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Narratives Worth Exploring

Banff, Environmental Protection, Film Festival, Film Review, Sustainable Living / 24.02.2011

A father wants what’s best for his children. In his film Mi Chacra (My Land), director Jason Burlage explores a year in the life of a Peruvian farmer as he struggles to make a better life for his son. Taking top honors at the Banff Mountain Film Festival this documentary feature depicts the world of laborers who divide their time between planting crops and carrying loads for tourists on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Assignment Earth, Sustainable Living / 23.02.2011

Molly Jones Gray is working hard to make sure that her toddler Paxton has a safe and healthy home. This Seattle mother and her husband Zack are keenly aware of what’s in the food, toys and cleaning products in their home. “You can’t tell a baby what is a food, what’s not a food, what’s a toy, what’s not a toy,” Gray said. “Because everything is a food and everything is a toy to them.” A wide variety of harmful toxins can be easily ingested throughout an average American home. The Grays first learned of environmental health risks when there was a problem in their attempts to become pregnant. Repeated miscarriages caused them seek out information on how commercial products and chemical substances in their home might impact their reproductive health. Taking part in a study conducted by the Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC), the Grays discovered that their home was filled with compounds that could adversely affect their unborn children.
Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Manic Media Monday / 21.02.2011

[caption id="attachment_4728" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo by Clint Thayer www.focalflame.com"][/caption] Protests around the world lead the news this week. Legislation here in Wisconsin threatens to remove the collective bargaining rights of state employees as demonstrations in Madison continue through the weekend into Monday. Unfortunately as all traffic Downtown was brought to a standstill the annual Winter Festival was forced to an alternate location. The much-anticipated celebration of snow sports was held this year instead at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. Typically an event that draws cross-country skiing, snowboarding and ice sculpting to the Capital Square, the event was thoroughly overshadowed by rallies and a chanting throng of protesters waving signs. While attempting to balance a budget deficit of $140 million newly elected Governor Scott Walker and a Republican majority face off against more than 50,000 union members and their supporters. World events will always have a direct impact  our daily lives, particularly those that effect the environment. Here are a few other stories in the news this week to keep an eye on:
Diversity, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Kids in Nature / 18.02.2011

This is likely one of many hundred videos, hopefully thousands. But it’s the first to come across my desk and it prompted me to write in support of one young man who hopes to represent his generation on behalf of the environment. Christian Alvarado is among the teens and young adults across America vying for the Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth.

Breaking News, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Video / 17.02.2011

It’s hardly fair to berate the President of the United States for being late. The speech scheduled for 4:45 EST in the East Room of the White House didn’t get underway until well past the top of the hour. But for what its worth his report on America’s Great Outdoors Initiative arrives just in the nick of time. Through more than 10 months of outreach, research and planning the Obama administration tapped the leading minds in outdoor recreation and wilderness conservation to create a new plan. “And together, we’ve laid the foundation for a smarter, more community-driven environmental strategy,” the President said.
Assignment Earth, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Video / 16.02.2011

The Rio Grande flows through some of the oldest continually inhabited land in the United States. In northern New Mexico, the river follows a deep gorge formed by the separation of the Earth’s crust. Because of its wild and pristine state it’s home to a rich population of birds and mammals and is one of the world’s great migratory fly-aways linking the United States and Canada for hundreds of migrating bird species.

For the past 30 years concerned citizens and lawmakers have been working to create the Rio Grande Del Norte National Conservation Area along New Mexico’s northern boarder. The proposed NCA consists of 235,000 acres of rolling sagebrush hills and 70 miles of the Rio Grande, the first section of wild and scenic river established in the United States. The goal is not only to preserve this rare and wild landscape, but also a way of life that dates back hundreds of years.