Sustainabiliteens! Plus the Climate Music Project, and Farmbot!
Sustainabiliteens! The Climate Music Project, Farmbot!
COMMUNITY NEWS: MEET THE SUSTAINIBILITEENS!
The Sustainabiliteens! They’re a superhero group out of the metropolitan Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada. Okay they’re not a superhero group but they are some super powerful Canadian high schoolers making positive change in their community. Sustainabiliteens have a simple message. They believe the foundation of a stable civilization is a stable climate. They recognize that the current climate crisis is precipitating ecological collapse and the devastation of the natural world, but not evenly. These teenagers see that Canada’s working class, Indigenous people and people of color are disproportionately affected.
Their vision is to use their power to create a more just and sustainable world. Some of their exercises in power include in May 2019 mobilizing 3,000 citizens of Vancouver in a nationally driven climate strike. Just four months later, in September 27, 2019, they mobilized 175,000 of Vancouver’s citizens to participate in protest against the Canadian coal mining company Teck. Most recently, the influenced the Vancouver City Council to pass its Climate Emergency Action Plan, setting Vancouver on the path to cut GHG emissions by 50% by 2030. Rock on.
DEEPER DIVE: Sustainabiliteens
THE CLIMATE MUSIC PROJECT
Climate change is an issue that can be hard for some to prioritize. It’s abstract. We can read the charts and the statistics—but is there a way to feel it? The Bay Area’s Climate Music Project at UC Berkeley wants to make the experience visceral.
ClimateMusic began in 2014 with San Francisco-based artist, Stephan Crawford wondering how to get ordinary folks to care about the the climate crisis. “Many people are aware there’s this thing called climate change, but relatively few are aware of the urgency of the issue,” he says. So Crawford, who has a background in the arts and environmental sciences, turned to the universal language of music. He invited performers and scientists to a “hack day,” with the lure of food, and asked them to compose a climate-inspired piece in eight hours. “They worked like mad and just congealed as a team, and at the end of that day…there were actually tears in the audience,” he recalls.
ClimateMusic is a collaboration between data science and music that tells the story of how the climate has changed in the last 200 years, what we can expect in the future, and how we can all help address what’s arguably the greatest challenge facing humanity. It’s been called “an extraordinary project that aims to draw attention to global warming in a completely different way.”
In 2020, ClimateMusic launched two initiatives—a podcast called Climate Vibes, hosted by Kaya Sakamoto; and another project titled, “Play for the Planet,” an innovative way for musicians around the globe to collaborate during the pandemic.
Experience climate change with the senses. Experience ClimateMusic.
DEEPER DIVE: CLIMATEMUSIC, Play for the Planet, Climate Vibes
IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S FARMBOT?!
I came across this bit of technology the other day, and it’s so bananas, I had to share it. It’s called FarmBot. FarmBot is a robot farmer that comes with an open-source web application. This app allows users to setup, customize and control it. FarmBot is a DIY agriculture robot that will create and maintain your garden. The company claims setup can easily be completed within an hour. For those who were never really into gardening, FarmBot takes away all the hassle that traditional gardeners must go through by automating the process.
(I get it. It’s like a Roomba, but for your garden!)
FarmBot is a startup company that raised over $800K via crowdfunding in order to create its first DIY kit. The idea is a high-tech garden or small farm that can monitor just about every aspect of plants while controlling them is like a game. A 3D printed robot arm plants vegetables, waters them, monitors soil conditions, and captures images. Meanwhile, the farmer can control all the tools from a web app that functions a bit like if the farm simulator video game “Stardew Valley” had a real-life companion.
There are three reasons why FarmBot matters to us. First, precision farming has been hailed as the future of agriculture, sustainability, and the food industry. That’s why FarmBot is working to bring precision agriculture technology to environmentally conscious individuals for the first time.
The second reason is climate change adaptation. Rising temperatures in farm belts across the world will decrease crop yields, This will lead to potential food shortages. Also, climate change adaptation will require drastically less use of diesel and gas, the primary energy sources for trucks and other food-transporting vehicles. So, growing local will provide a hedge against food insecurity.
Which brings up reason #3: With FarmBot, you can essentially farm from anywhere. And by “anywhere”, I mean vacant city lots (with permission of course), flat rooftops (if renting with landlord’s permission, of course), abandoned parking lots, or heck, for that matter in shipping containers, or even on your own patio. The reality is you don’t need a lawn. You just need a stable, robust flat surface, as well as access to water and electricity.
DEEPER DIVE: DigitalTrends, FarmBotForum, FarmBot, Business Insider, All Home Robotics