WBEZ | conservation http://www.wbez.org/tags/conservation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en DePaul museum show 'Rooted in Soil' looks at role earth plays in life, death http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-29/depaul-museum-show-rooted-soil-looks-role-earth-plays-life-death <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bell_.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 600px;" title="Metropolis 2012 by Vaughn Bell. Acrylic, aluminum, rigging cables, hardware, soil, native plants. (Photo by Spike Mafford)" /></div></div><p>A new exhibition opening Thursday at the DePaul Art Museum takes a unique look at something we take for granted.</p><p>&ldquo;Rooted in Soil&rdquo; examines earth from multiple viewpoints, from the role that intensive agriculture and deforestation play in removing topsoil, to the decaying flowers, trees and even human bodies that all eventually return to the soil.</p><p>&ldquo;The idea came out of a very tumultuous period in my life, where I was having an existential crisis, if you will, and exploring many of these questions about the meaning of life,&rdquo; said Farrah Fatemi, an assistant environmental studies professor at St. Michael&rsquo;s College in Vermont. She curated the show with her mother, Laura Fatemi, who&rsquo;s the museum&rsquo;s interim director.</p><p>Farrah Fatemi said she started meditating and reading a lot about Buddhism.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the things that really resonated with me is this concept of a very fundamental interconnectedness that all beings have to one another and to their environment,&rdquo; she said, adding she and her mother wanted to bring this interconnectedness to the public through art.</p><p>That connection is evident as soon as you walk into the DePaul Art Museum.</p><p>The smell of fresh soil hangs in the air. The first thing you see is a large angular terrarium hanging suspended from the ceiling. If you&rsquo;ve admired terrariums and imagined living in a tiny world of plants under glass, &ldquo;Metropolis&rdquo; by Seattle artist Vaughn Bell gives you a taste of what that would be like. Visitors can stand underneath it, poke their heads through holes cut in the bottom and be surrounded by green plants and the rich smell of soil in the spring, despite the cold weather outside.</p><p>An installation by Chicago artist Claire Pentecost lets visitors step into a room that looks like an old apothecary, but the vials and cylinders are full of dirt. People can lift glass domes containing soil samples and take a whiff.</p><p>&ldquo;I think one of the neat things about this exhibit is that it confronts people in the city who are surrounded by this paved landscape with soil,&rdquo; Farrah Fatemi said. The idea is to connect urban spaces and urban dwellers back to nature.</p><p>Upstairs, the focus turns to the cycle of life, featuring powerful images that are beautiful and uncomfortable.</p><p>A 17th-century &ldquo;vanitas,&rdquo; a form of still life that focuses on death-related themes, by Flemish painter Adriaen van Utrecht shows a skull and a glorious bouquet just past full flower that&rsquo;s starting to rot. Coins and jewelry are scattered nearby, symbolizing, as Laura Fatemi said, &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t take it with you.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;In a way, these were religious paintings,&rdquo; Laura Fatemi said, adding that they made reference to concepts like mortality and repentance.</p><p>Next to the painting, Sam Taylor-Johnson explores a similar theme in still life -- but in video form -- showing a luscious bowl of fruit quickly moving through the stages of decay from ripeness to mold to bugs.</p><p>The photographs of Sally Mann, who documents corpses in various stages of decomposition at the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee, are grotesque and strangely beautiful. Justin Rang explores similar themes in his film &ldquo;Light/Dark Worms.&rdquo; It takes up an entire wall and shows worms writhing around a human hand in the dirt, inviting us to reflect on our own impermanence.</p><p>&ldquo;We depend on this nutrient cycle, and we&rsquo;re part of it,&rdquo; Laura Fatemi said. Much of the work plays with our anxiety over dying and our fear of the unknown. &ldquo;The reality is the earth will take us back.&rdquo;</p><p>For many of us, that&rsquo;s never an easy concept to grasp or even to consider. But perhaps seeing it explored in art will make it a bit less scary.<br />&ldquo;Rooted in Soil&rdquo; runs through April 26 at the DePaul Art Museum.</p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes covers religion, arts and culture for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes" target="_blank">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-29/depaul-museum-show-rooted-soil-looks-role-earth-plays-life-death Syria re-elects Assad as civil war continues http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-05/syria-re-elects-assad-civil-war-continues-110286 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/barrell bombs hospital_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the midst of civil war, Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad was reelected in an election widely condemned by Western governments. Dr Zaher Sahloul, president of the Syrian American Medical Society, tells us whether he thinks the election will impact the country&#39;s ongoing humanitarian crisis.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-syria-re-elects-assad-as-civil-war-conti/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-syria-re-elects-assad-as-civil-war-conti.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-syria-re-elects-assad-as-civil-war-conti" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Syria re-elects Assad as civil war continues" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-05/syria-re-elects-assad-civil-war-continues-110286 Global Activism: Community Cloud Forest Conservation update on saving Guatemala's forests http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-community-cloud-forest-conservation-update-saving-guatemalas <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cloud forest.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.cloudforestconservation.org/">Community Cloud Forest Conservation</a> says it works to alleviate poverty and protect Guatemala&rsquo;s tropical cloud forests. The organization supports a range of projects that include education, reforestation, community development and bird monitoring. They teamed up with Chicago bird conservationists to protect the winter home of the birds that migrate through Chicago.<em> </em></p><p>For our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism"><em>Global Activism</em></a> segment, <em>Worldview </em>catches up with Rob Cahill, the organization&#39;s founder and Judy Pollock, the director of <a href="http://chicagoregion.audubon.org/birds-wildlife">Bird Conservation</a> for the <a href="http://chicagoregion.audubon.org/">Audubon Chicago Region</a>.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116888274" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-community-cloud-forest-conservation-update-saving-guatemalas Global Activism: A call to save Snow Leopards http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-call-save-snow-leopards-107569 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/snow leopard big.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With an estimated population between 4,500-6,000, today for <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism">Global Activism</a></em>, we talk about saving the endangered Snow Leopard. Volunteers and students from the <a href="http://tibetan-alliance.org/nomads/">Tibetan Alliance of Chicago</a> decided to spread awareness and fundraise for the endangered cat at Evanston&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.custerfair.com/">Custer&rsquo;s Last Stand Festival</a>, this June 15 and 16, 2013. Their actions are the culmination of an informal five month-long learning project focused on Snow Leopards and the region they live in. Volunteer tutor, Kaki Dipinto, joins us to explain what she and her students have been up to. We&rsquo;ll also get a lesson on Snow Leopards from <a href="http://www.snowleopard.org/">Snow Leopard Trust</a> executive director Brad Rutherford.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95756522" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-call-save-snow-leopards-107569 Governor greenlights funding for nation's largest open space project http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/governor-greenlights-funding-nations-largest-open-space-project-105857 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/quinn-millennium-reserve-bill.jpg" title="Gov. Pat Quinn signed the executive order in the William W. Powers Visitor Center, a new building in the Calumet area's Millennium Reserve. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" /></p><p>Once an interwoven swath of wetlands and oak savannas, the Calumet region is home to Chicago&rsquo;s largest concentration of industrial jobs, as well as some of its most threatened wildlife and natural areas.</p><p>In the first major development since the nation&rsquo;s largest open space project was announced in 2011, federal and state agencies Friday committed $6.8 million to fund environmental restoration and recreation programs through the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/millennium-reserve">Millennium Reserve</a> Initiative.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn also signed an executive order creating the southeast side reserve&rsquo;s steering committee, a 21-member board tasked with realizing the Initiative&rsquo;s goals of &ldquo;environmental restoration and remediation, outdoor recreation, economic development, and community development.&rdquo;</p><p>Brownfield remediation, public recreation industries, intermodal freight shipping, and a developing network of trails are among the specific projects outlined in the executive order.</p><p>Quinn&rsquo;s message tied environmental protection to economic development. &ldquo;Doing things right by our environment, having a conservation ethic is very important for jobs,&rdquo; Quinn said.</p><p>Citing <a href="http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/upload/FWS-National-Preliminary-Report-2011.pdf">a figure from the Department of the Interior</a>, he said wildlife-related recreation generated $145 billion in 2011.</p><p>&ldquo;We want people to come from far and wide to enjoy everything we&rsquo;ve got in Millennium Reserve,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</p><p>The Calumet region&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/results?s=calumet">conflicted environmental history</a>, however, demonstrates the difficulty of balancing conservation principles with the pressures of development in practice.</p><p>&ldquo;We won&rsquo;t let conservation be an afterthought,&rdquo; said the committee&rsquo;s chairman, John Rogner, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to build out green infrastructure and gray infrastructure together.&rdquo;</p><p>As for the composition of the steering committee, appointees were from the region&rsquo;s main landholders &mdash; the Park District, the Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District and the Forest Preserve District &mdash; as well as government agencies and conservation groups.</p><p>Although she applauded the initiative&rsquo;s mission, Peggy Salazar of the Southeast Environmental Task Force said the steering committee could use more community members.</p><p>&ldquo;We hear lots of announcements,&rdquo; she said. Years before the Millennium Reserve Initiative was announced, she noted, community groups developed their own vision plans for the area. Salazar&rsquo;s own group hopes to develop a &ldquo;green industrial corridor&rdquo; with light manufacturing that uses renewable energy, to complement the &ldquo;green natural corridor&rdquo; of nature preserves.</p><p>The committee will report to the Governor every six months, beginning after their first meeting. Rogner said the group plans to meet before the end of March. Meetings will be open to public input, Quinn said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/millennium_core_111811_poster_final.jpg" style="width: 610px;" title="" /></div></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 17:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/governor-greenlights-funding-nations-largest-open-space-project-105857 Rainforest Rescue Coalition aims to protect global forests http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/segment/rainforest-rescue-coalition-aims-protest-global-forests-99688 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/founders%20RRC%20web.jpg" title="Founding members of Rainforest Rescue Coalition, from left: Marykate Sperduto, Adam Bauer-Goulden, Ross Sullivan, and Willie Heineke. (Photo by RRC)" /></div><p>Each Thursday, we turn to our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism"><em>Global Activism</em></a> segment to hear about someone working to make the world a better place. This week we&#39;re spending time with the<a href="http://rainforestrescuecoalition.org/"> Rainforest Rescue Coalition</a>.</p><p>Adam Bauer-Goulden, Marykate Sperduto, William Heineke and Ross Sullivan are met as students at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Now as college students they all study some aspect of environmental science. Last year the friends formed a nonprofit called the Rainforest Rescue Coalition with a mission to &ldquo;conserve and protect rainforest land around the world and to support sustainable relationships between humans and nature.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Us8F9Lidr6o" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Baur-Goulden shared some of the journey with us:</p><p><em>We felt bombarded with the constant news of environmental and socio-cultural destruction, like so many of today&#39;s youth. So we decided to found RRC and get directly involved in conservation efforts. We teamed up with the Rainforest Conservation Fund, a Chicago based not-for-profit organization working successfully on rainforest conservation issues in the Peruvian Amazon since 1988.</em></p><p><em>We all love biking, so we decided to raise money and awareness for conservation initiatives with the &quot;Ride for the Rainforest.&quot; This month [May 2012] we rode 325 miles from Sturgeon Bay, Wis. to Chicago. Lots of people&hellip;sponsor[ed] our dedicated riders&hellip;[T]he trip was a great success!...Not only did we raise much needed monetary support for two great causes, we also spread awareness of environmental issues to hundreds of people, who will hopefully tell hundreds more people. I think that environmental education is one of the most important aspects of conservation. One of the best parts of this experience was seeing the posters that a middle school green club made to raise awareness for rainforest conservation and knowing that we helped to support young budding environmentalists.</em></p><p><em>Fifty percent of contributions will purchase and protect land in the endangered <a href="http://rainforestrescuecoalition.org/?page_id=78">Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest</a> on the island of Borneo, home to hundreds of the last wild orangutans on the planet. Orangutan populations have plummeted 50 percent in just the last ten years and 90 percent of all remaining orangutans on Earth live in the besieged forests of Borneo.</em></p><div class="image-insert-image "><em><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/orangutans%202%20WEB.jpg" style="float: left; height: 251px; width: 300px;" title="Baby and mother Orangutan (Photo by Orangutan Foundation International)" />The Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest is a 6,400 acre (ten square miles) remnant peat swamp forest that is currently owned by a family of indigenous Dayaks. The land owner, Pak Kukuh, is constantly pressured by timber and palm oil companies to sell his land, but he has decided to sell it to the Orangutan Foundation International instead so it can be preserved forever.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>The land is home to a variety of amazing animals, such as some of the last wild orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, proboscis monkeys, and gibbons. Some of these animals are found nowhere else in the entire world! The forest is also an extremely important carbon sink and its extensive peat holds thousands of metric tons of carbon&hellip;Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, &quot;To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded.&quot;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>The other fifty percent of contributions will fund a sustainable agroforestry program for the native communities living in the buffer zone of the <a href="http://www.rainforestconservation.org/archives/1140">Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo</a> communal forest reserve in the Peruvian Amazon.</em></div></p> Thu, 31 May 2012 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/segment/rainforest-rescue-coalition-aims-protest-global-forests-99688 Illinois farmers have much at stake in Farm Bill http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-farmers-have-much-stake-farm-bill-94952 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-15/6060144973_6abe79e947.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The year 2012 will be an important one for farmers in Illinois and the rest of the country, as Congress hammers out the latest Farm Bill.</p><p>The Farm Bill covers everything from crop insurance to programs that help farmers limit pesticide use. No surprise – lawmakers this time around will be looking to cut.</p><p>Adam Nielsen of the Illinois Farm Bureau says direct payments to farmers are probably history. Those are subsidies the government paid to farmers even in times of high commodity prices like now.</p><p>"There was an enormous target on them and it was the desire of a lot of policymakers out here in Washington to eliminate them," Nielsen said.</p><p>But that’s not the only thing likely to get slashed. Wes King is with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, which promotes sustainable agriculture.</p><p>"Conservation programs are going to take a huge hit," King said.</p><p>But King says he’s hopeful the new Farm Bill will offer more support to organic farmers as Congress starts to take the sustainable food movement seriously.</p></p> Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-farmers-have-much-stake-farm-bill-94952 Remembering Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-27/remembering-kenyan-environmentalist-wangari-maathai-92509 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-27/AP07032203369.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The world lost a remarkable person when Wangari Maathai, 71, died of ovarian cancer on Sunday. Wangari founded the <a href="http://greenbeltmovement.org/index.php" target="_blank">Green Belt Movement</a>, an effort to reforest her native Kenya by paying poor women to plant trees. In 2004, she became the first African woman in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize. On the international stage, she helped cement the connection between environmental protection and peace-making, human rights and security.</p><p>Today we revisit a conversation we had four years ago with Wangari. In this interview, she talks to Jerome about her autobiography <em><a href="http://greenbeltmovement.org/w.php?id=56" target="_blank">Unbowed</a></em>, which recounts her string of triumphs and periods of struggle.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Listen to Wangari Maathai's entire interview from November 26, 2007:</strong></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483731-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/wv_Full Maathai Interview_2007.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 17:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-27/remembering-kenyan-environmentalist-wangari-maathai-92509