November 9, 2011

Protect what you love

People who surf and raft and mountain bike are maybe sort of adrenaline junkies? But a lot of outdoor sports enthusiasts get intense about environmental activism, too. It makes total sense to me to try and respect and care for the outdoor terrain you love the most.

Surfrider protects oceans and beaches.  Protect Our Winters (with the awesome acronym, POW) raises awareness about the effect of climate change on high-altitude regions like mountains.

The Access Fund keeps all kinds of outdoor climbing areas open and conserves climbing environments.  The International Mountain Biking Association creates and preserves trails, and encourages low-impact riding, volunteering, and thinking of new trail management solutions.  And American Whitewater advocates for the preservation and protection of rivers in the US.

Chances are if you have a hobby or an activity you’re really into, there’s a way to get involved with an organization that can connect you to other people and do good for the environment.

So go hang ten and drink some X-treme beverages!   (That link really makes me laugh.)


October 16, 2011

Container ships, we hardly knew ye


Just threw a couple more logs into the wood stove.  Mighty chilly here today.

One of my online pals sent me a link to some pictures by a fellow name of Edward Burtynsky.  He’s a photographer who says his theme is “nature transformed through industry.”

One of the sections on his website is called “Shipbreaking.”  A whole bunch of photos of industrial container ships — or really, their skeletons  — in their final resting places, rusted out on the shore of Bangladesh.  Sort of like a graveyard of hulls.  Sad but majestic too.

"Shipbreaking #4," 2000. Photo by Ed Burtynsky.

They’re hard for me to look at, because I hate to see these great old vessels looking like husks of their former selves.  But Burtynsky explains a little bit about why he does what he does:

We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success.

The people wandering around in the shadow of the ships give me pause.  I love spotting ships.  To see folks scavenging around these “ship graveyards” for spare metal and the like…

These ships bring everything to everybody in the world.

Seems like the distribution’s off, though.

Off to reheat my Sanka.

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