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A clickable guide to the world's energy use

A clickable guide to the world's energy use | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Use our interactive graphic to find out which countries were using up Earth's resources fastest in 2011, and which ones were taking a lead on renewable energy.
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The Glory of the Garden
Food for Thought
Curated by David Rowing
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More, More, More: Contemplating Our Overcrowded Future

More, More, More: Contemplating Our Overcrowded Future | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
It’s obvious that the problem of how we will manage our infinite desires in a finite world will be with us for a long time. Three books suggest possible solutions to what might be termed the Big Three human factors pressing on those planetary boundaries: more population, more urban development and more agriculture.
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Another side to food waste - Sustainable Food Trust

Another side to food waste - Sustainable Food Trust | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The food waste debate has gone mainstream. People at every level from individual consumers to national governments are beginning to pay attention to the issues which lead to a third of food produced for human consumption being wasted every year. However, there is one side to the story that is often overlooked: the impact of food waste in the Global South.
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Ozone layer hole appears to be healing, scientists say

Ozone layer hole appears to be healing, scientists say | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The vast hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica appears to be healing, scientists say, putting the world on track to eventually remedy one of the biggest environmental concerns of the 1980s and 90s.


Research by US and UK scientists shows that the size of the ozone void has shrunk, on average, by around 4m sq km since 2000. The measurements were taken from the month of September in each year, when the ozone hole starts to open up each year. The study, published in Science, states that the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) chemicals means that the ozone layer is “expected to recover in response, albeit very slowly.”


CFCs, once commonly found in aerosols and refrigeration, can linger in the atmosphere for more than 50 years, meaning that the ozone hole will not be considered healed until 2050 or 2060.

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Solving the Fresh Water Crisis

Solving the Fresh Water Crisis | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

For the past five years, the World Economic Forum has listed water crises among the world’s top global risks, alongside others like “major systemic financial failure” and cyberattacks. Unfortunately, the ranking has proven accurate. The past year alone has seen historic drought conditions in California, devastating floods in India, and water-supply crises in cities including São Paulo, Brazil, and Flint, Michigan.

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May marks one more record hot month for the world

May marks one more record hot month for the world | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

NASA put May at 1.67°F (0.93°C) warmer than the 1951-1980 average for the month, the first month since October 2015 to be less than 1.8°F (1°C) above average in their dataset, which extends back to 1880.


So far this year every month has been record warm. February and March actually set consecutive records for the most anomalously warm month, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). February retained that record by NASA’s reckoning.

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Air pollution now major contributor to stroke, global study finds

Air pollution now major contributor to stroke, global study finds | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Air pollution has become a major contributor to stroke for the first time, with unclean air now blamed for nearly one third of the years of healthy life lost to the condition worldwide.

In an unprecedented survey of global risk factors for stroke, air pollution in the form of fine particulate matter ranked seventh in terms of its impact on healthy lifespan, while household air pollution from burning solid fuels ranked eighth.

Valery Feigin, director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at Auckland University of Technology, said that while he expected air pollution to emerge as a threat, the extent of the problem had taken researchers by surprise.
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Palm oil production up, as forests pay the price

Palm oil production up, as forests pay the price | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Palm oil biofuels are having a disastrous impact when it comes to deforestation and carbon footprint. EurActiv's partner Journal de l'Environnement reports.
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This eco-village is designed to be fully self-sufficient, from energy to food to waste

This eco-village is designed to be fully self-sufficient, from energy to food to waste | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
RegenVillages, which is a spin-off company of Stanford University, is working on a pilot development of 25 homes in Almere, Netherlands, beginning this summer, with the aim of integrating local energy production (using biogas, solar, geothermal, and other modalities), along with intensive food production methods (vertical farming, aquaponics and aeroponics, permaculture, and others) and 'closed-loop' waste-to-resource systems, along with intelligent water and energy management systems.
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 5, 8:17 AM

Getting ready for the #population boom and working with limited #resources.

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, June 6, 9:57 PM
Intriguing idea that could lead to food and resource self-sufficiency for many areas of the world. Hopefully, this concept will spur our local, state, and federal government to get serious about self-sufficiency.  We should be able to care for ourselves without being dependent on unfriendly governments to supply us with raw materials and fuel.
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For Companies that Cut Protected Forests, There’s Nowhere to Hide | World Resources Institute

For Companies that Cut Protected Forests, There’s Nowhere to Hide | World Resources Institute | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Some companies are learning the hard way that sustainability is increasingly critical to the corporate bottom line—and that advanced technologies make unsustainable and illegal practices easier to detect.


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is the leading standards body for sustainable palm oil, recently suspended palm oil grower Plantaciones de Pucallpa for clearing primary forest in the Peruvian Amazon. The company can no longer sell their product under the RSPO certified sustainable label.


Just a week later, a coalition of over 60 organizations called for the removal of United Cacao from the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) for destroying forests and violating indigenous rights in Peru’s far-flung Amazon rainforests.


It was revealed the two companies are actually connected and funding from United Cacao on AIM goes towards Plantaciones de Pucallpa’s operations.

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Food for thought on hunger

Food for thought on hunger | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The number of people suffering from hunger globally halved between 1990 to 2015, according to a report on the UN's Millennium Development Goals. However, globally an estimated 795 million people are still undernourished – and more than 90 million of them children are children.

Under the new Sustainable Development Goals, the UN aims to end hunger by 2030, ensuring everyone has access to enough food, all year round. But as the world's population increases – the UN estimates there will be 9.7 billion people on the planet by 2050 – so too does the pressure on food resources.
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French food waste could feed ten million people

French food waste could feed ten million people | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

France wastes enough food every year to feed ten million people, or cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 3%, according to a study published on Thursday (26 May) by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).  EurActiv's partner Journal de l'Environnement reports.


A new ADEME study covering France’s entire food supply chain, from production to consumption (both in and outside households), including processing and distribution, has revealed that the country wastes ten million tonnes of food every year.

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Britain begins Fracking - New Europe

Britain begins Fracking - New Europe | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The fracking well will be only 750 meters away from the nearest residential areas, as Europe is much more densely populated than North America where the technique was pioneered.


Some are hailing fracking as a pragmatic investment in the future of the onshore oil industry in Britain. Others fear the association of fracking with the contamination of water resources and even earthquakes. Indeed, the first U.K development in 2011 in Lancashire triggered minor earthquakes along the Fylde coast independent studies confirmed. Last but not least, the development, more often than not, entails a massive increase in traffic and produces noise pollution that can become unbearable near residential areas.

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Where Do We Go Now? A Map for Keeping Climate Action on Track After Paris | World Resources Institute

Where Do We Go Now? A Map for Keeping Climate Action on Track After Paris | World Resources Institute | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Now that 195 countries have adopted the Paris Agreement, they must develop the rules, processes and guidelines for how it will deliver the goals it's promised. New WRI research provides a to-do list for negotiators.
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The enormous threat to America’s last grasslands

The enormous threat to America’s last grasslands | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

North Dakota has seen significant losses of its CRP acres — a program where the federal government leases tracts of privately owned farmland to be repurposed into conservation acres, thus trying to create incentives for preserving ecosystems. Not only does single-crop agriculture bring in more money than CRP during market booms, but the last Farm Bill also capped the number of CRP acres at 24 million acres nationwide.


“Losing CRP or lowering the cap will reduce the amount of habitat for grassland birds or other species,” said Larry Igl, an ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, N.D. “It’s the equivalent to removing grass from the landscape.”

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Atkins Ciwem environmental photographer of the year 2016 - the winners in pictures

Atkins Ciwem environmental photographer of the year 2016 - the winners in pictures | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The overall awards winners have been announced in the 2016 Atkins Ciwem environmental photographer of the year competition, an annual international showcase for thought-provoking photography and video that tackles a wide range of environmental themes
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Protecting Tiger Habitat in Sumatra: Challenges and Opportunities

Protecting Tiger Habitat in Sumatra: Challenges and Opportunities | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The tiger is not only a charismatic example of megafauna, but also an umbrella species. As a predator at the top of the food chain, tigers maintain the balance between herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Thus, by protecting and conserving tigers, we also help preserve biodiversity and a whole suite of ecological processes within their habitat.

Tigers are mostly solitary, which is why they need a large territory to survive. Unfortunately, habitat loss, along with poaching, has significantly brought down tiger populations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the world has lost 97 percent of wild tigers in just over a century and less than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild today.
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Could we set aside half the Earth for nature?

Could we set aside half the Earth for nature? | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
As of today, the only place in the universe where we are certain life exists is on our little home, the third planet from the sun. But also as of today, species on Earth are winking out at rates likely not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs.

If we don’t change our ways, we will witness a mass extinction event that will not only leave our world a far more boring and lonely place, but will undercut the very survival of our species.

So, what do we do?
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Greenland witnessed its highest June temperature ever recorded on Thursday

Greenland witnessed its highest June temperature ever recorded on Thursday | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, soared to 75 degrees (24 Celsius) Thursday, marking the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic country during June. Nuuk sits on Greenland’s southwest coast, where the country’s warmest weather typically occurs.

It was warmer in Nuuk than it was in New York City, where the high was only 71 degrees.

The Danish Meteorological Institute has confirmed on a preliminary basis that the Nuuk measurement would replace the previous record of 73.8 degrees (23.2 Celsius), which was set in Kangerlussuaq on June 15 in 2014. That temperature was also recorded in southwest Greenland about 200 miles (320 km) north of Nuuk.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Palm plantations shaken by the green body they helped create

Palm plantations shaken by the green body they helped create | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

In 2004, Malaysian palm oil producer IOI Group became a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and later an executive board member in what seemed like a cosy arrangement.


Twelve years later, IOI attempted to take legal action against RSPO over an environmental ruling that has cost the company sales in the United States and Europe.


In March, the RSPO withdrew its "sustainability certification" from IOI, based on a decision to uphold a complaint from Amsterdam-based group Aidenvironment.

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A lioness named Elsa inspired an epic fight against poachers

A lioness named Elsa inspired an epic fight against poachers | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Meru National Park has endured a decades-long running battle against poachers, who are determined to take its precious wildlife for themselves
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The Future of Fresh Water | World Resources Institute

The Future of Fresh Water | World Resources Institute | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

When it comes to water, there is often too little or too much. Climate change and growing demand will likely magnify those extremes.

Water stress — the measure of demand relative to supply in a given place — will likely increase rapidly across the globe in the next few decades, as more people compete for ever more limited surface-water supplies.

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5 Technologies Help Thwart Illegal Logging by Tracing Wood’s Origin

5 Technologies Help Thwart Illegal Logging by Tracing Wood’s Origin | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The illegal timber trade creates problems for everyone. Governments lose valuable revenue and natural resources. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission reported that the country lost $9 billion in revenue to the illegal timber trade between 2003 and 2014. Meanwhile, businesses sourcing legal timber lose profits and competitiveness to illegal timber supplies sold at lower prices.

So governments and businesses are starting to do more to improve timber traceability, including adopting new and existing technologies that can help track timber, manage information, and eventually, help combat illegal logging.Empty description
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Renewable energy surges to record levels around the world.

Renewable energy surges to record levels around the world. | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

New solar, wind and hydropower sources were added in 2015 at the fastest rate the world has yet seen, a study says.


Investments in renewables during the year were more than double the amount spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants, the Renewables Global Status Report found.


For the first time, emerging economies spent more than the rich on renewable power and fuels.

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Signs of a Growing Movement to Reduce Food Loss and Waste | World Resources Institute

Signs of a Growing Movement to Reduce Food Loss and Waste | World Resources Institute | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

An estimated one-third of all food is lost or wasted from farm to fork every year globally; This amounts to about $940 billion per year in economic losses; Lost and wasted food consumes one-quarter of all the water used by agriculture; It requires land area the size of China to grow; and It contributes 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter, behind China and the United States.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, May 27, 10:42 AM
Reduce food loss?
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10 magical places saved by endangered species

10 magical places saved by endangered species | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

In our efforts to save animals at risk of extinction, we've saved some extraordinary places as well.


The Endangered Species Act was signed in December of 1973, providing agency for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened – the beautiful bonus is that the conservation of the habitat on which they depend is consequently, and necessarily, protected as well.

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