Zoos send each other real-live pandas the same way anyone would send a stuffed one to their favorite niece or nephew -- by FedEx. Two pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, are on a plane today from China to Canada, where they're supposed to live (and mate) at the Toronto Zoo. Fast Company reports:
Shipping giant pandas is actually old hat for [FedEx managing director David] Lange by now. FedEx has already engaged in six such shipments over the years; Lange himself has coordinated four of them. “I guess the first one or two, you get to really marvel at it. After a while, you get used to it,” he says. “It’s never dull, that’s for sure.”
When asked to recall some of the species he’s helped ship, he’s harder pressed to come up with species he hasn’t. Tigers, gorillas, eagles, penguins, lions, rhinos, even beluga whales have all found their way through the gaping maw of a FedEx plane's cargo hold.
We already know that the Weather Channel CEO actually believes in climate change, and now he's putting his programming where his mouth is, with a new series that will take a look at the ways that scientists and others are tackling the planet's little weather problem. Each week, the show's host visits researchers who are coming up with creative, and in some cases cray-cray, solutions to rescue us hapless citizens from the havoc we're wreaking on our world.
Over the weekend, a Swedish guy came across a seal pup wandering around all by his lonesome. This actually isn't souncommon in Sweden. What was strange about this encounter was where it happened: deep in the forest, about four miles away from any open body of water.
This person was rather confused, so he called the police. The police were rather confused, so they called hunter Robert Sandefors. Sandefors came to the rescue, like any good and noble hunter would do. The AFP reports:
Sandefors at first though that perhaps the seal had been caught and then dropped by an eagle a long distance from its natural habitat.
"But there were no signs of injury on the seal. It was completely unharmed," he said.
Obviously YOU don't drink water from plastic bottles, unless you're somewhere where the water isn't safe, or you're at the gym and you forgot your Klean Kanteen, or you're super thirsty and desperate. But lots of people do produce plastic bottle waste. And sure, you could spend the energy to recycle them into other bottles, OR you could make them into badass flame-powered DIY rockets. (And you can still recycle them into other bottles afterwards!)
Tech optimists' crush of the decade is surely 3D printing. It has been heralded as disruptive, democratizing, and revolutionary for its non-discriminatory ability to make almost anything: dresses, guns, even houses. The process -- also known as "additive manufacturing" -- is still expensive and slow, confined to boutique objets d'art or lab-driven medical prototyping. But scaled up, and put in the hands of ordinary consumers via plummeting prices, 3D printing has the potential to slash energy and material costs. Climate Desk asks: Can 3D printing be deployed in the ongoing battle against climate change?
This story was produced as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
I defer to your sage advice in many matters and often wonder at the minutiae laid at your feet. How silly to agonize over bra stuffing when climate change is poised to make my home here in Florida the next Atlantis. However, here I am, agonizing over the small: I love insects. They are resilient, organized, fascinating, beautiful -- and I want to wear them. I've been looking at stunning butterfly wing jewelry and I just have to have it. But I don't wear fur or feathers on the grounds that the creatures may have been treated badly. Is it hypocritical to not extend this ethic to insects? Or by showcasing the beauty of bugs can I help others see their value and importance?
A. Dearest Anastasia,
In one sense, you’re absolutely right that it’s silly to fret over the little things. But it’s also a bit comforting, isn’t it? One can lose plenty of sleep over climate change, but the problem remains unsolved the next day. Put enough energy into your butterfly-wing dilemma, though, or any of a thousand other tiny problems, and sooner or later you will decide upon a course of action you can feel good about. Sometimes it’s nice to feel that we have some control in our lives, that we can solve problems and change habits and make the tiniest ripple in the world. It’s just the over-fretting we need to be careful about. We mustn’t tie ourselves in knots.
As for the insect-ethics question, I am very interested to know what your fellow readers think. You probably know that many vegans avoid insect-originating products such as silk and honey. But how far should this careful consideration extend? I have used high-falutin’ technology to create a poll:
Merrigan is best known for her local foods initiative called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, which brought all of the agency’s efforts to improve regional and local food systems under one conceptual roof. It was a modest program in terms of budget -- its funding was measured in mere millions while agribusiness reaped tens of billions in subsidies -- but it was the first effort of its kind at an agency long known for its support of large commodity growers. (And small as it was, it was revolutionary enough to draw the ire of Republicans.)
Merrigan is also credited with preserving strong standards for the Organic label, championing a national farm-to-school program, funding hoop houses to allow farmers to grow later into the season, and acting as a key player in the effort to improve the foods sold in school vending machines. Jerry Hagstrom has a good wrap-up in National Journal.
It comes as no surprise to those of us who live here in the Valley of the Sun that it’s hot and that it is likely to get hotter. In Phoenix, more than any other American city I know, we debate our future constantly. Maybe that’s because we fully realize that Phoenix is built in a place with geographical challenges. In fact, every system that supports this city was built in recognition of those challenges. Balmier places have taken for granted that their hospitable climate will continue into the future, so a place like Atlanta is greatly challenged when rainfall decreases by 15 or 20 percent. Phoenix, on the other hand, depends virtually not at all on rainfall occurring within its geographic proximity.
Let’s look at deBuys’ criticisms of Phoenix and its future: