Spring 2010 – Post your “INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND MEDIA” topical homework here:

  • Find and read an article (online or in print) and post a link or citation, with a sentence or two summarizing the most useful points, for at least one item per week on your topic.
  • You may post additional links (with or without summaries) for some extra credit.
  • Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  • Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team (this will also earn you some extra credit).


    86 Responses to “Information, Education & Media”

    1. duncan888 Says:

      Beautiful quote here from Howard Zinn-

      “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places (and there are so many) where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

      -Howard Zinn, patriot, historian, and author

      What are your thoughts on this?

      1. This is truly lovely – a much-needed shot of courage to keep up morale for the work of building a livable future.

    2. duncan888 Says:

      This from EWG or the Environmental Working Group. Apparently a cotton farmer in Western Tennessee who claims to be a “tea-bagger” wants, scratch that demands that government become smaller. One catch however, he receives $200K a year in farm subsidies.


      Is this guy a hypocrite or what?

      I knew these “tea bagger” types were bad news.


    3. abigailbacon Says:

      This link is to a really cool site that’s very different than the other ones I’ve posted.
      Grade The News is a media research project out of San Jose State U, focused on the quality of the news reported in the San Francisco Bay Area ( includes Santa Cruz). They refer to themselves as a ‘Consumer Report for the news’. They see a problem with the current system of market-driven journalism. The project aims to educate people on what they should expect from their news, and how to realize if they aren’t getting it. I think that that’s something very few people know how to do well these days, and it’s really nice to have a resource to help you distinguish the truth from the junk.

      1. duncan888 Says:

        That’s interesting. I wholeheartedly agree that there’s an ENORMOUS problem with the “news” that’s being fed to us today. It must be a big part of why there’s so many rabid, crazy people running around today attempting to fix things.

        Market driven journalism is by default defective.

        I don’t believe there’s much difference between the ‘left’ & ‘right’ in this country. They’re really two sides of the same coin, both harboring the same ultimate objectives while wearing a different “hat” & are beholden to no one except large corporations. Most folks in America are unfortunately mis-informed & watch glued to a television believing everything they see as truth, but in reality it’s all just political theater.

        Democrats & Republicans appear to be opposite protagonists entrenched in a battle for moral superiority by an entrenched oligarchy but unfortunately it’s just not the case.
        Web blogs are a much truer, accurate interpretation of the political landscape since they haven’t been corrupted by “Big Money”.


    4. abigailbacon Says:

      Another link I want to post is to a really cool site called Internews.

      Internews is a international media development organization from right here in California. Their mission is to empower local media groups worldwide, allowing everyone to communicate freely. So far Internews has supported the development of over 4800 independent media outlets from radio to television stations to newspapers to online news sites.


      1. duncan888 Says:

        Looks pretty cool,…I think. I scanned their “about us” page & unless I’m missing something I’m not sure what they accomplish that the WWW already has made available to the masses.

        I think we’ve had it drilled into our heads thus far that access to information overload is really prevalent.

        They appear to be a sort of clearing house for information. I’m sure their hearts are in the right place.


    5. abigailbacon Says:

      Sorry I got so behind on these. Here’s one organization I found called the ‘Cloud Institute’. Their focus is on changing the k-12 school system to include more about sustainability. They want to start from the bottom up to change how things work by changing how our kids are thinking. They offer products and programs to help teach your students about ‘green’ living.


      1. duncan888 Says:

        Excellent idea. Start them off on the right track at an early age.

        I’m all for it.


    6. dmuszyn Says:

      Hi Folks-
      Check out the B Corporation’s website it’s a coalition of business enterprises that will access the Sustainability of your company and provide a standard. I work in the “Natural” Foods Industry and over the years many large corporations have jumped in to get their share of the business. Most of these companies are only interested in their profits they wear the cloak of Natural, Green or Sustainable as a Marketing tool. I am happy to see that there is measure that we can trust.

    7. clbenedict Says:

      Although it is focused on the UK, this article seems pretty relevant with the recent health care bill news. It is a BBC article that talks about the deaths that are linked to air pollution. It claims that over 50,000 people a year die from affects of air pollution in the UK. People are urging the prime minister to tackle this issue and makes steps to clean the air. Death is obviously the biggest issue here but they are also making the argument that it is costing large amounts of money for health care when treating patients. The UK also may face fines from the EU for the air quality. It is estimate that it is costing them 8.5 to 20.2 billion euros a year!

      Heres the website:


      1. duncan888 Says:

        Much of that stems from automobile pollution. I think I mentioned before, our or ‘their’ problem isn’t the type of vehicle that’s driven, the problem is that we drive incessantly.

        I have a brother in London who is a physician, & the air quality there is fairly bad, again attributable mainly to the automobile. They have congestion taxing in the center of London now which is a great idea for a variety of reasons. We need to do the same things here although I think the strident, vocal right wing here in America would brand it an act of “communism” if we did such a thing!

        England unfortunately has a LOT of suburban sprawl. They are not that different to us here in America, just the scale is different. England now imports most of its food from other countries which involves a higher carbon footprint. A big part of this is because they’ve paved over so much of their productive farmland which is such a shame.

    8. Doodá Desert Rock (Absoulutely NO! Desert Rock Power Plant)

      Tues, March 23 – Noon, Cabrillo College Student Activities Center – SAC East Rm 225

      A presentation about resistance to energy development on indigenous land. Speaker: Elouise Brown (Diné), plus short films.

      See http://www.doodadesertrock.com/

    9. This website is awesome. It’s a guide to sustainable education (made for educators). The first draft of the website was created in December 1999. It says on the homepage that the site is an “ongoing project to refine how sustainability education is brought to the classroom”. The more knowledge out there, the better! Check it out!


    10. clbenedict Says:


      This may be a repeat post because I just posted this but it didn’t show up.

      The Environmental Media Association is an organization that use the power of the celebrity to spread awareness of environment. By focusing on the entertainment industry, EMA attempts to influence people to become more environmentally friendly and take action on issues that affect our planet. Their website contains a lot of helpful information from where to recycle cell phones to starting school gardens. You can also purchase eco clothing from them. They are currently gearing up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the EMA awards which honors celebrities are working towards EMA’s mission.

      The website is : http://www.ema-online.org/

    11. clbenedict Says:

      EMA Environmental Media Association

      This association uses the power of the celebrity to spread the idea of becoming more green. Their mission statement on their website states “ema’s mission: mobilizing the entertainment industry in a global effort educate people about environmental issues and inspire them into action.” The website contains lots of helpful information like how to recycle cell phones, how to start a school garden, and general “green” tips. Also, you can purchase a variety of environmentally friendly clothes from them. They are also hosting the 20th anniversary of the EMA awards which honors the leaders of the film and television industry that promote environmental awareness and action.

      The website is: http://www.ema-online.org/

    12. I found this article about Avatar:


      The director of Avatar, James Cameron, states that he “wanted to make an environmentally conscious mainstream movie.”

      But also stated that 20th Century Fox “would have been much more comfortable if I had eliminated what they called the ‘tree-hugging’ elements.”

      This is a great example of how the mainstream media can have a huge effect on the general public. Cameron made this film trying to spread ideas of sustainability and environmentalism to the general public. They reached a lot of children, as well, which is a crucial way to spread healthy information.

      Even though Fox was reluctant to put out a movie with such “tree-hugging” views, Cameron basically told them that he wouldn’t be making the movie any other way.

      A movie is a great way to spread information to educate the general public through an aspect of media.

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