Tant de Forêts [#geekgirl]
Jane Goodall: Seeds of Hope [#geekgirl]
[From an article at billmoyers.com which publishes an excerpt from Jane Goodall’s new book Seeds of Hope] “Right now the biggest new gardening trend in the United States is the elimination of fertilizer-dependent and water-draining grass lawns. Instead, gardeners are discovering the joys of creating more environmentally friendly habitats with native trees and plants — those that have been living in the area for hundreds of years and are adapted to the climate.
My botanist friend Robin Kobaly is an advisor to people who want to grow drought-tolerant gardens with native plants in the Southwest. She says that people are especially enthusiastic about native plants when they live in arid areas, but even in other parts of the country, where there’s more rainfall, gardeners are getting sick of the amount of water it takes to keep grass lawns green. At the moment, gardening with drought-tolerant native plants is just a popular eco-conscious trend. But soon, five to six years from now, Robin believes, “it will be imperative for everyone to change how they landscape and garden as the overriding reality of the lack of water becomes apparent.”
This new gardening movement not only reduces water waste but also provides an attractive habitat for the local wildlife…even the smallest of gardens can make a difference for the wildlife that is struggling to survive. Almost everyone I meet wants to save wild animals and insects, but they often don’t realize how important it is to preserve the anchors of the wildlife community — the native plants.
In urban areas where the gardens and yards are often small, some communities are joining together to create wildlife havens. There is, for example, the “Pollinator Pathway” in Seattle — where a group of neighbors have transformed the scruffy strips of grass in front of their homes, between the sidewalk and the street, into a mile-long bee-pollinator corridor, planted with native plants that attract and nourish bees. Other neighborhoods and individual properties are havens for migrating birds. Robin tells her gardening clients, “Think of your garden as a gas station for migrating birds, a place where they can fill up their tanks — they can’t migrate if they don’t have fuel.”
“Half of European bumblebees in decline, quarter face extinction…” [#geekgirl]
[From an article at RT] “Almost one-quarter of European crops’ vital pollinators – bumblebees – could die out in the coming years, as half of the species are declining, a new study says. Citing human factor and climate change, it warns of “serious implications” for agriculture.
A preview of the recent European Commission-funded study, published on the website of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Wednesday, says it has some “bad news” for Europe’s bumblebees.
As much as 46 percent of the 68 bumblebee species living in Europe have a declining population and just 13 percent are increasing in numbers, the study shows. According to IUCN, 24 percent of those species are “threatened with extinction.”
The study, which contributes to the European Red List of pollinators and is part of the Status and Trends of European Pollinators (STEP) project, stresses that three of the five “most important insect pollinators of European crops” are bumblebee species.
Bumblebees have for thousands of years played a “critical role” in agriculture as they help crops reproduce by transferring pollen from plant to plant. However, as agriculture and urban development have intensified in recent years and cultivated land has been changed, bumblebees have been hit by the loss of habitat and the loss of their preferred forage, as well as pollution and insecticides. “
“ICJ Rules Japan’s Southern Ocean Whaling ‘Not For Scientific Research’” [#geekgirl]
[Via an article at seashepherd.org] “In a stunning victory for the whales, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announced their binding decision today in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked. The news was applauded and celebrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Australia, both of which have directly intervened against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.
Representing Sea Shepherd in the courtroom to hear the historic verdict were Captain Alex Cornelissen, Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Global and Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands. They were accompanied by Sea Shepherd Global’s Dutch legal counsel.”
How #Wolves Change Rivers [#geekgirl]
GM contamination test case [#geekgirl]
[Via the ABC's Radio National] “The West Australian Supreme court will commence hearing a test case that has farmers around Australia and even across the world on the edge of their tractor seats.
It involves a farmer Steve Marsh who lost his organic certification when GM canola seeds from his neighbour’s crop sprouted on his land.
Steve Marsh has sued his neighbour for the economic loss that accompanied his loss of certification.”
Now #Abbott Plans to Destroy #Tasmania’s Forests…. [#GRRR] [#geekgirl]
[From the sumofus.org] "It’s not often that environmentalists, the timber industry and unions agree on forests -- but now Tony Abbott wants to shred their landmark agreement to protect Tasmania’s forests. In just a few days, the government will ask the World Heritage Committee to strip Tasmania’s forests of their protection -- and we can’t let this happen.
It’s less than one year since Tasmania’s forests were given the highest level of protection. Green groups and the timber industry still support the agreement -- and even the Forestry Industry Association is asking the government not to interfere. But Abbott’s determined to undo this historic agreement to save the forests, unless we can show him the public won’t accept it."
“Timon Singh West African Inventor Makes a $100 3D Printer From E-Waste” [#geekgirl]
“Unsubsidized Renewables Now Cheaper Than Subsidized Fossil Fuels in Australia” [#geekgirl]
[From cleantechies.com] “…A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in Australia has discovered that renewable energyis cheaper to produce than the old conventional fossil fuel sources, and that is without the subsidies.
The study shows that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh (USD 83), compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant, including the cost of emissions under the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme. However even without a carbon price (the most efficient way to reduce economy-wide emissions) wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.
“The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date”, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head,” he said.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research on Australia shows that since 2011, the cost of wind generation has fallen by 10% and the cost of solar photovoltaics by 29%. In contrast, the cost of energy from new fossil-fueled plants is high and rising. New coal is made expensive by high financing costs. The study surveyed Australia’s four largest banks and found that lenders are unlikely to finance new coal without a substantial risk premium due to the reputational damage of emissions-intensive investments – if they are to finance coal at all. New gas-fired generation is expensive as the massive expansion of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market forces local prices upwards. The carbon price adds further costs to new coal- and gas-fired plant and is forecast to increase substantially over the lifetime of a new facility.
BNEF’s analysts conclude that by 2020, large-scale solar PV will also be cheaper than coal and gas, when carbon prices are factored in. By 2030, dispatchable renewable generating technologies such as biomass and solar thermal could also be cost-competitive.”
#Gorgeous Rainbow Boa [#geekgirl]