China is fighting desertification with a Great Green Wall of trees

August 31, 2017 by  
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In a major geoengineering effort to fight back against ever-encroaching desert, China is planting trees to create a “Great Green Wall” that may halt erosion, capture carbon, and provide economic benefits to the People’s Republic. By 2050, the nation of nearly 1.5 billion people aims to plant 88 million acres of woodland in an area that stretches 3,000 miles long and up to 900 miles wide. If successful, China’s reforestation project could serve as a guide for the countries of the 250 million people worldwide threatened by desertification . The vast arid land of China, which includes the historic Gobi Desert, encompasses up to 27 percent of the country’s land, and that number is growing. By 2006, nearly 1,000 square miles, an increase of 400 square miles since the 1950s, of usable land was being consumed by the desert . Desertification in China causes dust and sandstorms that contribute to poor health outcomes, the crippling of transportation routes, and economic losses, which are estimated to be in the billions of dollars every year. Related: The Great Green Wall of Africa could fight desertification and poverty The results of the project, which began in 1978, have been mixed. On the one hand, the project has provided financial stability to many previously impoverished communities located in the prospective Great Green Wall region. Government investment in infrastructure surrounding the project has also aided regional development. The Chinese government claims that the project has already yielded a decrease in sandstorms, stabilized acres of desert, and even increased precipitation . Others are more skeptical. “When it’s profitable, people tell lies,” said Cao Shixiong, a professor at Minzu University of China.  “I thought it was a very good way to combat desertification,” said Cao. However, in light of some estimates that up to 86 percent of the trees planted as part of the project have died, Cao changed his mind. “I realized it’s because of policy. We were choosing the wrong place to plant trees.” Researchers are also concerned that importing ill-suited trees into the fragile ecosystem may yield disastrous consequences in the future. “For the past 1,000 years, only shrubs and grass have grown in those areas. Why would they think planting trees would be successful?” said Sun Qingwei, a former Chinese Academy of Sciences desert researcher who now works for the National Geographic Society. “It’s not sustainable. Investing money in trees that are not supposed to be there is kind of crazy.” Time will tell if the Great Green Wall is as enduring as its stone-and-brick namesake. Via Mother Jones Lead image via Deposit photos , others via People’s Daily Online , Vaiz Ha/Flickr , and Christopher Michel/Flickr

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China is fighting desertification with a Great Green Wall of trees

62 billionaires own as much wealth as nearly 50% of global population

January 22, 2016 by  
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Since the establishment of the UN Millennium Development Goals in 2000, progress has been sporadic. While the global community has had some success  in alleviating global poverty , global wealth inequality has reached extreme new levels. 62 individuals now possess assets that combined are represent 48 percent of the world’s total wealth . This trend of top-heaviest wealth distribution shows no signs of slowing down. In a new report , Oxfam warns that by year’s end, the world’s top 1 percent will unequivocally be worth more than the rest of the world combined. Read the rest of 62 billionaires own as much wealth as nearly 50% of global population

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62 billionaires own as much wealth as nearly 50% of global population

How Microsoft harvests carbon offsets to save forests

December 4, 2013 by  
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Here's an inside look from the tech giant at how o ffset projects can promote economic development and sustainability, both locally and abroad.

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How Microsoft harvests carbon offsets to save forests

How GSA is driving building efficiency with FirstFuel

December 4, 2013 by  
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Remote audits from FirstFuel already have helped the government identify $14.5 million in energy savings. That's just the beginning.

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How GSA is driving building efficiency with FirstFuel

Can sustainable business and economic development work together?

September 6, 2013 by  
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How to bridge the gap between economic development agencies and sustainability innovators in order to build healthy economies.

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Can sustainable business and economic development work together?

Can local chambers be catalysts for clean energy?

May 16, 2013 by  
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A new report finds local chambers of commerce around the U.S.ountry are becoming major drivers of innovation and economic development with clean energy.

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Can local chambers be catalysts for clean energy?

How a new carbon standard seeks to benefit women worldwide

April 17, 2013 by  
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A portion of the profits from offset credits will fund female social and economic development programs.

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How a new carbon standard seeks to benefit women worldwide

Aurea Golden Grass Furniture and Decor Will Add a Sustainable Shimmer to Any Space

August 24, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Aurea Golden Grass Furniture and Decor Will Add a Sustainable Shimmer to Any Space Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amanda Coen , Amanda Silvana Coen , artisan made , Aurea , Aurea Golden Grass , Brazil , Brazilian company , Cristiane Kimura , eco design , eco home , eco-friendly , economic development , Environmentally Friendly , Fair Trade , golden grass , green design , green home , handmade , home goods , inhabitat , Inhabitat.com , international development , jewelry design , Naturatins , new york international gift fair , nyigf , Organic , organic product , organically grown , pesticide free , product design , renewable resource , skilled artisans , skilled craftsmanship , social business , social enterprise , socially responsible , sustainable design , sustainable home , Sustainable Materials

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Aurea Golden Grass Furniture and Decor Will Add a Sustainable Shimmer to Any Space

Heat-Proof Camouflage Make-Up Could Protect Soldiers and Firefighters From Explosions and Flames

August 24, 2012 by  
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A team from the University of Southern Mississippi has developed a form of camouflage face makeup that not only prevents soldiers from being seen by the enemy, but also shields their faces from the searing heat of bomb blasts . The innovation represents one of the biggest fundamental changes in military camouflage for thousands of years. However the new make-up won’t just be for military purposes – the scientists who developed it think that the heat-resistant face paint could also help firefighters . Read the rest of Heat-Proof Camouflage Make-Up Could Protect Soldiers and Firefighters From Explosions and Flames Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: American Chemical Society , bomb blasts , department of defense , firefighters , heat-proof , heat-proof makeup , makeup , military camouflage , UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI , us military , war paint

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Heat-Proof Camouflage Make-Up Could Protect Soldiers and Firefighters From Explosions and Flames

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