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Articles by Maywa Montenegro

Maywa Montenegro is an editor and writer at Seed magazine, focusing mainly on ecology, bidiversity, agriculture, and sustainable development.

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  • Interactive poster from German designer

    German designer Timm Kekeritz took the "virtual water" data that Sarah posted about from and created this cool interactive poster. We featured Timm's work in the February issue of Seed (not online, but Treehugger wrote about it), which prompted me to order a giant paper version of the double-sided poster. With one side devoted to "footprints of nations" and the other side showing the water "inside" products, this enormous and graphically riveting wall-hanging makes a very cool, if intimidating, addition to any interior décor.

  • Most Americans don’t believe global warming will pose a threat to them

    A new series of Pew polls shows public concern for climate change is out of sync with the science:

    Gallup Poll results

  • Growing your own food is fine, but governmental action is needed, and soon

    I like Michael Pollan -- really, I do -- which is why it was frustrating to see his wilted-salad-green entreaty to act on climate change in yesterday's paper:

    The climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle -- of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences.

    For us to wait for legislation or technology to solve the problem of how we're living our lives suggests we're not really serious about changing -- something our politicians cannot fail to notice. They will not move until we do. Indeed, to look to leaders and experts, to laws and money and grand schemes, to save us from our predicament represents precisely the sort of thinking -- passive, delegated, dependent for solutions on specialists -- that helped get us into this mess in the first place. It's hard to believe that the same sort of thinking could now get us out of it.

    Pollan's grand solution? Plant a vegetable garden!

  • A toxic tour, coming to a city near you

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act -- better known as the Superfund -- was born in 1980, largely in response to the Love Canal disaster. At the time, experts thought the allocated $1.6 billion would more than cover the costs of cleaning up the sites. But today, the fund is exhausted (it officially went broke in 2003), and as of September 2007, there are 1,315 final and proposed sites with thousands more awaiting approval. So it is taxpayers, instead of the polluting companies, that are footing the bill. Still, few people -- except, perhaps, those who live near a Superfund site -- know about this toxic legacy.

    Artist Brooke Singer has decided to make it relevant again. Last year, she and her team began visiting one toxic site per day, starting at a chemical plant in New Jersey, then jumping over to some zinc piles in Pennsylvania, then some landfills in Connecticut. They have cataloged all the toxics data, plus photos and histories, all on a cool visualization application called Superfund365. Visitors to the website are encouraged to contribute their own stories and images as well.

    The tour will wrap up next year at the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex in Hawaii. Hopefully by that time, thanks to Singer and co., Americans will be more aware of the problem ... and of the people who live with it daily.