Rush to increase production has caused catastrophic environmental degradation. We need to make agriculture climate-resilient and more efficient
The World Bank’s view that we need to grow 50% more food by 2050 to feed 9 billion people, while finding ways to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture at the same time, ignores one very simple fact – we already grow enough food for 10 billion people.
But a combination of storage losses after harvest, overconsumption and waste mean that some 800 million people in developing countries are malnourished.Continue reading...
Metherell, Tamar Valley Heritage orchard of local varieties has come to fruition
A plate of cherries, entered in the fruit class at the village show, prompts reminiscence of old trees that, in the last century, still produced the sweet black cherries peculiar to the Tamar valley.
Those remnants of former orchards have since rotted or been felled for firewood but the heritage orchard of local varieties, established by James Evans and Mary Martin, has come to fruition.Continue reading...
Report says Australia must embrace renewables and coal exacts an ‘enormous toll’ on health, drives climate change and is ineffective in delivering electricity to world’s poor
Tony Abbott is mistaken in claiming coal is “good for humanity”, with the fossil fuel causing numerous health problems and ineffective in delivering electricity to the world’s poor compared with renewables, a new Oxfam report has found.
With African lion not listed on federal endangered list, imports are currently legal – but the death of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s celebrity lion, has driven calls for change
Conservationists are calling on the US government to ban the the import of lions killed in trophy hunting, following the death of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, who was allegedly killed by an American dentist this month.
As the African lion is not currently listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, it is legal to import lion trophies into the US. The US Fish and Wildlife service proposed listing African lions as threatened under the act last October.
The more than 3,000-acre fire in Glacier National Park in Montana is forcing evacuations and road closures. The fire comes at peak tourist season for park area businesses.
Geoff Moore (Letters, 28 July) seems very poorly informed as to how the payments for rooftop solar arrays are calculated. If nothing is generated and therefore there is no export to the grid, the payment would be nil.
We have a solar array and in four years have generated over 13,500 kilowatt-hours. In summer we could generate up to 350 kilowatt-hours a month, in winter maybe a tenth of that, and payments reflect this.Continue reading...
UK Cabinet Office report sets out risks of coronal mass ejections from the sun causing power outages, and disruption of GPS and communications
Humanity would only have a 12-hour warning about the arrival of a “coronal mass ejection” that could damage the National Grid, pipelines and railway signals, according to a newly released document from the UK Cabinet Office.
In a report worthy of a Bruce Willis film, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has set out the nature of the risk to the UK from “severe space weather”, which it says results from various types of solar activity.Continue reading...
As Zimbabwe police say he faces poaching charges, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer faces furious criticism on social media
Who shot Cecil? First it was thought that a mystery Spaniard had the blood of one of Africa’s most famous lions on his hands. Then came a fresh twist. The Cecil slayer, Zimbabwean conservations said on Tuesday, was in fact a dentist from Minnesota.
American Walter Palmer was said to be “quite upset” as the hunter became hunted. Zimbabwean police warned that he faced poaching charges, while there was a furious backlash on social media, with Facebook users variously calling for him to be publicly shamed, have his teeth pulled out without anaesthetic or be hunted and killed.Continue reading...
In 1923 a 16-year-old called Israel Myers set up a raincoat company in Baltimore. He called it Londontown. The firm jogged along profitably enough, supplying the US navy and becoming popular in Philadelphia on account of its special patented liners.
In 1954, they had a rethink. Myers changed the name to London Fog. Suddenly, the anoraks flew off the hangers at Saks. “Every once in a while,” wrote the New York Times at the time, “a name comes along for a product that is exactly right. It describes the product exactly and does a selling job that even the legendary 10,000 words cannot do. Such a one is London Fog.”Continue reading...
Resource scarcity is a major business challenge, but evolving market conditions mean companies that can adapt quickly could reap big profits
As São Paulo, Brazil, suffers from the worst drought in its history, multinational pulp company Fibria, which is headquartered in the city, is one of many that has felt the pinch. At times, water has been shut off to 40% of the city and even now, after the rainy season, only 6-13% of the city’s reservoir’s capacity has been filled. In response, the company is working to reduce the amount of water it uses for forest irrigation.
This isn’t the first time that Fibria has had to adapt to a shifting environment. Over the last several years, the rising scarcity of several essential resources – including water, fertilizer, labor and land – has pushed the company to reconsider its business model. It has diversified into renewable energy, biofuel production and sustainable real estate development. Fibria’s goal is to make these portfolio additions 20% of total free cash flow by 2025, making the company less pulp-dependent and giving it alternative options for future business growth in light of looming sustainability challenges.
Ticks are spreading further north in the US and Canada with the potential to transmit diseases to dogs and humans, reports Earth Island Journal
A few weeks ago, on a pleasantly cool day, this reporter and his dog, an Alaskan malamute named Bear, headed for a small set of trails in an area of woods not far from the New York-New Jersey border. With bicyclists plying their way on the shoulder of a nearby highway and the Hudson River rushing along beyond the wooded landscape, man and dog walked along the well-maintained trails, yielding to other visitors and trying to stay away from the tall grass.
Memories of the day were somewhat dampened after returning home. Bear, whose deep malamute hair is a jungle of fluffiness, brought home an intrepid hitchhiker. Crawling in that furry maze, and thankfully not attached to his skin, was a tick, no doubt on the hunt for some dog blood — or human blood, for that matter. Another one was found crawling nearby. This episode plays out across the US and the rest of the world on a regular basis.Continue reading...
Northern white rhino on brink of extinction after deaths of male in San Diego zoo last year and female named Nabire in Czech Republic this week
Only four northern white rhinos remain on earth after a 31-year-old female named Nabire died in the Czech Republic late on Monday, zookeepers said.
The animal born at Dvur Kralove zoo in the country’s north died from complications of a ruptured cyst, the zoo said in a statement on Tuesday.Continue reading...
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force alleges trophy hunter shot one of Africa’s most famous lions near Hwange national park
Conservationists in Zimbabwe have accused an American man of being the alleged killer of Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous lions and the star attraction at the Hwange national park.
On Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said the man thought to have paid $50,000 (£32,000) for the chance to kill Cecil was not a Spaniard as originally believed, but US citizen Walter Palmer, from a small town near Minneapolis. The man left the lion skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park, the ZCTF’s Johnny Rodrigues said in a statement.Continue reading...
Clinton’s first climate change policy pitch – for renewables to provide 33% of the nation’s electricity by 2027 – is bold, but the US must look beyond solar for a clean energy revolution
On Sunday, Hillary Clinton took a first swing at the many-headed carbon hydra. By the end of her first term, she said, the US would have seven times more solar energy capacity than it does today. And by 2027, renewable energy would supply a third of the nation’s electricity.
Clinton’s announcement, which the campaign said would be the first of many on climate change from the presidential hopeful, extends the carbon-saving ambition in a significant sector of the economy. Burning fossil fuels for electricity accounts for 31% of US greenhouse gas emissions. One estimate found Clinton’s 33% renewable target could slice another 4% off the US’s existing pledge to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025.Continue reading...
Conservation programme aims to protect the endangered species and restore biodiversity of the polluted river, reports The Straits Times
The conservation of dolphins in India’s holiest, but most polluted waterway, is under the spotlight as the country conducts its first official count of the freshwater species.
An estimated 450 volunteers, government experts and conservationists will take part in the exercise, which spans the states of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, in November and December.Continue reading...
More than four months after Cyclone Pam, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the south Pacific, emergency aid is winding down in the Vanuatu archipelago, leaving inhabitants of rural islands facing an uncertain future. Tanna, an island 200km south of the capital Port-Vila, took a direct hit on 13 March. The wreckage is still visible: the tops of banyan trees have been lopped off, roofs ripped away and churches flattened. Trees on island were stripped by winds gusting at over 320km/h, but now fresh greenery is bursting out and people are rebuilding their homes and replanting their fields.
“We’ve sawn up timber from banyan and avocado trees to make beams, cut bamboo for the walls and dried coconut leaves for the roof. Once we’ve gathered up all the materials in the forest, it takes a fortnight to actually build a house; everyone here knows how to do that,” says David, from Port Resolution on the east coast.Continue reading...
Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
France wants to see serious progress by October on text for a new deal on global warming, says Laurence Tubiana
France’s top climate ambassador has said she is very concerned at the slow rate of progress on a negotiating text that will form the basis of a new international deal on global warming in Paris later this year.
But Laurence Tubiana also said that negotiators from nearly 200 countries were making headway on the document, and made clear that the French government wanted to see serious progress on the text by October.Continue reading...
Only 21% of voters polled believe that the carbon price had a large impact on power prices and just 9% thought the repeal had pushed prices down
More than 60% of voters think the former Labor government’s carbon price had no effect, or only a small effect, on electricity bills – as the Abbott government tries to rerun its cost of living argument against Labor’s pledge to reintroduce an emissions trading scheme.
Only 21% of voters (30% of Liberal/National voters and 15% of Labor and Green voters) believe the carbon price had a big impact on electricity prices, according to the latest poll by Essential Media.