Posts Tagged ‘greenmd’

Keen on living green-courtesy of The Baltimore Sun

April 24, 2008
| Special to The Sun

Baltimore Green Week has branched out over five years to include an array of issues under its environmental umbrella.

According to program director Carol Silldorff, the organization began with a group of people interested in environmentally friendly building methods in the city. “Over the years,” she said, “it has grown immensely. … No longer is it at all connected to one issue.”

That much is clear from the schedule of events, which kicks off with a reception tomorrow at the Walters Art Museum and gets rolling Saturday with the fifth annual EcoFestival, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Druid Hill Park.

Among the 14 free events running through May 1 are:

• A discussion of pollution’s impact on the Inner Harbor and its watersheds, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney in the Inner Harbor.

Mayor Sheila Dixon talking about her plan for a greener Baltimore, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

• A City Council hearing at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, which will allow people to comment on environmental legislation from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

• A green building tour and reception at the Catholic Relief Services’ Stewart’s Building, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

• A state legislative overview from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by a conversation about the role of religion in environmental stewardship from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Grace Fellowship Church on Wednesday.

• A talk by Green For All founder and president Van Jones about helping create environmental jobs for low-income and city communities, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 1 at Morgan State University.

A broad scope of environmental issues will be on display at the EcoFestival, which is scheduled to include more than 100 exhibitors and vendors, tours of houses that use green technology, tours of some of the worst pollution in Baltimore, guided hikes and bicycle tours.

Read the rest of the article at the Sun


Maryland on Lookout for “Mitten Crabs”

April 1, 2008

In recent months, the Maryland Department of the Environment has turned its attention to the threat of Chinese Mitten Crabs, an invasive species that has been found in very small numbers in the Chesapeake Bay. In February, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center reported that a fifth mitten crab had been found, alive, in the Chesapeake. It is feared that these crabs could establish themselves in the American Mid-Atlantic and adversely affect the marine ecosystem.

Chinese Mitten Crabs have already become a problem in Great Britain, where they are “on the verge of taking over” coastal areas. Invasive species can have dramatic ecological and economic consequences, such as the kudzu infestation in the American South, which costs $500 million per year to control, and zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, which clog pipes and are estimated to cost as much as $310 million in damages and control.
In a 2003 National Geographic News article, British scientists suggest that the Mitten Crab problem could be mitigated by catching and eating the crabs. This can be a “making lemonade” solution for the British, who do not have any native crab species, but Maryland already has a $33 million industry and a national reputation from its Blue Crabs, which could be threatened by the introduction of Mitten Crabs. In addition, Mitten Crabs are relatively small at 3″ in adult size, have unappetizing, furry claws, and have an unfortunate tendency to build up more mercury and other heavy metals than do other crustaceans.
The Marine Invasions Research Lab is keeping tabs on this and other threats to United States coastal ecosystems.

Washington Nationals Open Season in First Eco-Friendly U.S. Pro Stadium

April 1, 2008

The Washington Nationals played their first game of the season Sunday night, making headlines with their dramatic victory over the Braves. The season opener was also a showcase for the Nationals’ brand new stadium, which has caused city residents major headaches with its $600 million price tag but is the first environmentally-friendly pro stadium in the United States.


The stadium earned a “silver” rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system, a widely accepted set of construction standards for energy conservation and other environmental concerns. The LEED system graded Nationals Park in such areas as water use reduction, light pollution minimization, use of recycled content, and energy optimization and renewability. (more…)

Ice Shelf in Danger, “We Are in for a Lot More Events Like This”; Al Gore’s Greenhouse Solution

April 1, 2008

CNN reports that a large portion of the Wilkins Ice Shelf is in danger of breaking off after a chunk of ice over 150 square miles in area fell into the ocean . Because the Antarctic summer is short, professor Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center says that there will be no more dramatic ice breakups this year, and that the “unusual show is over for this season.”


The ice shelf in danger is reportedly the size of Connecticut. Although this particular break isn’t enough to change world sea levels, having hundreds of square miles of ice unexpected threatening to break off seems portentous in the context of long established reports of accelerated melting
of polar ice.


Johns Hopkins’ Pig Controversy

March 30, 2008

Johns Hopkins University has come under criticism for performing operations on live pigs for instructive purposes, according to The Sun. JHU is one of only 10 medical schools left in America that uses live animals to teach medical students. Hopkins Surgery Director Dr. Julie Freischlag told The Sun why the school uses animals:

“Simulators have no feedback as to texture and touch … That’s where it’s so important to use animals, to feel all the right tensions and strengths.”


The organization that has drawn news coverage for protesting is called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Members of the PCRM held signs and have been undertaking a letter writing campaign to end the use of live animals at Hopkins. Several other medical schools have given up the use of live animal use for surgery but they deny it has anything to do with the organization. (more…)

Kyoto II

March 30, 2008

Reuters reports that talks are underway in Bangkok to set up preliminary work on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol. It is hoped that the new protocol will be put together by the end of next year, so that there is more time before the current treaty expires. The article claims that the United States will likely be receptive to the new protocol and sign on, something that it had conspicuously avoided for the first Kyoto Protocol.


The article notes that all of the prospective presidential candidates take climate change more seriously than the current President had when he decided not to ratify the treaty. In his Foreign Affairs essay Renewing American Leadership, Barack Obama spoke favorably of a “cap and trade” system, while Hillary Clinton’s essay Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-First Century called for a similar system and also called for American participation in a “binding global climate agreement.” John McCain also wrote that he supports a “market-based approach [that] will set reasonable caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.” Judging by the unity of the candidates’ rhetoric, it seems that America has left behind some of the climate-change skepticism that set it apart from other rich nations during the Bush Administration.

Green Maryland Mission Statement

February 29, 2008

Green MD is a blog created to further the cause of recycling in the state of Maryland. This blog will provide commentary and up-to-date analysis on issues and legislative developments that affect the environment in Maryland. Green MD is the product of four University of Maryland students.