Posts Tagged ‘environment’

DawnWatch: Meatless Mondays on ABC’s 10 Things I Hate About You, 4-19-10

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 by

Kay eyes Patrick’s burger from over the top of her book, Meat Is Not Green.
Image from “Meat is Murder.” Original air date April 19, 2010. Copyright ABC Family.
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Sorry for my absence, folks. I’ve been otherwise preoccupied in the “real world,” and – while I wish I could say that I’ll soon return to regular blogging – this may or may not be the case. In the meantime, check out the following alert from DawnWatch, wherein Karen provides an overview of a recent veg-friendly episode of ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You (“Meat Is Murder,” Season 1, Episode 14). Sadly, last week it was announced that the show will not be picked up for a second season; however, I still urge you to send some feedback ABC’s way, whether positive or negative (or a little bit of both!), in order to encourage similar (or new and improved!) plot lines in the future.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 8:46 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Meatless Mondays on ABC’s 10 Things I Hate About You 4/19/10

Last Monday’s episode, April 19, of the hit primetime ABC series “10 Things I Hate About You” was titled “Meat is Murder.” It centered on Kat’s efforts to get Meatless Monday’s introduced at her school.

You can watch the episode on line [here].

I urge you to check it out, at least for a minute — stations take note of what shows and episodes get the most online hits.

I will give you some highlights:

It opens with Kat sitting at lunch, reading a book titled, “Meat is Not Green.” When her boyfriend sits down with a burger and asks about the book in a teasing manner, Kat says: “Did you know that 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture?”

He admits that it’s fascinating and she says, “If everybody at this school ate vegetables instead of processed animal flesh just one day a week it would make a huge environmental impact.”

He asks if he could do a walkathon instead, and she says, “If you don’t want to do it for the earth, do it for you colon.”

Then she gets up and says, “Enjoy your carbon footprint. I am going to go do something about this.”

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(mini) link love, 2010-03-14

Sunday, March 14th, 2010 by
  • This Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, tune into Planet Green to watch Coal Country – then enter to win a copy of Plundering Appalachia from Earthjustice! Contest rules and details here.
  • Thursday, April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of the occasion, the No Impact Project is helping citizens host screenings of No Impact Man throughout the country (world?).

    Here are the details, via New American Dream:

    It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Let’s do something about it! Turn off your TV. Stop shopping. Eat a carrot. Get on a bike. Put a moratorium on litter. And join our friends the No Impact Project, Slow Food USA and 1Sky for an action-oriented screening of No Impact Man. During the week of Earth Day 2010, you are invited to bring your community together to watch, discuss and act. The theme of this event is the impact of food production on climate change and what your community can do to take action. Check out the No Impact Man trailer and contact Lindsay to learn how you can become a host. To find a screening in your neighborhood, click here.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to attend (or host!) a local screening, boxes of vegan baked goods and vegan starter kits in tow!

  • Saturday, April 24, Vancouver-based animal advocacy group Liberation BC will be screening Meat the Truth; doors open at 3:30 PM. For additional details, see their latest newsletter or events page – or shoot ’em an email at info [at] liberationbc.org.
  • Did I miss something? Promote your local event, tell us all about your favorite new release, and share other animal-friendly pop culture goodies in the comments!

    The Snowpocalypse Descends Upon The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

    Friday, February 19th, 2010 by

    Stewart/Colbert '08 graphic. (Should read Colbert/Stewart '08!)

    Even before the flakes settled, right-wing pundits were pointing to the snowstorms that have slammed the East Coast this year as evidence that “global warming”

    [CLIMATE CHANGE! Temperatures may or may not rise depending on one’s geographic location, air and ocean currents, etc. In fact, some scientists worry that melting polar ice caps might actually plunge the northeastern U.S. and northwestern European coasts into a mini-ice age. Global warming does not mean that every location on earth will resemble a sauna! End: rant.]

    is a hoax and/or has been definitely discredited. Naturally, these gleeful squeals of triumph are usually accompanied by multiple smug, self-serving jabs at Al Gore. (Because the man IS global warming itself, dontchaknow! And I say this as a vegan with her own complex, ambivalent feelings towards the meat-guzzling Gore.)

    Anyhow, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a little fun at the expense of these climate change deniers – and in back-to-back shows, at that. While I don’t have time to type up transcripts, I have embedded the videos below, after the jump. (Too many videos on the main page makes Firefox crash. I blame Comedy Central and its clunky video formats. IBCC!)

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    Once a Terrorist, Always a Terrorist: Sean Maher Meets The Mentalist *

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 by

    The Mentalist logo banner

    Caution: Spoilers ahead!

    No stranger to the Green Scare, the latest episode of CBS’s The Mentalist (Season 2, Episode 12 – the appropriately titled “Bleeding Heart“) featured a terra-inducing plot line, complete with a proposed mega-development in the wilderness, government corruption and intrigue, and a graffiti-and-arson-loving eco-terrorist named Jasper.

    Here’s what you need to know, via TVOvermind:

    Sean Maher as Dr. Simon Tam of Firefly

    The Mentalist “Bleeding Heart” begins with Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) being interviewed by a camera crew in the CBI office. […]

    Lisbon allows the crew access to the office and bullpen, but not the crime scene. The team is investigating the murder of the mayor’s aide, who was found when the mayor herself broke ground in front of the cameras for a new development project. When they interview Mayor Melba Walker Shannon (Sharon Lawrence of Privileged and NYPD Blue) and her assistant Wilson (Firefly‘s Sean Maher), Jane notices immediately that the mayor seems uncomfortable talking about the victim. When he presses, the mayor asks them to leave.

    A possible perpetrator of the crime is an environmental group led by a man named Jasper. Though they’ve burned down buildings on protective land and other drastic measures, they haven’t committed any murder in their past history. Rigsby and Cho pay a visit to the foreman on the building site where the aide’s body was discovered, but while they’re questioning him, the trailer gets firebombed and the door jammed. The foreman is injured and Rigsby and Cho barely make it out with him before the place burns up. It’s clear to them that Jasper is escalating in violence.

    Further investigation leads the team to suspect that the mayor was being bribed to approve projects on previously protected lands.

    The investigation continues, yada yada yada, Jane takes the news crew out for tacos by way of an apology for exploding at them earlier – and is promptly kidnapped by Jasper and his crew:

    Jane is blindfolded and led to a cabin in the woods. His blindfold is removed and he’s confronted by the masked men, one of whom he surmises is eco-terrorist Jasper. Jasper wants Jane to carry a message that he’s not the one who committed murder or attempted to kill the detectives. Unfortunately Jane reveals that he’s figured out Jasper’s identity–the mayor’s assistant Wilson. […]

    While Jasper tries to decide what to do now that Jane knows his identity, Jane tries to talk his way out of his own possible murder, saying he can help Wilson. He succeeds in getting Wilson to a near state of hypnosis, when they’re suddenly interrupted by a loud shout that the house is surrounded by law enforcement personnel. Jane urges Jasper to stay calm. When Lisbon and the cops burst in, Jane is alone and restrained and Jasper has escaped out of a trap door.

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    Happiness is a ‘pumped and dumped’ gun.

    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    First, the bad news: That rider to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, introduced by asshat extraordinaire Tom Coburn, which would allow visitors to carry loaded guns in national parks? Passed both the House and Senate – with the help of plenty of Blue Dog Dems, natch.

    But on the bright side, Stephen and his fiancé, Sweetness, can take that honeymoon in Yellowstone that they’ve always dreamed of:
     

     
    Also, this provides our park rangers an excellent opportunity to earn some extra funds, to prop up the crumbling national park system.
     

     
    $20k on AK-47’s, anyone?

    Videos in this post

    The Colbert report – Monday, June 1, 2009 – Guns in National Parks
    Thanks to Tom Coburn and the NRA, campers need no longer live in fear of being carjacked by a bison. (02:30)

    The Daily Show – June 2, 2009 – Money Shot
    Josh Gad explores the exciting investment opportunities in semi-automatic weapons.

    Bob Woodruff on boiling humans.

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    Journalist Bob Woodruff made an appearance on The Daily Show last night in order to promote his latest project, Earth 2100:
     

     

    I find it interesting that Stewart and Woodruff open the discussion with a clip of Earth 2100 that invokes the anecdote of the frog submerged in a pot of boiling water: namely, if you put a frog in a pot of water that’s already boiling, she’ll jump right out, having sensed the heat and danger. But if you place her in a pot of cold or lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, she’s none the wiser, and will remain in the deathtrap until she becomes frog soup. In this metaphor, humans are the frogs, and the pot is earth.

    Which is all fine and good, except according to Snopes, this is a folk tale:

    Like a fable, the “boiled frog” anecdote serves its purpose whether or not it’s based upon something that is literally true. But it is literally true? Not according to Dr. Victor Hutchison, a Research Professor Emeritus from the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Zoology, whose research interests include “the physiological ecology of thermal relations of amphibians and reptiles to include determinations of the factors which influence lethal temperatures, critical thermal maxima and minima, thermal selection, and thermoregulatory behavior”:

    “The legend is entirely incorrect! The ‘critical thermal maxima’ of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so.”

    The “boiled frog” legend is a ubiquitous one – one that, given its falsehood, is both speciesist and completely inappropriate for what I assume is supposed to be a scientific documentary. The latter point is a given, but allow me to explain the former: central to the anecdote’s premise is the idea that a frog is so utterly stupid that, given subtle but entirely discernible cues, “it” would remain oblivious to the increasing danger and allow “itself” to be boiled alive. “Let’s not be like those lesser animals!” the tale cautions. Except. In denying climate change and poo-pooing slight increases in average global temperatures as “insignificant,” the human species is actually exhibiting less sense than Dog gave a frog. The frog isn’t earth’s complacent village idiot – we are.

    Also of note: Jon alludes to the presumed vivisection which led to the “discovery” that frogs might allow themselves to be boiled alive, given the right circumstances. Both Stewart and Woodruff appear to think that such gruesome experiments probably took place years ago, in the distant past. Except.

    “The legend is entirely incorrect! The ‘critical thermal maxima’ of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so.”

    While I can’t locate citations for these experiments, Wiki suggests that they’re more recent debunkings of “research” performed in the late 1800s (“research” on which the legend is apparently based).

    So, yeah, we boil frogs alive – or attempt to, anyway. And that’s not even the worst of it.

    Anyhow, back to Earth 2100.

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    The History Channel makes the case for VHEMT.

    Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    The History Channel - Life After People

    Last January, The History Channel aired Life After People, a one-part documentary that imagined what a world suddenly absent humans might look like:

    In the program, scientists and other experts speculate about how the Earth, animal life, and plant life might be like if, suddenly, humanity no longer existed, as well as the effect humanity’s disappearance might have on the artificial aspects of civilization. Speculation is based upon documented results of the sudden removal of humans from a geographical area and the possible results that would occur if humanity discontinues its maintenance of buildings and urban infrastructure.

    The documentary features the gradual and post-apocalyptic disintegration of urban civilization in a time span of 10,000 years after humanity suddenly vanished. The hypotheses are depicted using CGI dramatizations of the possible fate of iconic structures and landmarks (i.e. the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower, the Space Needle, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Hoover Dam).

    Having just received Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us for FSMas, I was super-psyched about the documentary (which aired as part of a block of similar programming, such as Last Days on Earth) – and Life After People did not disappoint. The graphics were amazing, and the time projections – from 1 to 10 days after our disappearance, to 1 to 10,000 years post-h. sapiens – were quite impressive. Perhaps most importantly, and much like The World Without Us, Life After People gave me great hope for the future – or rather, for a future without us. Many of humanity’s so-called “greatest achievements” will prove a small match for the forces of nature, particularly once we’re no longer around to beat nature back. Those species which we haven’t yet driven to extinction will be given a second chance, and the earth will regenerate, reclaiming the land and resources we’ve stolen from it.

    As I wrote in a review of The World Without Us,

    Environmentalists – indeed, any person [with a] modicum of decency – will be happy to know that much of what we’ve done to the Earth, can be quickly undone. With the exception of those species we’ve already managed to eradicate, many endangered and threatened animal species do stand a fighting chance in a world without us. Many of our “greatest accomplishments,” from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Hoover Dam, will eventually crumble without humans around to maintain them. Forests, grasslands, and jungles will recover lost ground, though native species will be forced into competition with exotic ones introduced by humans. Global warming will slow and the ozone layer will regain molecular equilibrium. Our most enduring legacies will be our most unnatural creations: nuclear waste, plastics, and petrochemicals. Hopefully a world without us will evolve microbes to digest the more than one billion pounds of plastic we’ve dumped into the environment since the late ‘50s. […]

    Whether it happens tomorrow or in 900 million years – when our Sun enters a red giant phase and begins to expand and contract, thus heating the Earth and evaporating our surface water – we will disappear. In this regard, we’re no better than the great megafauna of the Holocene epoch – or the lowly cockroaches and rodents that congregate in our fragile urban areas. It’s not a question of if we will vanish, but when; perhaps we should make our exit a graceful one, taking no more of our fellow earthlings to the grave than we already have.

    Call me a hopeless cynic if you’d like, but it’s worth noting that Life After People was the History Channel’s most-watched program ever, with an estimated 5.4 million viewers. Something resonated.

    Anyhow, while flipping around the teevee this morning, I was happily surprised to stumble upon Episode 2 of Life After People: The Series. Apparently last year’s documentary proved so popular that the History Channel commissioned a 10-part mini-series:

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    The “right” to guzzle gas.

    Thursday, May 21st, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    Tom Coburn is fast becoming my pick for Douchebag of the Week.

    See, for example, minute 2:30 of this Daily Show clip:
     

     
    Coburn’s complaints re: CAFE standards: “What if you want to drive a gas hog? You don’t have the right any longer in this country to spend your money to drive a gas hog?”

    Yes! And should I be struck with the desire to toss a barrel of arsenic in my pond, who is the government to tell me I can’t? It’s MY arsenic and MY pond, goddammit, and my grandfather fought and died in WWII so that AMERICA THE FREE would remain FREE from this sort of BIG GOVERNMENT FASCISM.

    What’s better/worse, Coburn defends the “right” of individuals to pollute and consume to excess while also working to strip women of the right to bodily autonomy and privacy. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and supports the death penalty for medical doctors who perform abortions. (Nor does he care to reduce the need for abortion by increasing the availability of and access to contraception.)

    In Tom Coburn’s mind, a person has a greater “right” to decide what car to drive, than a person woman* has to decide whether or not she will lend her body and organs to another being – a potential being, which in its early stages exists as a tiny clump of cells – for nine months.

    Car purchase > Bodily integrity

    Seriously, what a douche.

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    Mark Bittman, Peter Singer & Jay Keasling on The Colbert Report

    Sunday, March 15th, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    I’ve been a little lazy in blogging the animal-related segments on The Colbert Report lately – mostly because the guests haven’t much impressed me. But, seeing as Peter Singer appeared on Thursday’s episode, it’s probably time.

    First, there was Mark Bittman, a food critic and “vegan” advocate – but only before 6 PM. Yup, you heard me right; Bittman is vegan – for a variety of health, environmental and animal welfare reasons (though methinks non-human animals rank very low on Bittman’s list) – but only up until dinnertime. Then, anything goes.
     

     
    That’s like a dude saying that he’s kind and respectful toward women, but only until the nighttime – then he beats and rapes them with glee. (Or rather, he hires a third party to do so, and enjoys the hunt through a vicarious thrill.) Hey, one can only be expected to exert willpower and behave ethically for so long, then something’s gotta give, dontchaknow!

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    Tiger Penis, Cow Taxing & Cocaine Honey on The Colbert Report

    Saturday, January 10th, 2009 by

    Crossposted from V for Vegan.

    On Wednesday’s The Colbert Report (1/7/09), Stephen discusses not one, not two, but three animal-related stories!

    First up: Barack Obama’s possible appointment of CNN’s Sanjay Gupta to the post of Surgeon General. Stephen includes a clip from CNN’s Planet in Peril: Battle Lines special in which Gupta attempts to purchase illegal tiger penis:
     

     
    In case the video doesn’t embed/play properly (I couldn’t resist tinkering around with Comedy Central’s unwieldy block of code), the segment title (with link) is “Dr. Gupta’s Penis Pyramid”.

    Then, in his Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger segment, he mentions

    1) The EPA’s (supposed) proposed tax on cows (and pigs), in order to combat climate change and

    2) Recent “scientific” “research” in which liquid cocaine was placed on the backs of honey bees in order to assess their reactions.
     

     
    Because fucking with bee populations is exactly what we should be doing right about now. Not.