The Moraine Valley library has several themed blogs, which anyone can find them on its homepage. Of particular interest to me lately is the Film Blog series posted by Moraine Valley Librarian, Sarah Ando. Sarah has been reviewing several films on food, carbon & climate change. Check it out!
Or if you’re interested in personal liberty and freedoms of expression, Librarian, Troy Swanson has a really interesting piece on Bassem Youssef of Egypt and his fight for free speech.
Librarian Jen Kolan wrote about “a breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production” and its potential impact on how we might fuel our vehicles in the near future. Jen also directs readers to more books and resources that can be found in the Library to learn more on the topic.
I share all this to highlight the Library, the great resources within (including the Librarians!) and to also show how integrated sustainability topics are in our current events, in research and in the Moraine Valley culture. Check out the blog to learn more or peruse the Center for Sustainability website to find out what Moraine Valley is addressing to ensure a sustainable today and tomorrow.
The discussion has just begun, but is building to what is American Identity. How is the identity created or instilled? In essence, we learn it as we grow up… And, while listening, I am multitasking with email checking. This just came in:
Since I am a librarian, I have to pass along this piece from the Mother Jones Web site, Econundrum: Kindles vs. Books. It answers the age-old question, which saves more CO2 your book or your kindle? Or, (gasp) should you use your library card?
Clive Ponting’s original and provocative history of human civilization—now in a thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated edition Years ahead of its time. Clive Ponting captivated readers with A Green History of the World, his study of great civilizations and the causes of their fall. Using the Roman empire as its central example, this classic work reveals how overexpansion and the exhaustion of available natural resources have played key roles in the collapse of all great cultures in human history. With an argument of urgent relevance to our modern society, A Green History of the World offers a provocative and illuminating view of human history and its relationship to the environment.
Don Arnold, our Green Machine Sr. Applications Developer, shared this program with me as his wife is one of the coordinators of the program. It is the Big Read held by ten libraries in the western suburbs of Chicago. The book is a great one: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is the true story of a family who moves from the dry west to the foot of the Appalachian Mountains and vows to grow or get their food locally. It is a great read. The libraries have all kinds of great programming to go with the book: growing your own veggies, gardening, cooking local, movies, and so much more. Check out the plethora of events here: http://thebigread.org/?page_id=5.
Each week I pass along some Web sites from LII.org, and this week included some interesting sites relating to our green world. I thought I’d share them here.
Green Job BoardsList of job boards “that focus on social or environmental responsibility.” The listings (some with annotations) cover general green jobs and jobs in specific industries such as solar energy and green building. From the Green Collar Blog, which provides news and resources on employment in environmental fields. URL: http://www.greencollarblog.org/green-job-boards.html
Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon WorldThis report, released in October 2008, examines definitions and policies, employment impacts, and employment outlook for jobs that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment. Employment sectors discussed include energy supply alternatives, green and energy-efficient buildings, transportation, basic industry, food and agriculture, and forestry. Includes links to a report summary (also in French and Spanish) and press release. From the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27667
Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon EconomyThis report, published in September 2008, “shows that the U.S. can create two million jobs by investing in a rapid green economic recovery program.” Provides the full report, a summary of findings, and accompanying publications about the impact of a green recovery program on specific U.S. states. From the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts.URL: http://www.peri.umass.edu/green_recovery/
Greening the GhettoJanuary 2009 profile of Van Jones (born Anthony Jones), author of “‘The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems’ [in which] he argues that the best way to fight both global warming and urban poverty is by creating millions of ‘green jobs’ — weatherizing buildings, installing solar panels, and constructing mass-transit systems.” Includes background about Jones, and details about his views and ideas. From the New Yorker.URL TRUNCATED, SEE LII ITEMLII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27668
Landmark Study on Green Collar JobsThis study (published in 2007 and released in February 2008), “found that green collar jobs are highly suitable for people who would typically struggle to find work.” Includes the full report, findings from which were based on interviews with more than 20 green businesses in Berkeley, California, and an executive summary and news story. From California State University; report author is an urban studies professor at San Francisco State University.URL: http://blogs.calstate.edu/cpdc_sustainability/?p=245
Like our One Book One College program spear-headed by library extraordinaire Troy Swanson, other colleges are going with the sustainability theme as well. This year Troy’s One Book pick is Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte. Surrounding this book, Troy has organized really great program offerings of speakers, panel discussions, and film showings. Other colleges, like Rice University, have also found similar success in a book themed program. Rice chose Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. For a listing of the events they held log onto http://greeningthecampus.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/academictheme/.
Here are a few new DVDs on the library’s shelves. I hope you stop by and check them out.
Protecting earth’s atmosphere:Earth is the only planet known to support life. The primary reason is a mixture of different gases, known as the atmosphere. These gases, along with the sun, warm our planet to an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. This delicate process is known as the greenhouse effect. Without it, the sun’s energy would escape back into space leaving the earth frozen. In this edition of Science Screen Report, we learn about the earth’s atmosphere, climate, and the greenhouse effect. We explore the impact human activity is having on our atmosphere, and ways scientists believe we can prevent further destruction to the atmosphere, and allow our planet to continue to thrive.
What if The Oil Runs Out?:This film follows a middle-aged, Midwestern couple through violence at gas stations, conflicts with neighbors, and the loss of their livelihood; it also focuses on their daughter, an oil prospector determined to find new crude oil fields in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. Interspersed with the docudrama are notable statistics on oil production and consumption as well as real-world interviews with former Pentagon energy security adviser Paul Domjan, Centre for Global Energy Studies chairman Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, and other experts
Cauldron Earth:This program shows how research into the chemical makeup of geological and biological materials drives the innovation of energy systems, building methods, and transportation technolog–and how these improvements can save lives and reduce stress on the environment. Hydrogen fuel cells, resin coatings for giant wind turbines, wax-plaster mixtures for energy-efficient home–the video features these and many other advances, suggesting a future in which humanity can both profit from and protect the Earth
Four new DVDs on Green-related topics that have just been added to the library collection. We hope that you’ll drop by to check them out.
The Fragile Reef: This program travels to Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar ; Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania ; and Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt, to study the fragile ecology and amazing biodiversity of coral reefs and the impacts of tourism, pollution, overfishing, sedimentation, and climate change. Commentary provided by Mark Spalding and Ed Green, coauthors of the World atlas of coral reefs, and experts from the World Wildlife Fund, the Zoological Society of London, and Zanzibar’s Institute of Marine Sciences
Rachel Carson: Natures Guardian: In this program, Bill Moyers pays tribute to environmental crusader Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. Grim footage of ecological degradation from the pre-Carson era is combined with generous excerpts from actress Kaiulani Lee’s one-woman play about Carson’s life called A Sense of Wonder to honor the legacy of an individual who, heedless of personal cost, sounded the alarm that launched the environmental movement. Moyers also talks with photographic artist Chris Jordan, who turns the statistics of consumerism into indelible images of consumption and waste–Container
Boiling Point: This program spotlights three trouble spots that epitomize the intensifying competition for freshwater and efforts being made to manage it: the Okavango River which flows through Angola, Namibia and Botswana, the Rio Grande, a source of agricultural irrigation for both the U.S. and Mexico and rainwater reservoirs in the West Bank
Blue Vinyl: With humor, chutzpah, and a piece of vinyl siding in hand, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and co-director and award-winning cinematographer Daniel B. Gold travel to America’s vinyl manufacturing capital and beyond in search of the truth about vinyl.
We are happy to announce that the library has added the GreenFILE database to our online information resources. This can be accessed at our online database page (look under G on the list). You need to enter your name and barcode found on your student ID to access this from home. This database provides a range of new resources that focus on sustainability and environmental issues. For instance, here is a link to a review from BioCycle magazine of Garbage Land: NAVIGATING THE HOUSEHOLD WASTE STREAM. Here is the official description of this database fromEBSCO: EBSCO proudly offers GreenFILE, a freely accessible research database focusing on the relationship between human beings and the environment, with well-researched but accessible information on topics ranging from global warming to recycling to alternate fuel sources and beyond. Comprised of scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports, GreenFILE offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the ecology.