Originally published by NexusMedia. by Marlene Cimons It was predictable that one day Adisa Azapagic, who studies the carbon footprint of various foods, would get around to chocolate. Little was known about the environmental impact of producing that guilt-and swoon-inducing pleasure, and for many, ignorance was bliss. “My husband wasn’t amused when I suggested he consider
A new analysis of agricultural emissions published this week by Climate Action Tracker has pointed out that reducing agricultural emissions through farming practices alone won’t be enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but that reducing food waste and changing societies diet could deliver the necessary changes.
A dead zone larger than New Jersey is expected to appear in the Gulf of Mexico later this year. Similar dead zones are found in the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. A report by Mighty, a global environmental group headed by Henry Waxman, a former US Congressman, claims the dead zones are the result
John-Paul Maxfield of Colorado wants to be the Tesla of sustainable agriculture, but to get there he is making a living selling compost to marijuana farmers.
Disturbing news came out of a meeting in Oxford, England, last week. Over 200 researchers, policy makers, businesspeople, and members of civil society met to reexamine Earth’s deadline for human sustainability. They found it likely to be sooner than we previously thought. To review recent history a bit: at the 21st Conference of the Parties
The good news is that NASA has just released research on how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change because of the concentrations of greenhouse gas growing in Earth’s atmosphere. The space scientists have based their conclusions on historical measurements and robust scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide produced from 21 climate models: specifically, General Circulation
Or do you? It’s time to pay attention to climate change now—as if it wasn’t back in 1800, when our current problems started. We all need to acknowledge that stunning industrial achievements can carry with them enormous unforeseen risks and challenges. Americans should take particular note, because on the whole we are wa-a-a-y behind on this.
By Brad Walker – Rivers Director, with illustrations and other contributions from Joe Mohr Part 4: Solutions In the three (1, 2, 3) previous segments of this series we have discussed the problems created on and within our rivers when special interests work together to manipulate the political system. In order to justify the destruction of
Who’s the savage in this forest? The indigene, or the “forest industry”? Thanks for posting this great photoon from The Pieces Fit on your Facebook page, Moms Clean Air Force!
(All figures are from the 2014 National Climate Assessment draft.) Later today (Tuesday, May 6), at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee of experts meets by conference call to approve the final version of the Third National Climate Assessment. The gist of their message, as Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian
BREAKING: Late this evening (8 pm EST, or tomorrow, March 31, at 9 am in Tokyo), something large and unpleasant will hit the fan about climate change. At a press conference in Yokohama, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its Fifth Assessment Report on impacts of human activities on current and
Premium hydroponic-grown, pesticide-free vegetables and herbs growing in the U.S. Gotham Greens facility (from eponline.com). Two entrepreneurs have recently made London the home of a very creative architectural reuse for food production—underground. Steven Dring, a former executive with Bunzl, an international provider of food-related products and services, and his friend and business partner Richard Ballard,
A new study has found that more than one-third of US states in the southern Great Plains could run out of groundwater within the next 30 years. Of course, running out of groundwater is never good, but this could be especially bad news for human populations and especially the US since this is a key
[Updated post] A team of archeologists investigating a savanna region bordering the Amazon Rain Forest has found more conclusive evidence that a low-impact farming technique has been used for over 1500 years; the ‘alternative’ agricultural practice, used by some native populations including the Maya, is mostly abandoned today. But it just may be
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) recently published info on 10 ways Monsanto and Big Ag “try” to kill us and the planet. I wouldn’t presume they are “trying” to, just that they are more concerned with their profits than the effects they are having on people and the planet. Nonetheless, the list is great, I’m
Africa has never been a quiet continent, often the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons; wars, famine, drought, poverty, AIDS, to name just a few. Now, according to new research, climate change has the ability to cause Africa further harm by altering the water flows in many of the major river basins throughout
Vertical farming, as a concept, has been around for years, but it’s being put into practice and showing results in South Korea…
A group of leading scientists, economists and farmers, brought together under the leadership of John Reganold, a Washington State University soil scientists and lead author of a paper published in the journal Science, have called for a broad shift in federal policies to speed the development of farm practices that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
For those unfamiliar with the work of Wendell Berry (and for those familiar who may need a little refresher), he is David to the agribusiness Goliath. Berry works tirelessly to promote proper land stewardship, sustainability, and conservation and uses every opportunity to point out the drastic short-sightedness of our current path. A passage from his
This post has been entered in the Tck Tck Tck Rio+20 Blogger Prize. If you like it, take a second to “like” it on the Tck Tck Tck Facebook page When two German scientists figured out how to how to turn atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, in what is now known as the Haber-Bosch process, human
The scientists used a general circulation model known as ModelE (developed at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York). The model calculates ocean-atmosphere coupling effects in addition to allowing varying aerosol inputs.
The initial input for the simulation was 5 teragrams (megatons) of black carbon particles injected into Earth’s upper troposphere. This is the estimated result of the surface detonation of 100 Hiroshima-size bombs (each equivalent to 15K tons of TNT).
From the last day or so, other than what we’ve covered, here are some top global warming and environmental politics stories: Monsanto and the USDA, Sittin’ in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G OK, maybe not the best way to start this, but it is almost Valentine’s Day & that did get your attention. The USDA recently approved
Actually prior to Obama’s State of the Union, the Worldwatch Institute recently released its annual State of the World report: State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet. Here’s an intro via a blog post from the Worldwatch Institute’s Danielle Nierenberg over on our sister site, Eat Drink Better: It’s nearly a half-century
Agriculture, the indispensable basis of civilization, was originally encountered as time, language, number and art won out. As the materialization of alienation, agriculture is the triumph of estrangement and the definite divide between culture and nature and humans from each other. Agriculture is the birth of production, complete with its essential features and deformation of
I recently received this press release from Alex Rafalowicz of ClimateDebt. It is a simple announcement but the resources linked below are quite comprehensive and unique. Check out the 2-page documents linked below for a less-heard perspective on some key issues concerning climate change. Several civil society organizations focused on climate justice have compiled a
It seems we always take the most basic things for granted. With regards to adequate water, air, and soil (things we assume will always be there) we are gradually becoming more mindful of them, and their limits. But how many of us are worried about phosphorus (P) running out? Well, lately, more and more agricultural
This is a special guest post from the Earth Policy Institute (subheadings and photo added). Enjoy. Lester R. Brown The literature on soil erosion contains countless references to the “loss of protective vegetation.” Over the last half-century, clearcutting, overgrazing, and overplowing have removed so much of that protective cover that the world is quickly losing
If you haven’t heard, there have been massive die-offs of bats across the U.S. recently. Scientists have been warning us about the main cause, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), for years… but who listens to scientists? With WNS, a fungus leaves a white substance all over bats disrupting hibernation patterns, forcing bats to use up all of
This post is part of our participation in Blog Action Day 2010, which is on the topic of Water. As R. Buckminster Fuller reminded us, we are all traveling aboard “spaceship Earth”…all 6+ billion of us. What makes our spaceship so unique (as far as we know), and vital, is the presence of a great deal
The decision by a Russian court to turn over 70 hectares of genetically unique species of plants to home developers caused an uproar world-wide, with scientists decrying the pending loss as “irreplaceable” and a major blow to agricultural biodiversity. Recently, however, the Russian government has stepped in and ordered a review of the decision — postponing the auctioning of land until at least October.
In his alarm-ringing NY Times op-ed on Climate Change, professor Homer-Dixon* draws a comparison with the 2008 financial “meltdown” which finally led to new financial regulations, even though warnings of a housing bubble (and an emerging recession) were being made prior to the crisis. He advocates societies designing a contingency plan (‘Plan Z’ ) to deal with the immediate after-effects of one or more climate change disasters.
A new report provides regional assessment of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane across America’s major agroecosystems.
Greenpeace recently found genetically engineered maize from Monsanto, MON810, illegally growing in Italy. Now, activists from Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary are quarantining this GE maize. “Greenpeace has taken action today to prevent any further contamination from these hazardous and illegal GE crops,” said Federica Ferrario, Greenpeace Italy Agriculture campaigner. “For days these crops will
Lester R. Brown A dangerous geopolitics of food scarcity is emerging in which individual countries, acting in their narrowly defined self-interest, reinforce the trends causing global food security to deteriorate. This began in late 2007 when wheat-exporting countries, like Russia and Argentina, attempted to counter domestic food price rises by limiting or banning exports. Viet
Over 700 agriculture experts are meeting in Burkina Faso this coming week to discuss how to accelerate innovation for African farmers. They will meet at the 5th African Agriculture Science week and General Assembly of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, or FARA, in an effort to increase investments in agricultural research and speed
In a recent paper published on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website (Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification, by Jennifer A. Burney, Steven J. Davis, and
David B. Lobell), the authors estimated the GHG emissions from U.S. agriculture for the period from 1961 through 2005–a period of great agricultural intensification–and show a massive decrease in GHG emissions as a result of this intensification.
The National Research Council reports that the use of genetically engineered crops results in less harm to wild life, less soil erosion, and greater cost savings. Its findings could impact agricultural practices in other nations.
The last major section from the EPA’s new Climate Change Indicators in the US report is society and ecosystems. Below are key summary points. Clear changes in growing seasons, bird migration leaf growth and blooming dates have occurred and the trends suggest that they will continue. Heat-related deaths show much more variability, despite clear heating trends,
At least a dozen global food companies collaborate toward practical, cost effective solutions to reduce the climate impact of specific farming systems. [social_buttons] I happen to be a fan of the Sustainable Food Lab, which is a group of businesses, NGOs and academic institutions working together to accelerate the shift toward sustainable agriculture. I respect
Much has been said in opposition to the cap and trade climate legislation that is currently on the Senate’s plate. Opponents have argued repeatedly that the legislation will do nothing but increase the cost of energy, which will force companies send jobs over seas, where labor is cheaper, in order to keep up with production demands. Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri) even went as far as to call the Waxman-Markey Bill “a pig in a poke.”
The recovery of peregrine falcons is one of the great success stories of conservation. Now their population in Florida has rebounded enough to remove them from the state’s endangered species list. Upon approving their removal from the list, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission called the combined efforts of wildlife managers and individuals to
According to Missouri Senator Kit Bond (R) the cap and trade Waxman-Markey Bill “is really a pig in a poke.” That’s what he told the committee on Tuesday, anyway. Given the opportunity to speak in front of a committee on the financial impacts that the climate bill would have on farmers, Senator Bond wasted no time calling the bill a hoax.
It’s in the papers and on TV. It spreads across the Internet (including this very post), and it is finding its way into the classroom. Global climate change is nothing new. And it certainly isn’t going away. Not yet, anyway.
The Nature Conservancy announced this week that they have purchased ranchland in Shasta, California and hope to return Big Springs Creek to its former glory as a major salmon run. [social_buttons] The organization noticed the creek’s consistent, glacier-fed flowing water supply should make it the perfect spawning area for the embattled Pacific salmon, but it
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/epXNJNjYBvw&hl=en&fs=1] In two vague bills introduced both in the House and Senate of the US Congress, a vast reorganization of America’s agriculture system aimed at tracking and regulating foods for public safety could endanger organic farms and gardens. [social_buttons] The bills, S.425 and H.R.875, attempt to modernize food safety and regulate and standardize agriculture by
Ginger and chilli are among the plants deemed “hazardous” by Thailand’s Department of Agriculture in a recent announcement. [social_buttons] Instead of only regulating the toxic pesticides used by large-scale agriculture, Thailand’s new law mandates that the plants themselves should be treated as hazardous substances. Farmers take this to mean that even their small-scale organic farms
Britain’s government has been warned that the country will enter into an “agricultural disaster” unless more money is put towards discovering what is killing the country’s bees. Protesters from the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), dressed in traditional, white beekeeper suits, delivered a petition signed by more than 140,000 people to Downing Street today, calling for