About Brian Nitz

Brian remembers when a single tear dredged up a nation's guilt. The tear belonged to an Italian-American actor known as Iron-Eyes Cody, the guilt was displaced from centuries of Native American mistreatment and redirected into a new environmental awareness. A 10-year-old Brian wondered, 'What are they... No, what are we doing to this country?' From a family of engineers, farmers and tinkerers Brian's father was a physics teacher. He remembers the day his father drove up to watch a coal power plant's new scrubbers turn smoke from dirty grey-back to steamy white. Surely technology would solve every problem. But then he noticed that breathing was difficult when the wind blew a certain way. While sailing, he often saw a yellow-brown line on the horizon. The stars were beginning to disappear. Gas mileage peaked when Reagan was still president. Solar panels installed in the 1970s were torn from roofs as they were no longer cost-effective to maintain. Racism, public policy and low oil prices transformed suburban life and cities began to sprawl out and absorb farmland. Brian only began to understand the root causes of "doughnut cities" when he moved to Ireland in 2001 and watched history repeat itself. Brian doesn't think environmentalism is 'rocket science', but understanding how to apply it within a society requires wisdom and education. In his travels through Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, Brian has learned that great ideas come from everywhere and that sharing mistakes is just as important as sharing ideas.

Sustainable, Online Green Courses for 2014

Sustainable, Online Green Courses for 2014

I introduced Green Prophet readers to environmental e-learning and Laurie updated us with details on Mitx, Coursera and Udacity environmentalism courses in Februrary 2013.  A new term has just begun with a wide selection courses related to environmentalism. So this is a good time for a refresher on how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) work.

Why Earth Hour Still Matters

Why Earth Hour Still Matters

March 23 at 8:30 PM marks Earth Hour. Will you switch off? Writing for Slate magazine, Bjorn Lomborg argues against what he believes to be the futility of Earth Hour. But Mr. Lomborg’s inability to see the value in such collective environmental efforts makes a compelling case for why we need them. As I pointed out […]

Japan Mines Seabed “Fire Ice” – The World’s Most Dangerous Source of Energy?

Japan Mines Seabed “Fire Ice” – The World’s Most Dangerous Source of Energy?

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a Japanese state-owned prospecting company says it has successfully extracted methane gas from an undersea methane hydrate deposit in the Nankai trench south of Japan’s main island of Honshu. This marks the first successful extraction of methane from such deep sea deposits. The team expects their pilot rig […]

Chaim Weizmann’s Fermentation Invention Used for Biofuel Production in USA

Chaim Weizmann’s Fermentation Invention Used for Biofuel Production in USA

A century-old fermentation process to transform plant material into a propellant, could eventually replace gasoline. In 1914, thirty-five years before Chaim Weizmann (pictured center beside Einstein) would become Israel’s first president, he discovered a fermentation process for harnessing bacteria to produce large quantities of useful chemicals. For this discovery, Weizmann was called the father of industrial […]

Scarab (Dung) Beetles Navigate by the Stars

Scarab (Dung) Beetles Navigate by the Stars

Scarab beetles were sacred to the ancient Egyptians. These insects rolled balls of dung across the earth just as the sun god Ra rolled across the sky. Scarabs were seen as earthly manifestations of heavenly movement. A team of scientists from South Africa and Sweden recently published a study indicating that there was a grain of […]

Giant Squid Kraken Sea Monster Caught on Video

Giant Squid Kraken Sea Monster Caught on Video

The journal Nature reports that a team of ocean researchers have captured the world’s first video of a giant squid (Architeuthis dux) in its natural environment. The video was captured 700 meters (2300 feet) beneath the Pacific near the Ogasawara archipelago,  about 1000 kilometers south of Tokyo Japan. The mission was funded by Japan’s NHK broadcasting […]

Floods, Climate Change and the Garden of Eden?

Floods, Climate Change and the Garden of Eden?

Are Jordan’s snow and Israel’s floods signs of climate change or are they simply flukes of weather?  People might argue this for decades there is strong evidence that Mideastern climate has changed dramatically over thousands of years and there is evidence that humans can negatively impact their environment over a much shorter time period. The […]

Fight Crime By Getting the Lead Out

Fight Crime By Getting the Lead Out

Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar and Yemen are still using leaded gasoline and many others have lead contaminated plumbing, soil, paint and household products. How can we reduce the world’s crime rate, particularly the rate of violent crime?  When the crime rate rises or a horrific crime takes place, people are quick to find blame […]

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