Ithaca Environment

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Friends of Rural NY

Introducing Friends of Rural NY:

Friends of Rural New York is a coalition of concerned citizens who have come together to support local and state legislation to stop the assault on our rural communities by livestock factories. We are farmers, rural neighbors, urban supporters, fishermen, hikers, small business owners, environmentalists, academics and other concerned friends of rural New York who are working together to protect the health, the air and water quality and the economies of the people who live in rural New York State.
Permalink 8:02 AM

Letter about Factory Farms in NY


Just discovered the environmental blog you've set up and wanted to draw your attention to the issue of factory farms in NYS. The Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club, Citizens Environmental Coalition are both prioritizing this issue in NYS. And there is a citizens environmental lawsuit just about to go to court, alleging violations of Clean Air and Clean Water Acts at Willet Dairy in Genoa, NY, just a few miles north along Cayuga Lake. Here's the website:
Permalink 7:07 AM

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Anti-Environmental Books

For those environmentalists who want to know what they are up against, here are some books that argue that environmental concerns are exaggerated or that environmentalists are misguided, loony, or just evil.

  • "A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism"
    by Gregg Easterbrook. Easterbrook argues in this book and in his columns (he writes for The New Republic) that things aren't really so bad, and that Bush is actually doing a fair job on the environment.

  • "The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World"
    by Bjorn Lomborg. Like Easterbrook, Lomborg argues that most environmental concerns are exaggerations, and that worrying about global warming is not worth the time or money.

  • "Facts, Not Fear: Teaching Children About the Environment"
    by Michael Sanera, Jane S. Shaw. This book is about "protecting" children from environmentalist propaganda.

  • "Hoodwinking the Nation" by Julian Simon. Simon claims that reports of looming environmental problems are fraudulent.

  • "State Of Fear" by Michael Crichton (Fiction). A thriller with environmentalists as the bad guys.

Permalink 9:44 AM

Global Warming Hits the South Pole

The New York Times has an article today about the effect of global warming on Antarctica. (You have to register to read the article, but registration is free.)

Ice shelf known as "Larsen B" breaks upPosted by Hello
Permalink 7:17 AM

Friday, January 21, 2005

EnviroLink: The Online Environmental Community

EnviroLink is a great resource for information about environmental news, issues, and organizations. In keeping with the focus of the Ithaca Environment group on energy issues, here is a page on energy conservation and sustainability.
Permalink 1:39 PM

Eco Village in Ithaca

EcoVillage at Ithaca, a member of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas, is comprised of an intentional community and a non-profit organization. Our goal is to explore and model innovative approaches to ecological and social sustainability. We're creating a unique village which includes cohousing neighborhoods, organic agriculture, an education center, and natural areas, preserving and restoring over 80% of the land as green space.
Permalink 1:33 PM

The Electronic Naturalist

Check out the Electronic Naturalist, a website based in upstate New York dedicated to environmental education. The website is sponsored by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Jamestown and the Cayuga Nature Center of Ithaca.
Permalink 1:16 PM

The Original Ithaca

Cephalonia from Piso Aetos in Ithaca, Greece Posted by Hello

Here are some beautiful pictures taken by Sophie Wilson of that other Ithaca, where the Odyssey ends.
Permalink 9:30 AM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Leonardo DiCaprio, Environmental Activist

Leonardo DiCaprio (now starring in "The Aviator" about Howard Hughes) has a website that is dedicated to environmental causes, including global warming, sustainability, biodiversity, the oceans, and (of course) the Bush environmental record. Take a look: Leonardo DiCaprio
Permalink 8:37 PM

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Books about Environmental Issues

Here is the start of a list of books, both fiction and nonfiction, that have an environmental subject matter.

Ecotopia by ERNEST CALLENBACH (Fiction)
The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner (Fiction)
Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner (Fiction)

The Wild Shore
The Gold Coast
The Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson (Fiction)

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (Nonfiction)
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (Nonfiction)

One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future by Paul and Anne Ehrlich (Nonfiction)

Silent Spring by Rachel Carsons (nonfiction)
[Click Permalink for book descriptions]

Ecotopia by ERNEST CALLENBACH (Fiction)


"Ecotopia was founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a "stable-state" ecosystem: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. Now, twenty years later, the isolated, mysterious Ecotopia welcomes its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston.

Like a modern Gulliver, the skeptical Weston is by turns impressed, horrified, and overwhelmed by Ecotopia's strange practices: employee ownership of farms and businesses, the twenty-hour work week, the fanatical elimination of pollution, "mini-cities" that defeat overcrowding, devotion to trees bordering on worship, a woman-dominated government, and bloody, ritual war games. Bombarded by innovative, unsettling ideas, set afire by a relationship with a sexually forthright Ecotopian woman, Weston's conflict of values intensifies-and leads to a startling climax.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner (Fiction)


An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth. In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment. The water is polluted, and only the poor drink from the tap. The government is ineffectual, and corporate interests scramble to make a profit from water purifiers, gas masks, and organic foods. Environmentalist Austin Train is on the run. The Trainites, environmental activists and sometime terrorists, want him to lead their movement. The government wants him in jail, or preferably, executed. The media wants a circus. Everyone has a plan for Train, but Train has a plan of his own. This suspenseful science fiction drama is now available to a new generation of enthusiasts.

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner (Fiction)


There are seven billion-plus humans crowding the surface of 21st century Earth. It is an age of intelligent computers, mass-market psychedelic drugs, politics conducted by assassination, scientists who burn incense to appease volcanoes ... all the hysteria of a dangerously overcrowded world, portrayed in a dazzlingly inventive style.

The Wild Shore
The Gold Coast
The Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson (Fiction)

From Publishers Weekly

Robinson's science fiction triology set in Orange County, California, offers three different futures: the aftermath of nuclear war; a city of uncontrollable urban development; and life in a total, environmentally-conscious society.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (Nonfiction)


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (Nonfiction)


In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future by Paul and Anne Ehrlich (Nonfiction)

From Publishers Weekly

The Ehrlichs' provocative and eminently readable look at current environmental trends takes its title from Rudyard Kipling's poem "Recessional," which contrasts the pomp of the 19th-century British empire to the faded glory of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian empire. The Ehrlichs (Betrayal of Science and Reason), both members of Stanford's department of biological sciences, look at the global problems of overpopulation, overconsumption, and political and economic inequity that threaten to make the world into a new fallen Nineveh.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carsons (nonfiction)
Silent Spring, released in 1962, offered the first shattering look at widespread ecological degradation and touched off an environmental awareness that still exists. Rachel Carson's book focused on the poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture, a practice that led to dangerous chemicals to the food source. Carson argued that those chemicals were more dangerous than radiation and that for the first time in history, humans were exposed to chemicals that stayed in their systems from birth to death. Presented with thorough documentation, the book opened more than a few eyes about the dangers of the modern world and stands today as a landmark work.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Permalink 5:43 PM

Welcome to Ithaca Environment


The purpose of Ithaca Environment is to be a clearing house for information about organizations, activities, and news about the environment as it relates to the Ithaca, New York area. Our initial focus will be on education opportunities in Ithaca in the area of sustainable, environment-friendly energy.

This website is run by the environment working group of the Ithaca Action Network.

In the comments, please feel free to contribute names and contact information of local Ithaca organizations dedicated to the environment, and I will put up links on this website. Also if you wish to participate in other ways, such as posting action alerts or articles, just email me at

Also, stop by my other website, Combing the Sphere.

Daryl McCullough
Permalink 3:43 PM