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Hunting for Corpses: Vultures Lured Back to Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Hunting for Corpses: Vultures Lured Back to Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Vultures are slowly returning to Germany, driven out long ago by an unwelcoming populace.
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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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Romania acts to save forests from logging spree - BBC News

Romania acts to save forests from logging spree - BBC News | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
A fierce debate has erupted over a new forestry code in Romania aimed at protecting unique wildlife habitats and controlling the logging industry.
This month thousands of Romanians took to the streets to demand action against dubious sales of forested areas.
Green campaigners back the new code, hoping it will curb illegal logging.
The anti-corruption agency DNA is investigating some officials in the state forest administration Romsilva, as well as some politicians.
The Carpathian Mountains, sweeping in a big arc through Romania, have vast tracts of virgin forest, home to almost half of Europe's wild population of brown bears, wolves and lynx.
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The sound of a plant dying of thirst

The sound of a plant dying of thirst | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Listen to the sound a plant makes as it dies of thirst - it's heartbreaking.

Via Mariaschnee
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Three Ways Public Spaces Can Make Cities More Vibrant | TheCityFix

Three Ways Public Spaces Can Make Cities More Vibrant | TheCityFix | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it

“Life is the art of encounter even though there might be so much discord in life,” said the Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes, commenting on what he took to be the essence of human relations. Building on this, we can say that public spaces are at the essence of urban life. It’s in public spaces that these encounters occur and produce what we can call “the art of city life”.

 

When talking about public spaces, we need to first understand the important role they play in our concept of the city. Public spaces are where movements, interactions and connections between individuals happen. It is there, in freely accessible spaces, free of barriers or prejudices of any kind, that everyday city activities should occur.

However, the perception of public spaces is often restricted to images of parks and squares. Although streets, for example, count as public spaces, and generally represent the largest share of public space in a city, they are often forgotten as communal places. In large urban centers, roads dedicated to cars occupy on average 70 percent of total public space, leaving people with less than 30 percent.


Via Flora Moon
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Flora Moon's curator insight, May 21, 9:30 AM

In Houston, where cars have been king, a bayou system has been transformed into a system of linear parks through a public-private partnership.  Opening ceremonies are June 20, 2015

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NOAA study: The BP oil spill almost definitely killed a whole lot of dolphins

NOAA study: The BP oil spill almost definitely killed a whole lot of dolphins | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The link between the Deepwater Horizon spill and the Gulf's dolphin die-offs just got even stronger

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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FOSSIL FUELS: Energy subsidies costing governments $5T yearly and worsening pollution -- IMF report

FOSSIL FUELS: Energy subsidies costing governments $5T yearly and worsening pollution -- IMF report | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Global energy subsidies, including the social and environmental costs associated with heavily subsidized fossil fuels, are costing the world's governments upward of $5 trillion annually, according to new estimates released yesterday by the International Monetary Fund.
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Feds investigate possible wolf killing near Kremmling

Feds investigate possible wolf killing near Kremmling | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — Without DNA testing, state and federal wildlife officials can’t say for sure, but it appears that yet another wandering wolf from the northern Rockies may have been shot and killed, this near Kremmling, Colorado.
The April 29 shooting was immediately reported to the CPW office in Hot Sulphur Springs by the coyote hunter, who said he mistook the 90-pound animal for a coyote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is testing the remains to positively identify the animal.
News of the shooting was posted on the Colorado Mule Deer Association Facebook page, along with an anti-wolf message, saying, “We can’t afford another major predator in Colorado.”
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Shell accused of strategy risking catastrophic climate change

Shell accused of strategy risking catastrophic climate change | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C, twice the level considered safe for the planet.

A paper used for guiding future business planning at the Anglo-Dutch multinational assumes that carbon dioxide emissions will fail to limit temperature increases to 2C, the internationally agreed threshold to prevent widespread flooding, famine and desertification.


'Don't mention the Arctic': Shell embarrassed by video competition row
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Instead, the New Lens Scenarios document refers to a forecast by the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) that points to a temperature rise of up to 4C in the short term, rising later to 6C.

The revelations come ahead of the annual general meeting of Shell shareholders in the Netherlands on Tuesday, where the group has accepted a shareholder resolution demanding more transparency about the group’s impact on climate change.
pdeppisch's insight:

Climate change deniers are Intellectually dishonest!  They know as well as we do but have the attitude that risk should and can be taken and who knows anyway! 

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Drought cuts power production of California dams

Drought cuts power production of California dams | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it

"Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power.

And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes.

But amid four years of drought, the reservoir is drained to 50% of capacity, cutting the dam's power production by about a third, according to federal reclamation officials.

The story is the same at many dams across California, where electricity production at some is expected to be less than 20% of normal because of low water levels.

The shortfall shouldn't cause brownouts, officials said, because California relies on dams for power far less than it did in decades past, due in part to the emergence of solar and wind energy.

But it does come at a price."

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Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines' effects on bird populations. In a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a group of researchers ...

Via TheNaturalist
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NASA study tracks crumbling Antarctic ice shelf

NASA study tracks crumbling Antarctic ice shelf | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — There’s more meltdown news from Antarctica. Despite a trend of expanding sea ice in the past few years, the all-important coastal ice shelves, which regulate the flow of continental ice to the sea, are in trouble.
Last week, researchers with the British Antarctic Survey said they measured incredibly fast thinning of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, warning that the massive sheet of floating ice could crumble suddenly and without much warning. Those findings reflect the more widespread trend of ice shelf thinning around the continent, tracked in another comprehensive NASA-led study.
And in the same region, along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, a new NASA study suggests that remnants of the previously collapsed Larsen B Ice Shelf probably won’t last much longer.
The scientists found that the truncated ice shelf is cracking up and melting fast, and two of the glaciers feeding it are also speeding up and thinning.
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Water Prices in 2015 Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities

Water Prices in 2015 Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it

Continuing a trend that reflects the disrepair and shows no sign of slowing, the price of residential water service in 30 major U.S. cities rose faster than the cost of nearly every other household staple last year …


Via Duane Tilden, SustainOurEarth
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Duane Tilden's curator insight, May 16, 11:34 AM

>" [...] The economics of water — particularly the cost of treatment, pumping, and new infrastructure, as well as the retail price for consumers — gained renewed prominence as California and Texas, America’s two most populous states, face historic droughts and water managers seek to rein in water consumption, with price increases as one tool in their arsenal.

The average monthly cost of water for a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day climbed 6 percent, according to data collected from the utilities. It is the smallest year-to-year change in the six-year history of the Circle of Blue survey but comparable to past years. The median increase this year was 4.5 percent. In comparison, the Consumer Price Index rose just 1.8 percent in the 12 months ending in March, not including the volatile food and energy sectors. Including food and energy, prices fell by 0.1 percent.

For families using 150 gallons and 50 gallons per person per day, average water prices rose 6 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

The survey results reflect broad trends in the municipal water industry that nearly every U.S. utility must grapple with, according to Andrew Ward, a director of U.S. public finance for Fitch Ratings, a credit agency.

Distribution pipes, which can branch for thousands of miles beneath a single city, have aged beyond their shelf life and crack open daily. Some assessments peg the national cost of repairing and replacing old pipes at more than $US 1 trillion over the next two decades. In addition, new treatment technologies are needed to meet Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act requirements, and cities must continue to pay down existing debts. At the same time, conservation measures have proven successful. Utilities are selling less water, but they still need big chunks of revenue to cover the substantial cost of building and maintaining a water system. All together, these and other factors amount to a persistent upward pressure on water rates. [...]

 

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International Business Exchange Powered by Bloom Hydrogen Fuel Cells

International Business Exchange Powered by Bloom Hydrogen Fuel Cells | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Using 100 percent biogas to fuel the system will result 1 MW of 100 percent renewable energy;
The post International Business Exchange Powered by Bloom Hydrogen Fuel Cells appeared first on Solar Thermal Magazine.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Study reveals how eastern US forests came to be

Study reveals how eastern US forests came to be | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Spring visitors to Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway will see ridges and valleys covered in flowering mountain laurels, rhododendrons, tulip poplars, dogwoods, black locusts and silverbell trees. A new study of nearly all the trees and shrubs in the southern Appalachians suggests that roughly half of the species can trace their relatives to thousands of miles away in Asia. Most of the rest likely arose within North America, the researchers say.

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Asphalt mix made with recycled printer toner paves way for eco-friendly roads

Asphalt mix made with recycled printer toner paves way for eco-friendly roads | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
A new, more environmentally friendly asphalt mix containing recycled printer toner is being used on Sydney’s roads.

The technology is the world’s first commercial use for toner waste, and was first used in Melbourne in 2013. Called TonerPave, it was developed by the city’s road contractor, Downer, in partnership with a cartridge recycling company, Close the Loop.

The toner is blended with recycled oil and is 40% more energy efficient than the manufacture of standard bitumen, with a relative saving of 270kg of CO2 emissions per tonne.

Every tonne of the toner-based product used in the asphalt mix replaces 600kg of bitumen and 400kg of fine aggregates, such as sand and soil.

Peter Tamblyn, marketing manager at Close the Loop, said that “the rest of the world is looking at this”.
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Broken pipeline spills oil into ocean off Santa Barbara - USA TODAY

Broken pipeline spills oil into ocean off Santa Barbara - USA TODAY | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil dumped into the ocean from a broken pipeline just off the central California coast before it was shut off on Tuesday, creating a spill stretching about 4 miles along the beach...

Via Ryan Roberts
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Tracing the 'Endless War' on Environmentalists Back to the War in the Woods

Tracing the 'Endless War' on Environmentalists Back to the War in the Woods | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
No one admits to recording Richard Berman’s address to a room full of energy executives in Colorado Springs in June 2014, but it’s an eye-opener.

One unnamed industry executive recorded Berman’s remarks and was offended by them. He provided a copy of the recording and the meeting agenda to the New York Times. DeSmog picked up the story the following day.

If the oil and gas industry is going to prevent environmental opponents from slowing down its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to use dirty tricks, Berman told the executives, whose companies specialize in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

At least four companies with Canadian fracking operations were in Berman’s audience — Devon Energy, Encana Oil and Gas, Ensign Energy Services and Newalta.

“Fear and anger have to be part of the campaign,” he said. “You got to get people fearful of what’s on the table” (what they might lose if environmentalists win) “and then you got to get people angry over the fact they are being misled” (by environmental groups).
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Of water fleas and global warming

Of water fleas and global warming | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Questions abound about the ability of plants and animals to adapt to global warming, but a new study by Belgian biologists shows that one species — the humble water flea — had already done just that.
The tiny aquatic organism lives in shallow lakes and usually reproduce asexually by cloning themselves. But when food is short or the water gets too hot, they mate and lay long-lasting eggs meant to survive for a better day.
Biologists with KU Leuven said that, when compared ‘resurrected’ water fleas — hatched from 40-year-old eggs — with more recent specimens, they found that the offspring hatched from the newer eggs were more tolerant of warm water.
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Bacteria May Be Remaking Drugs in Sewage

Bacteria May Be Remaking Drugs in Sewage | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Wastewater treatment plants not only struggle removing pharmaceuticals, it seems some drugs actually increase after treatment.

When researchers tested wastewater before and after treatment at a Milwaukee-area treatment plant, they found that two drugs—the anti-epileptic carbamazepine and antibiotic ofloxacin—came out at higher concentrations than they went in. The study suggests the microbes that clean our water may also piece some pharmaceuticals back together.
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Going with the flow: scientists probe changes in the East Australian Current

Going with the flow: scientists probe changes in the East Australian Current | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The East Australian Current, a pivotal driver of climate for Australia's eastern states, is changing as the planet warms but scientists know little about its dynamics.

That knowledge gap should start to close with CSIRO's new research ship, the RV Investigator, soon to deploy an array of six sensors moored off Brisbane from 40 metres below the surface out to waters almost five kilometres deep.

"Having no observation records ... we're just blind to what the variability has been and what it will be like in the future," said Bernadette Sloyan, a CSIRO research scientist and voyage leader.

Changes at the southern end of the current have been monitored for decades. Monthly readings of waters off Tasmania's Maria Island show temperatures have risen more than 2 degrees over the past 60 years, among the fastest increases in ocean warmth globally.
pdeppisch's insight:

If ocean currents change then all bets are off in terms of climate.  Could trigger an ice age?

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California water officials deliver sobering facts on depleted wells

California water officials deliver sobering facts on depleted wells | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it

"Just a few months ago, the state's top water officials said they had reason for optimism. Rain was cascading down on California in December and water conservation passed 20%.

"I, for one, had high hopes," Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources, told a California Senate joint oversight hearing on the drought last week.

Cowin and his colleagues sat before lawmakers and took turns delivering a series of sobering facts and figures about the state's persistent drought: The mountain snowpack was dismal; conservation is falling far short of Gov. Jerry Brown's 25% mandate; officials are curtailing water rights.

One fact in particular caught senators' attention, though. About 1,900 wells have gone dry, Cowin said.

"Should we be pushing a pause button on drilling deeper and deeper wells?" asked Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), chairwoman of the Natural Resources and Water Committee.

As the drought persists and groundwater levels drop, thousands of Californians have been left without well water and some parts of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking. But with such a wide array of water concerns in the fourth year of drought, should Californians be alarmed about 1,900 dry wells?"

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Still more questions than answers about the ecological effects of oil dispersants used in Gulf of Mexico

Still more questions than answers about the ecological effects of oil dispersants used in Gulf of Mexico | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — Fallout from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is still rippling through the Gulf of Mexico — and through the scientific community studying the effects of the largest oil spill on record.
Along with 210 million gallons of crude oil that leaked from BP’s failed deep-sea well, cleanup workers applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant intended to break down the oil and prevent it from reaching the shoreline in massive quantities.
Since the spill, numerous studies have suggested that the mix of oil and chemical dispersants was more toxic to at least parts of the marine ecosystem than the oil alone. For example, scientists with Temple University and Penn State University used lab tests to show that the dispersant used on the Deepwater spill is more toxic to coldwater corals than the spilled oil.
Another study found dispersants lingering in the environment four years after the spill, and in  2012, University of South Florida scientists found “scary high” levels of oil pollution along Gulf Coast beaches, traced back to the Deepwater Horizon spill. Mixed with dispersant, those oil remnants were easily absorbed through human skin during casual contact on the beaches.
And there are still more questions that answers about dispersant use, according to researchers who are still studying the aftermath.
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NOAA pushes recovery of 8 endangered ocean species

NOAA pushes recovery of 8 endangered ocean species | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
FRISCO — From rare white abalones along the California coast to playful monk seals in Hawaii, federal marine biologists want to make an all-out push to try and protect some of the oceans most endangered species.
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its Species in the Spotlight push last week, naming eight ocean species as worthy of a special effort:
 
Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment (DPS)
Central California Coast Coho Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU)
Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (DPS)
Hawaiian Monk Seal
Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook (ESU)
Southern Resident Killer Whale (DPS)
White Abalone
All the species are on the endangered species list and the agency said it’s rededicating itself to ensuring that none of them go extinct.
Less than 1 percent of the species protected under the ESA
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Drilling Begins 3 Miles From Epicentre of BP Oil Spill | Associated Press |

Drilling Begins 3 Miles From Epicentre of BP Oil Spill | Associated Press | | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Just 3 miles from the catastrophic BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a Louisiana company is seeking to unlock the same oil and natural gas that turned into a deadly disaster.

Drilling has begun in the closest work yet to the Macondo well, which blew wild on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people and fouling the Gulf with as much as 172 million gallons of crude in the nation's worst oil spill. Federal regulators gave their blessing last month to LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC. to drill the first new well in the same footprint where BP was digging before.

The resumption of drilling at the former BP site comes as the oil industry pushes into ever deeper and riskier reservoirs in the Gulf. It reflects renewed industry confidence - even as critics say not enough has been done to ensure another disaster is avoided.
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