Thousands of California ‘hipster succulents’ are being stolen in plant poaching crisis

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Thousands of California ‘hipster succulents’ are being stolen in plant poaching crisis

The dudleya, a California native succulent , has become a symbol of hipster lifestyle, according to The Guardian . But now so-called plant poachers are stealing the succulent by the thousand to smuggle to buyers in Asia, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has made several busts this year alone. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); CDFW wildlife officers have made a series of arrests this year while working to halt a trend of individuals poaching the Dudleya succulent plant on the north coast of California. Posted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife on  Friday, April 6, 2018 Dudleya plants aren’t rare in the Golden State. But they do take years to grow in nurseries. The Guardian said nursery owners said the plants aren’t available in the massive amounts Asian shippers seem to desire. Smugglers are stealing the plants, which have a market value of around $40 to $50 overseas. CDFW warden Pat Freeling, who’s led the plant poaching investigation, told The Guardian, “Right now these plants are a boom in Korea, China, and Japan. It’s huge among domestic housewives. It’s a status thing. It’s become an exotic lotus flower succulent. Someone likened it to the next Pokémon.” Related: Man caught smuggling 51 turtles in his pants pleads guilty An anonymous woman gave Freeling a tip in January; she had been waiting in line at a Mendocino County post office behind a man with dozens of boxes to be sent to Asia. As the man was holding up the line, the woman asked what he was sending and the man said, “Shhhhh, something very valuable.” The CDFW has already made several busts; in a post earlier this month, they said they arrested three people — two from Korea and one from China — and intercepted 1,334 dudleya en route to be shipped. 1,000 more were uncovered in the hotel room of the suspects. In another bust, they recovered 50 succulents; in another, 1,400 dudleya. CDFW said, “The removal of dudleya can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline.” Multiple volunteers and CDFW staff recently came together to replant around 2,000 dudleya on the cliffs they came from in the Humboldt and Mendocino counties. + CDFW News + California Department of Fish and Wildlife Via The Guardian Image via CDFW News

The rest is here:
Thousands of California ‘hipster succulents’ are being stolen in plant poaching crisis

An adventurer just journeyed into Americas largest national park – and here’s what he found

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on An adventurer just journeyed into Americas largest national park – and here’s what he found

The largest national park in America is one few have ever heard of, and even fewer have visited. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve encompasses 13.2 million acres of glaciers and forests in the southeast of Alaska . Mark Jenkins, writer-in-residence at the University of Wyoming , decided to journey into the big unknown of the park’s landscape for Smithsonian magazine to capture what it looks like today, knowing that in 10 years, it would look entirely different because of  climate change . What he saw was absolutely breathtaking, in more ways than one. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is massive – it could fit Yosemite, Yellowstone and the entire country of Switzerland within its borders. But even though it is the biggest park in the country, it gets just 70,000 visitors a year. In contrast, Yellowstone gets 4 million. The park holds 3,000 glaciers, some of the largest in the country, and no one knows them better than the 250 residents of McCarthy, a bush down tucked deep in the park that isn’t accessible by car. Related: Alaskan city’s temperatures spiked so significantly NOAA algorithms thought they were wrong Jenkins met with some of the residents of McCarthy, and they showed him the changing landscape, giving him a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the glaciers and rivers that make up the landscape. “Bottom line, the glacial rivers are growing and the glaciers are retreating and diminishing,” Mark Vail, a resident since 1977 told Jenkins. “The Kennicott Glacier has retreated over half a mile since I first came here. Ablation has shrunk the height of the glacier by hundreds of feet in the last century.” Jenkins found the most obvious signs of these changes when he visited the nearby mining town of Kennecott. Photographs from Kennecott’s heyday a century ago show the massive Kennicott Glacier towering over the mill, but today the glacier sits below the mill. Jenkins talked to glaciologist Michael Loso while dining in McCarthy’s Potato restaurant. He told Jenkins about Iceberg Lake, which suddenly vanished in 1999. Loso explained that the resulting open land left by the lake allowed scientists to determine what the lake looked like even during warming periods in the past. The news was grim: “They’re an archival record that proves there was no catastrophic lake drainage, no jokulhlaup, even during the Medieval Warming Period,” he said. “When Iceberg Lake vanished, it was a big shock. It was a threshold event, not incremental, but sudden. That’s nature at a tipping point.” To read the rest of the story, and to view the astonishing photos that Nathaniel Wilder took on his journey with Jenkins, check out Smithsonian magazine . + Smithsonian Images courtesy of Nathaniel Wilder for Smithsonian Magazine , Google Maps and the NPS  

Read more from the original source:
An adventurer just journeyed into Americas largest national park – and here’s what he found

Cows could one day be the largest land mammals left because of human activity

April 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cows could one day be the largest land mammals left because of human activity

The world’s biggest land mammal is the African bush elephant , which can be up to 13 feet tall and 24 feet long. But this elephant — and giraffes, hippos and other large animals — could go extinct because of human activity, leaving the domestic cow as the biggest terrestrial mammal in a couple centuries. In a recent study, researchers scrutinized large mammal extinction as humans spread, and their study is, according to the University of New Mexico , “the first to quantitatively show … that size selective extinction is a hallmark of human activities and not the norm in mammal evolution.” Thousands of years ago, the spread of archaic humans from Africa coincided with extinction of megafauna, or large mammals, like sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths, The Guardian reported. “One of the most surprising finds was that 125,000 years ago, the average body size of mammals on Africa was already 50 percent smaller than on other continents,” said Felisa Smith, professor at the University of New Mexico and lead author of the study. “We suspect this means that archaic humans and other hominins had already influenced mammal diversity and body size in the late-Pleistocene.” Related: The world’s last male northern white rhino has died in Kenya The researchers compiled extensive data around mammal body size, geographic location, climate and extinction status in the past 125,000 years and modeled diversity and body size distributions for the next 200 years. The study also found that in 65 million years, climate changes didn’t lead to more extinctions. “We suspect that in the past, shifts in climate led to adaptation and movement of animals, not extinction,” said co-author Jonathan Payne of Stanford University . “Of course, today ongoing climate change may result in extinction since most megafauna are limited in how far they can move.” Smith said we’re really just starting to appreciate megafauna’s crucial roles in ecosystems. “For example, as they walk, their massive size compacts the soil, which can lead to changes in gas exchange or water tables. … We are not entirely sure what the potential loss of these ‘ecosystem engineers’ could lead to,” he said. “I hope we never find out.” The journal Science published the research this month. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego and University of Nebraska-Lincoln also contributed. + University of New Mexico + Science Via The Guardian Images via Michael Pujals on Unsplash and the University of New Mexico

Read the original: 
Cows could one day be the largest land mammals left because of human activity

California’s wild extremes of flooding and drought will only get worse as the planet warms

April 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on California’s wild extremes of flooding and drought will only get worse as the planet warms

Between 2011 and 2017, California suffered through one of the worst droughts in its history. After the drought broke last year in what would be California’s wettest winter in a century, extreme flooding caused severe damage and killed several people. In a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change , researchers predict that similar patterns of polarized weather will continue to define California’s climate well into the 21st century, particularly if greenhouse gas emissions are not immediately and significantly reduced. If emissions continue to grow until 2100, the drastic wet-dry weather patterns could double in frequency, wreaking havoc in the state. California is not unfamiliar with bouts of strong drought and flooding . In 1862, what is known as the Great Flood devastated California in a weather event that has not be repeated since. Much of the state has a Mediterranean climate, which is conducive to dry summers, wet winters, and powerful shifts between those two extremes. However, as with much of the extreme weather expected from climate change, the frequency and intensity of such weather events are increasing. As the weather becomes more destructive, the authors predict that California could face serious challenges, particularly in water storage/access and flood control. Related: Federal court orders first hearing on the science of climate change In order to prepare for a more hostile climate, California must upgrade its infrastructure. “Few of the dams, levees and canals that currently protect millions living in California’s flood plains and facilitate the movement of water from Sierra Nevada watersheds to coastal cities have been tested by a deluge as severe” as the Great Flood of 1862, wrote the researchers.  On the other side of the world, Europe faces a drier future, with another study predicting that the percentage of drought-prone area will double if global average temperatures continue to rise beyond a 3 degrees Celsius increase. Even if the goals of the Paris agreement are met, which at the moment seems doubtful , Africa is still expected to endure potentially destabilizing extreme weather as a result of foregone climate change .   Via Phys.org Images via Wikimedia (1) (2)

More here: 
California’s wild extremes of flooding and drought will only get worse as the planet warms

The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

April 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The  Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing at an alarming rate — and it’s already three times the size of France . Fortunately, help is on the way: new images show that The Ocean Cleanup  is building an innovative  plastic -scooping system in Alameda, CA, and they’re planning to launch it as early as this summer. There are around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic junk in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup , started by now-23-year-old Boyan Slat , is much closer to deploying its technology to tackle the dilemma. The group’s  Road to the Cleanup timeline reveals that, earlier this month, the crew finished “the first weld of two floater sections” — the official start of the assembly process. Days later, the organization shared another image of what they called great progress. Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches San Francisco base in Pacific trash-busting bid Fast Company reported  that a massive floating tube, around 2,000 feet long, will serve as a U-shaped barrier to help trap plastic. It’s flexible enough to bend with ocean waves and is made of HDPE plastic — the same material that the system aims to collect, according to ABC7 News . A nylon screen attached to the tube will catch plastic beneath the waves — but not fish, as it isn’t a net. Big anchors, a concept unveiled by Slat in a presentation last year , will essentially tether the system not to the seabed, but to a deep water layer. When might we be able to see the system in action? The Road to the Cleanup timeline estimates launch will happen in the middle of this year. The first piece of the system, which is about as long as a football field, will be towed out into the ocean for tests in a few weeks. The piece will be connected to the larger system following the local tow test, and a final test 200 miles offshore will occur after assembly is finished. It will take three weeks for the system to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup could get there in August if everything goes as planned. Plastic they gather could be transformed into various  products — clothing, for example — and the Ocean Cleanup could have a shipment of plastic in late fall. + The Ocean Cleanup + Road to the Cleanup Via Fast Company and ABC7 News Images via The Ocean Cleanup

Go here to read the rest: 
The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Climate change is causing spring to come earlier in national parks

April 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Climate change is causing spring to come earlier in national parks

Each year, more than  1.5 million people attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. to glimpse a colorful sign of spring . But while this year’s peak bloom was in line with the 96-year average, over the long term spring is actually springing sooner — due to climate change . This change isn’t limited to the cherry blossoms, either; recently published maps from NASA Earth Observatory have revealed how much earlier the season is starting in national parks around America. The maps show the “rate of change (days per century since 1901)” for first leaf and first bloom, drawing on data published in 2016  by National Park Service (NPS) ecologists. NASA Earth Observatory looked at 276 parks to discover around three-quarters are experiencing earlier springs — and over half are seeing extreme early springs. Related: California’s super bloom is so gigantic you can see it from space The changes in national parks offer more evidence that climate change is happening now; according to NASA Earth Observatory, “…most parks are already experiencing and responding to climate-driven changes.” Parks have had to alter the timing of opening park facilities, hiring seasonal staff, and commencing control of invasive plants and pests. The National Cherry Blossom Festival has also been extended, so that it’s more likely for the peak bloom and the festival to overlap. According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival website, the event now takes place over four weekends , as opposed to the two weekends it lasted in 1994 (although the festival website didn’t specifically attribute the length to climate change). NPS climate change ecologist John Gross said, “Climate changes are affecting resources across the entire range of national parks. Earlier springs, as indicated by leaf and flowering dates, is one of the most obvious and easily understood effects of climate change.” The magnitude of change differs across the parks; for example, in Grand Canyon National Park , spring is appearing almost two weeks earlier than in 1901, according to NASA Earth Observatory. Conversely, some parts of the southeastern United States haven’t experienced as much change. + NASA Earth Observatory Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 ) and NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens , using data courtesy of Monahan, William B., et al. (2016)

More: 
Climate change is causing spring to come earlier in national parks

Apple says they’re "globally powered by 100% renewable energy"

April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Apple says they’re "globally powered by 100% renewable energy"

Silicon Valley’s big tech companies are hopping on the clean power bandwagon — last week, Google announced they’d purchased enough renewable energy to match the electricity they consumed in 2017, and now Apple’s making an announcement of their own: their global facilities “are powered with 100 percent clean energy .” Apple’s offices, data centers, and retail stores are all 100 percent powered by renewables, according to the company. They also said nine of their manufacturing partners committed to power their Apple production entirely with clean energy, bringing the tally of supplier commitments up to 23. Related: Google hits its incredible 100% renewable energy goal The Verge pointed out this doesn’t mean every electron or joule originally stems from wind , solar , or other clean energy plants. Some global operations are located in areas that lack access to renewables. Apple purchases enough clean energy to offset their power consumption. They buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which the Environmental Protection Agency defines as “a market-based instrument that represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. RECs are issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.” Apple said they work together with partners to construct renewable energy projects — and they have 25 operational projects worldwide with 626 megawatts (MW) in generation capacity. 15 projects are in the works, and when they’re finished, Apple can boast 1.4 gigawatts of renewable energy generation in 11 countries. Apple Park , the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters, is 100 percent powered by clean energy, according to the company, including 17 MW in rooftop solar . Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s statement, “We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it…We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.” + Apple Via The Verge Images via Apple

Here is the original post: 
Apple says they’re "globally powered by 100% renewable energy"

This pop-up camper transforms any truck into a tiny mobile home in seconds

April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This pop-up camper transforms any truck into a tiny mobile home in seconds

Adventure company  Fiftyten has just unveiled the Adventure Vehicle System, which lets anyone transform a pickup truck into a full-on adventure vehicle. Designed to be a universal fit for every double cab pickup truck, the innovative kit gives adventurers optimal flexibility when it comes to turning a regular truck into an expedition fortress. The three-part system includes a tray with side storage and pull-out rear drawer, a box that can be equipped with a kitchen module, and a pop-up camper that provides extra space for sleeping or extra storage. The innovative system consists of three parts: the tray, the box, and the tent. The tray replaces a traditional bed in order to provide side storage boxes and a large drawer at the rear. The box is installed over the tray and has t-slots for attaching furniture, shelves or a kitchen module, etc. A  pop-up rooftop tent fits on top of the box and provides shelter on the go. Related: The Air Opus pop-up camper inflates in 90 seconds flat Two lifelong outdoor enthusiasts, Stefan Decker and Benjamin Krenzer, designed this innovative concept. Their vision was to create the perfect setup for campers, fisherman, rock climbers, hikers, and others in order to make it easier to enjoy “nature, being outside and feeling the beautiful places of our earth.” In fact, rarely has one DIY kit had so much to offer in terms of making world exploration so simple. + Fiftyten Adventure Images via Fiftyten

View original here: 
This pop-up camper transforms any truck into a tiny mobile home in seconds

This couple turned an old RV into a five-person home for just $3,000

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This couple turned an old RV into a five-person home for just $3,000

Renovating an old RV is no easy feat, but ambitious couples are taking on the challenge with some seriously incredible results. When sky-high rental prices in California forced Ashley and Dino Petrone to look for alternative housing options for their family, they decided to convert a 2003 Cougar Keystone camper into one very sophisticated living space. Although it’s a mere 180 square feet, their new home is spacious enough for their large family and includes a beautiful interior design. Even more surprising, the family spent just $11,000 to create the tiny home of their dreams. The Petrones sold their five-bedroom house with hopes of building their dream home on land they purchased in Ventura, California. However, they needed a place to live while they built it. Soaring rental prices in California forced the couple to look for an alternative living situation; they solved this problem by purchasing a dilapidated Keystone camper for $8,000 and spending just $3,000 to renovate it, proving once again that brilliant home design doesn’t have to be expensive. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus After purchasing the camper, they gutted the entire rundown interior, saving absolutely nothing. “The state of the RV was old and blue and dirty. The curtains were horrible and huge and the whole feeling just felt dark,” explained Ashley. They kicked off the renovation by ripping out the camper’s carpet and replacing it with beautiful pale timber flooring. They took down the original wallpaper in the camper and replaced with it chic wooden trim. They also replaced all of the old kitchen cabinetry, as well as the built-in furniture, which took up too much space. An Ikea desktop was custom cut for the new kitchen in order to make the space as efficient as possible. Once the camper’s shell had been renovated, the family began to add custom furniture and storage solutions that would help avoid clutter. The living space is light and airy, with an abundance of natural light . The family’s sleeping quarters take up the opposite sides of the camper, with the parents in the master bedroom at one end and the kids in triple bunk beds at the opposite end. Throughout the space, the decoration is minimal, but sophisticated – the Petrones found most of the items at garage sales or discount stores. The family posts updates on their fabulous RV conversion on their website, Arrows and Bow , as well as on their Instagram page . + Arrows and Bow Via Dwell Photographs courtesy of Arrows and Bow

Read more from the original source:
This couple turned an old RV into a five-person home for just $3,000

104% of Portugal’s electricity consumption in March came from renewable energy

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 104% of Portugal’s electricity consumption in March came from renewable energy

March was a good month for renewable energy in Portugal . The country’s monthly clean energy production exceeded demand, according to a report from the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN) and the Sustainable Earth System Association (ZERO). And this likely won’t be the last time Portugal obtains so much power via clean sources; the report said, “Last month’s achievement is an example of what will happen more frequently in the near future.” APREN, citing data via power grid operator REN , said mainland Portugal’s electricity consumption was 4,647 gigawatt-hours (GWh). In March, there were 4,812 GWh of renewable electricity produced, accounting for 103.6 percent of electricity consumption. It wasn’t a completely clean month —  Reuters  said fossil fuel plants complemented the supply during short periods, but those periods “were nevertheless fully compensated by others of greater renewable production,” according to APREN’s report. Related: This German village generates 500% more energy than it needs Wind and hydropower accounted for 42 and 55 percent, respectively, of the monthly consumption. Portugal’s adoption of renewable energy allowed the nation to avoid 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions . The average daily wholesale market price dropped to 39.75 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), compared against the price of 43.94 euros per MWh during the same period the previous year. The report said, “…it is expected that by 2040 the production of renewable electricity will be able to guarantee, in a cost-effective way, the total annual electricity consumption of mainland Portugal. However, it will eventually be necessary, here and then, the use of natural gas power plants, aggregated to interconnections and storage.” IFLScience said Portugal aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. While this recent milestone is exciting, Portugal, home to around 10.3 million people, isn’t large; for comparison, Beijing’s population is more than double that at around 21.7 million people . + Portuguese Renewable Energy Association Via Reuters and IFLScience Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

Go here to read the rest: 
104% of Portugal’s electricity consumption in March came from renewable energy

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 887 access attempts in the last 7 days.