Monthly Archives: April 2017

This Week’s Links: From the March for Science to the Climate March

March for Science (April 22, 2017): Why They March: “Science and Scientists Are Now Under Attack” via The Intercept

Marching Scientists Will Have A Lot In Common With Angry ’70s Farmers via FiveThirtyEight

Our Climate Future is Actually Our Climate Present via NYTimes

16 Great* Things That Came Out Of Trump’s First 100 Days via Good Magazine

Did you catch Jon Jarvis, a forty-year veteran of the National Parks System (NPS), this week at Duke? You can watch his talk here:

Geoengineering plastic-eating bugs sounds brilliant, right? Not so fast: Plastic-eating bugs? It’s a great story – but there’s a sting in the tail via The Guardian

Caterpillars that can munch up plastic bags have just been identified, fuelling excited speculation that this could one day eliminate global pollution from plastic waste. The chance discovery, initially made by a scientist and amateur beekeeper whose plastic bag had been eaten through by the moth caterpillars, was reported this week by researchers at Cambridge University and the Spanish National Research Council. How thoughtful of nature to provide bugs that eat our rubbish. Is this the end of landfill, turtles with plastic-congested stomachs, and trees adorned with tattered ribbons of shopping bags Well, it’s never that simple, is it?…Breeding wax moth caterpillars to devour our waste sounds good. But they would attack bee colonies too, and ultimately put crops at risk”

Berlin has public refrigerators to reduce food waste and combat hunger! But…the government might shut them down: Berlin’s Public Refrigerators Were Just Declared a Health Hazard via The Atlantic CityLab

Remember the Sustainia Solutions Explorer? Now there’s a Sustainia Global Opportunity Explorer!

Because we love literature: Jeff VanderMeer & Cory Doctorow Discuss the Future of Sci-Fi & the World via Electric Lit

Climate March (April 29, 2017): We owe our planet this climate march. But we also owe it – very faint – hope by Bill McKibben via The Guardian

Happy Marching!


Project Summary:

Throughout the project, I will explore the Keystone Pipeline in all its complexities. Specifically, I want to explore the economic impacts of the Keystone Pipeline, the environmental impacts,  its impacts on America’s Native population, and predict the future of America. I want to conclude the project with an exploration of two different futures, one where the Keystone Pipeline isn’t built and another where it is.


Project Outline:

  • Economic Impact:
    • Impact of the Oil Sands on Canadian economy
    • An analysis of oil and the American economy
    • Economic prospects
    • Economic detriments:
      • Environment and the economy
      • Sustainable economic development


  • Environmental Impact:
    • Increase in oil production
    • Impact of construction (carbon footprint/animals)
    • Climate change in general
    • Impact on people


  • Impact on Natives:
    • An analysis of Native rights in general in America
    • How the Keystone Pipeline fits into that narrative
    • Why Native rights matter


  • Interactive Timeline:
    • This interactive pipeline will include the two possible futures



Colonialism and Indian Forests

The project will be a narrative/social commentary that will encompass:


  • The history of forests in India
  1. In ancient Texts
  2. In The Indian Dynasty
  3. In The Mughal Dynasty 
  • People’s relationship with the Forests (Then)
  1. Folk Stories
  2. Poems
  • Colonialism
  1. What forests meant for/to the Imperialists
  2. Change in the Indian Topography
  3. Beliefs and Attitudes
  4. Predominant species of Trees/ Introduction of new Species
  5. Laws and Regulations 
  • Current Situation


  1. Highlight and find laws that are from the British era
  2. Assessment of current use of Forests
  3. What is our attitude towards the forest now?




Venetus – The Earth’s last saving grace

  1. Superpower :  Her steps leave plants behind, and she has vines sprout out of her hands. Also brings dead plants back to life. Speaks to animals and plants
  2. Name:  Venetus (green) , Flora  (general name)
  3. Motto: Everything deserves to grow
  4. Outfit: Varies: sometimes it is a mummified green yellow wrap when she is in superhero form
  5. Appearance: Lives on a permaculture farm, and looks normal – always looks like she is slightly jaundiced (skin is yellow) . She appears perpetually weak on the outside, and people think she is always weird and sad loner.
  6. Transportation: Her real car is a prius. Her superhero car is giant bee that can shoot out little sting needles. It pollinates anything underneath it.
  7. Weakness:  Heat and smoke (for her bee), pesticides hurt her
  8. Sdiekicks: Has a dog with green spots
  9. Villain: Humans doing environmentally unfriendly things, ozone killa
  10. Form/species: Gender-neutral alien
  11. Backstory:  Was in a earth-like planet, raised by parents, sent in a plant pod because planet was dying because of anti-eco friendly stuff going on, resulting in severe climate change. So she comes here, and gains superpowers.

By: Thabit Pulak, Victoria Grant, Nanki Singh

BioCool [Alyssa, Mary, Margaret]

Name: BioCool

Power/ability: Turns corn into biofuel in a cost efficient manner. Using corn for good!

Motto: “Fueling the world, one husk at a time”

Form/species: Human

Outfit/appearance: Really buff:

Transportation: Sparkly flying tractor

Weakness: Limited driving range, needs glasses

Sidekick: “Corny”

Villain: The oil industry

Backstory: parents killed by Monsanto


“The Green Crusader”

  1. Power/ability: Influence people’s mindsets and behavior in an eco-friendly direction!
  2. Name: The Green Crusader
  3. Motto: “For the good of us all.”
  4. Outfit: Dark green suit, sunglasses
  5. Appearance: Looks like a normal person when not in superhero garb, small scale permaculture farmer in Vermont like Ben Falk

  1. Transportation: Natural flight (most eco-friendly) –> think superman
  2. Weakness: His “kryptonite” is pollution
  3. Side kicks: The planet
    1. Earth world planet globe smiling happy cartoon vector Vector clipart ...
  4. Villain: Consumerism, commercialization, wasteful human behaviors
  5. Species/Backstory: Appears to be human, but comes from a planet that was transformed into an arid wasteland as a result of overconsumption and unsustainable practices. He now travels the universe finding planets in danger of facing the same fate and does his best to deter their impeding destruction.


Filter Fred

  1. Power: Filters water, like, really well.
  2. Name: Filtering Fred
  3. Motto: Better than a Brita
  4. Outfit:
  5. Appearance: see above.
  6. Transportation: rides on a cloud.
  7. Weakness: pollution
  8. Sidekick: Composting Kid (power: has seen compost before)

  1. Villain: Plastic Pete


  1. power/ability – spreads seeds
  2. name – Green Giant
  3. motto – “Seeds to make you grow big like me”
  4. outfit – Green cape with a picture of corn, shirt with a chart of fruits and vegetables
  5. appearance – Basically the Hulk
  6. transportation – dragon
  7. weakness – Unable to eat meat
  8. sidekick – Dragon – picks where to spread the seeds
  9. villain – Monsanto
  10. form/species – Human with dragon sidekick
  11. back story – Green Giant needs infinite vitamins to live


This Week’s Links: April 15

Life on the Forgotten Farms of Guangzhou” via City Lab

Read to Respond: Articles for Student Activists” via Duke Press

Artist’s brilliant National Park posters advertise a grim future” via Treehugger

The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society” via Atlas Obscura

Letters to a Young Farmer: “Barbara Kingsolver Cheers on Young Farmers” via The Daily Beast

Depressed about climate change? There’s a 9-step program for that.” via Grist

The Smog of the Sea: Ian Cheney & Jack Johnson’s (with collaborators) film about ocean waste.