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Interactive. Endangered species | Environment | guardian.co.uk Environment

Interactive. Endangered species | Environment | guardian.co.uk Environment | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Find out about the world's endangered species and what is being done to save them. 

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Island of waste in Maldives

Island of waste in Maldives | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The Maldives are known as an unspoilt, paradise island destination for upmarket tourists but the BBC's Simon Reeve has paid a visit to a part of the Maldives that tourists do not see - a huge island waste dump.

 

He was accompanied by local conservationist Marie Saleem who explained how the country struggles with waste management.

 

The Maldives' government told the BBC they were looking at ways to tackle their waste problem.

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5 Sustainability Questions Supply Chain Leaders have to Ask themselves | WTG BLOG

5 Sustainability Questions Supply Chain Leaders have to Ask themselves | WTG BLOG | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

1 Are we measuring sustainability to the best of our abilities?

 

2 Are we asking our suppliers to improve their own sustainability?

 

3 Can we change our products to be more eco-friendly?

 

4 How can we avoid relationships with socially-negligent suppliers?

 

5 Who can we ask to spearhead sustainability?

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Society and Culture: Bhutan counts the cost of trying to buy happiness

Society and Culture: Bhutan counts the cost of trying to buy happiness | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
THIMPHU, Bhutan, May 17 (Reuters) - They say you can't buy happiness - and it's something Bhutan is finding out the hard way.

 

The tiny, mostly-Buddhist Himalayan kingdom won a world voice for adopting a happiness index to measure its economy. But its prime minister says it promptly forgot its own lesson, and let a sudden rush of prosperity go to its head.

 

A country that was closed to foreigners until 1974 and only recently opened up to the forces of globalisation lacked the tools to cope with new-found economic growth and the wealth it brought.

 

Debt-fuelled consumerism that far outpaced economic output has now led, inevitably, to a rude awakening.

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UK families waste £270 a year on discarded food

UK families waste £270 a year on discarded food | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Most families massively underestimate the amount of food they throw away each week, according to new research...

 

Vegetables topped the list of the most commonly wasted food group, followed by bread and fruit, and 40% of those polled admitted they felt guilty for wasting food. The main reason cited for wasting food was buying too much (37%), with 22% doing so because of supermarket offers and mutibuy deals. Lack of meal planning prior to shopping was another issue, with one in three people admitting to not planning.

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Big foot - Ecological Footprint

Big foot - Ecological Footprint | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

THE ecological footprint is a measurement of the consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions of both individuals and countries. It is expressed by Global Footprint Network (GFN), an NGO, in terms of “global hectares”—the number of hectares of land and sea required to produce the quantities consumed and emitted. ...

 

 The GFN reckons the world had enough productive land and sea to apportion 1.8 global hectares per person in 2008, the latest year for which data are available. If that is right, humans are horribly depleting the planet.

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Carbon revolution

Carbon revolution | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Last week Help Rescue the Planet organised an international conference on climate change at the Royal Institute of British Architects next to the BBC on Portland Place. Among the 50 or so presentations was a revolutionary method of carbon capture from a company in Finland that requires no storage as the products are all usable. The raw ingredients for their process arefeldspar (abundant in the earth's mantle), water (even seawater) and CO2. The reaction produces useful heat, plus rare valuable minerals, aluminium, quartz sand and water with dissolved bicarbonate. The latter can be used for irrigation (bicarbonate also has a fertilising effect), processed to produce solid calcium carbonate (for use in construction), or filtered to produce drinkable water, so the process can also work as a desalination plant. Pity that none of the 50 or so journalists that were invited bothered to turn up.

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Water policy needs 'radical' change to protect people and environment

Water policy needs 'radical' change to protect people and environment | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Ahead of Rio+20, a new report has called for a joined-up approach to managing the world's water, land and energy demands...

 

The annual report, compiled by the Overseas Development Institute, the European Centre for Development Policy Management and the German Development Institute, sets out ideas for governments, business and the EU to consider.

 

The sentiments of the report chime with an increased focus on joined-up approaches to the challenges of water, land, energy and food security. In March, the ministerial declaration from the World Water Forum called for a greater recognition of the links between water, food and energy in decision-making to improve the "sustainable management of these scarce resources".

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David 's comment, May 21, 2012 11:55 PM
thank you for your awesome information
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Finding Renewable Energy Sources Promotes a Greener Environment | 2GreenEnergy

Finding Renewable Energy Sources Promotes a Greener Environment | 2GreenEnergy | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Over a one-year period the typical fossil-fueled coal plant generates:

 

193,000 tons of sludge and 125,000 tons of ash from its smokestack scrubber

10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide

10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide

720 tons of carbon monoxide

500 tons of small particles

220 tons of hydrocarbons

225 pounds of arsenic

170 pounds of mercury

114 pounds of lead

4 pounds of cadmium and other toxic heavy metals

 

The environmental impact of the carbon dioxide generated from a coal powered plant – 3.7 million tons – is equal to cutting down 100 million trees. By comparison, renewable energy has a minimal impact on wildlife.

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Seabed test mimics carbon release

Seabed test mimics carbon release | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Scientists begin a month-long experiment in Scottish waters to study the impact of a possible leak from an undersea carbon dioxide storage site.

 

Working in Ardmucknish Bay near Oban, researchers will allow CO2 to bubble through sediments from a buried pipe and look for impacts on marine life. Capturing CO2 from power stations and burying it under the seabed is viewed as an important global warming fix.

 

A number of countries have plants in operation, though the UK does not. This is believed to be the first time that an impact of CO2 escape on seabed ecosystems has been investigated.

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Climate Change Consequences - Often Unexpected

Climate Change Consequences - Often Unexpected | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

... "Urban stormwater and sewage overflow water contains human pathogens including viruses, protozoans, and pathogenic bacteria that can cause adverse health effects if ingested.   The Great Lakes provide drinking water for an estimated 40 million people and there are more than 500 recreational beaches along lake shores (Great Lakes Legislative Caucus, 2012).  Waterborne disease outbreaks result when water supplies are contaminated with pathogens that infect humans.

 

It is well known that extreme precipitation events that cause CSO (combined sewer overflows) in the Great Lakes Region can lead to waterborne disease outbreaks, as seen in the 1993 outbreak of intestinal illness in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which affected an estimated 403,000 people (Curriero et al., 2001).   Observed and projected climate changes due to global warming infer that more frequent extreme precipitation events are on the horizon for this region, thus potentially leading to a higher incidence of waterborne disease outbreaks if mitigation measures are not taken to improve existing CSS (combined sewer systems) infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

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World living beyond its resources, summit off-track

World living beyond its resources, summit off-track | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Biodiversity has decreased by an average of 28 percent globally since 1970 and the world would have to be 50 percent bigger to have enough land and forests to provide for current levels of consumption and carbon emissions, conservation group WWF said on Tuesday.

 

Unless the world addresses the problem, by 2030 even two planet Earths would not be enough to sustain human activity, WWF said, launching its "Living Planet Report 2012", a biennial audit of the world's environment and biodiversity - the number of plant and animal species.

 

Yet governments are not on track to reach an agreement at next month's sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro, WWF International's director general Jim Leape said.

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INDONESIA: Forests remain a source of conflict

INDONESIA: Forests remain a source of conflict | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The world’s largest producer of teak, an Indonesian state-owned company on the island of Java, has again been awarded sustainable forest management (SFM) certification. But the company has a long and sometimes contentious relationship with forest communities in the area, and the forest rights of indigenous communities remain a potential cause of conflict.

 

“Land rights have long been a source of violence on Java,” Rhett Butler, a leading environmentalist and creator of a leading environmental news website told IRIN. Perhutani (Indonesian state forestry company) exploits 2.4 million hectares of forests in Java - 7 percent of the island area - with earnings of around US$400 million in 2011.

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It's a new beetle invasion, and they're not from England

It's a new beetle invasion, and they're not from England | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Beetlemania is sweeping the region, but the sound of thousands of screaming teenage girls that accompanied the original Beatlemania is being replaced by the sound of chain saws.

 

Beetlemania is sweeping the region, but the sound of thousands of screaming teenage girls that accompanied the original Beatlemania is being replaced by the sound of chain saws.

 

The emerald ash borer invasion has begun and area communities are mustering forces and funds to combat it. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the EAB, as it is referred to, was first detected in Indiana in 2004, and has now been spotted in more than 50 of Indiana's 92 counties, including Porter and Lake counties.

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What can we do about urban food waste?: Observatory: Design Observer

What can we do about urban food waste?: Observatory: Design Observer | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Urban farming is a cool design topic these days – but if we’re to make a serious impact on the global food system, we need to show meaningful solidarity with its victims in distant places, too.

 

At a workshop on food in cities at Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark last week I learned: that the largest food exporter in Sweden is Ikea (meatballs); thatfor every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted; that about 40 percent of the food produced in the United States isn’t consumed; that every day, Americans waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl; that US citizens waste 50 per cent more food today than they did in 1974; and that that doggy bags are taboo in Danish restaurants.

These were spicy facts to be confronted with — but what is one to do with this sort of information? Food waste is just one among a bunch of ‘wicked’ questions concerning food in cities. There are no simple answers. Half the time, there is no consensus on what the problem is.

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Is environmentally sustainable water, energy and land for all possible?

Is environmentally sustainable water, energy and land for all possible? | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Liz Ford: Lowering consumption in the developed world, renewables, ending land grabs, a price for natural resources, private sector investment – what's the answer?

 

How do you ensure access to safe water, energy and land in a way that benefits the poorest people on the planet but does not harm the environment?

 

The latest European Development Report (EDR), launched in Brussels on Wednesday, sketches out a few broad ideas, but the big question is how do we translate this 200-page document into practical action?

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Some Mammals Too Slow To Escape Climate Change

Some Mammals Too Slow To Escape Climate Change | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
In some places up to 40 percent of mammals are too slow to outrun climate change.

 

As greenhouse gasses increase the temperature of the earth, the climate in the Western Hemisphere will be changing drastically, and mammals in North and South America will have to move to new habitats that are more hospitable. Some will make it and some won't, the new research suggests.

 

The researchers found in a paper published May 14 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that a safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere's mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won't move swiftly enough to outpace climate change.

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New paper finds large increase in sunshine since the 1980's; dwarfs alleged effect of CO2

New paper finds large increase in sunshine since the 1980's; dwarfs alleged effect of CO2 | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

A paper recently published in the journal Weather finds that global summer average sunshine [solar short-wave radiation that reaches Earth's surface] dimmed during the period 1958-1983 [prompting an ice age scare], but markedly increased from 1985-2010. The increase in summer average sunshine between those two periods is 6 Watts per square meter, which dwarfs the alleged effects of CO2 by more than 5 times.

 

The paper states the increase in sunshine reaching the Earth's surface is due to a decrease in aerosols including clouds, which are influenced by both anthropogenic and natural factors, and possibly changes in solar activity.

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Action urged on city climate risk

Action urged on city climate risk | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Urban areas need additional capacity to adapt to the range of threats posed by climate change, such as flooding and rising temperatures, studies show.

 

Risks such as flooding and excessive temperatures are among the risks facing towns and cities, experts conclude.

 

Two separate studies by the University of Manchester and the European Environment Agency said city planners had to act now to build in resilience.More than half of the world's population now live in urban areas.

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American rivers under threat - interactive

American rivers under threat - interactive | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The America's Most Endangered Rivers report highlights 10 rivers whose fate will be decided in the coming year, and encourages decision-makers to protect them and the communities they support. The 10 most endangered rivers are shown in red on the map below. Click on the buttons for details.

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Africa Human Development Report 2012

Africa Human Development Report 2012 | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of hunger in the world blocking long-term advances in human development for millions of Africans. 

UNDP's Africa Human Development Report 2012 shows that food security and human development reinforce each other. To accelerate food security, countries in sub-Saharan Africa must boost agricultural productivity and enhance nutrition to improve availability, access and use of food. 

Building resilience for households and communities, and empowering women and the rural poor are critical enablers of food security. 

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Patterns In Nature — Dynamic Connections | Patterns In Nature Blog

Patterns In Nature — Dynamic Connections | Patterns In Nature Blog | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Garry Peterson, in his paper on the integration of human and ecological dynamics, talks about the connection dynamics of Salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin. He estimates that, in the 18th century, there were some 10 to 16 million Salmon returning annually to the basin. Today, the population is below one million and a quarter of the species have become extinct.

 

The reason for this decline is a human population that has severely altered Nature’s dynamic connections with Salmon by severely reducing the Salmon’s genetic database through over-fishing in the ocean, by constructing dams that interfere with the Salmon’s connection to it’s places of birth , and by radically altering land use along the river.

 

The impact of the changing human connection with the Salmon population has been devastating. There is a lack of awareness by we humans of how connecting and changing patterns in Nature might destroy a species.

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Climate change policy should aim to manage risk

Climate change policy should aim to manage risk | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

"The reality is that long-range future energy, climate, economic and other carbon-related environmental conditions are and will remain significantly uncertain, highly variable and largely unpredictable. Scientists and mathematicians know that the systems involved in the various dimensions of climate change policy are in fact extremely complex and often chaotic, fraught with considerable, irreducible uncertainty.

 

But contrary to the so-called skeptics, this uncertainty does not licence inaction. Most human decisions are made in conditions of imperfect uncertain information. We have to act even though we don’t know everything. ...


The key discussion, then, is not about whether climate change is occurring, but how great we think the risk is, and how big the insurance premium is we are willing to pay to mitigate the potential damage."

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'Last Call at the Oasis': Why Time Is Running Out to Save Our Drinking Water | Water | AlterNet

'Last Call at the Oasis': Why Time Is Running Out to Save Our Drinking Water | Water | AlterNet | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
A new film provides a much-needed wake-up call for Americans: Our false sense of water abundance may be our great undoing.

 

The film shows hotspots like the California’s Central Valley, where 7 million acres of irrigated agriculture have turned near desert into the source of one-quarter of the nation's food -- at a steep environmental price.

 

California is often warned it will be the next Australia, where a decade of drought has devastated the agricultural sector. At the peak of Australia's drought, the film tell us, one farmer committed suicide every four days. We meet families who are struggling to save their farms, faced with having to slaughter all of their animals. The scenes of heartbreak in Australia are one of the few times in the film the narrative ventures outside the U.S. Mostly the storyline is focused on America's own evolving plight.

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Flower power keeps Kenya's Lake Naivasha blossoming – video

Flower power keeps Kenya's Lake Naivasha blossoming – video | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Kenya exports millions of fresh flowers each year, many of them grown in the Lake Naivasha area. In the past, firms have been accused of plundering the lake's natural resources and damaging its ecosystem, but a new WWF scheme is tackling the situation by rewarding local farmers for adopting conservation practices

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