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Photos of 1970s American culture through an environmental lens

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NewImageIn 1971, the US government's Environmental Protection Agency sponsored a photography project called DOCUMERICA to capture on film the impact of pollution, waste, and environmental dangers on American life. The result is a stunning portrait of 1970s American culture. A selection of those images -- more than 20,000 in total -- is now on view at the National Archives in Washington DC. They've also released an exhibition catalog with text by the EPA's first director, Bill Ruckelshaus, who was in charge during the DOCUMERICA project.

Above: "Children play in yard of Ruston home, while Tacoma smelter stack showers area with arsenic and lead residue” (Gene Daniels, Ruston, Washington, August 1972). Right: “Young woman watches as her car goes through testing at an auto emission inspection station in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio" (Lyntha Scott Eiler, Cincinnati, OH, September 1975).

"16 Photographs That Capture the Best and Worst of 1970s America" (Smithsonian)

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project (National Archives)

"Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project" (Amazon)

Scenes from "Petrochemical America"

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Over at my sister-in-law Heather Sparks's new Science Sparks Art tumblog, selections from Richard Misrach and Kate Orff's book Petrochemical America, a collection of Misrach's photos and Orff's "ecological atlas" documenting Louisiana's "Chemical Corridor," aka "Cancer Alley." Above, Taft, Louisana's Holy Rosary Cemetery purchased by Dow Chemical. Petrochemical America

Glen Hansard sings for The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is collaborating with some excellent musicians and filmmakers to raise awareness of environmental issues. Boing Boing is pleased to premiere this video with Swell Season and The Frames' Glen Hansard, star of the film Once. You can also watch Hansard and Swell Season collaborator Markéta Irglová perform an acoustic set in this classic Boing Boing Video episode. The Nature Conservancy's All Hands Music

Just Do It doc on direct-action environmentalists now available as free, CC-licensed BitTorrent download

Becky sez,

Almost a year ago, Just Do It!, a film that follows the adventures of direct action environmental activists in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, was unleashed on the world. A joyful romp around the ins and outs of our corrupted political system, the film grants its viewers the kind of access to the young (and not-so-young) ideologues battling the man in their bid to save the planet previously only granted to undercover agents working for the Metropolitan Police. It's a great movie, and last week its makers released it for free download and sharing under a Creative Commons license.

The film has been made for the most part outside of the traditional process, with crowd-sourced funding playing a big role during post-production. Since last July, the tireless team at Just Do It! HQ have been working with fans of the project to get the film screened in local cinemas and at universities, and taken up by Netflix. A CC release was initially delayed to allow a window to the cinema, TV, and DVD releases, and to agitate for inclusion on the American film festival circuit. Now that the CC release is finally with us, the team are soliciting donations from anyone who feels moved by their efforts to get a tale modern outlaws out into the world. And of course, they want as many people as possible to see the movie, and be inspired to join the fight to save the planet.

Download via bittorrent! | Just Do It (Thanks, Becky!)

TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Lorax Speaks for the Trees, and Now the SUVs

RECOMMEND: Visit the TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE, and follow RUBEN BOLLING on TWITTER.

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Undercover UK cops infiltrated environmental groups, seduced women in the groups, fathered children with them, abandoned them

Undercover police agents in the UK infiltrated environmental groups, had sex with their members, struck up long-term relationships with women in these groups, fathered children with these women, and then abandoned the children.

Two undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the Guardian can reveal.

In both cases, the children have grown up not knowing that their biological fathers – whom they have not seen in decades – were police officers who had adopted fake identities to infiltrate activist groups. Both men have concealed their true identities from the children's mothers for many years.

Good thing the police were there, though. Who knows what kind of unethical behaviour an environmentalist might be getting up to.

Undercover police had children with activists