The environmental trail of the global charcoal supply chain

April 2, 2020 by  
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Use of the fuel is alive and well, with devastating implications for forests in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The environmental trail of the global charcoal supply chain

Why protecting soil carbon is a win-win for farmers and the planet

April 2, 2020 by  
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The benefits of protecting and restoring soil carbon go well beyond any one farm or any one year. But not enough people are taking these steps.

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Why protecting soil carbon is a win-win for farmers and the planet

Weekly climate disasters give new urgency to resilience

July 9, 2019 by  
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Somewhere in the world, there is a climate disaster unfolding every week. According to the leading disaster risk reduction adviser for the United Nation’s secretary general, climate related disasters are affecting thousands of people every week, whether or not they get media coverage. The U.N.’s adviser, Mami Mizutori, told reporters that governments need to adjust their policies to not only prioritize but mandate disaster-resilient infrastructure immediately. According to Mizutori, a 3 percent budget increase for all new infrastructure projects could cover the additional cost of making such projects resilient to storms, floods and other climate-related crises. That 3 percent rise in spending equates to a total of $2.7 trillion USD by 2040. While anything in the trillions might seem like a lot of money to the average person, when it is spread around the world’s nearly 200 countries across 20 years, the price tag is actually quite modest. In comparison, the U.N. estimates that these climate disasters cost the world at least $520 billion USD every year, so it seems logical to invest a little into reducing not only that cost but also the loss of lives. Related: Disaster-resilient housing saves lives and dollars “Resilience needs to become a commodity that people will pay for,” warned Mizutori. “This is not a lot of money [in the context of infrastructure spending], but investors have not been doing enough.” Most of the discussion about climate change at the international level revolves around reducing carbon emissions per nations’ Paris Climate Agreement commitments. While mitigation is important, curbing future emissions to reach a target and limit global warming does nothing to reduce the suffering of those impacted yesterday and today. According to the World Bank, there will be 143 million people displaced by climate-related incidences by 2050, and that’s only counting those from Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Low-cost, nature-based adaptation strategies are promising, such as restoring mangrove forests that protect coastal residents from sea-level rise, erosion and flooding. In order to adequately address the scale of these disasters though, a combined natural and built infrastructure approach will be necessary. According to Mizutori, these resilient solutions will require not only international collaboration but unlikely partnerships within governments as well. For example, most governments have separate departments for the environment and for infrastructure, but progressing toward resilience will require unprecedented collaboration at a scale that matches the unprecedented threat of climate change. Via Eco News and The Guardian Image via Jim Gade

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Weekly climate disasters give new urgency to resilience

Follow this diet for both personal and planetary health

January 21, 2019 by  
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If you have been looking for the ideal diet for your own personal health that also benefits the planet, a scientific research team from the University of London may have the perfect answer — the “Planetary Health” diet. According to the London scientists, the ideal diet includes doubling your consumption of plant-based foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes, while cutting your meat and sugar intake in half. The researchers said that if everyone followed this diet , it could prevent more than 11 million premature deaths each year, reduce greenhouse gases and preserve land, water and biodiversity. “The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” said Tim Lang, a professor at the University of London who co-led the research. Related: Vegan diets deliver more environmental benefits than sustainable dairy or meat Lang added that “we need a significant overhaul” of the global food system if we want to be able to feed our growing population, which could hit 10 billion by 2050, with a healthy and sustainable diet. This means completely transforming eating habits, but it will also require better food production and a reduction of food waste . After a three-year project commissioned by The Lancet health journal, the researchers are proposing a planetary diet that is a combination of different food groups. They recommend a balance of macronutrients and a limit of 2,500 calories each day. Related: Is a flexitarian diet right for you? In general, they recommend doubling plant-based food intake and cutting meat and sugar in half. But for some regions, it could mean even more dramatic change. For example, North Americans eat 6.5 times more than the recommended amount of red meat in the planetary diet, and people in South Asia eat about half the recommended amount. Residents of sub-Saharan Africa eat 7.5 times the suggested amount of starchy vegetables. The researchers admitted that hoping everyone switches to a planetary health diet is ambitious. However, Walter Willett of Harvard University said, “If we can’t quite make it, it’s better to try and get as close as we can.” + Eat Forum Via Reuters Image via  Martina Aubrechtová  

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Follow this diet for both personal and planetary health

Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

May 15, 2017 by  
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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

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Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to sustainable energy

August 18, 2015 by  
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Some 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, and the need is acute in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to sustainable energy

Are absolute or intensity targets better to curb your carbon footprint?

August 18, 2015 by  
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Should companies consider the bigger climate picture when setting emissions targets, or is it more valuable to compare carbon to economic output?

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Are absolute or intensity targets better to curb your carbon footprint?

3D-printed Wind Turbine Fits in Your Backpack!

August 18, 2014 by  
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Portable solar power has already taken off, but what about when the sun goes down? Could massive wind turbines be scaled down for personal use? Poznan, Poland-based 3D printer manufacturer Omni3d has developed a 3D-printed, foldable wind turbine that can generate up to 300W of clean electricity — enough to power multiple smartphones, laptops, lightbulbs and other small appliances. The AirEnergy 3D can fit in a backpack and could be used for everyone from campers in North America to villagers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read the rest of 3D-printed Wind Turbine Fits in Your Backpack! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , 300W , AirEnergy 3D , Omni3d , Poland , portable renewable energy , portable wind power , portable wind turbine , renewable power , wind turbine fits in a backpack

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3D-printed Wind Turbine Fits in Your Backpack!

Solar-Powered Irrigation Increases Vegetable Intake by 500% in Rural Africa

January 5, 2010 by  
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According to a new study, solar-powered irrigation systems have significantly enhanced both the household incomes and the nutritional intake of villagers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Solar-Powered Irrigation Increases Vegetable Intake by 500% in Rural Africa

50% More Civil War In Africa by 2030… Thanks to Climate Change

November 24, 2009 by  
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image: Future Atlas via flickr . I’m sure you’ve heard estimates someone say how civil strife is likely to increase because of climate change . It’s an oft-cited notion, but until now the linkages hadn’t really been examined in a systematic, causal way.

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50% More Civil War In Africa by 2030… Thanks to Climate Change

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