A look at last week's headlines, by Tetsuhiko Endo and Keith Rutowski
The collapse of an ice bridge in Antarctica linking the Wilkins Ice Shelf to one of two islands provides further evidence of rapid climate change (read the BBC article). The shelf, which is the size of Jamaica, and culturally, much less interesting, was completely stable until the late 1990’s and is now in danger of breaking away from land completely.
Two thousand years ago, the Mayan civilization gave us one of the first recorded calendars. Now, three years before that calendar predicts that the world will end, they have given us the first biodegradable chewing gum. Chicza Mayan Rainforest Chewing Gum is the first made from the sap of the chiczapote tree found in the Mexican rain forest, CNN reports. Unlike conventional gum made from petrochemicals, chicza loses its stickiness upon drying and turns to dust within six weeks. Now if we could just do something about the end of days…
The Russian space agency Roscosmos is expected to name the developer of its next-generation space craft today. According to the BBC, the new shuttle, which will not take flight until at least the end of the next decade, will come in two models: a 12 ton earth orbiter and a 16.5 ton moon orbiter.
Cyclists no longer have to choose between pragmatic and environmentally friendly apparel, thanks to the San Diego-based company Zoic. The company’s new Enlightened Line will include a small offering of shorts and tops made from an organic and bamboo charcoal blend. Although some of these “green” products contain polyester, your conscience should still be considerably lighter. And as we all know, when it’s just you and your bike, every ounce counts. Learn more in the article at treehugger.com.
Despite the new administration’s recent environmental policy push, the lethargic economy is still preventing some from fully jumping on board. The state of Florida, for one, is tightening its eco-belt. The state had originally planned to purchase 180,000 acres of the Everglades from the United States Sugar Corporation in an attempt to restore the endangered wetlands. Now, instead of dropping more than $1 billion on the deal, Governor Crist pledges to buy 72,500 acres for $530 million. Let’s hope for the state's sake he doesn’t get cold feet again: besides serving as a rich wildlife habitat, the wetlands act as a natural purification system and inhibit flooding. Read the New York Times article.Please be sure to visit the memorial site of skiing legend Shane McConkey, who died in a ski-BASE jumping accident last Thursday (3/26) in the Dolomites. Through his fearless back-country skiing and ground breaking technical innovations (he invented the reverse side cut and reverse camber skis, aka: what everyone currently uses to ride powder), he changed the face of his sport and will be sorely missed.