For a primer on 3D Printing and to view the first part of this article series, please visit the blog entry here.
After taking a look at the inception and revolution of 3D printing technology, we decided to map the cradle to grave environmental impact of this new burgeoning technology. Read on to see what Sustainability Media was able to unearth from the research and technology available today.
Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessment of 3D Printing
Up until recently, the world of 3D printing relied on creating 3D object through a 3D printer like a Makerbot, Kraftwurx, or Cube X 3D. These printers use a variety of materials to create 3D objects, but most commonly PLA and ABS grade plastics is warmed, printed in layers on top of a platform, and cooled to create the finished object in 3D. But with all these objects able to be created at the push of a button, what can be done to minimize environmental waste as 3D printing grows?
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is classified as a bio-degradable polymer which is derived from corn. Like other food stuff and grain derived bio-degradable packaging materials PLA uses less energy to manufacture than other plastics, less than half of the energy it takes to manufacture traditional plastics. The production of PLA based plastics also boasts an lower output of greenhouse gasses than traditional plastics, about one third of the greenhouse gasses produced in the making of traditional plastic make up the carbon footprint of PLA manufacturing products which make the case that it is more environmentally friendly. However, when examining the environmental and sustainable footprint of any product, a cradle to grave approach is best. Since PLA plastic manufacturing is dependent on corn production, and usually PLA plastics are made from GMO corn, output of nitrogen into soil and production costs of corn crops must be taken into account. Add to this that efforts to end world hunger could utilize this food stuff output to provide meals to those facing hunger, instead of manufacturing plastic for packaging, and the environmental footprint of PLA plastic begins to grow a tad larger than its traditional plastic cousins. Still, it is a better alternative than many on the market.
ABS plastic is a harder grade plastic and coincidentally, is the same plastic that lego building blocks are made of. It is recyclable, but must be sent out to outside companies to be recycled. ABS plastic must be entered into grinders and turned into plastic flake or pellets which must be then further resold through the market in order to be melted down and extruded in filament form which is needed for 3D printing methods. The manufacturing of ABS plastic is along the same lines as production for traditional plastics. Which means it contributes to global warming through the generation of greenhouse gasses and utilizes more energy output in order to manufacture.
But all hope for the environmentally conscious 3D printer enthusiast is not doomed. As the field grows, so does its consciousness into waste management and production methods to ensure it remains a green industry revolution. 3D printing and its community of maker's displays an obvious awareness of their contribution to waste management and as they push forward embracing and building this new technology, their efforts to remain environmentally sound expand as well. In the meantime many companies such as Cubify, the maker of the Cube X 3D printer, offer recycling programs and have committed themselves to keeping the 3D printing movement green.
Just this year, another amazing innovation hit the 3D printing world in terms of recycling materials into the filament used for printing. Filabot used crowd-funding website Kickstarter to back the creation of a device which reclaims everyday recyclable plastic objects and uses it to create the filament necessary for 3D printing. It even spools the filament from the recycled plastic goods you enter into it so all you have to do is pop it onto your 3D printer and press print. The Filabot reclaimer is still in the final stages of R&D and manufacturing of the device. But it is encouraging to see people in the 3D printing community keeping their hand to the pulse of the planet and innovating new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics already existent into the materials used in 3D printing.
One company, Kamermaker, wants to take this concept one step further by pairing 3D printing capabilities, environmental consciousness, and social activism. Their hope is to harness the power of already available plastic waste through the use of technology like the Filabot reclaimer. They have undertaken the project of building a large scale yet portable 3D printer which can then be used to create temporary housing in the event of natural disasters, or to create housing which can offer people more hygienic and long lasting homes in major over populated environments. Here is a demonstration of the innovative spirit of the 3D printing community and how makers focus themselves to help literally create a better world for all print by print, piece by piece.
Creating 3D objects with a 3D printer does require some software and computers in order to communicate the scan of the 3D object layer by layer to the printer for manufacturing in 3D. But a new product is about to take 3D printing and manufacturing to a whole new level. The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen who's R&D and manufacturing for wide spread use has been collecting funds through the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter. Watch the video here at the link below in order to see how this pen will take 3D printing to new levels by taking it off the board and putting it literally in your own hands.
For a look at a fully assembled 3D printer which prints using both PLA and ABS filament and is affordable, check out Robo 3D's ABS model. This printer allows makers to print using both PLA and ABS filament, pair that with a Filabot and you'll be making in no time while you recycle plastic waste in your own home.
This winter Sustainability Media was able to attend and tape an educational talk given by Rhishja Cota-Larson, the founder of Saving Rhinos. Saving Rhinos is a group dedicated to education and outreach to stop the illegal trade of Rhino horn. Saving Rhinos was launched in 2007 in an effort to expand awareness and education about the plight of Rhinos the world over being hunted to the brink of extinction in order to harvest their horns and smuggle them into the black market for various mythological medicinal uses as well as the status symbols associated with Rhino horn. Saving Rhinos has several outreach resources online to reference, such as
In addition, Rhishja has authored a book on the Rhino crisis, Murder, Myths, and Medicine. The book is a written compendium of the plight of the world's Rhino population as these noble beasts are hunted for the harvest of their horns, smuggled live across borders away from their native habitats, and the devastating impact the illegal trade of their horns and other body parts has on the world's Rhino population and health.
You can buy a copy of the book Murder, Myths, and Medicinehere.
Additionally, Saving Rhinos has undertaken the production of a documentary on the Rhino crisis called "The Price." View is the trailer for this bold and inspired documentary aimed at saving Rhinos from cruel and inhumane treatment the world over.
Sustainability Media was delighted to film Rhishja's educational and informative talk about the Rhino crisis as it sheds light on the disastrous effects that poaching, game hunting, and illegal Rhino horn trade has had on both animal, human, and environmental populations. Through traveling the world and giving educational lectures like the one Sustainability Media filmed here in the Bay Area, Saving Rhinos is bringing real time coverage and desperately needed signal boosting to the global effort to save Rhinos from extinction through human greed and illegal practices such as poaching and smuggling.
But Saving Rhinos doesn't just limit its scope to educational talks and lectures here in the states. Saving Rhinos has also teamed up with the global community to create and implement educational outreach and teaching programs in both areas where Rhino populations are endangered, as well as areas where Rhino horns are seeing the highest levels of illegal trade and smuggling. Saving Rhinos is a group that is sincerely dedicated to the protection and service of these endangered animals, and their constant dedication shows in the amount of research they conduct, the efforts they employ to call attention to these issues through a variety of platforms, and calling for legal reforms to be built to further protect Rhinos and keep pressure by law enforcement on those who seek to poach and trade Rhino parts. They have been largely successful in addressing these issues through constant publication of Rhino information and education through their many blogs over the internet, educational outreach programs, and highlighting the struggles of law enforcement agencies to stop the illegal trade of poached animals and their parts.
Saving Rhinos has not set their sights on the plight of only one animal population, but has expanded to decry the effects of large scale global poaching and illegal trade of many endangered animals. In addition to spreading awareness about endangered Rhino populations, sister sites Annamiticus, Project Pangolin, and Behind the Schemes, update readers and animal activists to a variety of endangered species.
Behind the Schemes is a weekly blog and podcast dedicated to the educational spread of information on a variety of animals such as the African Lion, Pangolins, fresh water turtles, Polar Bears, Elephants, Sun Bears, and of course, Rhinos. Truly, the podcasts and blog posts on Behind The Schemes are highly informative in the legal ramifications and real world efforts of wildlife converstationalists across the world. In these podcasts experts on topics of endangered animal populations, global legalities and regulations on animal commodities trade, and wildlife conservation efforts are interviewed by Rhishja in an effort to offer an easily accessible platform to speak on these issues.
If you have a chance to view a talk or lecture given by Saving Rhinos, or to support their efforts in wildlife conservation please do so. In the meantime, we at Sustainability Media cannot wait to see "The Price" when it is completed and released and look forward to the good work Saving Rhinos and its affiliates continue to complete for the world's wildlife populations.
Please support Saving Rhinos with donations if you feel moved by the information contained on their site so they can continue to help wildlife all over our planet.
3D printing is a process in which 3D objects that already exist can be scanned with 3D scanning tools or built from the ground up using software. Then the information from this scan or plan can be used to create a 3D replica of the object by using a 3D printer, which are commonly called "fabbers" or "replicators," which melts and extrudes different materials along X,Y, and Z axes to create a complete copy of the original object in 3D. In this way 3D printing can be used to create replacement parts for everything from doorknobs, motor parts, gears, and circuit board holders. You can even download the plans and software to build and print your own 3D printer! But 3D printing isn't just about replicating already existent objects. 3D printers can also be used to create rapid prototypes of new objects for testing and further for manufacturing. 3D printing has been used to create jewelry, sculpture, and toys.
Makerbot has an online community for makers where you can upload and download plans to create or modify all kinds of objects.
Online resources for learning and implementing 3D printing abound on the net. TechShop is one of many online communities commited to the futhering of the maker community.
In the initial days of 3D printing advancements scale was small but as the technology and demand around 3D printing has grown, so has the capability to create larger objects. Utilizing different methods and materials everything from prototype concept vehicles to car parts have been created. There have even been applications of 3D printing used in architecture to create buildings. The practical applications of 3D printing are endless, and paired with the creativity of the human mind there is serious potential in the world of 3D printing. Arguably 3D printing's biggest alley has been its open source foundation. Information on how to build, set up, and utilize 3D printers abounds on the internet. Plans, scans of objects, and software can be found for free or a relatively low footprint investment to get anyone started in 3D printing. This has revolutionized consumerism and manufacturing, making anyone with access to the internet and materials needed for 3D printing into a maker of our modern age.
Chris Anderson is a writer who started his career in scientific journals such as Nature and Science. He went on to become the US Business Editor and Technology Editor for The Economist. In 2001 Chris Anderson became the Editor of WIRED magazine. In addition, Chris has authored three books, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, FREE: The Future of a Radical Price, and most recently, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. In his most recent book, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, Chris discusses the pivotal role that emerging 3D printing technology has has on manufacturing in today's world. Like the advent of the printing press heralding a new era of widespread information and literacy, and further the reach of information flow over today's internet, 3D printing is opening doors the world over for anyone who cares to get involved. The very spirit of the 3D printing community and its technology is about open-source sharing and low cost implementation. Meaning that anyone can join the movement of 3D printing and usher in new products to our markets while still being able to maintain and keep up with large scale manufacturers through the use of readily accessible 3D printing technology. These future forerunners in the 3D printing world are aptly called "makers."
“Today,“ Anderson writes, “there are nearly a thousand ‘makerspaces‘— shared production facilities— around the world, and they’re growing at an astounding rate: Shanghai alone is building one hundred of them.“
“Open source,” he adds, “is not just an efficient innovation method— it’s a belief system as powerful as democracy or capitalism for its adherents.“
Chris Anderson sat down with Long Now Foundation's Co-Chair and Board of Directors, Stewart Brand, to discuss the long term thinking behind the 3D printing revolution during the February 02013 seminar. By focusing on long-term thinking, Stewart Brand asked Chris Anderson to explain the advent of 3D printing and how the movement might move into the future ahead.
"We’re now entering the third industrial revolution, Anderson said. The first one, which began with the spinning jenny in 1776, doubled the human life span and set population soaring. From the demographic perspective, 'it’s as if nothinghappened before the Industrial Revolution.'
The next revolution was digital. Formerly industrial processes like printing were democratized with desktop publishing. The 'cognitive surplus' of formely passive consumers was released into an endless variety of personal creativity. Then distribution was democratized by the Web, which is 'scale agnostic and credentials agnostic.' Anyone can potentially reach 7 billion people.
The third revolution is digital manufacturing, which combines the gains of the first two revolutions. Factory robots, which anyone can hire, have become general purpose and extremely fast. They allow 'lights-out manufacturing,' that goes all night and all weekend.
'This will reverse the arrow of globalization,' Anderson said. 'The centuries of quest for cheaper labor is over. Labor arbitrage no longer drives trade.' The advantages of speed and flexibility give the advantage to 'locavore' manufacturing because 'Closer is faster.' Innovation is released from the dead weight of large-batch commitments. Designers now can sit next to the robots building their designs and make adjustments in real time.
Thus the Makers Movement. Since 2006, Maker Faires, Hackerspaces, and TechShops (equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers, and CAD design software) have proliferated in the US and around the world. Anderson said he got chills when, with the free CAD program Autodesk 123D, he finished designing an object and moused up to click the button that used to say 'Print.' This one said 'Make.' A 3D printer commenced building his design.
Playing with Minecraft, 'kids are becoming fluent in polygons.' With programs like 123D Catch you can take a series of photos with your iPhone of any object, and the software will create a computer model of it. 'There is no copyright on physical stuff,' Anderson pointed out. The slogan that liberated music was 'Rip. Mix. Burn.' The new slogan is 'Rip. Mod. Make.'
I asked Anderson, 'But isn’t this Makers thing kind of trivial, just trailing-edge innovation?' 'That’s why it’s so powerful,' Anderson said. 'Remember how trivial the first personal computers seemed?' "
Shoulder High Productions and Sustainability Media have decided to expand our gear offerings and bring a new camera into our fold. The Sony FS700 is capable of stunning high speed work at 240fps at true 1920x1080 and 480fps at 1280x720, making it our new state of the art Super 35mm camera. After researching and hunting for the most dynamic Super 35mm camera, we made the investment in this camera for 3 main reasons.
1.) The amazing high speed cinematography it allows, 2.) the flexibility of lenses with iris support it allows, and 3.) the future proofing with the 4K upgrade that will be available for the body in the coming months.
We have the rigging and lens support to make this new Sony our main workhorse. We have completely fallen in love with its capabilities. We're sure you'll love it on your shoots as well! The Sony NEX-FS700U Super 35 Camcorder is a fully professional large-sensor video camera. A marked improvement over the FS100 sensor, the FS700 features a native 4K resolution sensor. The sensor's large size offers a variety of other advantages, including increased control over depth of field, higher sensitivity in low light, lower image noise, and an exceptional dynamic range. Able to shoot full 1080p video in a range of frame rates up to 60p, the FS700 provides the option of recording AVCHD footage onto SD card/MemoryStick or via the FMU (flash memory unit) port, or it can output 4:2:2 video (with embedded timecode) via HDMI 1.4 or 3G/HD-SDI to an external recording unit. Simultaneous recording to both is also possible when instant backup is called for.
INTIAL TEST AT 240FPS:
If you're curious to see the kind of crisp quality the Sony FS700 camera can turn out in super slow motion, rest assured we were too. As soon as we recieved the camera, we could not resist unpacking it and taking it for a super slow motion spin. Here's an example of the quailty and range this camera can produce. Thanks for modeling so well Buffo!
Add to all this the fact that Shoulder High Productions and Sustainability Media now carry a metabones EF/PL Lens mount adaptor and we have all your needs covered. Utiltizing the metabones adaptor you can now mount any of our EF or PL lenses to the Sony FS700 and shoot with endless possibilities. We hooked up our RED 17-50mm PL Zoom Lens to the Sony FS700 using the metabones adaptor and couldn't have been happier with the results. The Sony FS700 with is multitude of features paired with the metabones adaptor now allows us to use our full line of EF and PL mount lenses on a single camera and offer a full range of endless possibilities for our clients to experience Super 35mm cinematic quality video on their shoots.
How To Operate:
Last but not least, for those of you renting the FS700 from us and using it for the first time here is a link to download the manual and a video that goes over many of the menu features so you're ready to operate when you pick it up!
Earlier this year Shoulder High Productions and Sustainability Media was proud to be the first production company in the Bay Area to aquire the Canon C300 Super 35mm CMOS HD Camera. Added to our roster of gear for production and rental use we started shooting with it immeditaly and fell in love with it. We cannot say enough about the features and range of use on this beautiful camera. Providing large censor 35mm cinematic quality with cutting edge digital technology the Canon C300 is an impressive camera for a variety of projects. Many of its features can seem daunting at first for a camera operator, but once researched they offer a bevy of settings and usability that make this camera a dream to work with for any type of project from documentary work, to movie quality cinematic shoots, to commercial use, and with our added new peripherals aquired from Able Cine this year, we were even able to expand its use into handheld ENG style for our clients.
But reading the camera's manual cover to cover doesn't often offer a camera operator or Director of Photography the hands on experience one needs to really get a feel for how best to use all the features built into the C300. So Canon has come up with the C300 simulator. We encourage all clients looking to rent our Canon C300 to take a spin on this simulator and see how Canon has paired a hands on experience to familiarize those curious about using the C300 without having to have the camera physically in their hands. This tool is inexpendable when it comes to testing equipment and being able to be familiar with the user interface by the time you are on set and ready to roll. But don't take Shoulder High's word for it, see for yourself below.
The start of the simulator page will allow you to acess what settings and screen features show up when maniuplating the C300.
Learn how to navigate by using the buttons and display as you would to select different settings.
Canon's C300 Simulator allows you to see where the buttons are located on the camera body to navigate through the on board features and settings within the camera.
If interested in adding this great camera to a rental estimate please use our new online rental estimate generator and add lenses and lighting and grip accesories to make your production as great as possible!
Our Camera also come preloaded with eight unique scene files or picture profiles created by the engineering team at Abel Cine in Burbank, CA. You can read more about what's on them here by clicking the picture below.
I got to see Venus in front of the sun yesterday with binoculars and welder's glass. This video is an immensely more profound view of what was happening and won't happen again for another 100+ years. Watching this video just absolutely stuns me how incomprehensibly powerful the sun is and to think how long it has been reacting like that... There is sooooo much energy exploding out from that ball of light we take for granted everyday. It is staggering and awe inspiring. Thanks NASA for the humbling and exhilarating experience.
May as well take the opportunity to promote gettng solar panels on our roofs! Here's just one of MANY companies that can help you get there for less than you expect.
Ok it is not exactly like Facebook, but it will help the biodiversity of your social network! And its geotaggeed so now you can know where all your new non-human species friends are at!!! Holla!!!
Have you ever wondered if the Bentwing Bat lives near you???? The Map of Life website can give you the answer to this question and many more. Another great use for the Google Maps platform, The Map of Life lists virtually all of the vertebrate animals that can be found at any one point in the world.
"Users can either select a species and then see where it occurs, or they can select a location and then get a listing of almost all the mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles that can be found at that location – freshwater fish data is currently limited to North America. More features are in the works.
Information on the website was gathered from a variety of sources, such as museums, regional checklists, and the observations of both professional and amateur scientists."
Where did they get their data?
Sustainability Media went to Madagascar with world renown Entomologist Dr. Brian Fisher of the California Academy of Sciences back in 2003 to make a documentary about the research Dr. Fisher was conducting on the species richness and distriution of ants in Madagascar. Aptly named this film was called "A Map to Save an Island" and here is a short 5 minute version to share the adventure.
Learn more about Dr. Fisher's work at www.antweb.org
Want to learn more about the biodiversity of life on planet earth and ways to help preserve it? Visit E.O. Wilson's website by clicking below.
No really it is because of you that the Anthropocene exists. Well you and the rest of the 7 billion people on the planet and the umpteen more billion Anthropo-ites who came before you over the past few million years. Yes I'm making up words right and left here but to quote Wikipedia's contributors,
the "Anthropocene" "is a recent and informal geologicchronologicalterm that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on theEarth'secosystems. The term was coined by ecologistEugene F. Stoermerbut has been widely popularized by theNobel Prize-winningatmospheric chemistPaul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth's atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a newgeological erafor itslithosphere...The Anthropocene has no precise start date, but based on atmospheric evidence may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late 18th century). Other scientists link it to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture. Evidence of relative human impact such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity and species extinction is controversial, some scientists believe the human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity."
I bring up the term Anthropocene because it truly is a much more important term than just the definition of a geological age that includes planetary altering activities of human beings and our early ancestors. It is a word that has the ability to encompass a world view where we, humanity, acknowledge our collective existence, our unbelievable accomplishments as we continue to make our societies more and more sophisticated, and our interdependence upon not only each other, but with the planetary systems we call home. To me the Time of Mankind is a powerful concept that demands much contemplation.
I'd like to share a few videos and links which help further define the concept, some broadly and ethereally and some more specifically. The first is a visual mediation brought to us byGlobaïa entitled: "Welcome to the Anthropocene". Make note there is also a very interesting version without narration which I like a lot better, but the narration is helpfull to explain the concept of the Anthropocene.
Sustainability Media recently produced a short 2 minute timelapse video created from high resolution, low light pictures taken from aboard the International Space Station. We'd like to think it helps us see our collective self a bit easier as well.
Update: Check out this long exposure taken from ISS recently as well!
Next I'd like to make a giant plug for my friends at the Long Now Foundation who have been dedicating a lot of their recent monthly Seminars About Long-Term Thinking to the subject of the Anthropocene. The last four talks specifically show the breadth of the subject and their talks can be viewed on their site. Recent Speaker list include the following.
Lastly I am so excited to have learned about the next film by world renown documentary filmmaker Ron Fricke. Fricke's films from Koyaanisqatsi to Baraka tipped my passions for the ecology, culture and film into a career. And now in the summer of 2012 we will be treated to this next installment in his amazing career, Samsara.
"An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future.
This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US right now. " -- Hint.fm
Visit this link below and you can watch the wind of our country moving in practically real time. It is a stagering beautiful display of Mother Nature overlaid upon a recognizable human construct. I really admire the work Hint.fm. They are bringing a sea of information and data together in a visually stunning story. I've said it before but infographics are going to continue to become more and more important to society needing to absorb large tracts of data quickly.
I put together a quick video captured from their website and love watching the data flow!
Wind Power is not without controversy but certainly there is room for it in the diversified portfolio of alternative energy sources of the future.
Thanks to our friends at Canon and Snader, Shoulder High Productions and Sustainability Media are the 1st production companies in the Bay Area have Canon's new Flagship Cinema Super 35mm CMOS HD Camera.
And wouldn't you know it we're shooting with it right away. Stills and videos will be forthcoming as soon as possible but we're thrilled to be putting the L-Series Canon Lenses that we acquired for shooting with the Canon 5D MII to use on an actual production ready video camera.
The images we will be able to make with this light weight small form factor camera will blow you away and its the perfect camera for hand-held and ENG work as well as beautiful talking heads and landscapes.
What's all the hype about???? Until we get back from our first trip with it, we'll let Philip Bloom tell you allllllll about it.
Watch his short here.
Some Specs from Canon's Website
That's all for now. Gotta get to work! But a full production report and story to come. We look forward to helping your next production be an amazing success with the new Canon C300 and our other offerings.
In the 100th Seminar About Long-Term Thinking, presented by the Long Now Foundation, Lawernce Lessig, Harvard Law Professor, passionately laid out evidence of a new type of corruption that is disrupting the American republic. What's more, he offered a remedy for that corruption. Imagine that! Sustainability Media was there to film the evening and rousing conversation with Danny Hillis aftwerards as well.
"He said the type of corruption rampant in the US Congress is not the old type of bribery, where congressional representatives had safes in their offices to hold the cash they received for voting in certain directions. That is now illegal and eliminated. This new type of corruption is more subtle, indirect and harder to outlaw. Corporations legally donate money to the election campaigns of legislators, who in turn tend to vote in favor of the interests of those corporations. Non-profits like Maplight can graph the evidence that a representative voting in favor of a particular corporate-friendly law will receive 6 or 10 or 13 times the funding than someone who opposes the law. He cited studies that showed the ROI (return on investment) of lobbying to be 1,000%. It was one of the sanest expenses for a corporation. But the distortion is not just one sided. The issue that Congress spent the most time on in 2011 -- a year when US was waging two wars, dealing with a near economic depression, and revamping health care -- was the bank swipe fee. Who should pay the credit card use fee -- the banks or the stores? There were corporations on both sides of this minor argument, but each side was promising campaign funds, so this was the issue that got all the attention of the officials. But the real money to be made in Congress is the relative fortune to be made as a lobbyist after leaving office. The differential in wages between a staff member and a lobbyist has escalated a hundred fold in the past 40 years. Now 43% of staff go on to become lobbyists. The promise of a well-paying job working for corporate interests later is enough to warp voting now.
None of this is illegal, but Lessig argues that we have a constitutional argument for eliminating it. The Constitution talks about the republic being "dependent on the people alone." But now it is dependent on corporate funders, and more and more JUST on corporate funders. His solution is to return the republic to being dependent on the people alone. His solution is an innovative kind of campaign finance reform. Give every voter a $50 campaign voucher. The $50 comes from the tax pool. It can be given to any candidate who accepts only money from the vouchers (and maybe a limit of an optional voluntary $100 per single voter). Thus all campaign money would come in very small amounts from The People. Lessig calculates that the total amount of money raised this public way would be 3 times the amount raised by private means in the last election cycles, and therefore more than adequate. But it would break the grip of corporate influence over what is voted up. The result would not be harmonious utopia, but the usual give-and-take compromises of politics -- which the US has not seen in decades. The issues that people cared about would return to the agenda."
Sustainability Media filmed another amazing talk hosted by the Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking in October. In this talk Ecologist, Artist and Oil Painter, Laura Cunningham brings us her near 30 years of research and passion to understand the historical landscapes of California. Beautiful artwork and amazing revelations of our past California. Enjoy!
Ecologically, the past is always present if you know where and how to look. Paleontologist-biologist-artist Laura Cunningham spent 20 years exploring California's archives and relic lands to reconstruct exactly what life used to look like here over the past 10,000 years. Her beautiful images and her insights about long-period ecological change are collected in her new book, A STATE OF CHANGE: Forgotten Landscapes of California.
Like many regions, California is busy restoring portions of the natural environment to previous conditions -- native meadows, riparian woodlands, salt marshes, old-growth forests, along with the animals that used to populate them. But there is no static past to restore TO. With Cunningham's guidance we can choose to restore to a particular period: say, before the white invasion; or, during the Medieval Warm Period; or, before the human invasion; or, during the Ice Ages. With her inspiration, we can begin to envisage the ecological changes coming over the next 10,000 years.
As Shoulder High Productions continues to help document the Stanford University Medical Campus Renewal Project, this story about the University's efforts to preserve the trees of the beautiful Stanford campus seemed to be a great fit to share with the Sustainability Media community.
In this video you can see the same company that relocated and preserved the trees surrounding the NYC 9/11 site, as they masterfully box and transport the giant Oaks and Redwoods that make the community so unique and natural.
"In order to advance construction efforts, trees across the medical center campus are being protected, preserved for re-planting or repurposed. It's amazing to witness the boxing and storing of these trees, many of which will come right back to the hospital sites once construction is completed. Environmental Design, Inc., walks us through the process underway."
Planting trees can also help cool your home in the summer. The Arbor Day Foundation states that the overall effect of the shade created by planting a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day!
In the winter, trees can act as windbreaks for your home and will help you save on heating costs. The Journal of Horticulture claims that saving on heating costs can reach as much as 25 percent!
Trees shade buildings, streets, and homes. If enough trees are planted in cities, the overall microclimate improves and total energy use for heating and cooling is reduced. The EPA has some great information on how planting trees and other vegetation can help to reduce the overall high temperature of your city!