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Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture - UN ... ("changing times need new techniques in agri")

Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture - UN ... ("changing times need new techniques in agri") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture – UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System · Biodiversity, Community Projects, Compost, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, ...

Record breaking heat waves sweeping over both hemispheres this summer have put global warming back into the headlines, and with it, the problem of survival under climate change. The most urgent item on the agenda is how to produce food without adding even more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, which can also withstand the increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

It is generally acknowledged that industrial agriculture and our globalized food system is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, up to 50% if proper account is taken of emissions from land use change and deforestation, most of which are due to agriculture, and for food-related transport, processing, storage, and consumption (see Figure 1) [1]. Nevertheless, it is also generally recognized that agriculture holds tremendous promise for mitigating climate change, and much else besides.

The solution for food security under climate change is a radical transformation of the agriculture and food system that would at the same time eliminate poverty, gender inequality, poor health and malnutrition. The 320 page TER — the work of 63 authors from organisations around the world — provides a coherent, closely argued case backed up by evidence from numerous case studies and surveys showing that these interrelated problems could all be solved by a paradigm shift away from the current industrial agriculture and globalized food system to a conglomerate of small, biodiverse, ecological farms around the world and a localized food system that promotes consumption of local/regional produce. The TER proposal is not dissimilar to that made in ISIS’ special report [3] Food Futures Now: *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free published in 2008, and in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) [4], which resulted from a three-year consultative process involving 900 participants and 110 countries around the world. The same message was reinforced in several key publications from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) [for example, 5, 6] and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) [7] to name but a few.

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Britain's honeybee colony deaths among worst in Europe, study reveals ("a food security matter")

Britain's honeybee colony deaths among worst in Europe, study reveals ("a food security matter") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Landmark research shows 29% of honeybee colonies died in winter of 2012-13, with summer losses also high at 9.7%

The European commission said the study revealed mortality rates were better than had been expected. "These data show that, while higher bee colony mortalities do exist in some parts of the EU, bees are neither disappearing, nor is colony collapse disorder taking place."

But noted that it did not assess wild pollinators which, alongside honeybees, are vital in pollinating three-quarters of all food crops. "Scientific data on wild pollinators, including wild bees is scarce, but current indicators show a worrying decline. Preliminary results [of other research] already suggest that wild bees face a serious threat," said an EC statement. A recent European assessment of bumblebees indicated a quarter of the 68 species were threatened with extinction.

"While overwintering honeybee colony losses in Europe are variable and sometimes considered unacceptable, on the whole they are still much lower than in the US," said Prof Simon Potts from the University of Reading.

Prof David Goulson, a biologist at the University of Sussex, criticised the report: "It does seem odd that the EC spent over €3m on a project on bee health and the words pesticide and insecticide are not used once in the document."

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Insecticides vs bees - that is the issue. 

"The commission banned the use of specific insecticides linked to serious harm in bees from December 2013. The EC had requested that pesticide monitoring was included in the Epilobee project. It had requested that pesticide monitoring was included in the Epilobee project but, it said, experts from member states did not consider it "feasible" to do so.

"The UK was one of a minority of nations to oppose the insecticide ban."

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Kerry on UN climate change report: 'Costs of inaction are catastrophic' ("no more arguing; let's act!")

Kerry on UN climate change report: 'Costs of inaction are catastrophic' ("no more arguing; let's act!") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
After release of U.N. report, Kerry called denial of climate change science "malpractice."

The document, issued by the United Nations's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), found that the sweeping effects of climate change were affecting every part of the globe.

The group of Nobel Prize-winning scientists warned that unless countries act quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the rising sea would devastate costal areas, the world would suffer from widespread hunger due to droughts or flooding, and extreme storms could threaten infrastructure and emergency services.

“The clock is ticking,” Kerry said. “The more we delay, the greater the threat. Let's make our political system wake up and let's make the world respond.”

The 32-volume report warned that the United States was likely to see massive wildfires, while killer heat waves in Europe and sever droughts in Australia would threaten both human life and agriculture. It predicts poverty, sickness and violence will spike as weather events become more extreme.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Shouldn't we be sounding the alarm bells or panic button?


"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change," IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri told The Associated Press.

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New UN Report: Small Scale Organic is the Only Way to Feed the World ("paradigm shift to SmallAg")

New UN Report: Small Scale Organic is the Only Way to Feed the World ("paradigm shift to SmallAg") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
According to a new UN report, small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word.

We are all aware at this point that we need to transform the way we think about farming. Our food system is broken, and the same paradigm that created its systemic problems will not fix them. According to a new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word.

The report calls for ‘ecological intensification,’ or a shift from conventional mono-culture planting to independent, small-scale production and permaculture, which can create a mosaic of sustainable regenerative systems which can feed all of us.

The UNCTAD report the following as needs to transform our food supply:

Increase soil carbon content and better integration between crop and livestock productionIncrease incorporation of agroforestry and wild vegetationReduce greenhouse gas emissions of livestock productionReduce GHGs through sustainable peatland, forest, and grassland managementOptimize organic and inorganic fertilizer use, including through closed nutrient cycles in agricultureReduce waste throughout food chainsChange dietary patterns toward climate-friendly food consumptionReform the international trade regime for food and agriculture

Notice that nowhere in the report does it suggest the reduction of herbicide and pesticides or GMO foods. Instead, while offering some sound advice, it also focuses on trade negotiations with the WTO and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While these agreements undermined locally-based food trade, and they should be reconsidered, it does not address the support of Big Ag instead of the local farmer – in the US and elsewhere.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This paradigm of "small-Agri" blends well with the advocacy of Earth Day Philippines, whose theme is "Earth Day Everyday, Everywhere, for Everyone." We believe in the collective power of the people to mitigate climate change.

"According to a new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word."

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Raise the River vs. Move the Ocean. Full Story. - YouTube ("a new way of raising eco awareness")

See Robert Redford and Will Ferrell debate over the best way to restore the Colorado River Delta. Pick a side! Follow their feud at RaisetheRiver.org and Mov...

“The approach each man takes couldn't be more different," Greg Stern, CEO of the agency BSSP that created the PSA. "We thought that would be a good way to go beyond the expected public service announcement and get people to notice and take action on this important issue. Both Redford and Ferrell seek to restore the Colorado River, but Ferrell’s Move the Ocean adds a layer of comedy and further engagement. This is a new approach in getting people to notice and care about an important cause.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Does this media advocacy style get your attention?

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Beyond Puma, Coke, Dow: Why more firms value ecosystem services ("it's a win-win business scenario"

Beyond Puma, Coke, Dow: Why more firms value ecosystem services ("it's a win-win business scenario" | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Rio Tinto, Unilever and Weyerhaeuser are also setting targets, assessing the value and embedding ecosystem services into their systems.

Forty-seven companies from around the world now mention natural capital and ecosystem services in publicly available materials, based on findings in a new BSR working paper. This figure is a dozen more than we documented in 2013.

As more companies explore and engage with ecosystem services issues, the business casefor corporate action on biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are the key metrics for measuring natural capital, continues to strengthen.

The foundation of the internal business case rests on continual improvement of how companies identify risks and opportunities, particularly associated with costly project delays and supply chain challenges, as well as reputation and privilege-to-operate issues. In addition, many companies useecosystem services approaches as a strategic part of maintaining long-term access to key natural resource-based inputs, particularly water. Specifically, an ecosystem services analytical approach highlights system dynamics and provides a framework for considering trade-offs in decision-making.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The corporate world cannot play blind to the ecological realities affecting their consumers and clientelle. This ecological reality is partly molded by corporate and industry decisions.

If they are part of the problem; they can be part of the solution. The good new is, they acknowledge it (many of them at least).

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It Takes A Village To Reverse Global Warming ("geo-engineering anyone? most good ideas begin as weird")

One man enlists the help of a village to try to reverse the climate of the entire planet. Is this a good thing? Playlists are working differ...

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

There are many "unverified" geo-engineering ideas, proposals and concepts floating around which may help in climate change mitigation. Some are good; some are hoaxes.

We just need to filter the good from the worthless. This is how all good ideas began.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, March 9, 8:26 PM

There are many "unverified" geo-engineering ideas, proposals and concepts floating around which may help in climate change mitigation. Some are good; some are hoaxes.

We just need to filter the good from the worthless. This is how all good ideas began.

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Agroecology: the future of agriculture? | Down To Earth ("learning from past mistakes = agroecology")

Agroecology: the future of agriculture? | Down To Earth ("learning from past mistakes = agroecology") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Summary. “Agroecology” is one of a myriad new concepts that aim to make agriculture more sustainable and at the same time more efficient. But this one might well become the next big thing in “traditional” farming too.

With a holistic approach come many benefits. In a 2011 report, “Agroecology and the Right to Food”, Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, writes that he identifies agroecology “as a mode of agricultural development which not only shows strong conceptual connections with the right to food, but has proven results for fast progress in the concretisation of this human right for many vulnerable groups in various countries and environments. Moreover, agroecology delivers advantages that are complementary to better-known conventional approaches such as breeding high-yielding varieties. And it strongly contributes to the broader economic development.” This is not only true for developing countries: since 2010, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has made agroecology one of its two main fields of research.

Given such enthusiasm, agroecology could well become the watchword for the future of agriculture, in France and around the world – provided that it is strongly supported by public policies and private initiatives. Olivier De Schutter identifies the main challenge in making agroecology big: scaling up existing experiences through the creation of “an enabling environment for such sustainable modes of production.” This means investing more in agricultural research and knowledge, encouraging partnerships and co-creation between farmers through cooperatives and “farmer field schools”, empowering farmers and more particularly women, connecting farmers with fair trade markets, etc. These are principles that can and must be supported by public decisions, but they can only move up to the large-scale through the determination of private agribusiness companies, which alone have the means and the power to make agroecology the next big thing in agriculture.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Redefining agriculture in a climate changing world:

"Firstly, agroecology is an approach that can apply to any type of farming, whether intensive or extensive, organic or integrated. The term is a combination of the words agronomy and ecology and has a rather loose meaning: overall, it refers to an approach that prefers to use the services naturally rendered by ecosystems, rather than replace them with inputs, like chemical fertilisers or pesticides. For instance, farmers can use chickens to clean and aerate the soil or ladybugs to eat aphids; they can give up monoculture and grow crops that mutually reinforce one another, or cover up soils to encourage new life and organic matter using earthworms."

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Amount of old ice in Arctic, 1987-2013 - YouTube ("images don't lie; warming undeniable & worsening")

The winter ice pack in the Arctic was once dominated by multi-year*, thick ice. Today, very little old ice remains. This animation shows maps of sea ice age ...

Since 1988, Arctic sea ice is getting younger, and young ice is not a good thing. In 1988, ice that was at least 4 years old accounted 26 percent of the Arctic’s sea ice. By 2013, ice that age was only 7 percent of all Arctic sea ice.

The vanishing act is occurring because climate change is helping warm the ocean waters in parts of the Arctic. Those warmer temperatures are whittling away at older sea ice during the summer melt season.

Replacing this thicker, harder old ice with young ice, which is generally thinner and melts more easily, is also contributing to the steep decline in summer sea ice extent and could trigger a feedback loop. That’s because less ice means more dark ocean water is exposed to the sun, which absorbs more of the incoming sunlight than white ice. That means warmer waters, which could in turn mean even less old ice and ice cover with each passing year.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch the 59-second video and you can see the older ice do a vanishing act as it’s replaced by newer ice.

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Does biochar live up to the hype? ("time to revisit this geoengineering technology; is it effective?")

Does biochar live up to the hype? ("time to revisit this geoengineering technology; is it effective?") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
From sequestering carbon to boosting food production, there have been a lot of big claims made for biochar. So what's the deal?

In fact Albert Bates, author of The Biochar Solution, questioned his publisher's choice of title, suggesting that The Biochar Partial Solution might have been more accurate. Meanwhile George Monbiot issued a withering takedown of some of the grander claims being made by biochar advocates, pointing out that large-scale biochar production could have massive impacts on land use, biodiversity and social justice. And more recently Almuth Ernsting revisited the biochar issue, arguing that research on everything from positive impacts on crop yields to long-term soil carbon sequestration was questionable at best:

Biochar is also promoted as a way of improving crop yields. Those claims, too, are contradicted by science. Field studies reveal highly variable impacts. A recent synthesis review found that in half of all published studies, biochar had either no effect on plants or more worryingly, even suppressed their growth. The author cautioned that due to possible ‘publication bias’, the reported success in 50% of cases should not be taken “as evidence of an overall biochar likelihood of producing positive impacts”.

It certainly seems like the kind of global-scale "biochar as geoengineering" schemes being touted a few years back deserve a healthy dose of skepticism, and according to Ernsting at least, much of the political backing for global biochar initiatives has begun to fade away.

And yet interest among greenies and permaculturists remains high.

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Cities or Suburbs, Which is Better for the Environment? ("architects & planners, check this out!")

Cities or Suburbs, Which is Better for the Environment? ("architects & planners, check this out!") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
It's a question that comes over environmental issues like suburban sprawl and conservation. Which is really better for the environment, cities or suburbs?

A study conducted by the University of California Berkeley has found that cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than suburbs in the United States. So how does that work?

City life isn’t exactly “clean” per se, as crowding millions of humans together results in incredible amounts of trash, smog, and traffic. But it turns out that people living in American cities are actually contributing less to greenhouse gas emissions than their counterparts in the suburbs. In fact, the greenhouse gas emissions from the suburbs count for about 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the America, even though less than half of the American population actually live in the suburbs.

So what’s going on here? It is simple really; people who dwell in cities have access to public transportation (even if it is kinda crappy), and often live within walking distance to their most visited destinations. Also the raw square footage of a home in the city is much smaller than one in the suburbs, which means less energy needed to heat and cool living spaces. Suburbanites tend to rely on multiple gas using vehicles for a number of needs (think cars to riding lawn movers) and live in larger houses, while many urbanites don’t own a car, and certainly not a lawn mower. Some city dwellers never visit a gas station at all.

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Environment is a human rights issue - Citizen

Environment is a human rights issue - Citizen | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

Environment is a human rights issue Citizen The International Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised the failure of governments, international agencies and non-governmental organisations to see environmental issues through the prism of human...

Juliane Kippenberg and Jane Cohen argued in an article forming part of the HRW World Report for 2014 that the environmental and human rights movements had to work together to ensure that those who damaged the environment and trampled on human rights were held accountable.

They said those who suffered from environmental degradation should have a platform to be heard, participate in debate about environmental issues and seek redress.

The HRW researchers said governments’ response to environmental degradation was often weak, disconnected and oblivious to the critical impact that climate change, pollution and other environmental problems had on human rights.

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For His Next Feat, the Pope Will Champion the Environment - PolicyMic

For His Next Feat, the Pope Will Champion the Environment - PolicyMic | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
PolicyMic For His Next Feat, the Pope Will Champion the Environment PolicyMic The pope's next push: On Friday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that Pope Francis' next project is likely to be an encyclical about ecology and the...
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Papal encyclical on environment in process | National Catholic Reporter ("I can't wait to read this")

Papal encyclical on environment in process | National Catholic Reporter ("I can't wait to read this") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

"The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the document was still very much in its early stages and that no publication date has been set. He said it would be about ecology and more specifically the 'ecology of man.'"
In November, speculation began to rise regarding an environmental encyclical, when an environmental justice coalition blogged that during a meeting of environmental activists -- famously where Francis held up anti-fracking and gold-mining shirts -- the pope "mentioned that he is preparing an encyclical about nature, humans and environmental pollution."

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Biochar doubles plant growth ("more but weak; quantity without quality; is it worth it?")

Biochar doubles plant growth ("more but weak; quantity without quality; is it worth it?") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
New research shows that biochar in soil strongly stimulates plant growth, more than doubling yields. However the extra growth may come at the cost of reduced plant defences against pests.

The response of more than 10,000 genes was followed simultaneously, and two growth promoting plant hormones - brassinosteroids and auxins, together with their signalling molecules - were stimulated by the biochar.

Professor Taylor said: "Our findings provide the very first insight into how biochar stimulates plant growth - we now know that cell expansion is stimulated in roots and leaves alike and this appears to be the consequence of a complex signalling network that is focussed around two plant growth hormones.

Biochar is produced when wood is combusted at high temperatures to make bio-oil and has been proposed as a method of geoengineering. When buried in the soil, this carbon rich substance could lock-up carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also acting as a potent fertiliser.

The global potential of biochar is considerable. In principle up to 12% of human carbon emissions could be sequestrated by biochar soil application.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Geo-engineering through biochar -- is this a breakthrough or bust?

"The scientists found that when ... increasing amounts of biochar mixed with soil, up to 50 tonnes per hectare per year, plant growth more than doubled.

In principle up to 12% of human carbon emissions could be sequestrated by biochar soil application.

The positive impacts of biochar were coupled with negative findings for a suite of genes that are known to determine the ability of a plant to withstand attack from pests and pathogens."

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If this report doesn't wake you up to the realities of what we're doing to this planet, what will?

If this report doesn't wake you up to the realities of what we're doing to this planet, what will? | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

8 reasons you should be worried about the UN's latest climate report.

The impacts of climate change are likely to be "severe, pervasive, and irreversible," the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Sunday night in Yokohama, Japan, as the world's leading climate experts released a new survey of how our planet is likely to change in the near future, and what we can do about it.

Here's what you need to know:

1. We're already feeling the impacts of climate change.

2. Heat waves and wildfires are major threats in North America.

3. Globally, food sources will become unpredictable, even as population booms.

4. Coastal communities will increasingly get hammered by flooding and erosion.

5. We'll see an increase in climate refugees and, possibly, climate-related violence.

6. Climate change is expected to make people less healthy.

7. We don't know how much adaptation is going to cost. 

8. There's still time to reduce the impacts of global warming...if we cut our emissions.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The climate change scenario appears to be accelerating for the worse. Read and find out what the UN is reporting for us to expect.

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4 provinces to be put under quarantine vs coconut pest ("serious infestation needs drastic measures")

4 provinces to be put under quarantine vs coconut pest ("serious infestation needs drastic measures") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
By the end of March, checkpoints in Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Quezon will regulate the entry and exit of coconut goods

The pest causes the leaves to turn yellow, wilt and eventually fall off leaving a bald tree stump. The nuts fall prematurely. PCA scientists say the water inside the nuts taste sour. The insect reaches other trees when carried by the wind or when they come into contact with infested crops.

The species of scale insect has never been observed in the Philippines before. According to Forbes, this is why the PCA was unable to immediately contain the outbreak.

As of this February, the pest has infected a total of 1,087,983 infested trees in Laguna, Quezon, Cavite and Batangas, according to the report.

This is 20 times more than the number reported in March 2013 – around 54,000 infested trees.

The infestation was first spotted in Barangay Balele in Tanauan, Batangas. It was reported to the PCA in 2010 by which time more than 15,000 trees within a 15-kilometer radius were already infested.

By June 2011 – only 3 months after – the pest infected 11,000 more trees. By 2012, it had spread to two more provinces.

More than 328,000 coconut farmers in Calabarzon are affected by the scale insect outbreak. Also affected are the thousands who make a living from other coconut-derived products like cooking oil, livestock feeds, ropes, blankets, vinegar, handicrafts and furniture.

The Calabarzon coconut industry is the largest in Luzon, producing more than 1.5 million coconuts in 2006. That accounts for almost half (42%) of Luzon's total coconut production.

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Seoul demolishes its urban expressways as city planners opt for greener schemes (green transformation)

Seoul demolishes its urban expressways as city planners opt for greener schemes (green transformation) | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

(The levelling of the Ahyeon overpass marks the latest attempt to improve the environment of South Korea's sprawling capital

Elevated expressways were a key feature of Kim's projects, and the first to be built was the Ahyeon overpass. It was intended as part of a never completed link road running from east to west across the capital. To cope with the massive increase in population and traffic during the 1980s, 101 expressways were built. They were quick to put up and much cheaper than extending the underground. This policy reflected "the speed-oriented, top-down urban planning methods of the old days," says Kim Ki-ho at Seoul University.

"Elevated expressways were a necessary evil to keep traffic moving," the conservative daily Dong-A noted on 6 February. "But the fewer there are, the better."

Apart from spoiling the view, one of the main problems of the various new structures was how quickly they wore out, becoming a serious hazard. In 1995, Seoul residents were horrified when the Sampoong department store collapsed, claiming 502 lives. A year earlier, 32 people were killed when part of the Seongsu bridge over the river Han subsided. The city was spending about $7.5m a year on upkeep and repairs for the Ahyeon overpass.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Seoul has learned that greening the city is better appreciated by its people. It has transformed nearby streets and even brought a 3.6C drop in average summer temperatures. 

"About 15 expressways have been demolished since 2002. The city council plans to remove one near the main railway station and another at Seodaemun, also in the city centre. The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, wants to develop cycle lanes and supports the return of trams, discarded by Bulldozer Kim as being too slow."

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City Forces Woman Liveing 'Off the Grid' to Partially Plug In - YouTube ("freedom from the system")

A Florida woman who has been living "off the grid" for more than a year will be forced to partially plug in or face consequences from the city, a special mag...

Robin Speronis, a 54-year-old former real estate agent currently living in Cape Coral in a small duplex, has her own solar panels and collects rain water for her needs, She has even installed a simple outdoor shower in order to be independent from the municipal energy and water supply. The local power company and water supply surely have a hand in the Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin’s ruling that, although the regulations for her city are redundant and unreasonable, she was in violation of city code as well as the International Property Maintenance Code.

Apparently generating your own power and using rainwater or other natural elements is not your sovereign right. Speronis using her own elbow grease to live more in balance with nature is now part of a heated debate.

Off The Grid News offers a different opinion, as did Speronis. She has been fighting the city council since November when a code enforcement officer showed up at her home and tried to evict her from her own property for not using public utilities. She challenges that relying on nature for her needs is her personal choice and that it isn’t in violation of anything.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Old rules presumed that urban life meant plugging into the "grid" - that this was better! Today, the expensive and oppressive system of city utilities makes living "off the grid" a practical option.

However, the law may not agree.

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River barrier erected to protect endangered fish - fox13now.com ("solving a human intrusion")

River barrier erected to protect endangered fish - fox13now.com ("solving a human intrusion") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
River barrier erected to protect endangered fish
fox13now.com
WASHINGTON COUNTY – A new and improved seven-foot wall spans the Virgin River along the Utah and Arizona border.

The concrete barrier is designed to keep invasive fish out of the Utah section of the Virgin River, specifically the red shiner. The red shiner was introduced into the area by fisherman several decades ago and is a threat to the endangered woundfin minnow. The Washington County Water Conservancy District spent close to $400,000 to improve the structure.

“The goal is to save the woundfin minnow going downstream, all the way through its habitat in the Virgin River,” WCWCD Associate General Manager Barbara Hjelle said. “In order to do that, we have to stop that upstream migration of the red shiner.”

Major efforts over the past 10 years have completely eliminated the red shiner, at least from the Utah section of the river. Meisner saidd barriers like this will go far in keeping that fish out and protecting the fragile ecosystem that exists along the Virgin River.

“This whole area in Washington County is kind of the convergence of different geographical regions,” Meisner said. You’ve got The Great Basin, The Colorado Plateau, The Mojave Desert. All are very close to Washington County.

The wall is actually an upgrade to one that’s spanned the river since the 1980s. The upgrades are meant to improve the function, while also keeping the minnow in from being washed downstream.

Bert Guevara's insight:

When man introduces non-native fish into the water, the indigenous fish species are threatened. This is also happening in many parts of the Philippines, especially in lakes crowded with fish pens. These fish pens breed commercial species which disregard biodiversity considerations.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, March 9, 7:47 PM

When man introduces non-native fish into the water, the indigenous fish species are threatened. This is also happening in many parts of the Philippines, especially in lakes crowded with fish pens. These fish pens breed commercial species which disregard biodiversity considerations.

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How to teach ... climate change ("kids will suffer the wrath of CC so they have to learn it properly")

How to teach ... climate change ("kids will suffer the wrath of CC so they have to learn it properly") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Climate change is a rich topic to explore in the classroom. From science and geography to politics, it's an area with roots in a range of subjects and can be a great source for debate

Climate change takes on added significance this week as thousands of people across the UK take part in Climate Week, a national campaign to raise awareness of the issue and steps that can be taken to address it.

This week we have a collection of resources to help your students explore the wider issue of climate change and its potential impact.

For secondary pupils, start with the Met Office's Guide to Climate Science. It answers a range of questions including: what is weather; what is climate; has our climate changed before; and what could be the impact of future climate change around the world? The guide is accompanied by a Weather and Climate presentation and teacher's notes. There is also aClimate Zones Poster that helps explain how human activity is leading to changes in weather and climate.

Bert Guevara's insight:

For teachers and advocates, here is a collection of relevant teaching materials:

"This week we have a collection of resources to help your students explore the wider issue of climate change and its potential impact."

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House okays bill making Nueva Vizcaya mining-free ("this challenges the national policy")

House okays bill making Nueva Vizcaya mining-free ("this challenges the national policy") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill declaring Nueva Vizcaya a mining-free province.
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill declaring Nueva Vizcaya a mining-free province. House Bill 3667, authored principally by Rep. Carlos Padilla of the lone district of Nueva Vizcaya, now goes to the Senate. Padilla said there are some companies presently engaged in mining in his province. There are also individuals doing illegal mining, he said. He added that he has no doubt that the Senate would approve the measure, which he said would protect the beauty of the mountains and environment of Nueva Vizcaya. ... The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be mandated to issue implementing rules and regulations. Last week, the House approved two bills declaring Cagayan de Oro City and Catanduanes mining-free areas. Another bill, making Eastern Samar another mining-free province, is awaiting third-reading approval. Nestled along the remote mountain border of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, the Didipio project is one of the first two large-scale mining projects approved during the Ramos administration under the 1995 Mining Act.
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Palawan police find 120 captured sea turtles in swamp ("the poachers are still at it in Palawan")

Palawan police find 120 captured sea turtles in swamp ("the poachers are still at it in Palawan") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
PUERTO PRINCESA - Philippine police said Friday they rescued 120 protected sea turtles found hidden in a pen inside a mangrove swamp, apparently intended for sale to foreign traders.

It is just the latest case of sea turtles captured in the western island of Palawan where various species are known to congregate said local police chief Senior Superintendent David Martinez.
A police patrol in Balabac town on Tuesday came upon a huge pen containing 120 live sea turtles of various species and sizes hidden under the branches of mangroves, he said.
“They were just stored there in the swamp. They (the perpetrators) probably just visited them occasionally when they added newly-caught turtles,” Martinez told AFP.
The turtles were set free but no one was found tending the hidden pen.
Martinez said an investigation was ongoing to determine who captured and stored the sea turtles.
Such seizures of illegally-captured turtles are common in Balabac, located about 850 kilometers (528 miles) from Manila because the animals often congregate there, the police chief added added.
Sea turtles are protected under Philippine law and catching them is punishable by at least 12 years in jail.

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An Entire City Under Construction to Save Another from Climate ... ("facing CC head-on")

An Entire City Under Construction to Save Another from Climate ... ("facing CC head-on") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
The African nation of Nigeria is experiencing many familiar problems in our age of climate change: rising sea levels, storm surges, devastating flooding. Now its coastal city Lagos is going to outrageous lengths to protect itself, ...

The African nation of Nigeria is experiencing many familiar problems in our age of climate change: rising sea levels, storm surges, devastating flooding. Now its coastal city Lagos is going to outrageous lengths to protect itself, both environmentally and financially, by building an entirely new city the size of Manhattan between it and the ocean.

The multi-billion-dollar Eko Atlantic development claims it will safeguard against coastal erosion, "transform[ing] land lost to the power of the sea into an ocean-front city that will be one of the wonders of the 21st century." It also bills itself as the economic catalyst that will nudge Lagos into the category of a truly global megacity, making it the "new financial epicenter of West Africa by the year 2020."

Over at The Guardian, however, Martin Lukacs calls Eko Atlantic "climate apartheid" built by "disaster capitalists." These investors, he claims, are using the threat of climate change as a reason to build what's essentially a closed-off, financially inaccessible city that will only "save" the people who live there:

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Dredging rivers not full answer to flooding – Environment Agency - The Guardian

Dredging rivers not full answer to flooding – Environment Agency - The Guardian | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

The Guardian Dredging rivers not full answer to flooding – Environment Agency The Guardian "I very much welcome the secretary of state's request for the Environment Agency, the local authorities and the drainage boards to get together to see if we...

"I very much welcome the secretary of state's request for the Environment Agency, the local authorities and the drainage boards to get together to see if we can come up with a comprehensive solution," he said. "It is not going to be a simplistic one. It is not just saying: 'If we dredge, it will solve all our problems', but dredging the Tone and Parrett I think will be part of that comprehensive solution."

"An absolute red line for us in the Environment Agency is that we have to be able to maintain our ability to respond to flooding emergencies wherever they are happening," he said. "Our response to flooding emergencies must be protected and will be protected."

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Zamboanga police seized illegally cut mangrove flitches - Mindanao Examiner ("we plant; they cut.")

Zamboanga police seized illegally cut mangrove flitches - Mindanao Examiner ("we plant; they cut.") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Mindanao Examiner Zamboanga police seized illegally cut mangrove flitches Mindanao Examiner The illegal cutting of mangrove in coastal areas in southern Philippines, particularly in the western region, continues unabated and environment authorities...

Police seized a huge quantity of illegally cut mangrove tree on Sacol Island off the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga.
Police said two men - Balolong Barahim and Abdua Halim – were also apprehended for transporting the flitches. The duo was spotted by policemen led by Chief Inspector Nonito Asdai, of the Sacol Community Police Action Center, and intercepted them.
The illegal cutting of mangrove in coastal areas in southern Philippines, particularly in the western region, continues unabated and environment authorities are virtually helpless in stopping the locals from destroying the marine habitat of many sea animals and fishes. 
Locals used the mangrove as poles for thatched houses and as firewood.

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