Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meet Terrain.org at AWP

Terrain.org staff and contributors will be at the annual AWP conference and bookfair in New York City from January 31 to February 2. Join us at:
  • Table #480 at the Hilton's Americas Hall II, access from 3rd floor -- we'll have a laptop with a slideshow of the journal, Terrain.org e-News signup, handouts, and more.
  • Terrain.org 10th Anniversary Reading on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6-8 p.m. at the Cornelia Street Cafe. View flyer.
  • Panel: "The Future of Environmental Essay," moderated by Terrain.org editor Simmons Buntin and including Alison Hawthorne Deming, David Gessner, David Rothenberg, and Lauret Savoy -- from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Sutton South, Hilton 2nd Floor
  • Salmon Poetry Reading, featuring Terrain.org editor Simmons Buntin and many other Salmon Publishing poets, at the Bowery Poetry Club: Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 p.m.

The AWP bookfair is open to the public on Saturday, so even if you're not going to AWP but are in New York City, please consider stopping by. And if you're already at AWP, then be sure to stop by!

An extra incentive: The first person at AWP to mention the Terrain.org Blog as the source of this information will receive a free, signed copy of Simmons Buntin's book of poems, Riverfall (published by Salmon Poetry).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Civano Community School Wins!

The Civano Community School---which Simmons Buntin's daughters attend---won the "Go Green with All" greenest grade school in American contest, announced today on The Ellen Show. Very cool!

Details at http://gogreenwithall.com/home/.

In addition to a $50,000 grand prize for the school, each student receives an iPod shuffle with a solar charger, and each family receives a year's supply of All concentrated detergent.

This is the work of many good folks, but Pam Bateman, school marm, deserves special recognition.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Carbon Offsets, from Earth Talk

EARTH TALK
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: My global warming guilt is starting to catch up with me, and I’ve heard that I can buy “carbon offsets” to help make things right. How do they work? -- Miranda Snavely, Milton, WA

Carbon offsets are monies that consumers and businesses pay voluntarily to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions they generate directly by driving, flying, running the air conditioning and otherwise using non-renewable energy. Companies and nonprofit groups that sell offsets use the dollars generated to fund alternative energy and other projects that will ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (such as wind farms that can replace coal-fired power plants in generating electricity).

“Carbon offsetting is one of many economic actions you can take to address climate change, and it is a powerful one,” says the nonprofit Co-op America, “Many promising projects that would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions lack the capital they need to get built; by directing your offset dollars to these projects, you can help finance new wind farms, solar arrays, and more.”

Dozens of carbon-offset vendors have sprung up in recent years. Consumers interested in buying offsets should do their homework, as some firms have better reputations than others. Co-op America recommends offsets that support specific projects that wouldn’t have happened otherwise and that have measurable near-term goals. Legitimate offset providers should also be able to back up all claims and show a clear money trail to the projects being funded. Co-op America urges consumers to avoid tree-planting programs, which are hard to quantify, and “climate exchange allowances” (also known as “pollution trading” or “emissions trading”), which many consider to be veiled ways of letting companies buy the right to pollute.

Co-op America lauds the Climate Trust (non-profit, funds wind farms in Oregon), TerraPass (for-profit, funds methane gas capture from landfills and farms), Native Energy (for-profit, funds new wind farms and solar arrays) and Sustainable Travel International’s MyClimate (non-profit, funds clean energy in developing countries) as some of the leading offset providers with reputable business models.

Those looking to dig deeper into the ways different offset providers operate should check out Clean Air-Cool Planet’s Consumer's Guide to Carbon Offsets. The free 44-page PDF download assesses the strengths and weaknesses of some two-dozen carbon offset programs. The guide gives highest marks to Climate Trust, Native Energy and MyClimate, although other providers are also praised for specific programs. Another good free online resource comparing various offset programs on one page/chart is on the Carbon Offsets Survey page on the EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory.

Consumers should understand that offsets may be convenient, but are essentially only icing on the cake of an otherwise diligent effort to reduce emissions by using energy less and more efficiently. “All the offsets in the world won’t help us,” warns Clean Air-Cool Planet, “if we in the U.S. don’t make big reductions in our overall greenhouse gas emissions and effect a transition away from wasteful use of fossil fuels.”

CONTACTS: Co-op America, www.coopamerica.org; Climate Trust, www.climatetrust.org; TerraPass, www.terrapass.com; NativeEnergy, www.nativeenergy.com; Sustainable Travel International, www.sustainabletravelinternational.org; Clean Air-Cool Planet, www.cleanair-coolplanet.org; EcoBusinessLinks, www.ecobusinesslinks.com.

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Terrain.org Issue No. 21 : Islands & Archipelagos : Now Live!

Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments

Winter/Spring 2008 Issue Now Online:
http://www.terrain.org

Issue No. 21 — Islands & Archipelagos — features a rich mix of contributions:

Columns

- Guest Editorial: “Restoring Abundant Oceans” by Andrew Sharpless, Oceana
- Simmons B. Buntin scribes a portrait of Fernando at Bahía de Loreto
- David Rothenberg plays clarinet to humpback whales off Hawaii
- Deborah Fries recounts the Rutherford Island life of artist Ellen Vincent

Interview

- Terrain.org interviews author David Quammen

Poetry

Poetry by Susan F. Benjamin, Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, J.D. Schraffenberger, Margarita Engle, Eric Paul Shaffer, Wendy Burk, Scott T. Starbuck, Paul Fisher, Yvonne Carpenter, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, and Jane Levin

Essays

- "Searching within the Archipelago" by Steve Kahn, with photos by John Hohl
- "St. Francis and the Isle of Foula" by Lynne Shapiro
- "Navajo Women: Doorway Between Traditional and Modern Life" by Betty Reid, with photos by Kenji Kawano
- "Land and Money" by William R. Stimson
- "My Farmhouse in Japan: A Breakfast to Remember" by John Roderick

UnSprawl Case Study

The Villages of Loreto Bay in Baja California Sur —an 8,000-acre new urbanist project that strives to be North America’s largest sustainable resort development; it will include village neighborhoods constructed in nine phases along the Sea of Cortés

Fiction

- "The Third Way" by Tamara Kaye Sellman
- "Pelicans" by Julian Hoffman
- "Her Best Interests" by Janet Yung
- "The Way Things Fall" by Richard Denoncourt

Articles

- "Rice Island: Bali and the Cultivation of Tradition — A Narrative Slideshow" by Colin Donohue
- "Sky Islands of North America: A Globally Unique and Threatened Inland Archipelago" by Matt Skroch
- "No Community is an Island: Tributary and the Young & the Restless" by Rick Mildner and Brian Canin
- "Tourism Takes the Bird: Are Proposed Changes to Four Seasons Development Enough to Protect the Rare Grenada Dove?" by Dr. George Wallace
- "Ocean Acidification: A Greater Threat than Global Warming or Overfishing?" by Dr. William G.C. Burns

ARTerrain Gallery

- Ten natural light photographs from Floridian Joel B. McEachern

Reviews

- Deborah Fries reviews Salmon: A Journey in Poetry, 1981-2007, edited by Jessie Lendennie
- Simmons B. Buntin reviews Phantom Limb: Essays by Theresa Kishkan
- Stephanie Eve Boone reviews Nature Cure: A Story of Depression and Healing by Richard Mabey
- Terrain.org reviews Planet Ocean: Voyage to the Heart of the Marine Realm, by Laurent Ballesta and Pierre Descamp

View new issue now at http://www.terrain.org

Friday, January 04, 2008

Join Terrain.org at AWP

Terrain.org will be at the annual AWP conference and bookfair in New York City from January 31 to February 2. Join us at:

  • Table #480 at the Hilton's Americas Hall II, access from 3rd floor -- we'll have laptops with journal access and a slideshow plus handouts
  • Terrain.org 10th Anniversary Reading on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6-8 p.m. at the Cornelia Street Cafe. View flyer.
  • Panel: "The Future of Environmental Essay," moderated by Terrain.org editor Simmons Buntin and including Alison Hawthorne Deming, David Gessner, David Rothenberg, and Lauret Savoy -- from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Sutton South, Hilton 2nd Floor

If you're at AWP or in New York during that time, please stop by to say howdy.