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Environment education in schools

Environment education in schools | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Bee'ah School of Environment (BSoE), an environmental education initiative created by integrated environmental and waste management company Bee'ah, has announced its expansion to the eastern and central ...

During the Kids Edutainment Show held recently, the school announced to launch an enhanced online school portal. With new features, applications and an interactive forum for students and teachers, the portal will help accelerate the development and delivery of quality environmental education throughout the emirate. “We are proud to see the outstanding success of Bee’ah’s environmental educational initiative in spreading awareness for a sustainable future of Sharjah and the UAE,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, chief executive officer at Bee’ah. ...

The BSoE will reinforce the online educational programmes while the online digital interface will be enhanced to act as a ‘self-start’ ignition for students to allow for the involvement and engagement in a variety of environmental activities and sustainable practices. The new and improved website will include a students’ section where they can integrate their environmental lessons with social media and use various interactive elements to express their views and their learning. It is a collaborative setting that involves both teachers and students to further engage them by exploring and increasing their knowledge of the environment.

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"Adorably Cute" Tiny Primate Discovery Illuminates Biodiversity of Philippines Island

"Adorably Cute" Tiny Primate Discovery Illuminates Biodiversity of Philippines Island | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Meet the Dinagat-Caraga tarsier, a distinctive evolutionary lineage of primate that has just been discovered from the southeastern Philippines by an international team of biologists working with th...

The tarsier—which is technically not a monkey—is known only from the small island of Dinagat, and the adjacent northeast corner of the larger island of Mindanao to the south, says a news statement about the research published today in the open access science journal PLoS ONE.  ”With its giant eyes, fuzzy face, and prominent ears, the discovery will no doubt attract attention as an adorably cute new ecotourism focal point—much like its furry cousin on Bohol Island,” says the statement released by the Biodiversity Institute of the University of Kansas on behalf of the institutions involved in the study. 

The discovery identifies an important new example of a “conservation flagship species” that has the potential to increase public awareness of the Philippines’ astounding resident biodiversity, says National Geographic grantee and project leader Rafe Brown, of the University of Kansas. “If protected by the Philippine government, [it may] extend protection like an umbrella to the many species of unique birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, plants, and invertebrates that share its rain forest home.”

The findings will restructure conservation targets in Philippine tarsiers, placing much greater urgency on the populations of Dinagat Island, and nearby Mindanao Island’s Caraga Region, in addition to the already protected populations in other parts of the species’ range, Brown predicted.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The tarsier is an icon of biodiversity in the Philippines.

"... Whereas before, tarsiers from the Philippines are viewed as a single species wherever they are found and thus receive the same conservation attention.  With the results of this study, the survival of the three genetically distinct variants of the tarsier needs to be ensured through targeted conservation programs, including the establishment of critical habitats.”

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Elephant deaths reach tipping point ("more killed than born; 35000 lost last year; gone in 100 years")

Elephant deaths reach tipping point ("more killed than born; 35000 lost last year; gone in 100 years") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Africa's elephants have reached a tipping point, where more are being killed each year by poachers than are being born, a study suggests.

Researchers believe that since 2010 an average of nearly 35,000 elephants have been killed annually on the continent.

They warn that if the rate of poaching continues, the animals could be wiped out in 100 years.

The work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author George Wittemyer, from Colorado State University, said: "We are shredding the fabric of elephant society and exterminating populations across the continent."

The illegal trade in elephant tusks has soared in recent years, and a kilogram of ivory is now worth thousands of dollars. Much of the demand has been driven by a rapidly growing market in Asia.

"If this is sustained, then we will see significant declines over time.”While conservationists have long said the outlook was bleak, this study provides a detailed assessment of the impact this is having on Africa's elephants.

The researchers have found that between 2010 and 2013, Africa lost an average of 7% of its entire elephant population each year.

Because elephant births boost the population by about 5% annually, this means that overall more of the animals are being killed than are being born.

Julian Blanc, who also worked on the study, from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), said: "If this is sustained, then we will see significant declines over time.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"In terms of concrete actions, we need to move to focus on the front-line and tackle all links in the illegal ivory trade chain - improve local livelihoods (for those living with elephants), strengthen enforcement and governance and reduce demand for illegal ivory. "

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Abundance vs austerity ("change of eco-paradigm; not survival with less but living in abundance")

Abundance vs austerity ("change of eco-paradigm; not survival with less but living in abundance") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Abundance is the natural state of the world and we can improve the lot of all humanity while also allowing the biosphere to thrive

The problem is that the global economy itself is not conscious. In a very real sense it is insane – we trade the living land for dead money and sit clutching our coins waiting for the reaper. If we work in this economy unquestioningly are we insane too? If we choose another way, what options are available to us?

Transition Towns, New Earth Communities and other conscious communities worldwide are demonstrating new ways to live and organise ourselves. They advocate for us to move away from notions of fear and scarcity and the hoarding that come with them, and build new economies that are more abundant, equitable and ecological.

The New Economics Foundation details how such economies could work. For example, they just published a book cataloguing diverse research that shows how a shorter working week would help tackle urgent problems that beset our daily lives – from overwork, unemployment and low wellbeing, to needless high-carbon consumption and the lack of time to live sustainably. Less work for purely economic gains would allow us more time to care for our families and communities, grow more food ourselves and, slowing the economy, give Gaia a break.

In a less competitive economy where people are happier, we might also vote for a Universal Citizen’s Income that would redistribute to the poorest and stimulate creativity across society. Freed from the bondage of the endless growth economy, what else might we do?


Bert Guevara's insight:

Time to step back, sit down and ponder deeply. Aren't we progressing the wrong way?

Is industrialization, consumerism, capitalism killing the very source that sustains life? Check out this article.

"The energy and food crises that threaten to topple our teetering, skyscraper civilisation are human constructs. Our way out is re-imagining how we live, not doing more of what we were doing to cause the problems. A much greater proportion of the population being involved in the production of the food and energy they consume addresses multiple challenges. We can create life-sustaining employment and disempower the corporate behemoths chewing up nature."

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Urban landscapes becoming increasingly bird-unfriendly - Smithsonian Science ("killed by the millions")

Urban landscapes becoming increasingly bird-unfriendly - Smithsonian Science ("killed by the millions") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Tasty and easy to find, the heath hen was a favorite dish of America’s colonial settlers. This beautiful little bird, however, was no match for …

Today, the new urban infrastructure spreading across the American landscape represents bird hazards the colonists never dreamed of, such as skyscrapers, power lines and speeding cars. In addition, the danger has spread to a wider range of species, not just those that humans find tasty or of economic use.

Tall buildings and bright city lights are one lethal combination that today is killing hundreds of millions of migrating birds each year, saysBrian Schmidt, an ornithologist at the Natural History Museum. During spring and fall migrations, city lights interfere with a bird’s ability to navigate at night by the moon and the stars.

“They can’t see the skies,” Schmidt says. “Bright lights attract birds, especially in the early mornings, and when the lights reflect off of buildings birds can’t tell solid windows from open sky, so they fly right into them. They usually collide with so much force that it causes blunt force trauma or a concussion that kills them.”

In a second similar study published in May in the Journal of Wildlife Management, the scientists took a comprehensive look at bird deaths caused by collisions with cars in the United States. Previous estimates of these deaths had been based on a single study done in Great Britain. Their new estimate of between 80 million and 340 million auto-strike bird deaths annually in the U.S. is based on some 20 mortality rates taken from 13 independent studies.

Other causes of bird mortality that are being studied include pesticides, radio towers, cats and wind turbines.


 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our urban landscapes were built for man with little regard for other inhabitants, like birds. Gone are the forests, bushes and swamps. The result is bird deaths by the millions and their non-reproduction. For those in the cities, haven't you noticed fewer and fewer birds roaming the air.

“Many bird populations are resilient. If they have habitat where they can breed, they will find it and they will reproduce and keep coming back. As urban sprawl grows, forests are moved and that has a great impact on bird populations. If they don’t have a place to live they can’t reproduce.”

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Living on Earth: The Pope and the Sin of Environmental Degradation ("look forward to green encyclical")

Living on Earth: The Pope and the Sin of Environmental Degradation ("look forward to green encyclical") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Pope Francis has called environmental exploitation the sin of our time. He is working on an encyclical about humanity’s relationship with nature. Christiana Peppard, Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics at Fordham University and author of the book Just Water, discusses the Pope’s call to “care for God’s creation” with host Steve Curwood.

Well, one of the things that we’ve really seen with this papacy is that Francis is trying as hard as he can under the circumstances of his elevated post to remain pretty close to the ground. So he was known back when he was in Argentina for spending a pretty good amount of time in various impoverished communities. He’s known now for, you know, driving a relatively humble Pope-mobile and not wearing fancy Prada shoes, and living in not too fancy quarters in the Vatican.

I think that his experience in South America, seeing the ways in which extractive industries and environmental degradation often have negative impacts for people living in situations of poverty, has informed a lot of his comments on the economy and on ecology more broadly. But I also think he understands his role as a kind of moral compass. There has not yet been an encyclical explicitly about the environment. There have been encyclicals that deal with the environment, sort of at this nexus of social justice, environmental degradation and economic development. And environmental degradation really is one of the signs of the times that no moral leader, or in this case theological faith leader, can afford to ignore.

It is a really strong statement. I mean for a Pope to say that deforestation and ecological destruction are the sins of our times is really throwing down a gauntlet. It prompts Christians, especially in the U.S., to think about how we understand sin and how we understand responsibility. So much of Western moral tradition, whether theological or philosophical, has really been based upon a very individualistic paradigm wherein I commit some kind of action, usually intentionally, and it's seen as wrong or sinful. In some sense we can ascribe a clear cause, a clear effect—there’s someone who can repent for it, someone who is affected; there might be some mode of remediation. What's really interesting about applying the language of sin to environmental destruction is that there is not necessarily one person who is the sole cause of things. Causality is much more complex. It has to do with patterns of global economy, of governance, of incentive, of poverty, of the need for arable land and subsistence. And how we think about sin and in that context is complicated, and I appreciate that he's trying to complicate the picture.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Catholic Church can be a valuable ally in clearing the air about eco-morality.

"While the Church may not be an expert in matters of policy, it is an expert in matters of humanity. The Vatican is not a policy-advocating arm, but at the same time, I think the Vatican has really started to throw its weight behind initiatives that can be seen to have global human relevance, and this tends to happen at the United Nations. I think the biggest example is actually with regard to the human right to freshwater."

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What Could Climate Change Mean for Agriculture? ("will never be like it used to")

What Could Climate Change Mean for Agriculture? ("will never be like it used to") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
GLOBAL – World agriculture must create short and long term adaptation strategies to cope with climate change accelerating the water cycle.
Coping With Less Water

• Long term solutions will need to continuously adapt farming to water supply conditions against a backdrop of population growth, climate change and increasing urban demand.

• Shorter term measures need to cope with ‘intra-seasonal volatility' of water supply. This means reallocating water for efficient use through the growing season.

- Coping strategies include more risk management, compensation and insurance, which will provide a ‘major role’ in managing the risk of floods and droughts, the report said.

- Improved irrigation techniques, water storage and more resilient crop and livestock systems must adapt to other water users. This means fitting in with industrial and urban uses, as well as ecosystems.  

OECD analysts stressed open trade as an ‘important vehicle’ to reflect the changing competitive advantage of economies as climate alters.

This will ensure that yield losses can be offset through imports.

Similarly, adaptive storage may evolve to ‘buffer’ through commodity volatility, of both output and prices.

The report said: “Considering agricultural water management without taking into account climate change is not a realistic option.

“Beyond water efficiency in agriculture, the challenge also resides in building agricultural systems that are less dependent on water resources on the whole.”

 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Nature now dictates the terms!

“The land itself has been altered by ploughing, enclosure, herding and other human interventions. We may feel that we have tamed Nature. Reports like this new one from the OECD remind us of our ignorance and warn us about our arrogance.”

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Spare the trees as much as possible – Singson ("the difficult task of balancing progress and ecology")

Spare the trees as much as possible – Singson ("the difficult task of balancing progress and ecology") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
As much as possible, spare the trees. That’s coming from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the agency heavily criticized for the cutting of trees to make way for the road widening...

Singson admitted, though, that in most cases “tree-cutting happens in implementing a national road specification for public safety reasons.”

“We try as much as we can to work within the parameters of the law. There’s an executive order that stops tree cutting except for road right-of-way requirements. It is a decision of bringing development and affecting houses rather than trees,” he pointed out.

Singson referred to the Executive Order (EO) 23 that was issued in February 1, 2011. The EO bans the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests, except for the clearing of road right-of-way by the DPWH.

He assured that the agency is trying to follow the rules by applying for tree-cutting permits with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It also complies with the DENR requirement of planting 100 trees, three-feet in height, for every tree that is cut.

To implement better quality roads and bridges, we end up cutting trees. We try our very best to avoid cutting trees but sometimes they are really just unavoidable. I fully realize that we have contractors who in their desire to finish projects, do not go through proper processes of seeking local permits from concerned LGUs (local government units) and with DENR for the cutting of trees. We have many instances that we tried our best to work around, Singson said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Is there a simpler way of solving this conflict of priorities?

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3 Steps to Using Containers if You Want to Garden W/O Land ("urban containerized agriculture anyone?")

3 Steps to Using Containers if You Want to Garden W/O Land ("urban containerized agriculture anyone?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Want to plant a garden, but don't have much space? Container gardens can be budget- and space-friendly, while providing a bountiful harvest.

Most of the fruits and vegetables in your grocery store have traveled thousands of miles to reach you. In fact, the average plate full of food on an American table travels 1500 miles on average before being eaten.

In order to survive the journey, they’ve been sprayed and bred to withstand bumps, drops, and extra-long transit times. One of the side effects of this is they taste nothing like they should. The more out of season your fruit or vegetable is for your geographic region, the further it’s had to travel and the more likely it’s faced some sort of treatment to survive the journey.

You can seek out only in-season produce and even buy from stores that support local growers, but nothing quite compares to produce you can grow yourself.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Urban containerized agriculture, anyone? It is worth it especially in a period of agricultural uncertainty in the regions.

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Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time - Chicago Tribune ("we need Pope on our side")

Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time - Chicago Tribune ("we need Pope on our side") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time Chicago Tribune Francis, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint seen as the patron of animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man's relationship...

In an address at the university of Molise, an agricultural and industrial region in southern Italy, Francis said the Earth should be allowed to give her fruits without being exploited.

"This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation," he told students, struggling farmers, and laid-off workers in a university hall.

"When I look at America, also my own homeland (South America), so many forests, all cut, that have become land ... that can longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her," the Argentine pope said in unprepared remarks.

Francis, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint seen as the patron of animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man's relationship with nature.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the type of modern-day prophecy I've been waiting to hear from the Church.

"Pope Francis called for more respect for nature on Saturday, branding the destruction of South America's rain forests and other forms of environmental exploitation a sin of modern times."

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7 Topics to Tackle This Earth Day – And Every Day » Global Green Blog ("3/7 are food related")

7 Topics to Tackle This Earth Day – And Every Day » Global Green Blog ("3/7 are food related") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

1. Food Access

The big picture: 

Food Desert: A low-income census tract where a significant number of residents live more than one mile from the nearest supermarket.

23.5 million Americans live in food deserts—areas that are often inundated with liquor stores and fast food restaurants, but offer little or no access to fresh produce.

Urban agriculture presents an opportunity to take food access issues into the hands of residents. From home gardens to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban farming can be an effective method of bringing fresh and healthy produce into food deserts.

2. Food Waste

The big picture: 

Food Scrap Emissions: Every year, Americans send 34 million tons of food scraps to the landfill – 95% of all the food scraps produced. According to EPA data, diverting those food scraps from the landfill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to shutting down seven coal-fired power plants with no loss of energy.

After construction and demolition debris, food scraps are the largest municipal waste stream in the country, typically accounting for 30-50% of a city’s landfilled waste. When food scraps go to the landfill, they release methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than CO2.

Composting not only diverts food scraps from landfills, but also returns nutrients to soil and helps soils, especially sandy soils, retain water.

- See more at: http://globalgreen.org/blogs/global/?p=7916#sthash.jf20ymPu.dpuf

Bert Guevara's insight:

What are the Earth Day issues that we should tackle everyday? Check out these 7 issues.

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Ex-special operations sniper explains why he created the International Anti-Poaching Foundation

Ex-special operations sniper explains why he created the International Anti-Poaching Foundation | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Here's something you don't see everyday!

Damien Mander is a former naval special operations sniper for the Australian Defense Force who, after 12 tours of duty in Iraq, ended up in Africa witnessing the horrors of poaching and decided to using his very special skillset to do something about it. He sold everything he had an started theInternational Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) with the goal of better training the rangers who are the only thing between well-equipped poachers and endangered species.

What does the IAPF do? In its own words, it develops, implements and manages: Anti-poaching ranger training, conservation security plans, anti-poaching operations, wildlife crime information systems, specialist technology and systems for anti-poaching operations, and field equipment procurement and supply.

It's sad that it has come to this, but the reality is that poachers use military technology and tactics, and if the people who try to protect wildlife don't have similar technology and training, they don't stand a chance of catching them.

Since IAPF took over security operations in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, not one rhino has been poached and the population of critically endangered black rhino has increased by 133% since 2010. IAPF currently covers more than 1 million acres and support 28 other initiatives.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Bullet-for-bullet approach vs poaching.

This is where it will end up to as the enemies of the environment get more violent and deadly. 

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More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release ("more needed to maintain until maturity")

More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release ("more needed to maintain until maturity") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release - an Official Gazette PH Special Section

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P4.99 billion to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the continued implementation of the National Greening Program, which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees across 1.5 million hectares nationwide by 2016.

The program aims to cover approximately 300,000 hectares annually from 2014 until 2016.

The fund release—charged against the FY 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA)—will support actual seedling and planting activities for the year, as well as site maintenance and the protection of planting areas already established in previous years.

“Our funding support for the National Greening Program is well-timed, given that the season’s regular rainfall will allow seedlings to grow faster. This year, the DENR’s tree-planting efforts will give particular attention to areas with high poverty levels, as well as regions that are susceptible to natural disasters,” Secretary of Budget Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Planting trees is a priority climate change mitigation measure. We just hope the funds are spent properly.

“The Aquino administration is definitely looking at all viable solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. We’re not just looking at these options and twiddling our thumbs over them. We’re taking active steps to implement our disaster risk management programs,” he emphasized.

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When it comes to housing, small is the new big ("green cities & green design for climate adaptation")

When it comes to housing, small is the new big ("green cities & green design for climate adaptation") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

There is a whole generation that is going through a massive downsizing; here is what I am doing.

Over at Inhabitat, Peter Grisby writes Why Small Homes Make Better Homes, and makes some very good points about the benefits of smaller homes. They use less energy (if properly built) they reduce your consumption (because you have nowhere to put anything), You will spend more time outdoors (because you have so little room indoors). He is right, but the future of small homes isn't in single family houses. It is in apartments, low rise buildings, back lanes and house conversions.

But in the end, Kelly and I will be occupying a third of the house. We will have an income stream from our tenants that will cover the cost of the renovations. We have a renovated, insulated and stable house that will not need a lot of maintenance over the years to come. We will have a heating system that works.

This is an option that many baby boomer aged home owners could consider as a way of staying in their homes; it is surprising how many house designs can be converted easily, how many basements can be turned into decent housing, how many back yards on back lanes can be occupied with small houses. There are thousands of residential units that can be created all over our cities if people would realize that small really is the new big.


Bert Guevara's insight:

As part of climate change mitigation, the trend towards smaller dwellings is a welcome trend. The digital lifestyle makes the world smaller and the proliferation of good cafes and meeting places makes big offices secondary for budding enterprises.

Check out this article about the advantages of smaller dwellings.

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Air conditioning has changed America and will change the world; It is the design issue of our time.

Air conditioning has changed America and will change the world; It is the design issue of our time. | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Mini-split is the new symbol of modernity.

Over the years we have made many of the same points on TreeHugger. I have been seriously criticized for being against air conditioning. I am not. I am against bad designthat forces you to use air conditioning all the time; things like floor to ceiling glass, no cross-ventilation, or lack of shading because as Cameron Tonkinwise put it,

The window air conditioner allows architects to be lazy. We don't have to think about making a building work, because you can just buy a box.

Or as I have put it in response to a controversial article by Brian Merchant (but nobody read that far before yelling at me in comments:)

In the end, it is all about moderation; about designing our homes better so they don't need as much air conditioning, if any. It's about reinforcing the cultural aspects of where we live instead of hiding inside. It's about having a discussion, not a culture war.

In China, almost every single apartment has a mini-split air conditioner hanging on the wall outside the unit. There are hundreds of millions of these things, absolutely indispensable because the air is so foul that you can't open the windows, because of the pollution caused by the coal-fired power plants that are making the electricity needed to run the air conditioning. Call it a luxury or a necessity; the fact is, it is the design issue of our time.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Man has made a mess of the environment and is relying on air-conditioning as a way of escaping some of the consequences. But some are criticizing the excessive reliance on air-conditioning and are blaming "modern" architecture and other "modern" designs for the 'escapist' approach.

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List of Foods We Will Lose if We Don’t Save the Bees ("the pesticides did it!!! -- bee genocide")

List of Foods We Will Lose if We Don’t Save the Bees ("the pesticides did it!!! -- bee genocide") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
While we don’t need bees to pollinate every single crop, here is just a brief list of some of the foods we would lose if all our bees continue to perish.

Apples

Mangos

Rambutan

Kiwi Fruit

Plums

Peaches

Nectarines

Guava

Rose Hips

Pomegranites

Pears

Black and Red Currants

Alfalfa

Okra

Strawberries

Onions

Cashews

Cactus

Prickly Pear

Apricots

Allspice

Avocados

Passion Fruit

Lima Beans

Kidney Beans

Adzuki Beans

Green Beans

Orchid Plants

Custard Apples

Cherries

Celery

Coffee

Walnut

Cotton

Lychee

Flax

Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements

Macadamia Nuts

Sunflower Oil

Goa beans

Lemons

Buckwheat

Figs

Fennel

Limes

Quince

Carrots

Persimmons

Palm Oil

Loquat

Durian

Cucumber

Hazelnut

Cantaloupe

Tangelos

Coriander

Caraway

Chestnut

Watermelon

Star Apples

Coconut

Tangerines

Boysenberries

Starfruit

Brazil Nuts Beets

Mustard Seed

Rapeseed

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Brussels Sprouts

Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)

Turnips

Congo Beans

Sword beans

Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers

Papaya

Safflower

Sesame

Eggplant

Raspberries

Elderberries

Blackberries

Clover

Tamarind

Cocoa

Black Eyed Peas

Vanilla

Cranberries

Tomatoes

Grapes

Bert Guevara's insight:

If one of your favorites is on this list, you should consider becoming a bee activist.

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Is the gov't reforestation program planting the right trees? ("matter of what country needs in future")

Is the gov't reforestation program planting the right trees? ("matter of what country needs in future") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Civil society organizations point to corruption and the wrong mindset as threats to the success of the National Greening Program

Groups like the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Inc (PTFCF) and Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), civil society partners of the DENR, said a majority of trees being planted are exotic trees like mahogany, gmelina, and rubber – trees that are fast-growing but less adaptive to the Philippine environment.

"We were alarmed with the breakdown of what species would be planted. They told us because they are fast-growing. Second, that there are no planting materials. On both counts, we challenged them," said Jose Andres Canivel of PTCFC.

Here's why native trees are better, according to Canivel.

They are better adapted to local climate conditions since they naturally grow in the country in the first place. This makes them stronger and more resilient in the long run.They have higher resistance to pests and typhoons. In Albay, exotic trees fell after Typhoon Yolanda passed through. The native trees lost many of their leaves but remained standing.They are more effective in promoting biodiversity. Some types of birds don't make nests on exotic trees. In some cases, undergrowth do not grow where exotic trees are planted. Native animals are also more likely to eat the fruits of indigenous trees.Many Philippine native trees are high-value trees which can command good market prices, eventually aiding in the poverty alleviation component of the NGP which seeks to provide livelihood for communities through forest products.Native trees are the types of trees planted by most indigenous peoples and community groups. If the NGP prioritizes native trees, these groups will get the benefits. In comparison, exotic trees are usually sourced from commercial suppliers.


Bert Guevara's insight:

If native species are better, why is the DENR planting mostly exotic trees?

"It's clear that in the commodity roadmap of the NGP, we have timber to cater to the wood demand for the future, fuel wood species for the households, high value crops like coffee, cacao, rubber, bamboo, fruit trees, mangrove and endemic or native species. Remember that NGP is not just for reforestation but also for economic development and livelihood for the upland farmers."

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Delay Action on Climate Change by 10 Years and Costs Rocket 40%: Report

Delay Action on Climate Change by 10 Years and Costs Rocket 40%: Report | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The longer the U.S. holds off action to mitigate climate change, the more costly the effort will become, a new report shows

A new report estimates the cost of mitigating the effects of climate change could rise by as much as 40% if action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is delayed 10 years — immediately outweighing any potential savings of a delay.

The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. President Barack Obama’s source for advice on economic policy, compared over 100 actions on climate change laid out in 16 studies to extract the average cost of delayed efforts. Released Tuesday, the findings suggests policymakers should immediately confront carbon emissions as a form of “climate insurance.”

“Events such as the rapid melting of ice sheets and the consequent increase of global sea levels, or temperature increases on the higher end of the range of scientific uncertainty, could pose such severe economic consequences as reasonably to be thought of as climate catastrophes,” the report reads. “Confronting the possibility of climate catastrophes means taking prudent steps now to reduce the future chances of the most severe consequences of climate change.”

The report also found that any increase in climate change amid that delayed action would gravely exacerbate the problem; a rise to 3°C above preindustrial temperatures would mean mitigation costs would increase by about 0.9% of global economic output year on year. (To put this into perspective, 0.9% of U.S. economic output is estimated at $150 billion for 2014.)

Bert Guevara's insight:

The message has been the same for several years now -- time is running out; the longer we delay, the greater the cost to undo.

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Climate Change Solutions: Architects Look To Slums As Models For Sustainable Living ("model from poor")

Climate Change Solutions: Architects Look To Slums As Models For Sustainable Living ("model from poor") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The word "sustainable" isn't often associated with slums. But planners say densely populated poor neighborhoods could be used as models for green living.

As such, large, densely populated, impoverished neighborhoods are in many ways on the cutting edge. Innovation comes of necessity, not because it's trendy, and due to the likelihood the future will bring larger, more densely populated slums, an unusual realm of urban planning has begun to take shape -- one that looks at making slums sustainable, rather than simply blights to be eradicated.

One of the reasons such slums are useful to study is  they are indicative of what a consumer society forced to grapple with declining resources could look like. And because the slums consume less than more affluent districts, residents' demands for transportation and water supply infrastructure are often easier to address. 

Urban renewal experts say while slums have obvious problems, including poor sanitation, disease and a lack of potable water, they provide cheap rent, close-knit communities, an escape from rural poverty and opportunities for employment. A growing sect of architects and urban designers like Brillembourg sees slums not as impediments to development but as places that should be embraced and improved.  

Bert Guevara's insight:

Learning sustainability from the poor who know how to live on very little.

“These areas need to be upgraded,” Brillembourg told International Business Times. But, he added, it would be a mistake to simply see slums "as problems, when in fact they’re the solution.”

What Brillembourg calls an “acupuncture” approach to development encompasses small-scale infrastructures like the gondolas of South America, which he said “can have a tremendous impact on an area.”

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Brazil Announces Dengue Fever Emergency in GMO Mosquito Trial Areas ("this is insane tampering!")

Brazil Announces Dengue Fever Emergency in GMO Mosquito Trial Areas ("this is insane tampering!") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Groups in a Brazil town where GMO mosquitoes were released are alarmed at an increase in dengue incidence, leading to a declare of an emergency decree.

Brazilians were promised that the GM mosquitoes would end dengue fever, but results from field trials conducted in Bahia, Brazil were never published and did not evaluate the relation between Aedes aegypti mosquito populations and the occurrence of dengue.  According to a Cambridge University study:

“. . . the targeted mosquitoes may simply move to another area and/or a different species of mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which also transmits dengue can move into the area. Complex immune responses to the four types of dengue virus mean that a partial reduction in mosquito numbers can reduce cross-immunity to the different serotypes and increase the number of cases of the severe form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, which is more likely to be fatal.”


While it is understandable that municipalities with high dengue sickness rates would be interested in lessening the disease, it seems that biotech has once again fooled government agencies into polluting the environment with untested, unsafe, genetically manipulated organisms.

The Brazilian press even lauded the new weapon to combat dengue, but failed to print information that Jacobina’s mayor, a locality where the GMO mosquito trials took place, issued a decree in February 2014 renewing the state of emergency “due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Mosquito vs mosquito - and the winner is THE MOSQUITO!!! (Dengue KOs GMO)

"The latest state of dengue emergency can be linked to the GMO mosquitoes, since the instance of disease is greatest in areas where they were released. The Brazilian National Agency of Sanitary Vigilance (ANVISA) is now in charge of registering and monitoring the product. Over 10 million GM mosquitoes are suggested for release for every 50 thousand inhabitants by the makers of the latest GM atrocity."

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The Weird And Wonderful World Of Indoor Farming ("climate change adaptation for agriculture")

The Weird And Wonderful World Of Indoor Farming ("climate change adaptation for agriculture") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Imagine walking into a grocery store, walking to the back, and plucking your tomatoes right off the vine.

While it looks just like any industrial park, anywhere in the U.S., inside of this particular one is a small wonder. Walk inside, through the unfurnished offices, and you’ll enter a vast room — 120 feet by 120 feet, 30 feet tall — full of towers of giant tubs, where everything is glowing pink. Welcome to Green Sense Farms.

“Green Sense Farms is the largest commercial indoor vertical farm in the U.S,” explains Robert Colangelo, the company’s founding farmer. “We’re also the largest user of LED grow lights. We specialize in growing fresh, nutritious leafy greens — lettuces, microgreens, herbs, and vegetables — and we distribute those locally in a five state area: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.”

The farm shows a new type of agricultural experimentation: Taking plants out of their volatile outdoor environments and moving them inside, to a controlled situation where farmers can assure they’re growing the best produce in the most sustainable way possible, beyond the grasps of crop disease, drought, and extreme weather.

“We’ve created groundhog day in there,” Colangelo said. “Every day is the same.”

Dr. Dickson Despommier, an indoor farming devoteeand Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University, says that when it comes to growing food inside, “you have to treat crops as you treat patients in the intensive care unit at a hospital.” While on the one hand that notion rightfully causes alarm, Despommier means it as a good thing.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Indoor farming addresses food production, but it cannot solve the agricultural conditions caused by a damaged environment. This is a fascinating way of addressing some climate change and pollution issues.

"In the age of demand for the artisanal, the hand-crafted, and the local, vertical farming may be a more reassuring way to achieve the kinds of foods that trendy urban consumers are demanding."

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Thailand Restores Organic, Sustainable Farming Practices ("my kind of military rule; move Big-Ag")

Thailand Restores Organic, Sustainable Farming Practices ("my kind of military rule; move Big-Ag") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The new military-led government in Southeast Asia’s Thailand has unveiled plans to support organic agriculture and sustainable agricultural reforms.

Following a May 22nd coup in Southeast Asia’s Thailand, the new military-led government has unveiled plans to support organic agriculture and sustainable agricultural reforms. This is an unprecedented departure from the unsustainable populist subsidies that proceeded it in Thailand, one which can be found in various degrees of malfunction around the globe.

The new military aims to support farmers who were cheated by the ousted regime’s failed subsidy program that left nearly a million rice farmers unpaid for rice they turned into government warehouses. General Prayuth says that he will replace the subsidized programs with a system that replaces Big-Ag, and localizes agriculture – making it more sustainable.

Furthermore, the new regime promises to:

Invest in failing national infrastructure.Build new irrigation channels.Use media outlets to broadcast pertinent information to farmers.Prevent exploitation of labor through ending land renting schemes.Install heavier taxes for wealthy land owners and speculators that leave land unused when it was meant for agricultural use.Help farmers produce healthier products for consumers.Reducing subsidies for unwanted produce that ends up rotting in warehouses instead of allowing farmers to grow what consumers really want.
Bert Guevara's insight:

This agricultural policy shift became possible in a military rule. Move aside Big-Agri. 

"The amended framework is based on the Thai King’s “New Theory” or “self-sufficiency economy,” and mirrors similar efforts found throughout the world attempting to break the back of the oppression and exploitation that results from dependence on a globalized system dominated by multinational corporate monopolies. This includes biotech monopolies over seed, and undue influence in government systems everywhere.

"It’s time we all focus on organic, self-sustaining farms to feed ourselves and the world."

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World Bank: Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy Up To $2.6 Trillion A Year ("let's go!")

World Bank: Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy Up To $2.6 Trillion A Year ("let's go!") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A new World Bank report concludes that just a few key policies would boost the global economy up to $2.6 trillion a year by 2030 while significantly reducing carbon emissions.

The Bank finds that if all six embrace three sets of policies for clean transportation plus energy efficiency in industry in buildings, “the annual benefits of just these policies in 2030 include an estimated GDP growth of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion.” Furthermore, the report found that “these policies alone would account for 30 percent of the total reduction needed in 2030 to limit global warming to 2°C [3.6°F].”

The overall benefits are staggering, as these policies avoid 94,000 premature pollution-related deaths and 8.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. They save nearly 16 billion kilowatt-hours of energy — roughly equivalent to taking 2 billion cars off the road.

This finding matches that of the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “Energy Technology Perspectives.” The IEA found that an aggressive effort to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency (and energy storage) to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2°C would be astoundingly cost-effective, “resulting in net savings of $71 trillion” by 2050.

And both reports are in line with the latest finding by the world’s scientists and governments that stabilizing at 2°C would have a net effect on growth of 0.06 percent per year — essentially no effect at all compared to the staggering amount of climate damagesavoided.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Using the language of banking, it pays to spend on climate change action because it will translate to positive economics.

"Anyone who claims that avoiding catastrophic climate change would entail high net costs or significant economic losses is, well, simply denying what we know about economics and climate solutions."

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10 reasons to go green starting NOW ("our personal choices, though small, have a global impact")

10 reasons to go green starting NOW ("our personal choices, though small, have a global impact") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Have you been looking for a reason to go green? Look no further because we've got ten reasons lined up for you!

1. Real food is fuel for the body -- and the planet.

2. The average woman absorbs more than 4 pounds of cosmetics during her lifetime. Guys, you're not off the hook.

3. Making stuff takes lots (and lots and lots) of energy.

4. Clean, renewable power is already available to everyone.

5. Better transportation means less global warming.

6. Nature Recycles Everything. So Should People.

7. Your clothing choices impact more than just your appearance.

8. Water is not a renewable resource.

9. Greener goods are more humane.

10. There's nothing corny 'bout peace, love, and understanding.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The world is smaller than you can imagine -- there is no 'far away' place that has no impact on us.

"The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet -- good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices and, therefore, the impact you create: from where you live to what you buy, eat, and use to light your home to where and how you vacation, to how you shop or vote, you can have global impact."

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Ghana environment pay cost of illegal mining ("small scale illegal mining wreck havoc to waterways")

Huge swathes of land and 75 percent of country's waterways have been polluted by unauthorised gold mining. Ama Boateng reports Subscribe to our channel http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe Follow...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Small-scale illegal mining, with poverty as an excuse, can cause irreparable damage to the environment. This video is a prime example of what is happening in many parts of the world, including the Philippines.

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How the insurance industry sees climate change ("extra premiums mean CC is not a hoax but so real")

How the insurance industry sees climate change ("extra premiums mean CC is not a hoax but so real") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago, I interviewed Frank Nutter, then and now president of the Reinsurance Assn. of America, on the threat climate change posed to the $2-trillion-plus global property and casualty insurance industry.

"It is clear," he said back then, "that global warming could bankrupt the industry."

But in the two decades since, the industry mostly limited itself to talk, sponsoring innumerable reports on the threat. Now a major insurance company has moved to protect itself, and it may be the most important milestone yet in the struggle to contend with global warming.

FOR THE RECORD:
Climate change: A June 17 Op-Ed article accurately reported on nine class-action lawsuits filed by insurance company Illinois Farmers against cities and counties for failing to take steps to prevent losses related to climate change. Farmers has withdrawn the lawsuits, saying it believes that its "policyholders' interests will be protected in the future" and that it hopes to continue "constructive" conversations with the cities and counties. The Op-Ed said Farmers is owned by Zurich Group. It is not; Zurich Group owns Farmers Management Co., which provides administrative oversight to Farmers. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

If insurance companies are charging for risks due to climate change, how can it be a hoax?


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