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  • El cisne negro. Nueva edición ampliada y revisada - Nassim Nicholas Taleb December 18, 2017
    ¿Qué es un cisne negro? Para empezar, es un suceso improbable, sus consecuencias son importantes y todas las explicaciones que se puedan ofrecer a posteriori no tienen en cuenta el azar y sólo buscan encajar lo imprevisible en un modelo perfecto. El éxito de Google y You Tube, y hasta ell 11-S, son “cisnes negros”. Para Nassim Nicholas Taleb, los cisnes negr […]
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  • Astrophysics For People In A Hurry By Neil deGrasse Tyson (Book Summary) - PDF Summaries December 18, 2017
    Get The Book That Gives Everyone, Of All Ages, A Summary Of The Book By Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is a summary of the best selling book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. It is intended to be a condensed summary of this New York Times Best Seller. However, that book is over 200 pages. It is definitely not considered as a quick read. But here you will find t […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking December 18, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • Física General Esencial - Agustín Vázquez Sánchez December 18, 2017
    La nueva edición del ebook contiene ahora ocho temas completos de física y una sección de prácticas para realizar en casa. Se han corregido errores y agregado más ejemplos y ejercicios además de recursos multimedia en todos los capítulos.  Los ejemplos resueltos se presentan paso a paso a través de una solución algebraica con lo cual se evitan errores n […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku December 18, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • Tricks Any Dog Can Do! - Susan Day December 18, 2017
    This great book comes with advice and guidance as to the best way to teach these tricks. It offers more than one method which the reader can choose depending upon their own situation. There is also advice to using treats and shows you how to not end up with a treat junkie! This books is from the desk of Susan Day, a canine behaviourist. Susan teaches obedien […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach December 18, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • EnCambio - Estanislao Bachrach December 18, 2017
    EnCambio te va a permitir alumbrar los procesos por los cuales te comportás de determinada manera con el fin de dejar atrás aquellos hábitos y conductas que ya no te sirven. El objetivo es que aprendas del potencial que tiene tu cerebro para cambiar y la capacidad que tenés vos para modificarlo. Este año cambio de trabajo, empiezo el gimnasio, bajo esos kili […]
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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking December 18, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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  • Este libro le hará más inteligente - John Brockman December 18, 2017
    En estas páginas se dan cita autores y textos de Daniel Kahneman , Richard Dawkins , Martin Seligman , Nicholas Carr , Steven Pinker , Daniel C. Dennett , Daniel Goleman y V. S. Ramachandran , entre otros. Sus respuestas a los retos más desafiantes de la ciencia se sitúan en los límites de la psicología, la filosofía, la economía, la física y la sociología, […]
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Tempers Flare Over Removal of Confederate Statues in New Orleans

Such are the irreconcilable parameters of an ugly battle over race and history in New Orleans that seems to only be growing uglier, one that demonstrates the Confederacy’s enduring power to divide Americans more than 150 years after the cause was lost.PhotoProtesters shouted at supporters of keeping Confederate monuments on display at Lee Circle in New Orleans on Sunday.Credit Bryan Tarnowski for The New York Times“I can’t believe this is happening in my city,” said Charles Washmon, a 51-year-old contractor who was standing near a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, on Thursday. Mr. Washmon, who is white, was part of a group of protesters waving Confederate flags who had been attracting both honks of support and invectives from passing cars all afternoon. Like Mr. Stewart, he feared that removing the statues would deprive a history-laden city of a crucial layer of its past. “It’s a travesty,” Mr. Washmon said.In December 2015, Mr. Landrieu, a Democrat who will leave office next year because of term limits, signed an ordinance calling for the removal of four monuments related to the Confederacy and its aftermath. […]

The Times Interviews Obama on Climate Change

By A.J. CHAVAR | Sep. 2, 2016 | 2:36President Obama spoke to Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times about climate change and conservation during a trip to Midway Atoll to expand a protected national monument to create the world’s largest marine preserve.Related: article: Obama Visits Midway, Highlighting Monument and Commitment to Environment […]

How a talented architect keeps refining the tiny house until he gets it right

It is so fascinating, watching the development of the Escape Series. […]

Jerry Brown and California Move To Halve Oil Use (As Foreshadowed in 2001)

California showed up big at last month’s UN climate summit in Paris, presenting a model for how one of the world’s biggest economies can shift rapidly to renewable power and conservation, sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions while growing an advanced industrial system. Governor Jerry Brown also led the organization of a new consortium of subnational governments in Paris representing more than a quarter of global economic output pledging to cut greenhouse gases enough to avert a disastrous future. And a few days ago the Golden State took another big step forward on climate and alternative energy policy, moving aggressively to cut dependence on fossil fuels in transportation. Strikingly, much of what has occurred and is occurring was prefigured in a Q&A I did with then former Governor and Oakland Mayor Brown 15 years ago for the LA Weekly. As you’ll see below, he discussed then the need to take advantage of what was at the time the state’s severe electric power crisis to move forward on future-oriented energy and climate policies. “We can stick with fossil fuels and fuel the future crisis or use this as an opportunity to bring many more renewables online.” Governor Jerry Brown, 2001 If at first you don’t succeed … Brown is back with his plan to cut petroleum use in California in half by 2030, despite its legislative defeat last year by a faction of pro-oil Assembly Democrats heavily influenced by a big money industry campaign. He’s using the budget process to do it, an approach that will be much harder for so-called “moderate” Democrats in league with the oil industry to stop than last year’s perhaps ill-advised and unnecessary stand-alone legislation. That assumes, of course, that they would even want to try now, with their leader, now former Assemblyman Henry Perea, having just resigned his seat to become a corporate lobbyist and the group’s big money ties to the oil and tobacco industries now well exposed and understood. Brown introduced another mostly well-reviewed California state budget on Thursday. It’s an interesting if hardly unexpected proposal, continuing his now trademark approach of eschewing lots of big new ongoing programs even amidst big budget surpluses while looking to discrete future-oriented expenditures, rainy day contingencies and debt reduction, and, with Brown’s State of the State address coming up later this month, I’ll discuss it as we go. A new state budget won’t be enacted till the middle of the year. For now, Brown’s plan to spend over $1 billion — part of the annual proceeds from the state’s very well-functioning carbon cap and trade market — to get California closer to his goal of a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030 is the focus here. Brown all but said “I’ll be back” when the bill encapsulating this goal from his landmark 4th Inaugural Address went down last September. It was a notable setback, especially in its rarity with regard to climate issues, and may well have been as unnecessary as it was shining, as I discussed in this piece. Signals may have been crossed between Brown and legislative leaders, who moved forward with legislation to do some things the governor called for in his sweeping inaugural address that may well not have required specific legislation, given implicit executive authority and powers over the budget. Matters were further complicated by a shift in the Assembly leadership, leaving something of a power vacuum in that house. And the oil industry complicated matters by getting the drop on Brown from a PR and string-pulling standpoint, funding a massive and massively deceptive advertising campaign against his design to cut oil use, falsely claiming that driving would be rationed in California. As it happens, Brown foreshadowed his present aggressive course long ago, including in this conversational question-and-answer session I did with him for the LA Weekly 15 years ago, in February 2001, as California’s electric power crisis mounted as a result of merchant power companies manipulating a deregulation scheme instituted by former Republican Governor Pete Wilson. I set the context for the discussion with an introductory paragraph, then launched into what turned out to be an intriguingly prescient conversation with Brown. However vexing California’s current energy crisis may seem, it would be immeasurably worse but for the governorship of Jerry Brown. During his two terms as governor (1975-83), Brown initiated what were then viewed as radical innovations in energy policy, shifting state priorities away from nuclear energy toward environment-friendly sources and an emphasis on conservation. Two decades later, California remains one of the most energy-efficient states in the nation. Brown is currently mayor of Oakland, where he is developing a municipal energy policy for the current crunch, and watching the administration of Gray Davis, his onetime chief of staff, attempt to craft a policy for the state. Brown spoke about the opportunities and pitfalls that California faced a quarter-century ago — and that it faces again today. BRADLEY: When you became governor in 1975, the growth rate in electric-power demand in California was around 7 percent. You decided that level of consumption and waste really wasn’t necessary. What steps did you take and why? JERRY BROWN: It wasn’t just me. It was a confluence of events and people; I tried to play the role of a catalyst. It was an earlier time of energy crisis; the economy had slowed down. There was a new California Energy Commission built into the process. Its job was to look at the overall. The Public Utilities Commission took the more traditional approach. There was my energy adviser, the late Wilson Clark, a brilliant man. There was Sim van der Ryn, whom I made state architect and head of a new Office of Appropriate Technology. I had Amory Lovins debate Herman Kahn in the Governor’s Office. Lovins said the 7 percent growth rate was wrong. We set out to prove him right. We felt we could get it down around 2 percent, even with a growing population. And we did, pushing energy efficiency, giving tax credits for solar and conservation, stimulating new industries like wind power. BRADLEY: You spoke then of an “Era of Limits.” JERRY BROWN: In 1976, when I ran in the late presidential primaries. We seem to be running up against some limits again. BRADLEY: So it appears. JERRY BROWN: With the efficiency emphasis and putting renewables into the mix that we started, California is the fourth lowest per capita user of energy of all the states. It could be much worse. BRADLEY: How many nuclear-power plants did the utilities want to build in California? JERRY BROWN: There were a lot of crazy numbers flying around. [California Attorney General and 1978 Republican gubernatorial candidate] Evelle Younger was close to the industry. He and Edward Teller ran around together in 1978 saying we needed 40 nuclear plants. BRADLEY: Imagine all the “stranded costs” for the utilities that would have come from that. JERRY BROWN: It would have dwarfed the bailout of 1996. It could have been hundreds of billions. When I was governor, the president of one of the utilities told me — after a fund-raising dinner and drinks — that he hoped his company’s nuclear-power plant wouldn’t go critical on his watch. He laughed, and I shivered. BRADLEY: Your energy strategy was derided by some as “wood chips and windmills.” JERRY BROWN: It was. The “wood chips” business, that came from the Diamond Walnut project, burning walnut shells to boil water and make electricity. There are a lot of ways to do that. Burning “wood chips,” natural gas, cogeneration, geothermal, methane, oil, firing off nuclear reactions, which is kind of overkill if you think about it. Windmills: When I left office, California was the world leader in wind energy. We produced 92 percent of it. Since then, California has stalled out. Germany has taken the lead, with three times as much wind power now. With natural gas where it is, wind power is very attractive. And we can bring fuel cells and photovoltaics into the mix. We can use the Internet to bring in real-time pricing and resume the march to more efficiency. BRADLEY: You said a while ago of the deregulation scheme, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” JERRY BROWN: They came up with a Rube Goldberg scheme. The spot market has been a disaster. BRADLEY: Now in Oakland you’re taking some immediate steps. JERRY BROWN: Sixty percent of city facilities are already pretty energy-efficient. We’re going to retrofit lighting, improve heating and power distribution systems in city buildings, and modify ventilation fans at the city jail. We’re cutting off decorative lights and fountains. We’re looking for green power sources, and we may put solar panels on the roofs of some city facilities. BRADLEY: Are you thinking of setting up a city utility in Oakland? JERRY HBROWN: That’s very expensive. BRADLEY: You did mention something about a power plant around the time of your State of the City address. JERRY BROWN: We might do that. But I want to see how things play out at the state level. That’s where we can turn this problem into a great opportunity. BRADLEY: How do you feel your former chief of staff, Gray Davis, is doing? JERRY BROWN: He’s in a difficult spot. He was slow off the mark, but he’s very intelligent and capable. This thing hit a lot of people by surprise. BRADLEY: Do you think consumer rates are artificially low, or do you think that wholesale electric prices are being artificially jacked up? JERRY BROWN: The real supply problem is in the summer, when peak demand is much higher, not the winter. The consumer rates are artificially low for the market, by definition. When supply is controlled by a small group that isn’t regulated, it’s hard to make things work without raising rates. BRADLEY: They want it to work without any increase in rates. JERRY BROWN: Sure. Howard Hughes wanted the Spruce Goose to fly. Part of the short-term crisis may be taken care of by the recession. That was the pattern in the ’70s. With a coming recession, you get a decline in energy usage. Economic crisis, like an energy crisis, provides opportunity for a new direction. BRADLEY: What should we do about the utilities and their financial situation? JERRY BROWN: Their holding companies are sure sound. We need to sort through their real finances. It’s very complicated. Bankruptcies would hurt a lot of people. Retirees. The state pension funds have big holdings. And we might not have much claim over their assets. We might lose even more control over our energy future if they went into bankruptcy. BRADLEY: In your experience, how long do you think we have in terms of new approaches on energy before people get complacent again? JERRY BROWN: Who says people can get complacent again? We got away from [a policy of transforming our energy base to renewable sources] with Reagan and Bush and Deukmejian and Wilson. They ended up liking a lot of the energy efficiency, but dismantled a lot of the renewables. They’re fossil-fuel guys. They took our higher efficiency for granted and failed to plan for the future. This is a problem that is going to continue, because half the power plants in the state are 30 years old. Most of the living Nobel science laureates proclaimed in their 1992 “Warning to Humanity” that the real dangers are insufficient food, deforestation, species loss and climate change which could trigger “unpredictable collapses of critical biological systems whose interactions and dynamics we only imperfectly understand.” We can stick with fossil fuels and fuel the future crisis or use this as an opportunity to bring many more renewables online. BRADLEY: Do you feel the state power authority is a good way to go? JERRY BROWN: It could be. We have to be careful about centralizing power in opposing the centralization of power. It requires a lot of thought to make sure that government doesn’t merely replicate the same old patterns. It could be a good part of the mix, though people are suspicious of state government running even part of the show. BRADLEY: But municipal utilities are doing well, mostly sailing through the crisis. JERRY BROWN: They are. We would be in much worse shape without them. The discussion reveals Brown’s view of the 2001 California electric power crisis as opportunity to resume moving forward on the renewable energy and conservation path he’d set California upon during his first go-round as governor in the ’70s and ’80s. It also reveals his anticipation of further crises to come providing ongoing opportunity for innovation, as well as his pragmatic preference to use governmental influence on existing private infrastructure rather than new governmental agencies per se. Within a year-and-a-half of this conversation, Brown’s independent-minded former chief of staff, then Governor Gray Davis, had again placed California on the green energy path, launching the biggest renewable energy requirement in the nation and signing the nation’s biggest climate legislation severely cutting tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then making Terminator 3 — whom I knew was, contrary to widespread expectations, a would-be champion of the green energy path — told me that if he became governor of California he would actually accelerate Davis’s efforts on renewables, conservation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Within a few years, then himself the governor of California, Schwarzenegger proved as good as his word. Schwarzenegger and Davis built greatly on Brown’s pathfinding legacy. Now Brown is building greatly on theirs. His new initiative to further his goal of a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030 uses the budget process to put $400 million into new rail programs, $100 million into new pedestrian and cycling programs, $25 million into biofuels, and $500 million into the Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Transportation Program for new vehicles. Brown is very persistent. He will get where he is going on cutting oil use in California, building on already existing state and federal programs. As you see, it’s something that has been on his mind for a very long time. Facebook comments are closed on this article. William Bradley Archive — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

UN Climate Summit’s Scattered Approach Points Up Importance of California and Jerry Brown

There is some very good news and some very bad news about the current United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. The good news is two-fold: First, that it is even happening at all in the wake of last month’s shocking Friday the 13th jihadist terror attacks on the City of Light, so called for its early electrification and leading role in the Enlightenment that fundamentalist religionists despise. Second, that there will at last be a new global summit climate accord, in stark contrast to the depressing bust that was the UN climate summit of Copenhagen six years ago. The bad news is that the Paris accord will almost certainly be wholly insufficient to deal with the slowly unfolding planetary crisis. The pending accord looks to be very lacking both in terms of its impact if fully implemented and in terms of any binding nature to ensure its aims are met. The further rise in aggregate planetary temperatures must be contained to 2 degrees Celsius or less to try to avert potentially ruinous results. But the targets in play for greenhouse gas reduction — a rather sloppy looking collection of measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions that have an alarming feel of ad hoc-ism to them — will reportedly result in a rise of 2.7 to 3.5 degrees Celsius. Last week, before heading to Paris for the UN Climate Summit, Governor Jerry Brown, noting that “We live in ominous times,” said that much of what we do doesn’t really matter. But dealing with the existential crisis of climate change does. And the actual implementation is largely voluntary. That’s especially so with regard to the US, where Barack Obama’s national progress is being made principally as a result of presidential executive order, thanks to what Governor Jerry Brown calls the “troglodyte” nature of the Republican Party with regard to climate and energy issues. Most overall legislation is impossible due to the once Grand Old Party, the most reactionary major party in the advanced industrial world, which will neither ratify a treaty nor vote to adopt needed cutbacks as it grimly follows the fossil fuel industry agenda. So the Paris summit is not so much a culmination as it is a very belated if somewhat promising sign of some progress, a set of signposts along the way to keeping the planet fit for human habitation that will have to be continually upgraded. That’s why what Brown — who called for a doctrine of “Planetary Realism” in his first presidential campaign nearly 40 years ago — and the host of Californians making the scene in Paris are doing is very important. As more than 180 nations seemingly at least offer some promise of greenhouse gas reductions and adoption of renewable energy, new vehicles, and energy efficiency measures, the far less than definitive result of Paris will give rise to an oddly rolling advance on the issue, hopefully moving forward in time toward goals that must be reached. In this regard, Brown’s extraordinary efforts positioning California, one of the most advanced industrial economies in the world as its seventh or eighth, depending on the source, largest, as a well-functioning model for the rest of the world are critical. And so is the movement that Brown began spearheading earlier this year, the so-called “Under 2 MOU” drive. The phrase refers to memoranda of understanding signed by subnational governments around the world to keep their share of greenhouse gas emissions below the 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) rise after which much worse climate changes occur. All signatories agree to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent, or limit to 2 metric tons CO2-equivalent per capita, by 2050. Brown, who has a very extensive speaking and negotiating schedule in Paris, was delayed in arriving by the jihadist attack on San Bernardino, which he explored for himself on site before the Federal Bureau of Investigation took over a case with clear global linkages and implications. Over the weekend, in an event at the Paris residence of the US ambassador, Brown presided over a set of new signatories to the Under 2 MOU which expanded its scope to nearly a quarter of the world economy in aggregate. He intends to go beyond that by the end of the week. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared with Brown in Paris as the two governors touted the positive effects for California’s massive economy from renewable energy and climate change efforts. Brown, of course, is building on major steps taken by his predecessors, Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, as I’ve discussed before. Schwarzenegger, who enacted the overarching climate change package in 2006, has his own schedule in Paris, where, reports say, at a California delegation luncheon he jokingly referred to Brown and himself as “one mind in two bodies.” But it was Brown, as I forecast a year ago, who delivered tremendously on the promise of his record 4th Inaugural Address by proposing and enacting a 50 percent renewable energy requirement for California’s electric power by 2030, a doubling of already nation-leading energy efficiency requirements, and more reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Only his bid to cut oil use in half by 2030 came up short, victim of a new alliance between the oil industry and some Assembly Democrats. But the night, as the saying goes, is still young. In reality, Brown is ramping up the ramped up efforts of Schwarzenegger and Davis which in turn had their early beginnings in the renewable energy and conservation programs of his first go-round as governor. I well remember Brown at a gathering of renewable energy advocates inside the administration — SolarCal, the Energy Commission, Office of Appropriate Technology and so on — in December 1982 at the stunning seaside Asilomar conference center in Northern California. Brown’s ongoing commitment was clear, even if his career path as he prepared to leave the governorship was not. In June 1992, the morning after his last presidential primary, Brown woke me up (we were both staying at his sister Kathleen’s home in the Hollywood Hills) to discuss his next steps. He was the runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination behind eventual President Bill Clinton. What engaged Brown most was the upcoming first ever UN-sponsored Earth Summit in Rio, where climate change would first figure prominently on the world political stage. In February 2001, with his former chief of staff Gray Davis embroiled in an electric power crisis spun up by power companies manipulating a very unwise deregulation scheme, we did an intriguing Q&A for the LA Weekly (more to follow on that) on how the crisis contained seeds of opportunity to move anew on renewables and climate change in its aftermath. Which Governor Davis did the following year. Crises change, but the opportunity for leadership not only remains but increases. Facebook comments are closed on this article. William Bradley Archive — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Saving Elephants One Kid at a Time

Children’s voices can be extremely powerful–a fact readily apparent on a recent Sunday when more than 325 people–most of them children–participated in Vermont’s first kid-driven Global March for Elephants. The event was initiated by 12-year-old Taegen Yardley, who organized a network of student “champions” at more than a dozen elementary and middle schools across the state. These youngsters spread the word about the march to their classmates, teachers, and parents–and in the process creating a groundswell of interest in the plight of elephants. “I’d heard about it before, so I gladly helped,” said Siri Beck, an eighth-grader at Edmunds Middle School, the largest in the state. Beck garnered support from her fellow student council members and prepared a broadcast about elephants and the march for morning announcements. At Stowe Elementary School, ten-year-old fifth-grader Abrie Howe educated teachers, classmates, and parents about the impact of the illegal ivory trade when she spoke at an all-school assembly in front of 400 people. Howe researched and wrote her presentation and then elicited support from her friend, Ellie Zimmerman, who stood by her side and held up a poster during her speech. Howe also hung posters around the school and convinced the front office to hand out elephant-related pins, bookmarks, and stickers. “So many kids were involved on different levels,” said Kristin Yardley, Taegen’s mother. Origins of Activism Yardley first learned about elephant poaching in 2012 from National Geographic magazine’s cover story on Blood Ivory. Inspired, she and her friends held a bake sale to raise money for orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. This spring when Vermont’s legislature started considering a bill (H.297) to ban ivory sales in the state, she and her classmates at Endeavour Middle School wrote letters of support. And when the state’s House Committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources held its first hearing, in April, Yardley testified–supported by her entire school student body in the audience to cheer her on. In May, she and Lena Ashooh, a member of Shelburne Community School’s environment club, led a group of ten Vermont students from three different schools in a conversation via Skype with ten students from Hong Kong’s Clearwater Bay School. The 12-hour time difference didn’t bother the 20 students as they eagerly shared experiences. The Hong Kong students explained how they’d marched in front of key ivory retailers as part of the 2013 and 2014 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos to protest domestic ivory sales. Not long after the protests, shops agreed to stop selling ivory. Bolstered by that success, the Vermont kids agreed to plan a similar march for elephants in Burlington, the state’s largest city. They thought it would be a good next step to educate people and build support for passage of the state bill. Advocacy Through Art The kids formed a committee and brainstormed ways to involve more kids. Their first idea was a t-shirt painting event, which they organized with the support of Teresa Davis, owner of the local Davis Studio, which teaches art classes for all ages. The response was so overwhelming that Davis added a second workshop. To help spread the message of the need to stop the ivory trade, more than 50 kids and their parents created a diverse rainbow of t-shirts designs. “They may not be fuzzy but on the inside elephants have the biggest heart,” said Burlington sixth-grader Olivia Mahon, who painted one of the shirts. “Sometimes the biggest animals are the weakest, so we need to help them as much as we can.” Tusk-making Parties The students also decided to make tusks to carry at the march. Their goal was 192 tusks–or 96 pairs–to symbolize the number of elephants killed each day. Yardley and Davis experimented and finally settled on shaping swimming pool noodles with wire and duct tape and then covering them with plaster. While this was the fastest and easiest design, it still took a minimum of 10 minutes per tusk. That meant they needed a lot of kid-power–at least 32 hours’ worth–to reach their goal. In the first tusk-making party, ten kids learned the process. The result: 51 tusks–and a lot of enthusiasm. Family, friends, and other schools completed the job with tusk-making parties of their own. Kid-driven March All of these efforts came together on October 4 as hundreds of children and adults gathered near City Hall in Burlington to share their passion for elephants and demand an end to the ivory trade. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy supported the students and was pleased to see such an outpouring of energy and support. One of bill H.297’s sponsors, Republican state representative Kurt Wright, implored the group to also gather in Montpelier, the state’s capital, so that other legislators could see the scale of support. And the mound of fake tusks, which participants silently laid after walking the city’s streets, made a powerful and moving memorial to elephants. Children are often told that, when they grow up, they can make an impact on the world around them. Some aren’t waiting that long. This article first appeared on National Geographic’s A Voice for Elephants blog. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Plastic in your fish: Synthetic clothing fibers found in 25% of fish from San Francisco market

This discovery certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth. […]