take the flyer/free newspaper offered to me in the street? I am torn between helping the guy get home sooner, and not supporting an environmentally harmful practice.
posted by Dragonness
on Aug 8, 2012 -
In 2009, 91.2%
of Seattle's electricity was from hydroelectric sources, and in 2010, 87.9%
was hydro. Is the hydro capacity maxed out, or will it scale up to meet additional demand and maintain that ratio? Here's what I'm getting at: If I were to use more electricity than now, will that incremental power effectively come from non-renewable sources rather than ~90% hydro?
posted by hodgebodge
on Jun 6, 2012 -
At present, what is the most environmentally friendly way to deal with a human body after they die? [more inside]
posted by raztaj
on May 31, 2012 -
What are some examples in fantastic and speculative fiction of characters struggling to survive in a beautiful but alien and dangerous natural environment? All media acceptable. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees
on May 11, 2012 -
I'm highly skeptical of a lot of brands that trumpet their environmental friendliness. I know "greenwashing
" is rampant. What are some green brands/products that walk the walk? [more inside]
posted by malhouse
on Mar 29, 2012 -
What to do with 30-50 trees' worth of large branches in Orange County, NC? Burn, shred, give away for bird thicket, other ideas? [more inside]
posted by amtho
on Mar 16, 2012 -
Asking for a friend: Any recommendations on books about social or environmental justice for a high school junior? [more inside]
posted by snowysoul
on Mar 15, 2012 -
I can recall a text-book case of introducing a species (deer) into a new environment, where a lack of natural predators caused a population boom, followed by local extinction. I remember most of the details but I can't find the actual cite. Please help! [more inside]
posted by ianso
on Jan 20, 2012 -
What are other clothing manufacturers with clearly stated ethics? I'm thinking of Patagonia as an example. Who else? [more inside]
posted by tylerkaraszewski
on Jan 6, 2012 -