Climate change is wreaking havoc on Italy’s olive harvests

March 8, 2019 by  
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Italy is facing a major climate change crisis as the country’s olive harvests continue to decline. Italy’s olive industry has witnessed a 57 percent decrease in olive production, and according to a leading climate scientist, extreme weather is at the forefront of the crop shortage. Olive tree farms across Italy have been devastated by weather-related events this past year, including heavy rainfalls, unpredictable frosts, droughts and powerful winds. All of these weather patterns coincide with what climate scientists have predicted would happen in the event of global warming . Related: Biodiversity decline puts food supply at risk “There are clear observational patterns that point to these types of weather extremes as the main drivers of [lower] food productivity,” Professor Riccardo Valentini explained. Valentini noted that below-zero temperatures are not common in Italy, and extremes like this were foretold through climate change models. Research from the United Nation’s climate change panel also predicted similar weather patterns and indicates that the worst is yet to come. When it comes to olive trees, any abrupt change in temperature can have a devastating effect on the harvest. Valentini explained how a day or two of freezing temperatures can harm the trees and hurt their development. After they have experienced extreme weather , the trees never fully recover and are more susceptible to disease and pest infestations. As a whole, temperatures in Italy and the surrounding Mediterranean have gone up by around 1.4C over the past century, while rainfall has decreased by a staggering 2.5 percent. The changes in weather have cost the country over 1 billion dollars in olive production. Government officials are scrambling to come up with a viable solution but have yet to offer any resources for farmers in the region. Italy is not the only country affected by the changes in weather. The European commission recently predicted that olive harvests in Portugal will decline by around 20 percent this coming year. Greece will take a much larger hit with a decline of around 42 percent. All signs point to a continually increasing problem for European countries, as putting a stop to climate change is proving to be an intricate issue. Via The Guardian Images via vpzotova

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Climate change is wreaking havoc on Italy’s olive harvests

Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

February 20, 2019 by  
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The Ivory Queen of China was just hit with a 15-year prison term for smuggling illegal ivory in Asia. A court in Tanzania found Yang Feng Glan, who earned the nickname “Ivory Queen” for her unlawful business activities, guilty of illegally trading close to 2 tons of ivory tusks, which represents more than 350 elephants . This is not the first time Glan has been charged with ivory smuggling. Back in the fall of 2015, she was busted for shipping 860 ivory pieces through Asia from 2000 to 2004. The illegal goods were estimated to be worth around $5.6 million. Glan and her accomplices, two men from Tanzania, denied the allegations. Related: Illegal ivory trade continues to thrive in Europe As a businesswoman with connections in the Tanzanian government, Glan positioned herself to take advantage of the illegal ivory trade. According to Reuters , Glan has resided in Tanzania for the past 40 years and was appointed to the country’s China-Africa Business Council as the secretary general. She is also fluent in Swahili and operates an eatery in Dar es Salaam. The magistrate who presided over the case, Huruma Shaidi, handed down a sentence of 15 years for Glan and her two partners in crime: Manase Philemon and Salivius Matembo. The magistrate also ruled that all three criminals have to pay twice the value of the illegal ivory. If they fail to pay the penalty, two years will be added to their sentence. “[Glan] intentionally did organize, manage and finance a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling government trophies,” court records stated. Authorities in China fully supported the ruling from the Tanzanian court. Conservationists around the world also applauded the conviction, though some groups thought the punishment was too light, especially considering how Glan oversaw the killing of thousands of elephants in Tanzania. The elephant population in Tanzania has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. In 2009, there were as many as 110,000 elephants in the country. That number was reduced to only 43,000 in 2014. Environmentalists and conservation groups believe that the illegal ivory trade is the main reason behind the significant drop in numbers. Via Reuters Image via Shutterstock

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Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

10 minutes with Tom Vilsack

February 18, 2019 by  
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Technology has made farming far more productive than in the past, but the story remains largely untold to consumers.

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10 minutes with Tom Vilsack

Is your company’s pension plan aligned with its climate commitments?

February 18, 2019 by  
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Some of the U.K.’s biggest pension plans are at risk, according to a new report.

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Is your company’s pension plan aligned with its climate commitments?

New research shows that emissions are rising in the United States again — it’s time to look to Europe

January 11, 2019 by  
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After some years of emissions falling, this year represents one of the highest rise in U.S. carbon emissions in the past two decades.

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New research shows that emissions are rising in the United States again — it’s time to look to Europe

VERGE Vanguard honorees celebrate clean economy achievements in 2018

December 26, 2018 by  
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Pioneers in renewable energy, urban mobility and the circular economy reflect on significant breakthroughs of the past 12 months.

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VERGE Vanguard honorees celebrate clean economy achievements in 2018

Considering a CSA? How To Pick One That Works for You

August 24, 2018 by  
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For the past decade, our household has been buying much … The post Considering a CSA? How To Pick One That Works for You appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Considering a CSA? How To Pick One That Works for You

Infographic: Food Waste in the US

August 24, 2018 by  
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In the United States, we waste between 30 to 40 … The post Infographic: Food Waste in the US appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Food Waste in the US

The power of engagement and intrapreneurism in sustainability leadership

July 14, 2018 by  
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Excerpt from a new book on the past, present and future of corporate sustainability leaders.

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The power of engagement and intrapreneurism in sustainability leadership

Puerto Rico sets the stage for microgrids

June 5, 2018 by  
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The island has been largely left in the dark for the past eight months. Enter the mini-grids?

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Puerto Rico sets the stage for microgrids

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