Showing posts with label Global Inheritance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Inheritance. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

Scientists discover new forest

with undiscovered species on Google Earth
Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent

Mount Mabu itself is under threat as Mozambique's economy grows and people use the wood for fuel Photo: Julian Bayliss/RBG Kew

The mountainous area of northern Mozambique in southern Africa had been overlooked by science due to inhospitable terrain and decades of civil war in the country.

However, while scrolling around on Google Earth, an internet map that allows the viewer to look at satellite images of anywhere on the globe, scientists discovered an unexpected patch of green.

A British-led expedition was sent to see what was on the ground and found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu.

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

The samples which the team took are now back in Britain for analysis.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered but it is believed there are at least two more new species of plants and perhaps more new insects to discover.

Julian Bayliss, a scientist for Kew based in the region, discovered Mount Mabu while searching on Google Earth for a possible conservation project. He was looking at areas of land 5,400ft (1,600m) above sea level where more rainfall means there is likely to be forest.

To his surprise he found the patches of green that denote wooded areas, in places that had not previously been explored. After taking a closer look on more detailed satellite maps, he went to have a look.

An expedition was organised for this autumn with 28 scientists from the UK, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Switzerland. The group was able to stay at an abandoned tea estate but had to hack through difficult terrain and use 70 porters in order to carry out their investigations.

Within weeks they had discovered three new species of Lepidoptera butterfly and a new member of the Gaboon viper family of snakes that can kill a human in a single bite. There were also blue duiker antelope, samango monkeys, elephant shrews, almost 200 different types of butterflies and thousands of tropical plants.

Jonathan Timberlake, expedition leader, said digital imagery has helped scientists to discover more about the world. He believes there may be other small pockets of biodiversity around the world that are yet to be discovered that could be stumbled upon by searching on Google Earth, especially in areas like Mozambique or Papua New Guinea which have not been fully explored yet.

Mr Timberlake said discovering new species is not only important to science but helps to highlight conservation efforts in parts of the world threatened by logging and development.

Mount Mabu itself is under threat as Mozambique's economy grows and people use the wood for fuel or clear the land to grow crops.

"We cannot say we have discovered all the biodiversity areas in the world, there are still ones to discover and it helps to find new species to make people realise what is out there," he said.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Eric Ritz, activist

Eric Ritz, youth-activism promoter, answers Grist's questions

What work do you do?

I'm the founder and executive director of Global Inheritance.
What does your organization do?
We reinvent activism for today's young generation. Our initiatives focus on the power of creativity to communicate and push for progressive social change while rejecting conflict. Global Inheritance targets various subcultures, developing campaigns that cater specifically to each individual demographic.

Bin there, recycled that.
Under the Global Inheritance banner are several different programs with goals ranging from promoting recycling to stopping nuclear-weapons proliferation. TRASHed is a two-pronged program -- part art-based and part event-based. The Art of Recycling is a large-scale art initiative bringing together major artists to turn ordinary recycling bins into inspiring works of art. And the TRASHed Recycling Store, set up at various concerts and other events, accepts recyclable bottles as currency toward cool merchandise. Tour Rider is another event-related program; it focuses on traffic congestion and air pollution, giving concertgoers who carpool access to a range of perks including gift bags and VIP privileges.
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What are you working on at the moment?

We just finished our first concert as part of a series of events called Public Displays of Affection, which rewards people who use the subway or bus system in Los Angeles. Next on our plate is AFI Fest, a film festival held by the American Film Institute. What I'm really excited about currently is Coachella 2007. We are planning several really cool programs at this year's festival that will raise the environmental bar for all major music festivals around the world.
How do you get to work?

I roll out of bed and over to the desk.

What long and winding road led you to your current position?

I grew up with parents who had strong morals. I also lived in a progressive town (Portland, Ore.) and went to school at the University of Oregon (although I wasn't the stereotypical UO activist). I helped organize benefit concerts and worked with a lot of out-of-touch nonprofits. Then I worked on the Truth campaign. And finally, the rise of the internet and meeting Matt Brady, who is currently the Global Inheritance creative director, led me to where I am today.

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

Born in Detroit and ended up in Los Angeles.

What has been the worst moment in your professional life to date?
Having to deal with lame people who care only for themselves.

What's been the best?

Trading trash for treasure at the Recycling Store.

I've worked in several cutthroat industries that employ creative and hardworking people. I love people who are very passionate about life and don't compromise or change for others. I believe you have one shot at life, so make the most of it.

What environmental offense has infuriated you the most?

Where do I begin?

Who is your environmental hero?

There's too many to count. I think God and all the religious figures should be environmental heroes. I want to start a campaign with God saying you will be damned if you litter or drive a Hummer in NYC. Think about the positive environmental impact Buddha, Allah, Jesus, and Muhammad could have on society!

What's your environmental vice?

I fall asleep watching movies and leave the TV on.

Read any good books lately?

Papillon by Henri Charriere.

What's your favorite place to eat?

I love a Brazilian restaurant called Bossa Nova. It's open 'til 4 a.m., and has amazing food and decent prices.

Which stereotype about environmentalists most fits you?

I drive a hybrid but fly around in a Learjet.

What's your favorite place or ecosystem?

South America.

If you could institute by fiat one environmental reform, what would it be?

Instead of running the morning news with celebrity/murder updates, all the major networks would broadcast a 15-minute news piece talking about the environment and ways to integrate new ideas into your everyday life.

Who was your favorite musical artist when you were 18? How about now?

When I was 18, probably N.W.A. Currently, there are several I could pick. Right now, I'm listening to Air, the Virgin Suicides soundtrack.

What's your favorite TV show? Movie?

I don't watch much TV, but I get Netflix and rented Live Aid recently. I'm not sure what we were thinking in the '80s. People were so over the top. I can't believe people dressed and acted that way. I think the entire world was high.

Which actor would play you in the story of your life?
P. Diddy ... and there would be a horrible accident (think Brandon Lee/The Crow) on set, with P. Diddy unfortunately passing away after four days of unsuccessful surgery.

If you could have every InterActivist reader do one thing, what would it be?

Avoid being backseat drivers; take the wheel and show by example what's possible.

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles