My imagination was ignited a few weeks ago when I came across a post on BLDGBLOG about crypto-forests: forgotten patches of urban land where nature has taken its course. What we call weeds are actually demonstrations of the irrepressible force of nature--plants overtaking urban areas designed to keep nature at bay.

“Today there is an ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that stems from the insatiable demand for oil and for using that oil for driving," writes Jason Henderson, a Geography Professor at San Francisco State University. "Almost half of the oil used in the US is used for personal driving, and upwards of 68 percent of the oil we use is for all transportation.”

There’s a lot up for debate in the realm of agriculture these days, but there’s one thing no one can dispute: farming is hard, often lonely work. But something happened one fall night that is helping to make it just a little bit easier -- and certainly less solitary…

The noxious gusher of oil flowing from one mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico is an unprecedented environmental disaster, no doubt about it. This morning, yet another accident set it gushing again, full force. But will we learn the right lessons from this disaster?

I've been thinking about how the two most recent contributions to the Shareable Futures series -- the Q&A with author Paolo Bacigalupi and Vinay Gupta's "The Unplugged" -- stress social change as an accumulation of individual decisions. In our conversation, the prospect of relying on individual virtue to save the planet seemed to torment Bacigalupi, as well it should: 

Over at GOOD magazine's blog, Borborygmi has a quite interesting post on the limits, promise, and utility of farmers' markets:

Even today, many markets offer little guarantee of local food and no guarantee that the vendor himself grew what he’s selling... So if markets are not necessarily better for the environment and they aren’t always transparent about the source of food, what are they for?

Via The Map Room: NASA has produced a time-lapse video of the expanding Gulf of Mexico oil slick.

This short video reveals a space-based view of the burning oil rig and, later, the ensuing oil spill through May 24. The timelapse uses imagery from the MODIS instrument, on board NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The oil slick appears grayish-beige in the image and changes due to changing weather, currents, and use of oil dispersing chemicals.



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