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Star Wars, Hawaiian Style – April 26, 2015

Indigenous activists take on Northern Hemisphere’s biggest telescope

The Big Island of Hawaii is often in the news because of the active Kilauea volcano. However, an eruption of another sort at the dormant 13,796 foot-high Mauna Kea is thrusting Hawaii back into the headlines. This explosion of activism has been triggered not by TNT, but by “TMT,” the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, the Northern Hemisphere’s largest, most advanced optical telescope, which is slated to be built on the summit of the Aloha State’s highest peak. This 184 foot-tall, 18 story-high, eight acre, $1.4 billion construction project has sparked a wave of occupations and protests by Native Hawaiians, environmentalists, and their allies, stretching from Hawaii to California.

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by: Ed Rampell

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In Review: Antarctic Edge: 70° South – April 17, 2015

A beautifully filmed journey to the bottom of the globe reveals new risks to the planet

There’s an old saying: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Well, here’s a film about a few people who are doing something about extreme weather. Every spring (in the Southern Hemisphere) oceanographers and ecologists of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project make the arduous journey to Palmer Station in the West Antarctic Peninsula. The area has been described as “the fastest winter-warming place on Earth,” and because of that unfortunate distinction it is among the best places on the planet to study the impacts of global climate change.

photo of a tiny boat zipping toward an ice sheetFirst Run… more

by: Ed Rampell

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Cyclone Pam Ravages Vanuatu, Leaving At Least 24 Dead – March 16, 2015

Toll expected to rise; top officials blame climate change

In a 4:00 p.m. EST, phone interview from Manhattan on Monday, Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Odo Tevi, updated Earth Island Journal as to the latest news regarding the cyclone that ravaged his South Pacific Island nation over the weekend: “We were hit by a Category 5 cyclone, Cyclone Pam… Currently, there are 24 confirmed deaths. Eleven are from Tafea province, eight from Efate [the main island where the capital of Port Vila is located], five from Tanna… Tafea province has about four islands.”

destroyed dock in VanuatuPhoto courtesy of UNICEFThe full scale of the damage wreaked by the storm is still unclear… more

by: Ed Rampell

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The Big Haze: China’s Great Leap Backwards – March 13, 2015

In Review: Under the Dome

Viewed more than 200 million times online since its late February release, a hard hitting anti-pollution documentary went viral in the Peoples Republic — until China’s so-called “Great Firewall” removed the compelling Internet sensation from Chinese websites. The self-financed Under the Dome is created and presented by Beijing-based investigative reporter, TV/radio host, and author Chai Jing. Complications surrounding her daughter’s birth inspired Chai to make this reportedly $167,000 nonfiction film that energetically tackles China’s energy status quo, pulling no punches. Her documentary, and the government’s suppression of it, is a case study of the current state of the Chinese environmentalist movement, which has previously used film as an organizing tool.

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by: Ed Rampell

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An Ode to Activism: The People Vs. the Pipeline – January 9, 2015

In Review: Above All Else

Former stuntman and circus high-wire artist David Daniel is the central character of writer/director John Fiege’s gripping film, Above All Else. This must-see documentary is literally a David versus Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den drama of Biblical proportions that pits the ex-gymnast, fellow landowners, and environmentalists against TransCanada’s ruthless drive to construct a 1,700-mile pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The film portrays how the foreign transportation firm relentlessly buzzsaws, bamboozles, and bulldozes its way across America, using the law of eminent domain to fell trees and dispossess US citizens like Daniel of their private property.

photo of people… <a href=more

by: Ed Rampell

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