‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is supposed to protect all of the world’s seeds, but climate change has other ideas. The vault was built inside the Arctic Circle to protect a diverse seed collection from natural disasters, war, and other calamities, but meltwater from thawing permafrost recently flooded the vault’s entrance tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault , tucked in a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, was thought to offer failsafe protection, according to The Crop Trust , the organization behind the facility. Nearly a million packets of seeds can be found within, ready to offer a measure of food security for the world. But record high temperatures melted permafrost around the seed vault, and water breached the vault’s entrance. Related: 50,000 new seeds deposited in Arctic Circle’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault The seeds weren’t harmed, according to a statement on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault website, and the facility wasn’t damaged either. The water that did enter froze and has since been hacked out. But the seeds’ future safety is suddenly in question. Hege Njaa Aschim, Director of Communications at Norway’s construction and property agency, Statsbygg, told The Guardian, “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that [the vault] would experience extreme weather like that…It was supposed to [operate] without the help of humans, but now we are watching the seed vault 24 hours a day.” Vault managers have already taken steps to fortify the vault, such as digging trenches to channel water away and working to waterproof the tunnel that stretches into the mountain. They’ve installed pumps inside the seed vault to help get rid of water in case of flooding in the future. They also took out some electrical equipment that generated heat in the tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s statement on the incident said, “Globally, the Seed Vault is, and will continue to be, the safest backup of crop diversity .” Via The Guardian Images via Global Crop Diversity Trust on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

More:
‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

$63k tiny home manages to feel open and airy in just 188 square feet

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

As much as we love  tiny home  living, it can be undeniably cramped sometimes. The home builders from Tumbleweed Houses are rising to meet the challenge of creating a spacious-feeling living space in a compact footprint. The company just unveiled their latest compact home, the Roanoke, which uses a 10-foot-high ceiling topped with a shed style roof to add flexible space to the 188-square-foot, off-grid home. The compact trailer was built to provide flexibility in terms of space and location, but also has a charming aesthetic. A wood paneled exterior gives the home a traditional cabin feel on one side, while a sophisticated black metal roof and backside adds a touch of modernity to the design. The Roanoke is built on a RVIA Certified, Low-Wider trailer, which means it can be transported virtually anywhere. Although it comes with standard water and electricity connections, it can be equipped to be 100% off-grid. Related: This amazing light-filled tiny house packs big style for just $35k The sophisticated feel of the tiny cabin continues on to the all-wood interior. The highlight of the space is undoubtedly its 10-foot-high ceilings which, along with tons of natural light, gives the home an open, airy quality. Various storage system s such as built-in storage nooks and various cubby holes keep the space clutter free. The bottom floor houses a spacious kitchen, bath and master bedroom or office space. Thanks to the slanted roof, a space was carved out for an upstairs sleeping loft, which can be reached by ladder. This flexible sleeping arrangement was designed so that young couples could use the loft as a bedroom and the master as an office space in their younger, more agile years. As the couple ages, the loft space can be used for storage space and the office can be converted into a master bedroom. + Tumbleweed Houses Images via Tumbleweed Houses  

View original post here: 
$63k tiny home manages to feel open and airy in just 188 square feet

Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Over 7.5 billion people now reside on planet Earth , according to the World Population Clock . But with more people could comes less access to resources like food and energy . A global population of 7.5 billion people has far-reaching repercussions – including increased greenhouse gas emissions , strained food supplies, and increased total consumption, according to Charity organization Population Matters . Population Matters says that population growth could keep some countries in poverty , and it intrudes on land needed by wildlife . Head of Campaigns Alistair Currie told edie.net , “We will see cutthroat competition for shrinking resources which will include not just fossil fuels but productive land and water, pushing prices up not just for consumers but for the businesses and industries which need them too. Huge potential markets like much of sub-Saharan Africa will be stuck in poverty and we’ll see political instability arising from population and migration pressures, including conflict over resources.” China has the most people in one country; 1.38 billion people live there. India is next with 1.34 billion, followed by the United States with 326 million. The United Nations thinks our global population will hit 10 billion people by the year 2056. Related: Scientists say the world is “one crop breeding cycle away from starvation” Currie warned that while businesses may see increased global population as the opportunity to gain more customers, too much growth won’t be good for our planet – or business. He said, “Growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet and fewer consumers is ultimately better for all of us. Business must start recognizing and adapting to that reality. With action now, we can limit population growth and eventually reach sustainable levels.” We’re currently using up the resources of 1.6 Earths , and we’ll need 3 Earths by 2050 unless we can alter our consumption patterns. + Population Matters Via edie Images via Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino on Flickr and McKay Savage on Flickr

View post: 
Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Over 7.5 billion people now reside on planet Earth , according to the World Population Clock . But with more people could comes less access to resources like food and energy . A global population of 7.5 billion people has far-reaching repercussions – including increased greenhouse gas emissions , strained food supplies, and increased total consumption, according to Charity organization Population Matters . Population Matters says that population growth could keep some countries in poverty , and it intrudes on land needed by wildlife . Head of Campaigns Alistair Currie told edie.net , “We will see cutthroat competition for shrinking resources which will include not just fossil fuels but productive land and water, pushing prices up not just for consumers but for the businesses and industries which need them too. Huge potential markets like much of sub-Saharan Africa will be stuck in poverty and we’ll see political instability arising from population and migration pressures, including conflict over resources.” China has the most people in one country; 1.38 billion people live there. India is next with 1.34 billion, followed by the United States with 326 million. The United Nations thinks our global population will hit 10 billion people by the year 2056. Related: Scientists say the world is “one crop breeding cycle away from starvation” Currie warned that while businesses may see increased global population as the opportunity to gain more customers, too much growth won’t be good for our planet – or business. He said, “Growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet and fewer consumers is ultimately better for all of us. Business must start recognizing and adapting to that reality. With action now, we can limit population growth and eventually reach sustainable levels.” We’re currently using up the resources of 1.6 Earths , and we’ll need 3 Earths by 2050 unless we can alter our consumption patterns. + Population Matters Via edie Images via Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino on Flickr and McKay Savage on Flickr

Read the original:
Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A new survey of the world’s dryland habitats has found a massive amount of previously unreported forests — 467 million hectares (over 1.1 billion acres), which is 45 percent more forest than found in past surveys. The newly discovered dryland forests cover an area equivalent to 60 percent of the size of Australia, putting dryland forest extent on par with tropical rainforests and boreal forests. The discovery could be good news for reversing global warming as it increases the estimates of total global forest carbon stocks by 15 gigatons to 158 gigatons — an increase of 2 percent to 20 percent. Although dryland biomes occupy more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface, these forests were previously difficult to spot because of the relatively low density of the trees . Technological advances have made it easier to accurately measure dryland forests as demonstrated in this survey. The scientists used Google Earth Engine to analyze high-resolution satellite images of more than 210,000 dryland sites in order to determine tree number and density. The researchers then compared samples of their findings with field information for accuracy. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth The study’s authors point out the importance of understanding dryland forests and dryland ecosystems because climate modeling suggests these biomes could expand by 11 percent to 23 percent by the end of the century, covering more than half of the Earth’s land surface. “Considering the potential of dryland forests to stave off desertification and to fight climate change by storing carbon, it will be crucial to keep monitoring the health of these forests, now that we know they are there,” said University of Adelaide School of Biological Sciences professors Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow, co-authors of the study. + The extent of forest in dryland biomes Via Phys.org Images via TERN AusPlots

More: 
Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

Google requested to label anti-fracking websites as fake news

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Google requested to label anti-fracking websites as fake news

Following the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election , search engine website Google rewrote its engine algorithm to bury “fake news.” They were consequently blamed for Hillary Clinton’s loss and the “propaganda” which supposedly defamed President Trump . Since then, the phrase “ fake news ” has been a readily-used one. And, members of the industry-funded Texans for Natural Gas are taking advantage of it by urging Google to include anti- fracking websites in its list of sources that lack integrity and accuracy. In an open letter to Google which was published on Monday, the group wrote , “We believe many of the most prominent anti- fracking websites have content that is misleading, false, or offensive – if not all three. As a result, we urge you to consider purging or demoting these websites from your algorithm, which in turn will encourage a more honest public discussion about hydraulic fracturing , and oil and natural gas development in general.” Bloomberg reported in April that due to immense pressure to eliminate fake news , or what the company calls “low-quality” content, Google raters now “assess search results — to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls ‘low-quality’ content.” The process in question is hydraulic fracturing ( fracking ), which involves injecting large amounts of water, mixed with sand and an assortment of chemicals, deep into the ground to unlock reserves of oil and natural gas . The drilling technique is responsible for igniting the energy boom, but many environmentalists view it as a threat to the planet. This is because the process may contaminate groundwater, pollute the air and threaten wildlands. Additionally, some scientists believe fracking causes earthquakes, as Inhabitat previously reported . Related: EPA finally admits fracking contaminates drinking water Though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did announce in 2015 that no widespread evidence was found proving that fracking contaminates groundwater, it later reversed its decision. In late 2016, the EPA concluded that there is evidence that fracking has contaminated drinking water in all stages of the process. Because of these findings, many citizens are adamant that they deserve the right to be skeptical of the process, especially considering the country’s reliance on fossil fuels is propelling climate change . Texans for Natural Gas believe otherwise, however. The group wrote to Google, “Claims made by the radical environmentalist campaign against hydraulic fracturing are protected by the First Amendment.” “Groups that wish to peddle misleading information about oil and natural gas are fully within their rights to do so. Many of the groups engaging in anti-fracking advocacy have devoted significant resources to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and as a result they receive significant web traffic,” they added. “But that is no reason for Google to reward such misinformation with its powerful search engine. We urge you consider adding these groups’ websites to your review of fake news and the kinds of content that you do not wish to promote.” Via The Daily Signal Images via Bloomberg

View post:
Google requested to label anti-fracking websites as fake news

World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

President Donald Trump’s policies don’t just impact the United States. As climate change grows increasingly dangerous, executive orders on the Clean Power Plan and fossil fuel development in a top greenhouse gas-producing country have consequences for other countries as well. The Guardian spoke with world leaders, some of whom were involved in the 2015 Paris climate deal , who agree it would be disastrous if Trump were to pull America out of the historic agreement. Trump threatened to pull out of the Paris agreement on the campaign trail, and has yet to follow through. But he’s taken shots at the environment anyway, by rolling back pollution rules including Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. He could make a decision on the agreement as soon as this week, and former Brazilian environment minister Izabella Teixeira, instrumental in Paris, said the situation reminds her of when George W. Bush pulled away from Kyoto protocol. Related: ExxonMobil exhorts White House to keep Paris agreement Former head of climate policy in Uruguay Ramón Méndez, who was present in Paris in 2015, said it was an extraordinarily strong shock to hear of Trump rolling back the Clean Power Plan. He said of all the policies the president has pursued, this one holds the worst consequences for the rest of the world. He also told The Guardian if the U.S. leaves the Paris agreement, “it will make it harder for other countries to maintain their ambitions.” Trump advisers reportedly can’t decide if pulling out of the agreement would be worth the diplomatic fallout sure to follow. But United Nations environment chief Erik Solheim pointed to an economic fallout as well. He told Reuters , “The future is green. Obviously if you are not a party to the Paris agreement, you will lose out. And the main losers of course will be the people of the United States itself because all the interesting, fascinating new green jobs would go to China and to the other parts of the world that are investing heavily in this.” Even if Trump doesn’t back out of the agreement, he still needs to take action. Peking University expert Zhang Haibin told The Guardian the president could pursue a semi-withdrawal instead: “I think the greater likelihood is that Trump will end up not pulling out of the pact but instead adopting a passive approach towards it [and] meeting none of its commitments.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons and Michael Vadon on Flickr

Go here to see the original: 
World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

Would you like to travel to Mars? Get in line. According to Stephen Hawking , humans need to leave planet Earth within 100 years or perish due to overpopulation, climate change , disease and artificial intelligence. In the past, Hawking claimed that humans had about 1,000 years left on the planet. In BBC’s Expedition New Earth documentary, however, he states that humans must colonize Mars within the next century if they have any hope of survival. Throughout the program, Hawking reveals the technological and scientific advances that will enable life to exist on other planets . According to BBC , the documentary will show “Hawking’s ambition isn’t as fantastical as it sounds—that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought.” Related: Stephen Hawking announces plan to explore Alpha Centauri for alien life The goal to transport billions of people to colonies on Mars may not be as outlandish as it seems. After all, Elon Musk of SpaceX is already planning to send humans (on a one-way trip) to Mars within the next decade, reports The Telegraph. Some, such as columnist Eric Mack, are shaking their heads at the notion, however. In an article published on Forbes , Mack expressed that a reality check is needed for anyone who believes Mars, the moon, or other nearby planets are more hospital than Earth after countless disasters. “Just cleaning up our own mess and starting over by rising from the rubble seems more practical” and more affordable than learning new methods of growing food or surviving radiation poisoning on Mars, he wrote . The columnist also added that “somehow, the grass is always greener for some people, even when it’s on a dead Red Planet.” + Expedition New Earth Via Telegraph

Read the original post:
Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

Calling all CSOs: This is your defining moment

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Calling all CSOs: This is your defining moment

When the history books are written about global warming, will your CEO and your company be on the right side of history or the wrong side?

Go here to see the original:
Calling all CSOs: This is your defining moment

Why so many businesses want to save Energy Star

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Why so many businesses want to save Energy Star

The federal government’s marquee energy-efficiency program has enough funds to last through September. After that, its future is uncertain.

Go here to see the original:
Why so many businesses want to save Energy Star

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1177 access attempts in the last 7 days.