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WATCH: Humanity's Startling Impact On The Planet

WATCH: Humanity's Startling Impact On The Planet | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Google has released some stunning time-lapse images of our changing planet, highlighting some of the most startling impacts made by humans.
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Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added)
If no farmland and no forests and no water and no fish - then what?
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Thunder Bay biologist learns lessons from indigenous people

Thunder Bay biologist learns lessons from indigenous people | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
A biologist based in Thunder Bay has set out to learn about climate change through the eyes of the world's indigenous people.

Gleb Raygorodetsky has travelled the world for over 20 years researching traditional knowledge and customs for non-profit agencies and most recently with United Nations University.

The focus of his work over the last two years has been collecting material for a book looking at the impact the shifting climate is having on many of the world's people.

Raygorodetsky said he's passionate about learning from indigenous people because scientific research doesn't always provide the tools needed to understand our changing environment. 

"Indigenous people have a spiritual connection, a direct link to the land, a time horizon we lack in science," he said. 
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Carbon-credit scheme linked to increased greenhouse-gas production

Carbon-credit scheme linked to increased greenhouse-gas production | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Factories in Russia increased their production of industrial waste products and then claimed millions of carbon credits for destroying them after an international trading scheme went into effect.

Evidence published1 in Nature Climate Change reveals that several Russian chemical plants increased production of highly potent greenhouse-gas waste to “unprecedented levels” after they could reap financial benefits from their disposal.

Carbon credits grant nations the right to emit gases that contribute to global warming. They are traded internationally on carbon markets such as the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, and their monetary value is determined by how much buyers are willing to pay for them.
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Study tracks school lunch food waste

Study tracks school lunch food waste | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — A push to get kids eating healthier school meals isn’t exactly playing out as hoped, according to Vermont researchers, who used cameras to track what students are doing with the fresh fruit and veggies on their lunch trays.
It may not be a surprise to anyone who has spent time in a school lunch room, but many students are putting the apples and oranges straight into the trash, eating even fewer of them than they did before the the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was passed.
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Environment: Scientists say 90 percent of all seabirds have ingested plastic debris

Environment: Scientists say 90 percent of all seabirds have ingested plastic debris | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — Plastic debris in the world’s oceans is now so widespread that about 60 percent of all seabirds have bits of plastic in their gut. Based on current trends, 99 percent of all seabirds will be affected by plastic ingestion by 2050, a team of international scientists said this week.

Based on a review of all studies published since the early 1960s, the scientists estimated that more than 90 percent of seabirds have alive today have eaten plastic of some kind. In 1960, plastic was found in the stomach of less than 5 per cent of individual seabirds, rising to 80 per cent by 2010.

“For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species … and the results are striking,” said CSIRO researcher Dr. Chris Wilcox. “We predict, using historical observations, that 90 per cent of individual seabirds have eaten plastic. This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution.”
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Scientists tracking Chesapeake Bay algae blooms

Scientists tracking Chesapeake Bay algae blooms | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Staff Report

FRISCO — The West Coast isn’t the only place seeing unprecedented algae blooms this summer. Recent water sampling by researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science show some of the densest concentrations of algae recorded in Chesapeake Bay in recent years.
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Texas farmer finds a beautiful ally in pesticide crusade

Texas farmer finds a beautiful ally in pesticide crusade | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Two years ago, when I ceased my occasional use of insecticides, I saw that I never needed them in the first place. Assassin bugs moved in around my peppers plants ...

Via Sylvain Rotillon
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Eben Lenderking's curator insight, September 1, 10:08 AM

Healthy food starts with an old-fashioned approach to agriculture.

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Plastic: the wonder material filling our oceans and beaches

Plastic: the wonder material filling our oceans and beaches | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Since the 1950s, when mass production of plastics began in earnest, the world has embraced their ease of use and robustness. But with millions of tonnes of of plastic debris entering the world's oceans every year, their durability is also a curse, as Ann Jones reports.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Are jellyfish going to take over the oceans? | Karl Mathiesen

Are jellyfish going to take over the oceans? | Karl Mathiesen | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Like a karmic device come to punish our planetary transgressions, jellyfish thrive on the environmental chaos humans create. Is the age of the jellyfish upon us?

Via Mariaschnee
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This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea

This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
This is what climate change looks like, up close and personal.

Via SustainOurEarth
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How Permaculture Can Restore Ecosystems & Communities

How Permaculture Can Restore Ecosystems & Communities | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Maddy Harland tells the story of the Shona African community who healed their damaged ecosystems. They restored their springs, rebuilt their soil, regenerated their agriculture and alleviated poverty and malnutrition. Permaculture farming has proven effective all over the planet.

Via Mariaschnee
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The washing away of Cajun culture - BBC News

The washing away of Cajun culture - BBC News | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Louisiana's coastal wetlands are eroding - more than a football field of land is lost every hour. As the marsh erodes, homes, communities and the local Cajun culture are under threat.

Paul Chiquet is not your typical librarian. But then again, South Lafourche Public Library is not a typical library.

"I said one day we're gonna build us a beautiful place, and the dream came true, we did it," he tells me, at a volume which suggests he might struggle in a more classically bookish environment.

The unlikely vessel for Chiquet's dream is a former Walmart store, an unlovely slab of concrete in a lovely location.

Outside, Bayou Lafourche wends its way past the parking lot. It's one of the many slow moving waterways here in the delta where the Mississippi river meets the Gulf of Mexico.
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A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye

A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
About 15 years ago, a group of cabdrivers started an urban farm in the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood. They grow corn, beans and tomatoes.

Via Cathryn Wellner
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South African team may have solved solar puzzle even Google couldn't crack

South African team may have solved solar puzzle even Google couldn't crack | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it

Pioneering technology to deliver the cheapest, small-scale concentrated solar power plants in the world could revolutionise the renewable energy market 

 

The idea behind the design – so-called Concentrated Solar Power or CSP – is simple. A field of mirrors on the ground tracks the sun and concentrates its rays on to a central point which heats up. That heat is converted into electricity. 

 

“We are developing plonkable heliostats. Plonkable means that from factory to installation you can just drop them down on to the ground and they work.”


So no costly cement, no highly-trained workforce, no wires, just two workers to lay out the steel frames on the ground and a streetlight-style central tower.

 

 
Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, September 2, 1:40 PM

Concentrated solar uses the energy-rich infrared band of solar radiation and it has great promise, but it depends on simple and cheap tech being developed to capture and convert that heat to electricity.

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Earth is on track to lose an India-sized chunk of its tropical forests by mid-century

Earth is on track to lose an India-sized chunk of its tropical forests by mid-century | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Tropical forests face a lot of threats, particularly from the logging and agriculture industries. Their continued disappearance from the face of the Earth is therefore no great news — but new research suggests that they may be disappearing even faster than we thought. And that could have big implications for the global effort against climate change.
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Study says some forests may not recover from mega-disturbances in the global warming era

Study says some forests may not recover from mega-disturbances in the global warming era | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Giant fires, insect outbreaks could be ‘game-changer’ for some forests
Staff Report
FRISCO —Forest Service researchers say “mega-disturbances” like giant wildfires and insect outbreaks are likely to hasten the slow demise of temperate forest ecosystems in the coming decades.
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Environment: Texas study says kids exposed to highway pollution have lower grades

Environment: Texas study says kids exposed to highway pollution have lower grades | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
El Paso research shows strong link between school performance and air pollution
Staff Report
FRISCO — A new children’s health study by researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso reinforces existing evidence that exposure to toxic air pollution from cars and trucks has a big effect on school performance.
The UTEP study found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs. The findings are based on an analysis of academic performance and sociodemographic data for 1,895 fourth and fifth grade children in the El Paso Independent School District.
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Climate: Heatwaves and drought are piling up

Climate: Heatwaves and drought are piling up | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — Scientists taking a close look at the last 50 years — the modern global warming era — found that droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously much more frequently than in the past.

The climate experts at the University of California, Irvine analyzed data gathered from ground sensors and gauges since 1960 and crunched the numbers with a statistical model to track the upswing.
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Native Vote Could Make The Difference In Canada's Elections

Native Vote Could Make The Difference In Canada's Elections | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Canada is facing a critical moment in its history.

The Canadian dollar is at an 11-year low, and some say the country is in a recession. Oil producers in the tar sands are selling at a loss. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which had banked on turning the country into a sort of petrostate, is now mired in scandals. A scathing critique of the Harper administration, entitled "The Closing of the Canadian Mind," recently became the most-read story in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, in oil-rich and notoriously conservative Alberta, the left-wing NDP swept to victory in the May provincial elections — a seismic shift that Globe and Mail columnist Doug Sanders described in a tweet as akin to "Bernie Sanders becoming Texas governor by a big majority."

With a national election scheduled for Oct. 19 fast approaching, an unlikely voting bloc – native people – could play a key role in deciding the future direction of the country.
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Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs

Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Jonathan R. Latham, PhD By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for

Via Cathryn Wellner
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Global sea levels have risen 8cm since 1992, Nasa research shows

Global sea levels have risen 8cm since 1992, Nasa research shows | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Scientists say warming waters and melting ice were to blame for levels rising faster than 50 years ago and ‘it’s very likely to get worse’ Sea levels worldwide have risen an average of nearly eight centimetres (three inches) since 1992 because of...

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Rising Sea Levels More Dangerous Than Thought

Rising Sea Levels More Dangerous Than Thought | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The consequences of global sea level rise could be even scarier than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the dominant climate models, which don't fully account for the fast breakup of ice sheets and glaciers, NASA scientists said today (Aug. 26) at a press briefing.

What's more, sea level rise is already occurring. The open question, NASA scientists say, is just how quickly the seas will rise in the future.
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The dangerous paradox of neoliberal environmentalism: Why global warming can’t be solved by the free market”

The dangerous paradox of neoliberal environmentalism: Why global warming can’t be solved by the free market” | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Establishment Dems are trying to take climate action while still satisfying corporate interests. That won't work

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Is the EPA doing enough to protect bees?

Is the EPA doing enough to protect bees? | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Beekeepers accuse pesticide industry of trying to ‘hijack’ public policy

FRISCO — The public comment period for proposed EPA rules on bee-killing pesticides may be over, but the battle over pesticide policies will continue, as conservation groups suspect that the pesticide industry may have exerted undue influence over the rule-making process.
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Those concerns are reinforced by some of the country’s beekeepers, who say the proposed rule doesn’t do enough to address federal responsibility to address the impact of pesticides on bee deaths. The Pollinator Stewardship Council recently submitted a letter to the EPA detailing its concerns about the proposed new rule.
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Food is Free in a City Near You | Civil Eats

Food is Free in a City Near You | Civil Eats | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
From Austin to Iowa City, a new kind of sharable community garden is springing up.

Via Cathryn Wellner
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Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Many hydroelectric dams produce modest amounts of power yet do enormous damage to rivers and fish populations. Why not take down these aging structures, build solar farms in the drained reservoirs, and restore the natural ecology of the rivers?

Via Laurence Serfaty, Sylvain Rotillon
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David Collet's curator insight, September 1, 1:07 AM

Another of my favourite topics is alternative energy sources. In a place like Canada, using Niagara Falls as the most famous example, generating electricity using water power had minimal impact and provide a great result. Similarly, in northern Quebec, the impact was not totally destructive, although it was disruptive for the people who lived off the land there.  The degree of disruption was in debate but, for city dwellers, cheap electricity (relatively) out weighed the questionable ethics. But now, with so many alternatives, I believe this type of electricity generation is both too disruptive and very inefficient.