Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands

June 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands

Many U.S. states are setting renewable energy goals, turning to hydropower as a cheap source of cleaner energy. But for Inuit hunters in far eastern Canada , Americans’ demand for cheap, renewable energy, particularly in the form of hydropower, is ruining traditional hunting grounds. The remote community of Rigolet on the northern coast of Labrador is downstream from Muskrat Falls, a dam on the Churchill River and an important drainage point for the province’s biggest watershed. The state-owned company Nalcor built the dam and has another — which would produce thrice the electricity — in the works. Most of the energy is exported to the U.S. Related: Fish-friendly whirlpool turbine makes hydropower green again But the Nunatsiavut government, which represents the area’s 2,700 Inuit people, said the dams disrupt ecosystems and expose residents to increased amounts of naturally occurring mercury. Flooding land unlocks mercury from the ground. Once it gets into the water, bacteria transforms it into methylmercury, a neurotoxin that gets into fish, waterbirds and seals as well as the people who eat these animals. The Inuit community living in Labrador already have higher methylmercury concentrations than non-Indigenous Canadians. “When they poison the water , they poison us,” said David Wolfrey, Rigolet conservation officer. These issues are all too common among First Nations people in Canada. A 2016 survey found that of 22 planned Canadian hydropower projects, all were within 60 miles of one or more Indigenous communities. Many U.S. states have announced ambitious energy goals in the last few years, including Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and California. Lacking ways to generate this much energy locally, they’ve turned their gaze toward Canada. The northern neighbor of the U.S. is second only to China in hydropower production. Canada already has 900 large-scale dams which supply about 60% of Canada’s domestic energy needs, and the country has big plans for tripling output and damming the last wild rivers. Nalcor and other dam-building companies have offered Indigenous populations money and support for local community initiatives. But residents are divided, and many will never be won over, such as Alex Saunders, an Inuit citizen who has been treated for methylmercury poisoning. “Think about what you’re buying here,” he said, as reported in The Guardian. “You’re buying the misery from the local people of northern Canada. That’s not a good thing.” Via The Guardian Image via Pixabay

Read the original post: 
Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands

Why the private sector needs to invest in conservation agriculture right now

June 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Why the private sector needs to invest in conservation agriculture right now

Why the private sector needs to invest in conservation agriculture right now William Ginn Sat, 06/06/2020 – 02:00 This is an excerpt from ” Valuing Nature ” by William J. Ginn. Copyright 2020 William J. Ginn. Reproduced here with permission from Island Press, Washington, D.C.  Resistance to change is universal. For example, despite more than 30 years of good science and best practices that support conservation agriculture in the United States, less than 5 percent of U.S. soy, wheat, and corn farmers use cover crops, and only 25 percent have adopted crop rotation and conservation tillage practices, even though the country is losing more than 10 billion tons of soil each year as well as more than $50 billion in social and environmental benefits. One challenge is the increasing percentage of farms owned by investors who lease land year to year to the highest bidder, which gives farmers little incentive to invest in conservation practices that might take years to be fully realized. Nevertheless, [The Nature Conservancy (TNC)], along with a consortium of farmers’ groups and a contingent of seed and fertilizer companies, has set a goal of getting half of the country’s wheat, soy, and corn crops into conservation tillage by [2025] (PDF). To achieve this goal, the same kind of incentives, extension services, and creative financial mechanisms being advocated for in the developing world are going to be needed in the United States too. Building capacity and providing patient capital at the farmer level is a big challenge; at NatureVest, it is referred to as the last-mile problem. Although big-picture interventions are often understood in theory, the capacity of farmers to implement these solutions on the ground is often quite limited. Nearly everywhere these challenges exist, we need to dramatically increase the number of intermediaries who can help farmers through the difficult but necessary transition to new cropping and livestock-raising systems. It is all high-risk business, and as such, it is not always successful. Several years ago, TNC entered into an agreement with an agricultural consulting company in Argentina with the objective of helping farmers improve sheep-grazing practices. Years of overgrazing had left the region’s grasslands substantially degraded; in fact, at one point in the early years of Patagonia’s colonization, more than 45 million sheep roamed free. Today, the region is home to between 5 million and 8 million sheep, but even that number may be too many. Building capacity and providing patient capital at the farmer level is a big challenge; at NatureVest, it is referred to as the last-mile problem. The restoration plan, called the Patagonia Grassland Regeneration and Sustainability Standard, or GRASS for short, incorporated conservation science, planning, and monitoring into the management plans of wool producers. The idea was not new: rather than grazing sheep in one place continually, they are moved in and out of different pastures depending on the conditions of the grasses. This practice encourages more diversity of native grass species and expanded yields from the revitalized pastures. Done well, ranchers, sheep, native plants, and animals can thrive together. But what motivates ranchers to make these investments in better management and fencing? The basic business idea of GRASS was to improve management practices on ranches and produce a certified wool product that would attract buyers willing to pay more for sustainably grown wool. The program attracted two early adopters, Patagonia, Inc ., a brand committed to sourcing their raw materials sustainably, and Stella McCartney , a high-end clothing manufacturer and daughter of Paul McCartney. Prior to this venture, both companies had been buying their wool primarily from Australia and New Zealand, but for Patagonia in particular, a shift to sourcing from Argentina provided a nice opportunity for alignment with their brand. Dozens of ranches signed up to participate, and many saw measurable yield improvements, even though the initial wool purchases were small. Despite the program’s early successes, the program became unraveled when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released video footage of alleged animal abuse occurring at some of the ranches. As chief conservation officer of TNC at the time, I can say that I was not very happy with these practices, but I thought some of the allegations were overblown. For example, PETA considers docking tails of sheep to be inhumane, yet it is long-standing practice that arguably improves the health of animals. Nevertheless, both Patagonia and Stella McCartney abruptly ended their contracts with GRASS, and without a market partner, the program has failed to scale to a commercial model. Although any improvement in grazing is useful, the expected impact across the landscape now seems a distant objective. Because feeding the world is an absolute imperative, farmers, investors, and aid organizations continue their quests for new models of sustainable intensification that will both feed more people and restore the soils and hydrological systems that are essential to agriculture. Providing capital in a way that reaches the hundreds of millions of small farmers across the globe as well as the necessary skills and technical expertise is a challenge that will remain for years, but business opportunities abound. Our shared natural assets — soil, water, and a stable climate — will only increase in value as the world demands more food. Pull Quote Building capacity and providing patient capital at the farmer level is a big challenge; at NatureVest, it is referred to as the last-mile problem. Topics Corporate Strategy Food & Agriculture Biodiversity Books Food & Agriculture Conservation Conservation Finance Collective Insight GreenBiz Reads Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Flock of sheep in Patagonia, Chile. Shutterstock gg-foto Close Authorship

See more here:
Why the private sector needs to invest in conservation agriculture right now

The Time for Change Has Arrived, Turn to Justice and Sustainability for a Way Forward

June 4, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on The Time for Change Has Arrived, Turn to Justice and Sustainability for a Way Forward

Our country suffered catastrophic injuries during the last week with … The post The Time for Change Has Arrived, Turn to Justice and Sustainability for a Way Forward appeared first on Earth911.com.

Read the original:
The Time for Change Has Arrived, Turn to Justice and Sustainability for a Way Forward

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

May 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Your mom gave you life, so it’s understandable that you’d … The post Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas appeared first on Earth911.com.

Continued here:
Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Q1 2020: Google, Amazon show creativity in new renewable deals as COVID-19 slows the market

April 21, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Q1 2020: Google, Amazon show creativity in new renewable deals as COVID-19 slows the market

But this may be the last stretch of typical clean energy procurement activity in a while.

Originally posted here:
Q1 2020: Google, Amazon show creativity in new renewable deals as COVID-19 slows the market

Earth911 Inspiration: Would the Last Animal Forgive Us?

April 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Inspiration: Would the Last Animal Forgive Us?

Award-winning author Barry Lopez often writes about the relationship between … The post Earth911 Inspiration: Would the Last Animal Forgive Us? appeared first on Earth911.com.

Here is the original post:
Earth911 Inspiration: Would the Last Animal Forgive Us?

Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

January 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

In the last decade, we’ve seen an increase in alternative … The post Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources appeared first on Earth911.com.

Original post:
Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

January 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

In the last decade, we’ve seen an increase in alternative … The post Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources appeared first on Earth911.com.

Original post:
Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

A decade in review: the most underrated clean energy stories

December 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on A decade in review: the most underrated clean energy stories

Energy leaders share their views on the most important developments of the last and upcoming decades.

View original here:
A decade in review: the most underrated clean energy stories

Temperatures are rising — your voice should too

December 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Temperatures are rising — your voice should too

After COP 25’s conversations, it’s time for action.

The rest is here:
Temperatures are rising — your voice should too

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1172 access attempts in the last 7 days.