Happy Halloween! Here are this week’s headlines. In honor of the holiday, we have an article about horror films that convey a message of sustainability and environmentalism, methane seeps accelerating global warming, vertical farms, hurricane Sandy and global warming, how America’s corn market is operating upside down, and finally, axolotls.
Barry Levinson Makes Eco-Horror – “The idea behind “The Bay” began after Mr. Levinson was asked to direct a documentary about environmental crises facing Chesapeake Bay. After watching a 2009 “Frontline” broadcast on the topic he opted instead for a graphic fictional treatment. “I don’t know that we pay attention to facts anymore,” he said over lunch in New York recently… “We have to breathe the air and drink water,” he continued. “If you take one of those common elements, or put something into those elements, and make it the enemy, it becomes terrifying.”
Climate Changing Methane Rapidly Destabilizing off East Coast – A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported Wednesday. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts.
Sandy Storm Surge, is This What Climate Change Looks Like – Excellent graphics.
Vertical Farm in Singapore Produces a Ton of Food a Day – “The vertical farm, which has been developed by Sky Green Farms, consists of 120 aluminum towers, each extending up almost 30 feet in height. It can produce over 1,000 pounds of three kinds of vegetables per day, all of which are sold in the local FairPrice Finest supermarkets. However, they do cost a little more than imported vegetables.”
Corn Mazes Help Cash Strapped Farmers – “All across the country, small farmers have figured out the same formula. The hundreds of corn mazes that rise up each autumn can be more lucrative than agriculture itself.”
US Corn Moves Upside Down – “Processors and ethanol producers in No. 2 corn state Illinois, where the average corn yield was the lowest in nearly 25 years, are “importing” millions of bushels of the grain – an unprecedented volume – from North Dakota, which produced a record crop this year, trade sources said. Northern corn is even reaching key livestock states such as Texas and Oklahoma.”
Oxen’s Possible Slaughter Prompts Fight in Vermont – “Just past the village here is the farm at Green Mountain College, where chickens roam free and solar panels heat a greenhouse. The idea of sustainability runs so deep that instead of machines fueled by diesel, a pair of working oxen have tilled the fields for the better part of a decade, a rare evocation of a New England agricultural tradition. Their names are Bill and Lou, and by the end of the month, they are to be slaughtered and turned into hamburger meat for the dining hall.”
Axolotl’s Endangered – “Aztec legend has it that the first axolotl, the feathery-gilled salamander that once swarmed through the ancient lakes of this city, was a god who changed form to elude sacrifice. But what remains of its habitat today — a polluted network of canals choked with hungry fish imported from another continent — may prove to be an inescapable threat.”