How farming with rocks could improve global food security

February 20, 2018 by  
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Scientists at the University of Sheffield have learned that farming with crushed silicate rocks mixed into the soil could improve global food security, increase crop yields, promote soil health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Human societies have long known that volcanic plains are fertile, ideal places for growing crops without adverse human health effects,” study lead author David Beerling told Phys.org , “but until now there has been little consideration for how adding further rocks to soils might capture carbon.” As the rocks slowly dissolve in the soil, they release nutrients while absorbing carbon dioxide. Most importantly, crushed silicate rocks can be amended into existing farmland, offering a non-disruptive, less intensive carbon capture service. The research published in the journal Nature Plants  could have a dramatic applied impact on farming throughout the world. “This study has transformed how we think about managing our croplands for climate, food and soil security,” said Beerling. “It helps move the debate forward for an under-researched strategy of CO2 removal from the atmosphere – enhanced rock weathering – and highlights supplementary benefits for food and soils .” Through enhanced rock weathering, carbon absorption can be achieved without competing for additional land and water. The crushed rock method also reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides and decreases the cost of food production. Related: 6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food Farming with crushed silicate rocks offers a simple but powerful action to improve environmental health. “The magnitude of future climate change could be moderated by immediately reducing the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere as a result of energy generation,” explained Beerling. “Adopting strategies like this new research that actively remove CO2 from it can have a massive impact and be adapted very quickly.” Via Phys.org Images via Depositphotos (1)  

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How farming with rocks could improve global food security

Hedgehog highways make London friendlier for the adorable spiny mammals

February 20, 2018 by  
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Urban areas don’t tend to be too kind for hedgehogs . As they’re declining in Britain , some people are trying to help. Enter Michel Birkenwald , a jeweler Atlas Obscura described as “one of London’s most enthusiastic engineers of infrastructure for animals .” Birkenwald builds hedgehog highways — and they’re pretty darn adorable. Hedgehogs have declined by around 50 percent in the UK and by one third in urban areas, according to Emily Wilson of hedgehog advocacy group Hedgehog Street . The organization is working to spur people towards saving the small spiny mammals — and they say the most crucial action people can take is make sure the animals can pass through their gardens . Hedgehogs travel about one mile each night to seek out a mate or food, but fences stop them, and Hedgehog Street said our walls becoming more secure is one of the main reasons for hedgehog decline. Related: This sweet animation aims to help save the British hedgehog Successful day yesterday 15 new holes opened up @barneshedgehogs #richmond #london #uk #wildlife A post shared by Barnes hedgehogs (@barneshedgehogs) on Feb 18, 2018 at 10:59pm PST Birkenwald describes himself as “just an average guy who decided to help one of our most adorable mammals” to Atlas Obscura. He started Barnes Hedgehogs around four years ago, to drill the hedgehog crossings — small holes in walls around the size of a CD — for free. It can take around an hour to drill the passageways in sturdy Victorian bricks in London. First hole of the day drilled by Robin senior technical officer @barneshedgehogs sponsored by Zac Goldsmith MP #richmond #uk #london A post shared by Barnes hedgehogs (@barneshedgehogs) on Feb 18, 2018 at 1:59am PST Other people want to help out too – at least 47,544, in fact. Those are the people who have registered with Hedgehog Street to become Hedgehog Champions, ambassadors for the little mammals in their areas. The organization has other information on how you can help hedgehogs here . This Sunday @barneshedgehogs we are drilling approx 20 holes in timber and brick walls sponsored by Zac Goldsmith MP , get your garden ready for spring and cut a hole in your fences for our favourite mammal #wildlife #richmond #london #uk #spring A post shared by Barnes hedgehogs (@barneshedgehogs) on Feb 13, 2018 at 1:36am PST Birkenwald marks the crossings with small Hedgehog Highway signs that are available through the Hedgehog Street website ; the signs are comprised of recycled plastic and cost about £3, or just over $4, each. + Barnes Hedgehogs + Hedgehog Street + Hedgehog Street Hedgehog Highways Via Atlas Obscura Image via Pixabay

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Hedgehog highways make London friendlier for the adorable spiny mammals

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski wants her party to talk about climate change

February 20, 2018 by  
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Senator Lisa Murkowski (R- Alaska ), the senior senator from her state and the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wants her party to start talking about climate change. During an address to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Winter Policy Summit, Murkowski even went so far as to urge Republicans to actually use the words “ climate change .” “We have to not be afraid to use terms that some might say, that’s politically charged,” Murkowski said, according to Business Insider . “Why is it politically charged to say climate change? I see in my state the impact we have from warming temperatures.”   In a political party which consistently denies or minimizes the impact of climate change, even saying those words is a step in the right direction. Still, actions speak louder than words. While Senator Murkowski garnered praise for her resistance to repealing the Affordable Care Act, she nonetheless has cast votes against the interests of public and environmental health in this current Congress. For example, Murkowski voted to confirm climate change denier Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator. Under Pruitt’s tenure, Obama-era environmental protection rules limiting air and water pollution as well as those designed to combat climate change have been eliminated. Murkowski also voted to open the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling , a long-time goal for the senator and her party. Related: Scientists protest senator’s plan to open vital Arctic wildlife refuge to oil exploration Murkowski has framed her support for fossil fuels as a necessary economic evil. “It’s not enough to demand the end of use of hard carbons to keep it in the ground,” said Murkowski. “I recognize this is unrealistic and counterproductive. It would hurt all of us, particularly the poor… We can absolutely continue to use hydrocarbons and critical minerals and protect the environment at the same time.” This seems to ignore that the renewable energy industry employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry while the consumer cost of renewable energy continues to decline . Murkowski’s position also fails to recognize the urgency of stopping the usage of fossil fuels if we are to avoid the worst of catastrophic climate change. Nonetheless, Murkowski’s words may offer some hope for a future Republican Party that understands climate change and seeks to counteract it. “This conversation is difficult,” noted Murkowski. “We all know it’s difficult. We have to stop making it harder.” Via Business Insider Images via Arctic Circle (1) and Arctic Wolves

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Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski wants her party to talk about climate change

Zipper8Lighting Transforms Hundreds of Soda Can Tabs into Glowing Lampshades

May 16, 2012 by  
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Zipper8Lighting saved hundreds of soda can tabs to create these shimmering eco-friendly lampshades , which emit a warm glow from beneath the layers of reclaimed materials. The tabs are carefully attached to a cylindrical plastic shade, and when the light shines through it creates a simple but dazzling effect. Hopefully the designer didn’t have to drink all of that soda on their own! Read the rest of Zipper8Lighting Transforms Hundreds of Soda Can Tabs into Glowing Lampshades Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , eco friendly lamps , etsy , green design , green lamps , Recycled Materials , soda can lampshades , sustainable design , zipper8lighting

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Zipper8Lighting Transforms Hundreds of Soda Can Tabs into Glowing Lampshades

9 Green Brains Tell Us What They’d Fix First (Slideshow)

April 20, 2011 by  
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If nothing else, Earth Day is a moment to take pause and reflect. It’s a time to take stock of the state of the environment, the tenor of environmentalism, and the impact of past actions. This reflection, however, inevitably leads to a single conclusion: There’s still a lot of work to be done

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9 Green Brains Tell Us What They’d Fix First (Slideshow)

WWF Takes Your ‘Please Don’t Print’ Request to the Next Level

December 11, 2010 by  
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A new file format developed by the World Wildlife Fund is a simple but potentialy paper-saving twist on the PDF: It’s literally impossible to print.

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WWF Takes Your ‘Please Don’t Print’ Request to the Next Level

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