Southern California environment news and trends

Pocahontas and Pig Iron: An L.A. actor connects to Brazilian forestry problems

Marizilda Cruppe

Pocahontas is on the right.

The two categories of actors who ally themselves with eco-matters are not “the ones who are earnest” and “the ones who aren’t.” Green carpet or blue carpet, red carpet or no carpet, they pretty much all mean it--at least the ones I talk to--when it comes to the ocean or climate change or energy efficiency. The dividing line is really “the ones who are serious” and “the ones who needed a socially-valid hobby.”

Apparently Q'orianka Kilcher is of the serious type. She’s a 22-year-old actress, based in LA. She’s all over issues raised by GlobalGreen, Oceana and even the L.A.-centric Liberty Hill Foundation. Her own foundation aims to put video cameras in the hands of people who can document environmental harms in hard to reach places. This week she climbed up an anchor chain in Brazil as part of a protest that’s now extended a week, over the export of pig iron to U.S. companies. Iron ore gets turned into pig iron with incredibly high temperatures created by burning wood. In Brazil, charcoaled wood comes from rainforests. Greenpeace has brought in people to sit, essentially, on the anchor, to point out that this is still happening.


Infiniti beats Porsche to world’s fastest hybrid crown

honda hybrid civic

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Japanese automaker Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti, has won the high-performance hybrid drag race – literally.

Pitting the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid against Porsche’s 2012 Panamera S Hybrid in an actual race dubbed “The Duel”, the Infiniti literally does donuts around the Porsche after beating it in a head-to-head race.

It’s a boast Infiniti can back up since last fall, when none less than the Guinness Book of World Records made it official and recognized the Infiniti M Hybrid as the world’s fastest accelerating full-hybrid car. It achieved the status after burning up a quarter-mile track in just 13.9031 seconds. When they brought in a third-party (AMCI Testing) to substantiate the claim, the Infiniti M was clocked even faster at 13.41 seconds over that same quarter-mile. Not nearly as much fun as a head-to-head drag race, but I digress.