Category Archives: Environment

Courtney Quirin – GUARDIAN

We speak with Courtney Quirin, whose film, Guardian, won the JURY PRIZE for BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE  at this year’s SF IndieFest. Guardian will be screened at the Mendocino Film Festival this Saturday, June 1 at 5:30 in Crown Hall. It has been described as a cautionary tale about the role of science in environmental decision-making and the repercussions of its censorship. But that is totally inadequate to describe the human focus, the magnificent cinematography and the emotional impact the film has.

Courtney Quirin’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from U of Otago in New Zealand, which included going to the highlands of Ethiopia to identify the nature and extent of farmer-primate conflict. Then, on to Ohio State U. to investigate urban coyotes for her PhD, but just shy of 2 years into that degree, she realized that her true passions lie within documentary film and investigative journalism. So she earned her Master’s in Journalism and Documentary Film from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has reported for the Associated Press in South Africa, Al Jazeera, Bay Nature Magazine and Mission Local in California.Doug+paddling-5.jpg

Doug Stewart has been a Guardian in the Great Bear Rainforest since 1977, living on the Surfbird with his wife, Carol, & monitoring over 129 creeks & streams. SURFBIRD.jpg

After Doug, Stan Hutchings is the 2nd oldest Guardian. He began as a teenager in 1979.Stan.jpg

After the interview with Courtney, we reported on the US Navy’s proposed Training & Testing, reading a PSA from Thaïs Mazur:

The Navy is seeking Federal Regulatory Permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to do weapons testing off the Mendocino coast, requesting a seven year permit to do the testing and training 12 miles offshore.
This is part of the larger Northwest Navy Training and Testing from Alaska to Northern California. The coast of Mendocino is a major migration route for gray whales and humpbacks.
The Navy is proposing activities that include anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.
U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean could kill, injure, or harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals — Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises — through the use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar, which harass whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, 12.5 million times over the next five years. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales, that have died from erupting lungs, ruptured ear drums and organ damage after military sonar exercises. Sonar exercises have also been found to cause mass strandings of whales.
The Navy is accepting comments on the DRAFT Supplemental EIS through June 12, 2019. Here is the link:
https://www.nwtteis.com/PublicInvolvement/Public-Comment

All photos credited to Courtney Quirin

Liz Miller – THE SHORE LINE PROJECT

Liz Miller is a documentary maker and professor interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns. She is a Full Professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal and teaches courses in media production, methods in co-creation/ research-creation, Latin American film, Media-and-the-Environment, Food Systems and more. Her films/educational campaigns on timely issues such as water privatization, immigration, refugee rights and the environment have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers. Liz Miller’s The Shoreline Project, which in a series of 2 dozen short films takes us around the world to meet people from myriad cultures and backgrounds, creatively responding to increasing realities of climate disruption, will be at this year’s Mendocino Film Festival in two formats: The film collection, The Shore Line, will screen at the Matheson this coming Saturday June – 1 at12:30 pm. The full interactive exhibit of The Shoreline Project, will be on display at the Festival Headquarters in Odd Fellows Hall,  during the entire festival.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.41.54 PM.pngSefali is a Green Rhinos Youth Leader in Maipith, Sundarbans, India. After a devastating cyclone hit in 2009, she organized fellow students to plant trees around their homes and school.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.40.35 PM.pngMatias Asun exchanged his job as Director of Greenpeace in Chile to become the Ambassador from the newly proclaimed Republica Glaciar after concluding that the Chilean government had abandoned glaciers. He lobbies the Legislature and pertinent boards to gain protection for them from mining companies and climate disruption.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.40.57 PM.pngIoane Teitiota of the island nation of Kiribati was the first person in the world to apply for climate refugee status in New Zealand. Although his island is expected to be completely inundated within 20 years, the Immigration Board ruled that he and his family were not in danger of dying, so they were sent back. Noting that if he were granted asylum on grounds of climate change it would open the floodgate for millions of others ironically confirmed his reason for being granted asylum.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.41.24 PM.pngWill Nelson is a biologist and a member of the Metlakatla Stewardship Council. They are engaged in using helicopters to map inter-tidal archeological sites to document their heritage in present day British Columbia, which they have maintained for at least the past 14,000 years. Structures such as clam gardens and clam middens establish their long-standing claims to the land to protect sensitive coastal areas from development.

 

After the interview with Liz Miller, we reported on the US Navy’s proposed Training & Testing, reading a PSA from Thaïs Mazur:

The Navy is seeking Federal Regulatory Permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to do weapons testing off the Mendocino coast, requesting a seven year permit to do the testing and training 12 miles offshore.
This is part of the larger Northwest Navy Training and Testing from Alaska to Northern California. The coast of Mendocino is a major migration route for gray whales and humpbacks.
The Navy is proposing activities that include anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.
U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean could kill, injure, or harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals — Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises — through the use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar, which harass whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, 12.5 million times over the next five years. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales, that have died from erupting lungs, ruptured ear drums and organ damage after military sonar exercises. Sonar exercises have also been found to cause mass strandings of whales.
The Navy is accepting comments on the DRAFT Supplemental EIS through June 12, 2019. Here is the link:
https://www.nwtteis.com/PublicInvolvement/Public-Comment

Inventing Tomorrow

In this edition, recorded on May 16, 2018, we interview three of the producers of INVENTING TOMORROW, an inspiring documentary that features six passionate teenage scientists from Indonesia, Hawaii, India and Mexico, creating cutting-edge solutions to the world’s environmental threats-right in their own backyards. It follows them, as they eventually journey to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018.

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(L-R) Producer Diane Becker, director Laura Nix and producer Melanie Miller

Laura Nix is known for her films The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014) as well as The Yes Men Fix the World (2009), The Light In Her Eyes (2011) about Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria when she was just 17 years old. Her work in film goes back to 1997.

Melanie Miller is known for her work on Detour (2013), and Alaska Is a Drag (2017). Her film work goes all the way back to 2001 as associate producer on the Liars Club

Diane Becker has films going back to 2006, including Five Came Back(2017), Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma (2016), Legion of Brothers (2017), Jaco (2015) and many more.

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(L-R) Melanie Miller, Laura Nix, Jose Manuel Elizade Esparanza, Fernando Miguel Sanchez Villalobos, Sahithi Pingali, Shofi Latifa Nuha Anfaresi, Jared Goodwin, Diane Becker, Jesus Alfonso Martinez Aranda

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ENEV063T_Anfaresi_Shofi Latifah Nuha_Indonesia_053_CA.jpgProject ENEV063T: Bangka’s Tin Sea Sand-Fe3O4 as a Removal of Heavy Metals in By-Product of Tin Ore Processing  (above): Intan Utami Putri
Shofi Latifa Nuha Anfaresi  
Banka, Indonesia

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EAEV088_Pingali_Sahithi_15_CA.jpgProject EAEV008 – An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies

above: Sahithi Pingali
 in Bangalore, India

J.-Goodwin2-225x300.jpgEAEV018_Goodwin_Jared_USA_02_KR.jpgProject EAEV018 – Arsenic Contamination through Tsunami Wave Movement in Hawaii: Investigating the Concentration of Heavy Metals in the Soil from the 1960 Hilo, Hawaii Tsunami

Jared Goodwin
 is from Hilo, Hawaii

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Project CHEM059T: Photocatalytic Ceramic Paint to Purify Air
Fernando Miguel Sanchez Villalobos
Jesus Alfonso Martinez Aranda
Jose Manuel Elizade Esparaza
     above: in Monterrey, Mexico

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When not producing films, Diane, Laura and Melanie can be found promoting science in other ways.

 

 

 

Adam Higginbotham – MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

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After 10 years of research, Adam Higginbotham’s book, MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster, provides the first complete account of the catastrophe that encircled the world and helped precipitate the fall of the USSR. It is published by Simon & Schuster.

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Some articles referring to the event can be found here:

Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment   • 14 February 2019 https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47227767

Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an area of more than 4,000 square kilometres has been abandoned. That could be about to change, as Victoria Gill discovered during a week-long trip to the exclusion zone.

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Visiting Chernobyl 32 Years After the Disaster
https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/04/visiting-chernobyl-32-years-after-the-disaster/559016/

On April 26, 1986, technicians conducting a test inadvertently caused the fourth reactor to explode. Several hundred staff members and firefighters then tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Authorities evacuated 120,000 people from the area, including 43,000 from the city of Pripyat. Below, recent images from Chernobyl and nearby ghost towns within the exclusion zone, as well as memorials held in Ukraine and Russia.

19 stunning photos show what the radioactive area inside the Chernobyl nuclear plant looks like 32 years after the explosion
Sarah Jacobs      Apr. 26, 2018,
https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-zone-today-2018-4

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Chernobyl Today – The site of Chernobyl 30 years after
http://www.radioactivity.eu.com/site/pages/Chernobyl_Today.htm

CHERNOBYL: A MILLION CASUALTIES          http://www.envirovideo.com

Chernobyl Accident 1986
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident.aspx

 

Rob Dunn – NEVER HOME ALONE

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More than ten years ago, scientists at North Carolina State University dared to go where few had gone before. They began to explore the biodiversity of backyards, bedrooms, belly buttons, and more. But they didn’t do it alone. The work required the collaboration of scientists at many other universities, as well as that of thousands of non-scientists around the world, including children, who helped to take samples, ask questions and even to think about new kinds of analyses. NEVER HOME ALONE: FROM MICROBES TO MILLIPEDES, CAMEL CRICKETS, AND HONEYBEES, THE NATURAL HISTORY OF WHERE WE LIVE, published by Basic Books, tells the big story of the tens of thousands of species discovered in our homes. It argues that, as often as not, more biodiversity in your home ends up being better than less.

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Rob Dunn is a biologist in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University. Central to all of his work is the sense that big discoveries lurk not only in faraway tropical forests, but also in our homes and neighborhoods. His books include, EVERY LIVING THING; THE WILDLIFE OF OUR BODIES: PREDATORS, PARASITES AND PARTNERS THAT SHAPE WHO WE ARE TODAY; THE MAN WHO TOUCHED HIS OWN HEART; and NEVER OUT OF SEASON.robdunn.panel3_-1.jpg

You can find out more about his work at http://robdunnlab.com/

You can find out more about citizen science projects here:    http://yourwildlife.org/

Julian Brave Noisecat

Julian Brave NoiseCat is an enrolled member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen in British Columbia. He is a graduate of Columbia University, and received a Clarendon Scholarship to study global and imperial history at the University of Oxford. He was formerly the native issues fellow at The Huffington Post. He writes for The Guardian, The Nation, The Paris Review, CBC, Vice, Pacific Standard, Dissent, Jacobin, Fusion, Indian Country Today, Salon, High Country News, Canadian Geographic, Frontier Magazine, World Policy Journal as well as other publications.

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Julian Brave NoiseCat, a contributing editor of the newly unveiled Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, points on a giant map at a launch event in Toronto, Wednesday August 29, 2018. The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada includes a four volume print atlas, an online atlas, an app, and a giant floor map. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch)

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To find out more about the Tribal Canoe Journey for the 50th anniversary of  Alcatraz : https://www.canoejourney2019.com/

Here are links to articles referenced in this interview:

How a River Was Granted Personhood  https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/587689/river-me/

His side of the story: Nathan Phillips wants to talk about Covington https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/04/nathan-phillips-his-story-hate-division-covington

‘This is my home’: growing anger in Canada over projects on indigenous lands https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/11/canada-pipeline-indigenous-trudeau-treaty

Trans Mountain pipeline halted after Canadian court overturns approval https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/30/trans-mountain-pipeline-latest-canada-court-overturns

The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hikianalia Journey to Californiahttps://bombmagazine.org/articles/the-polynesian-voyaging-societys-hikianalia-journey-to-california/

The Tribal Canoe Journey, an odyssey to reclaim tradition and territory   https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/tribal-canoe-journey-odyssey-reclaim-tradition-and-territory

After grisly murder, stop delaying passage of Savanna’s Act http://www.startribune.com/after-grisly-murder-stop-delaying-passage-of-savanna-s-act/503171711/

Missing and Murdered     http://www.frontier.is/missing-and-murdered/

Disruption Beyond Standing Rock    https://www.vanalen.org/stories/disruption-beyond-standing-rock/

Standing Rock inspired Ocasio-Cortez to run. That’s the power of protest https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/14/standing-rock-ocasio-cortez-protest-climate-activism

Native Americans Take Power    http://inthesetimes.com/features/native-american-voters-government-political-revolution.html

Indigenous Struggle Is Key to a Green New Deal       https://truthout.org/articles/indigenous-struggle-is-key-to-a-green-new-deal/

Lauren E. Oakes – In Search of the Canary Tree

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IN SEARCH OF THE CANARY TREE: THE STORY OF A SCIENTIST, A CYPRESS, AND A CHANGING WORLD, published by Basic Books, chronicles the six years Lauren E. Oakes, PhD, spent beginning in 2010, as a young Stanford University scientist, doing doctoral research in South East Alaska, studying the mysterious die-back of ancient yellow cedar trees. Hers was a multi-disciplinary approach. In addition to the grueling field work studying thousand of trees, and countless other plants in the changing forests, she also interviewed local folks, including native Tlingit weavers, timber operators, other scientists, and just regular folks who enjoy the forests for recreation. There were many surprises along the way, which she shares with us in this interview.

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