Brooklyn SolarWorks can turn almost any rooftop into a sun-powered oasis

April 30, 2018 by  
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Brooklyn SolarWorks wants to help bring solar power  to  New Yorkers . Stunning new renderings of the company’s Solar Canopy envision how city dwellers might benefit from this innovative product. The Solar Canopy offers solar in spots where traditional  solar panels can’t go because of fire codes or obstacles. Beyond just generating clean energy , the canopy could create new living spaces and redefine urban solar. Brooklyn SolarWorks’ Solar Canopy, designed with SITU Studio , has been around for a while, popping up around New York City in Park Slope, Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy to name a few. The new renderings paint a picture of what urban solar power could look like; for example, a relaxing rooftop dining area. Related: Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter The Brooklyn SolarWorks website  says the company is “capable of putting solar panels on almost anything. Whether you have ample roof space free of obstacles or your roof is littered with vent pipes, skylights, and hatches, we will likely be able to figure out a solar solution.” The Solar Canopy is one of those solutions. By raising solar panels nine feet above rooftops, the company can work around restrictive fire codes. Brooklyn SolarWorks uses different panels depending on the job at hand; two of the most popular are Silfab’s SLA-M 310 Wp Monocrystalline panels  that offer “100 percent maximum power density” and  LG NeON 2 355W panels , which use thinner wires for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. You don’t have to leave your couch to check out the Solar Canopy; Brooklyn SolarWorks offers an immersive 3D model  that you can explore with virtual reality goggles. Find out more about the company and its innovative products on the Brooklyn SolarWorks website . + Brooklyn SolarWorks Images courtesy of Brooklyn SolarWorks

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Brooklyn SolarWorks can turn almost any rooftop into a sun-powered oasis

Unreleased internal FDA emails show glyphosate weedkiller residue in almost every food tested

April 30, 2018 by  
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For the past two years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for the weedkiller glyphosate , but the agency hasn’t released any results of their findings. This week, The Guardian , using a freedom of information request, found that the FDA has had “trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.” Not only that, but the levels tested are higher than the legal limit allowed in foods. Glyphosate is best known as the weedkiller in Monsanto’s Roundup products and it is sprayed directly onto crops and soil to suppress weeds. It is used on everything from corn, soybean, wheat, oats, to spinach and almonds.  Internal FDA documents show that scientists have found traces of glyphosate in a wide variety of foods. “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote in an email in January 2017. In fact, the only food Thompson readily found that was glyphosate-free was broccoli. Related: California adds Monsanto’s glyphosate to list of chemicals known to cause cancer These tests are the first time the FDA has attempted to figure out how much of the weedkiller is showing up in our food. Many groups have criticized the FDA for taking so long to do so because glyphosate is a commonly-used chemical that has been utilized in food production for four decades. It was declared a possible carcinogen in 2015. In another email, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found glyphosate levels of 6.5 parts per million, well above the legal limit of 5.0 ppm. Normally this would be reported to the EPA , but a supervisor at the FDA claims that the food used in the testing was not an “official sample.” We should be able to expect an official report by 2019. That report should also include information on other herbicides used in food production. Via The Guardian Images via Global Justice Now and Deposit Photos

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Unreleased internal FDA emails show glyphosate weedkiller residue in almost every food tested

Thousands of California ‘hipster succulents’ are being stolen in plant poaching crisis

April 30, 2018 by  
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The dudleya, a California native succulent , has become a symbol of hipster lifestyle, according to The Guardian . But now so-called plant poachers are stealing the succulent by the thousand to smuggle to buyers in Asia, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has made several busts this year alone. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); CDFW wildlife officers have made a series of arrests this year while working to halt a trend of individuals poaching the Dudleya succulent plant on the north coast of California. Posted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife on  Friday, April 6, 2018 Dudleya plants aren’t rare in the Golden State. But they do take years to grow in nurseries. The Guardian said nursery owners said the plants aren’t available in the massive amounts Asian shippers seem to desire. Smugglers are stealing the plants, which have a market value of around $40 to $50 overseas. CDFW warden Pat Freeling, who’s led the plant poaching investigation, told The Guardian, “Right now these plants are a boom in Korea, China, and Japan. It’s huge among domestic housewives. It’s a status thing. It’s become an exotic lotus flower succulent. Someone likened it to the next Pokémon.” Related: Man caught smuggling 51 turtles in his pants pleads guilty An anonymous woman gave Freeling a tip in January; she had been waiting in line at a Mendocino County post office behind a man with dozens of boxes to be sent to Asia. As the man was holding up the line, the woman asked what he was sending and the man said, “Shhhhh, something very valuable.” The CDFW has already made several busts; in a post earlier this month, they said they arrested three people — two from Korea and one from China — and intercepted 1,334 dudleya en route to be shipped. 1,000 more were uncovered in the hotel room of the suspects. In another bust, they recovered 50 succulents; in another, 1,400 dudleya. CDFW said, “The removal of dudleya can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline.” Multiple volunteers and CDFW staff recently came together to replant around 2,000 dudleya on the cliffs they came from in the Humboldt and Mendocino counties. + CDFW News + California Department of Fish and Wildlife Via The Guardian Image via CDFW News

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Thousands of California ‘hipster succulents’ are being stolen in plant poaching crisis

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