Taking Your Kid to McDonald’s Is Actually A Punishment – Fast Food Advertising is On the Rise: TreeHugger

McDonald's Restaurant with prominent kids' pla...

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Fast Food Advertising is On the Rise — With a Focus on Minority Youth — While Kids Continue to Grow Fatter. What’s Wrong With This Picture? : TreeHugger.

Full article at the above link.

I was watching the Super Bowl last night (I was actually studying but at the bar with my friend).  Anyways, a commercial came on for McDonald’s and there was a bear daddy and a bear kid.  The bear kid got all A’s on their report card!!!!!  His reward?  A fattening, unhealthy, calories-that-make-your-mouth-drop, greasy disgusting meal from McDonald’s.  It is food made without love and purely to have the cheapest ingredients necessary in order to make a profit.

How are parents so unaware of the lessons that we are teaching our kids?  I wish someone would have taken the time to make sure I learned good nutrition while I was young.  My dad did pretty good for being a single dad but there were definitely many nights where we would just grab something to eat.  We ate a lot of spaghetti until he expanded his menu to include sausage with peppers and onions (greasy) and sometimes pot roast, and once in awhile in the beginning – chicken cooked in the microwave…YES CHICKEN COOKED IN THE MICROWAVE!!  IIIIICCCCKKKKKK!!!!!

It also happened at school where we were offered choices between this greasy distungness or that greasy disgustingness.  You would think that at school your kids are getting nutritious meals.  This is not the case.  At my high school you could get all the greasy crap and extras at a snack bar in the cafeteria.  You could totally bypass whatever was being served that day and get fries and 2 half-moon cookies with chocolate milk and soda!!

All’s I am saying is…for the love of God…take the time to love your child enough to start them out with healthy eating habits.  I have been obese since puberty and suffered ridicule for this my whole life until recently.

Parents nowadays don’t want to take the time to finish and win an argument.  They think their children have some sort of democratic say in their own lives.  Basically, you are reasoning with someone who has no life experience and they give in because it is easier than the fight to change it.  Pssst lazy parenting, I think.

The Trials and Tribulations of Adélie Penguins in a Rapidly Warming Antarctic

The Trials and Tribulations of Adélie Penguins in a Rapidly Warming Antarctic : TreeHugger.

Full article and slideshow at above link.

The iconic Adélie penguin is one of only two species to live and breed exclusively in Antarctica.  This large population of penguins known for the Tuxedo pattern and their migrations of thousands of miles across the Antarctic, is surprisingly fragile.

Though the penguins spend most of the year living on sea ice, they need solid, dry, ground to breed, incubate their eggs, and raise their chicks.

Once the penguins have mated, and the eggs have been laid, the long incubation period, seen here, begins.

Researchers estimate that the population of Adélie penguins has declined by 65 percent over the past 25 years.

The main problem is the Antarctic’s melting sea ice.

Though the penguins breed on dry land, they need sea ice to hunt for food. And, though some models indicate that it is unlikely all of the ice in Antarctica will melt, the pace of glacier recession has accelerated in the last decade.

The chicks hatch in late December and in early January.

During the incubation and earliest juvenile stages, the parents work in shifts with one hunting for food while the other stays with the egg or chick. Often, the parent left at the nest endures long periods without eating at all.

Eventually, the parents need to leave to find food.  They face numerous dangers including encounters with leopard seals.

The loss of ice contributes to the decline as well as diminished populations of Antarctic sea krill, the penguins main prey.

Nearby, a lone penguin wanders the grounds of an extinct colony on Torgersen Island. The sad scene is becoming increasingly common in the Antarctic, and penguins are not the only ones affected.

 

2010: The Biggest Environmental Disasters

2010: The Year in Environmental Disasters

From Treehugger

bp gulf oil spill deepwater horizon photo

We wish we could say the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the only horrific environmental disaster this year.

From red toxic sludge spewing through Hungary to floods in Pakistan and heatwaves in Russia, 2010 was a year of record-setting natural disasters — all of which were exacerbated by climate change.

As part of our Year in Review Series, here’s a sobering look back at the year’s worst environmental catastrophes.

bp gulf gulf oil spill photo explosion

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

In one of the year’s biggest stories — environmental or otherwise — the Gulf of Mexico was flooded with more than 185 million gallons of oil after a rig contracted to BP exploded in April.Even now, the toll of the spill on sea life, plants, Gulf industry, and the lives of the residents is still accumulating…and we still wonder if the fish is safe for consumption.

hungary sludge photo

Toxic Sludge Spills into Hungary

In Ajka, Hungary, in October, a containment pond — which holds red toxic sludge, a “byproduct of bauxite refining for aluminum” — burst, sending 24 million cubic feet of the sludge over the town.The poisonous material killed all the fish in the Marcal River, destroyed villages, and could take years to clean up.

Oil Spill in Michigan

Canadian company Enbridge took the blame for a major oil spill in Michigan.The spill sent 800,000 gallons of oil into a creek connected to the Kalamazoo River (the Kalamazoo also connects to Lake Michigan), was “called the worst in Midwest history,” and reportedly “soaked” local wildlife.

russia heatwave smog photo

Heatwaves in Russia

Record high temperatures — of up to 100 degrees F — and forest fires in Russia combined to lower a mask of smog over Moscow this summer, while a heavy drought impacted the agricultural industry.Even president Dmitry Medvedev pointed to climate change as a cause, saying, “This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past.”

pakistan flooding underwater weather photo

Floods in Pakistan

Monsoons and rising water flooded more than 1/5 of Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 residents and the homelessness of 14 million others.The floods were believed to be the worst in more than 80 years — and considered a result of climate change. According to NASA, “the frequency of extremely heavy rain and floods increases as global warming increases.”

deforestation in haiti photo

Deforestation in Haiti

In Haiti, deforestation isn’t a new problem: The country has a reported 22% drop in forests in the last two decades, and 99.2% of the country’s original forests are gone.The lack of trees can make the country more susceptible to the effects of other natural disasters — including earthquakes and mudslides.

coral bleaching 95 percent photo

Coral Bleaching in the Philippines

The 2009-2010 El Nino weather pattern raised the temperature of ocean water in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean — but the long-term effect of that boost on coral could be permanent.Up to 95% of the coral in that region is bleached, and it may not recover.

china copper mine spill photo

Copper Mine Spill in China

Hungary wasn’t the only company facing a toxic mining spill: In China, a top mining company killed almost 1,900 tons of fish.But this one didn’t appear to be accidental; the “320,000 cubic feet of ‘leaked’ waste water actually flowed from a sludge point to the TIng river through an ‘illegally built passage’,” according to investigators.

Resist the Green Dragon: Religious Group Puts Out 12 DVD Series on Environmentalists’ “Spiritual Deception” : TreeHugger

Religious Group Puts Out 12 DVD Series on Environmentalists’ “Spiritual Deception” : TreeHugger.

The Family Research Council‘s Tony Perkins, via the Advocate

There’s only seven days until Christmas and no doubt many out there are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer for your little one. Here’s an idea for you. How about “Resisting The Green Dragon,” described by its producers as an “explosive new 12-part DVD series” that exposes how radical environmentalists are brainwashing children and putting them on a dangerously wrong “spiritual” path. Order yours today!

From their press release, via Mother Jones:

“One of the greatest threats to society and the church today is the multifaceted environmentalist movement,” says Cornwall Alliance founder and national spokesman Dr. E. Calvin Beisner. “There isn’t an aspect of life that it doesn’t seek to force into its own mold.””Today’s environmentalism isn’t a neutral set of ideas that can be tacked onto the Christian faith without theological compromise,” Beisner said. “Instead, it promotes its own worldview and its own doctrines of God, creation, humanity, sin, and salvation. And those doctrines aren’t Biblical.”

There has been split in evangelical circles over the past few years on climate change. Leaders like Rick Warren and Rev. Richard Cizik have spoken out for climate action, while on the other side guys like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council have said that a few poorly worded emails from some climate scientists “should be more than enough to put off any international agreements on global warming indefinitely.”

Check out this video provided from Right Wing Watch that neatly condenses the greatest hits from “The Green Dragon.”

On The Elephant In The Room: Population And The Environment : TreeHugger

Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of...

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On The Elephant In The Room: Population And The Environment : TreeHugger.

 

We hear it all the time, and have heard it since Malthus: That overpopulation is the primary cause of the world’s environmental ills. It makes sense in simple logical terms: The more people there are consuming natural resources, the greater a threat humanity poses to exhausting them. Hard to argue with that. But the issue is of course more complex — and there’s an interesting back-and-forth over at Grist on the subject to prove it. One writer argues that fears of a rapidly expanding population are overblown — constituting a “green myth”, even — and that those fears should be redirected towards consumerism. Is that right?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-21-2010/fred-pearce

 

11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger

11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger.\

Full article above

“I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas,” he repeats.

With “250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 lights” adorning the outside of their house, the Griswolds are an energy-conservation nightmare (especially since they’re decorating pre-LED).

After an unsuccessful attempt to steal joy from the Whos down in Whoville by taking everything from their toys to their roast beast, he sums up an anti-consumerism position in one succinct rhyme: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags…What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

Using paint cans, Matchbox cars, old mannequins, leftover tar, randomly-sized nails, a pile of feathers, and other items that most of us would consider junk, he saves the day without spending a cent.

The Polar Express may be a more kid-friendly ode to the benefits of public transportation, but we’ll always prefer the sweet story of Sandra Bullock as a sans family token-taker in Chicago, Peter Gallagher (and his eyebrows) as the rider she saves from the tracks, and Bill Pullman as the brother she was meant to be with.

It’s just not the holidays without plenty of travel — and in Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon try to make the most of those miles by getting as far from their families as possible.

But a canceled Caribbean flight leaves them stuck on the road for most of the holiday — and with the drama that ensues from a day with all four of their parents’ new families, they would have been better served by a staycation at their own home.

And while Scrooge is more concerned with his health and happiness than with the environment, the last-act epiphany that turns him into someone who cares about others is exactly the kind of wake-up call that inspires people to save the Earth for future generations.

Santa sends customers to other stores that have the gift they’re looking for (instead of working with from a “buy more” mentality), and his court case inspires the people in his life to realize that the “lovely intangibles” of the world — love, joy, peace — matter more than any wrapped gift.

Imagine the effect on this snowman-come-alive classic with a dramatic change in weather patterns: Either it would be too warm to make him in the first place, or too cold to stay outside long enough to play with him.

When Buddy the Elf travels from the pristine North Pole where he grew up to meet his real human family in New York City, he runs into plenty of not-so-green elements — cars, trash, consumerism.

But when Santa’s unable to finish delivering his presents on Christmas Eve, it’s because his sleigh runs on an entirely-renewable alternative energy: cheer. If only we could get our cars to run on song, too.

From Caribbean lionfish to Asian carp, invasive species can wreak havoc on their non-native ecosystems — much like the tiny Gremlins, who aren’t nearly as adorable when they’re fed after midnight.

Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger

Example of replication of a real object by mea...

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Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger.

It is like the music for our iPod; dematerialized bits and bytes put together again where we need it, without the waste of a physical intermediary.

[Abe Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems] predicts the cost of outsourced labor in emerging markets like China and India will continue to rise along with the growth of their middle classes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both employment and compensation costs in China increased rapidly from 2002 to 2006. Employment in China increased by more than ten percent in just four years, while compensation costs increased more than 40 percent. “We believe this is an opportunity for recreating a reverse flow, bringing manufacturing activities and jobs back to the United States,” says Reichental.

It may seem a far-fetched to predict that thousands of entrepreneurs across America will install professional-grade rapid prototyping machines in their garages and begin manufacturing custom-made products. But if the costs of rapid prototyping technology continue to decline, it’s hard to see why future generations will have to go to the store to buy anything made of solid plastic or metal. Why buy cutlery and plastic cups if you could just download the design and make it yourself? Plastic water bottles, shower curtains, simple toys, Tupperware, and all types of kitsch. The list goes on.