Saturday, August 11, 2012

Student sustainability video festival 5: previous years' winners

My students in biodiversity and environmental science are giving their presentations for this semester, which means that I'm collecting the titles of the videos they're showing to repost here. However, they won't be finished until this coming Thursday night, so the installments grouping the videos by theme won't start until the week after that. I should do as I promised and post the videos about the ozone later and climate change from last semester. I might still get around to it, but not today. Instead, I'll post some of the video winners from previous years, all of which have made it into my lectures.

I begin with the video already featured in Video gift from a student, which I've already added to my lectures on human population. All three of my classes have watched it this semester.

7 Billion, National Geographic Magazine

To coincide with the arrival of the world's 7 billionth person on October 31, 2011, National Geographic magazine's 2011 year-long series on world population is available on the App Store as a free app for iPad starting 10/27/11. The interactive app explores the challenges—and potential solutions—for coping with a growing human population in a world of limited resources with informative videos, interactive maps, in-depth articles, and stunning photography.
Editor's update: in 2050, 70% of the population will be living in "urban areas," not "megacities" as stated in an earlier version of this video. In addition, the total number of countries in the world is now 195, with recognition of the independence of the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.
Next, one that I use to illustrate how a solid waste and consumption problem becomes a water pollution problem.

Captain Charles Moore on the seas of plastic

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.
Now, the first video any of my students showed, which was in the very first student presentation done in my classes since the advent of YouTube: Blue Man Group on Global Warming.


Blue Man Group also includes this video in their live shows. Here is a clip showing that segment in context.

Yeah, it's better with audience reaction.


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  2. I am watching them all and posting this for you. Single use plastic containers should be stopped at the source but another part of the answer is this. Municipalities could do the process cleanly and in a typical city the waste stream is great enough to make the process economically viable and would certainly give people a few jobs. After doing useful work it makes CO2 true enough but viewed as a replacement for part of our mined fossil fuels it makes very good sense. It can only replace a small part of what we currently use and is not a true replacement of course. The math does not work for that. The point is that it would be a big step in eliminating the plastic waste stream.

    Dream of what a government actually dedicated to solving the nations problems could do. Plastic waste pollution is a problem that could actually be solved.