Back in December 2008, before President Obama took over, Tim DeChristopher was attending the University of Utah and spending his free time at a Bureau of Land Management auction for oil and gas lease sales. To say that DeChristopher crashed this auction is an understatment—he actually signed in as a bidder and bought $1.8 million in oil and gas rights. DeChristopher's reason for this auction crashing? Climate change.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson has forbidden DeChristopher and his attorneys from using a “necessity defense” of disrupting the auction to help the environment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Romney says that DeChristopher took his activism too far and instead engaged in criminal activism. DeChristopher could face a maximum of ten years in prison if he gets convicted.
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards capped off another Oscar season last night with the usual glitz and glamour, while another event last week addressed the greener side of Hollywood.
Global Green Event Chairman Sebastian Copeland (Courtesy of Revo)
Global Green USA held its 8th annual Pre-Oscar party last Wednesday night at the Avalon in Hollywood, an event that raises money and awareness for the organization’s various initiatives to combat climate change. After a series of fortunate misunderstandings that resulted in my mistakenly being given a VIP wristband, I found myself on the Avalon’s upper balcony amongst LA’s eco-elite, sipping a mineral water sourced from depths of a volcano and discreetly scanning the VIP crowd in the vain hope of a Leo sighting.
Though the Inception star was nowhere to be seen, several other celebrities strutted the green carpet in support of Global Green’s ambitious environmental agenda, which tackles everything from climate change policy to post-Katrina rebuilding efforts on the Gulf coast. As the only environmental event of the Oscar season, the Pre-Oscar party provides a platform for Hollywood’s eco-conscious to broadcast their concerns about the threat of global climate change. But despite the heftiness of the cause, the evening was mostly an opportunity for the environmental crowd to have fun, repeatedly visit one of the several open bars, and enjoy great live music.
Indie rock outfit Best Coast played to a distracted crowd still filing into the theater from the green product display in the lobby, but later in the night Portugal. The Man and headliners Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played rousing sets to a packed house of over 1,000 people.
Between musical performances, Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of Avatar director James Cameron, spoke on the importance of green fashion and named London based designer Samata Angel the winner of the second annual competition to design her green Oscar gown. The winning design was a simple one-shouldered pink number constructed entirely of organic fabrics and finished with a vintage belt buckle the designer copped to stealing from her mother. “I think it was worth it,” she said laughing.
Later in the evening, President and CEO Matt Peterson took the stage alongside noted polar explorer, environmental advocate, and Event Chairman Sebastian Copeland to announce the unveiling of Global Green’s new Carbon City Index, a tool that publicizes a city’s carbon emissions data and assigns a letter grade based on how successfully it has implemented emissions reductions programs. The Index’s pilot city, Los Angeles, received an underwhelming C- grade, which Copeland explained was meant to motivate Angelenos to take action.
“The Carbon City Index is a tool to explain, in simple terms, the performance of your city or region,” explained Copeland. “By removing the complex scientific principles, which can cripple enlisting popular interest, the index provides an easy-to-understand, accessible scoreboard that helps stimulate a desire for improvement.”
Whether the Carbon City Index will actually help to bring about carbon emissions reductions remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure – Global Green knows how to throw a party.
Freeskier Ryan Hawks has passed away after an accident in an extreme skiing competition, according to one of his sponsors. He was 25 years old.
According to Dan Abrams, president of FlyLow, one of the skier's sponsors, Hawks passed away last night in the hospital. Hawks had been in the ICU for internal bleeding and injuries sustained after a 40-foot backflip on Sunday, Abrams said. Hawks was competing in the 2011 North American Freeskiing World Tour, at California's Kirkwood Ski area.
"The comp was in full swing. All of the heavy hitters were skiing, but a lot of the guys were falling, including Ryan's teammates from Green Mountain Freeride (Lars and Silas Chickering Ayers, who got 1st and 3rd last week in Crested Butte)," Abrams wrote OutsideOnline in an email. "There was an opportunity for Ryan to go all out and get on the podium. He has a history of back flips and basically going for it in comps. Several competitors before he dropped in, JT Holmes sent a huge cliff and blew up. Ryan went to the same cliff, smooth and confident. He threw a backflip off of this 40-foot cliff, from a downward descent. He came down on his feet but laid there."
"Ryan was an incredible athlete and he will be sorely missed," Abrams wrote.
ESPN.com's Megan Michelson has a report online confirming Hawks death with a spokesman at Reno's Renown Health Center.
Stay tuned for news as Outside learns more. —JUSTIN NYBERG
Surfers continue to discover new killer surf spots off the Irish coast. Al Mennie, Andrew Cotton and Lyndon Wake discovered the latest, Finn MacCools, at the end of Giant's Causeway, according to WestCoastSurfer.com.
According to Gaelic legend, Finn MacCool is the Irish version of King Arthur and the round table. MacCool is said to have built the Giants Causeway.
Check out the video of Mennie, Cotton and Lyndon as they take on the new wave.
Professional climber Caroline George was skiing the steeps near Mont Dolent in 1997 when a snow slough swept her into a 1,200-foot fall. She survived, barely. She suffered a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, and a shattered ankle. After two months flat on her back, a surgery that had 24 pins placed in her leg, and two months of rehab, she returned to climbing with a renewed vigor. Soon she began competing on the World Cup ice circuit and today is one of only seven women in the U.S. to be IFMGA credentialed for ski, rock and alpine guiding. We caught up with the 34-year-old before a trip to Jordan—which she details on the First Ascent blog—to get her list of the top 10 climbing spots in the world. --Michael Webster
10. Norway and Iceland Scandinavian countries have some of the most "exotic" ice climbing in the world: a combination of fjords, steam beds on actively volcanic grounds, very ephemeral ice lines above the ocean, climbs so big you could break your neck looking up at them, and still many, many first ascents to be had. Some of my all-time favorite climbs are in Norway: Hydnefossen in Hemsedal and Lipton.
9. Thailand Thailand is climber's paradise in it's own way: coconut trees, monkeys jumping from branch to branch, some of the best food in the world, lagoon-like water on white sand beaches, amazingly featured limestone with tuffas climbing, and so much more. Although Thailand has perhaps become overly popular, it's still possible to climb away from crowds. Something unique to Thailand is climbing straight out of a longtail boat onto your chosen route. We climbed "For the Members" on the ThaiTanium Wall and felt like Robinson Crusoe lost on an island of rock in the middle of the Andaman Sea (the only difference being that we had a boat waiting for us beneath!).
8. Kalymnos, Greece The perfect sport climbing destination on the Mediterranean Sea: soft grades, good bolting, overhangs with big holds and tuffas, views on the ocean, delicious food, commuting to crags by Vespa, a cheap cost of living, nice climate, friendly people... I was there twice in 2004, and no place I've traveled to since has come close to matching the climbing on this Greek island. A fond memory was sending my project the night we were flying out. Sometimes the pressure of knowing it's your last chance is just enough of a kick in the butt to pull it all together.
7. The Grand Wall, Squamish, B.C., Canada I am no granite expert, but this is one of the best crack climbs I have done. Every pitch on this route is unique and offers great exposure, with Squamish below and the ocean beyond. The name of each pitch tells a story: a great journey on The Chief.
6. Freney Pillar, Mt. Blanc, France To the Alps, this time on the south side of the Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe (4810m). Although that aspect offers a lot more sunshine, it's also way more committing. There is no easy way into that side of the range. You walk up from the valley floor, and getting to the Eccles Hut is an adventure in itself. The hut is perched half way up a 50+C slope and barely held up by metal cables. Starting the climb at 1 A.M. is much like jumping into a bucket of cold water. It snaps you right out of your dreaming. The climb is long (over 1000m) and very sustained. The most difficult part is called The Chandelle (the candlelight), which overhangs the first 600m of the climb, offering hard climbing in big boots and with a heavy pack. It felt all the more eerie with the resonating sound of seracs falling beneath. When I reached the top of the Chandelle, I thought I was home free, but 300 more meters of mixed terrain waited to take me to the Brouillard ridge, which then leads to the summit of Mont Blanc, a solid hour away. One of the few climbs after which I felt fully satisfied to have climbed it and knew I wouldn't need to climb there again.