The Global Fool

our planet is our village

It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying: A New Campaign to Raise Awareness of Climate Change
Aug14

It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying: A New Campaign to Raise Awareness of Climate Change

By The Editors Milton Glaser, one of the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States, has launched an environmental campaign to raise awareness of climate change. He is known for the ubiquitous I heart NY logo, his Bob Dylan poster, the Brooklyn Brewery logo, and a lot more. You can view a collection of his work here.  The campaign — It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying —  is based on a strong message that is meant to create a sense of urgency around climate change, a well-established major global threat. For his campaign, which defines climate change as “The most important fact on Earth“, Glaser designed a visual for buttons and posters — our planet seen as a green disk covered by black smoke, with only a narrow band of life (in still visible green) remaining at its bottom. The green section is printed in glow-in-the-dark ink for maximum impact. “There is no more significant issue on earth than its survival,” Glaser told Dezeen, one of the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazines. “The questions is, ‘how can anyone not be involved?'” And he added: “If half the people on earth wear the button even the ‘masters of the universe’ will be moved to action,” referring to the large corporations he says have prevented significant action to protect the planet against the changing climate. “Global warming” does not convey the seriousness of the problem. Glaser wants to point out what global warming really is — a death sentence — and make people more receptive to truly understand what it’s at stake here. He told Brian Lehrer (listen to the interview here): “Global warming in its own way sounds sort of reassuring and comforting … that’s terrible. You begin by attacking the phrase itself — the word and what the word means — because the truth of the matter is that the earth is dying. And wouldn’t it be nice if today was the beginning of the most important date in human history which is the date we decided not to let the earth die?” A Twitter account provides a stream of news reports and updates about the campaign. Follow this link to buy buttons ($5 for five). All proceeds will be used to produce and distribute more...

Read More
Electronic Waste: A Global, Interactive Map
Dec17

Electronic Waste: A Global, Interactive Map

By The Editors In one of our previous posts (Electronic Waste and the Global Toxic Trade) we said “As technology changes come by very rapidly in great acceleration-style, the amount of obsolete and discarded high tech material also grows, great acceleration-style, around the world.” Now, data compiled by “Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative“, a partnership of UN organizations, industry, governments, non-government and science organizations, provide a staggering forecast of how rapidly electronic waste is accumulating globally – by 2017, we can expect an increase of 33%, up to one-third to 65.4 million tons. The escalating e-waste problem is graphically shown in a first-of-its-kind StEP E-Waste World Map, available online at http://www.step-initiative.org/index.php/WorldMap.html. This unique interactive map presents annual data from 184 countries, showing the estimated amount of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market and the resulting generation of e-waste. If you click on a continent and a country, you can see an overview of the country’s e-waste statistics, as well as any rules that country has to regulate the disposal of e-waste. The map shows that almost 48.9 million metric tons of used electrical and electronic products was produced last year — an average of 7 kg for each of the world’s 7 billion people. “Although there is ample information about the negative environmental and health impacts of primitive e-waste recycling methods, the lack of comprehensive data has made it hard to grasp the full magnitude of the problem,” says Ruediger Kuehr of United Nations University and Executive Secretary of the StEP Initiative, “We believe that this constantly updated, map-linked database showing e-waste volume by country together with legal texts will help lead to better awareness and policy making at the public and private...

Read More
750 Miles of Smog
Dec14

750 Miles of Smog

By The Editors Thick haze stretching over a distance of about 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) has been captured a few days ago (December 7, 2013) by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. In the image below, the brightest areas are clouds or fog. Polluted air appears gray. The haze stretched from Beijing (top) to Shanghai (bottom), China. You can read more about this severe bout of air pollution here (NASA Earth...

Read More
Embarrassing Facebook Posts May Cause Anguish
Dec10

Embarrassing Facebook Posts May Cause Anguish

By The Editors A new study from Northwestern University explores the strength of the emotional response to “violations” or ”threats” on Facebook – something that gets posted and results in embarrassment and may, sometimes, create anguish. Jeremy Birnholtz, one of the researchers, said: “Almost every participant in the study could describe something that happened on Facebook in the past six months that was embarrassing or made them feel awkward or uncomfortable.” The study, which will be presented in February 2014 at the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing in Baltimore, found that people concerned about social appropriateness and those with a diverse network of friends on Facebook are more likely to strongly experience a threat, whereas people with a high level of Facebook skills experience the same types of threats less severely. “Perhaps people with more Facebook experience, who know how to control settings, delete pictures and comments and untag, think they knew how to deal with these encounters or at least try to deal with them,” Birnholtz said. The types of violations or threats people in this study reported experiencing most often are: Norm violations: This is the most common type of threat study participants reported experiencing (45 percent) and involves situations when social norms are violated and one’s behavior is exposed in a way that could lead to social and emotional consequences. Ideal self-presentation violations: This is the second most common threat reported (29 percent) and involves ideal self-presentation violations, when content posted is inconsistent with the manner in which a person wants to appear to his or her Facebook audience. Association effects: These threats are a little less common (21 percent) and involve people worrying about their self-presentation because of how someone they associate with on Facebook is presenting himself. Aggregate effects: This is the least common threat (5 percent) and it occurs when an individual’s content gains higher visibility within his or her network as more people like it or comment on it. The unexpected attention can cause one to feel self-conscious about their self-presentation. “People can make bad decisions when posting to your Facebook because they don’t have a good idea of your privacy settings and which friends of yours might see this content,” Birnholtz said. “Facebook doesn’t provide a lot of cues as to how friends want to present themselves to their audience.” He said in the future Facebook could offer more pop-ups and nudges to help people think twice before posting a possible “threat” to a friend’s...

Read More
Forests: A Map of Global Changes
Dec06

Forests: A Map of Global Changes

By The Editors This map — based on data from the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite — shows the worldwide forest cover, as well as the loss and gain of forest cover occurring over a period of 12 years (2000 – 2012). During this period, 888,000 square miles (2.3 million square kilometers) of forest were lost, and 309,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers) were gained. It’s one of the maps resulting from a new study published online in the scientific journal Science on November 14, 2013.  The study is entitled “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change” and involves a team of 15 universities, Google and government researchers. To view the forest cover maps in Google Earth Engine,...

Read More