Sunday, 01 April 2012 17:03
By Joe Romano,
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
— Arthur C. Clarke
By the 1920s, the world had become a fanciful, fantastical, futuristic place. Art Deco, in design and architecture, and the technological advances that made our modern cities possible pointed to a bright and prosperous tomorrow. A strange new art form called surrealism challenged art, cinema and human perception to look beyond the mundane. We flew high above the ocean with "Lucky" Lindbergh from New York to Paris, never suspecting the Crash about to come. A "lost generation" of flappers and philosophers danced the Charleston in Prohibition speakeasies, or fantasized at grand movie palaces. In films like 1929s The Mysterious Island, the vehicles were not flying ships, but submarines bound for the ocean's floor, where they found a strange land populated by dragons, giant squid and an eerie humanoid race.
So it made sense that in 1930, a naturalist named William Beebe and an engineer named Otis Barton would engage in a quest to dive deep beneath the sea to view deep-sea creatures in their native habitat for the very first time. Such a modern endeavor would enlist technology, science and art. Barton designed and built the Bathysphere and the means to lower it. Beebe described the fantastical creatures via telephone to a woman at the surface, who took careful notes while an artist drew and painted the creatures. By the time they finished these dangerous oceanic explorations, 30 in all, Beebe and Barton had gone more than half a mile beneath the waves, to a dark, mysterious world of phosphorescent fish, sixty-foot sea serpents and species which had never been seen before, some of which have never been seen since. Said Beebe.
Sunday, 01 April 2012 16:19
By Jonathan Latham
Imagine an international mega-deal. The global organic food industry agrees to support international agribusiness in clearing as much tropical rainforest as they want for farming. In return, agribusiness agrees to farm the now-deforested land using organic methods, and the organic industry encourages its supporters to buy the resulting timber and food under the newly devised "Rainforest Plus" label. There would surely be an international outcry.
Virtually unnoticed, however, even by their own membership, the world's biggest wildlife conservation groups have agreed exactly to such a scenario, only in reverse. Led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), many of the biggest conservation nonprofits including Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy have already agreed to a series of global bargains with international agribusiness. In exchange for vague promises of habitat protection, sustainability and social justice, these conservation groups are offering to greenwash industrial commodity agriculture.
Thursday, 01 March 2012 12:55
By Joe Romano,
I think that in many ways the local elections are even more important than the national elections. It's the mayors and the city councils and county commissioners and the school boards and the legislators that decide how to spend the money they fleece off of us in taxes.
— Jello Biafra
The city of Ithaca recently held its elections and chose a new mayor, but many of our smaller localities will hold elections in this month of March. Village elections for Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Groton and Trumansburg will be decided on March 20, and these elections, though small, perhaps more directly affect the quality of life that people experience in their communities and are more likely to have consequences regarding their homes, schools, property and taxes than do national elections.
GreenStar recognizes how important local is, and is constantly trying to make our part of the world a better place. This month sees the continuation of farmer's market offerings at The Space @ GreenStar, our community shared retail space on Court Street, with the opening of the Community Farmer's Market there.
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By Laura Buttenbaum,
What is a co-op? This seemingly straightforward question can elicit a wide range of responses, from visceral and intrinsic to completely organizational and economic. According to the International Cooperative Association, "A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons unite...