This week in EcoArts, Deborah Harter Williams introduced us to a new, literary genre with two ecological thrillers, while Bridget Terry reviewed 3 eco-documentaries making their debut at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
In Species, we once again marveled at the intelligence of animals, watching as dolphins showed a playful ability to blow complete rings of air underwater – and Anne-Marie Hodge shared insights into how marine mammals use bubbles in the wild.
This week’s installment of Ace & Ace videos took us to Rheinelbe, Germany, where the government has transformed retired coal mining sites into urban public parks. From there, it was on to Cloughjordan, Ireland, where a 41-acre village with 130 low-energy homes functions solely on sustainable practices.
We learned that everyone’s favorite cookies are getting an environmental makeover as part of the Girl Scouts new Forever Green initiative. We pondered the tradeoffs involved in developing renewable solar energy where it threatens an endangered tortoises’ habitat, and met future scientists at the second annual White House science fair. And for those who need reminding that February 14 is fast approaching, Lisa Rosen gave us some tips on environmentally conscious gifts for this Valentine’s Day
At Ecology Campus, we visited George Washington University, in Washington DC, where sustainable practices such as community gardens, solar panels on roofs and trash compactors are being implemented. And in India and Thailand, “toilet paper” got literal thanks to a new process that converts elephant dung into paper.
Here at Ecology Today, there was good news for Asia’s mountain glaciers, which are losing mass much more slowly than previously estimated. The rest of the cryosphere isn’t faring so well, however, as land ice continues to decline and sea levels continue to rise. Meanwhile, fossil fuel giant BP reported record profits for 2011, just as the company prepares to face hundreds of lawsuits from last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.