Sustainability

Category Archives: Climate Change

Will big business destroy our planet? By Peter Dauvergne

Big business says it’s leading the world to a sustainable future. But a new book says that’s a highly implausible claim.

Transnational corporations, or TNCs, or just plain big business, are everywhere. They have an overwhelming influence and impact on our lives – and on the planet.

They boast they are a force for good – and are helping in the fight against climate change. But Peter Dauvergne, professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia in Canada, begs to differ.

“The earth’s climate is drifting into an ever-deeper crisis as the shadows of mass production, transportation and industrial agriculture continue to intensify”, says Dauvergne.

Big business ‘threatens planet’s future’

No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It

Add this to the list of decisions affected by climate change: Should I have children?

It is not an easy time for people to feel hopeful, with the effects of globalwarming no longer theoretical, projections becoming more dire and governmental action lagging. And while few, if any, studies have examined how large a role climate change plays in people’s childbearing decisions, it loomed large in interviews with more than a dozen people ages 18 to 43.

A 32-year-old who always thought she would have children can no longer justify it to herself. A Mormon has bucked the expectations of her religion by resolving to adopt rather than give birth. An Ohio woman had her first child after an unplanned pregnancy — and then had a second because she did not want her daughter to face an environmental collapse alone.

11 billion pieces of plastic bring disease threat to coral reefs

There are more than 11 billion pieces of plastic debris on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific, according to our new research, which also found that contact with plastic can make corals more than 20 times more susceptible to disease.

In our study, published today in Science, we examined more than 124,000 reef-building corals and found that 89% of corals with trapped plastic had visual signs of disease – a marked increase from the 4% chance of a coral having disease without plastic.

Globally, more than 275 million people live within 30km of coral reefs, relying on them for food, coastal protection, tourism income, and cultural value.

With coral reefs already under pressure from climate change and mass bleaching events, our findings reveal another significant threat to the world’s corals and the ecosystems and livelihoods they support.

https://theconversation.com/11-billion-pieces-of-plastic-bring-disease-threat-to-coral-reefs-90694

and

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/460

Hemp Offers Benefits For The Future

The Polo Hemp Mill in Illinois began operation on November 20, 1943. At that time there were more than 3,200 hemp growers in the state.

Educational materials and propaganda videos such as “Victory for Hemp” were sponsored by the U.S. government, assuring cultivation would be backed by our military and economy.

Considering this happened 74 years ago this fall, we see the same struggles in the present-day relationship between farmers and industrial hemp in Illinois. This time around, a massive effort is required to establish sustainability and resilience within our agricultural system and the next economy, not the war effort.

Once again, farmers need assurance that hemp is a viable crop for their rotation and that hemp will not only benefit their pocketbooks as a fiber crop, but also is a powerful ally in environmental restoration.

Requiring little water and no fertilizers or pesticides to grow, hemp thrives in marginal soil. It removes chemicals that seep into waterways. It can replace paper products, reducing deforestation that encroaches on fragile ecosystems. And that’s just a start.

The market for hemp products is vast and growing rapidly. It includes durable textiles; strong, ecofriendly building materials; natural cosmetics; petroleum free bio-plastics and biofuels; beneficial, non-psychoactive medicines; and nutrient dense foods.

As a first-generation farmer, and a woman, I am so thrilled to have a future in hemp on my horizon. My devotion to this plant stems from a realization that regenerative agriculture is my only path to an honest living.

I’m Rachel Berry, and that’s my perspective.

http://northernpublicradio.org/post/hemp-offers-benefits-future

Bleaching hits coral reefs faster

Coral reefs have always lived near the edge. Now, thanks to global warming, life there is five times more precarious.

Forty years ago, the world’s coral reefs faced a known risk: every 25 or 30 years, ocean temperatures would rise to intolerable levels.

Corals would minimise the risk of death by everting the algae with which they lived in symbiotic partnership: that is, the reef animals would avoid death by getting rid of the algae, deliberately weakening themselves.

Bleaching hits coral reefs faster

The Business of Planting Trees: A Growing Investment Opportunity

Planting trees as a business venture

The World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) analyzed over 140 companies that have made landscape restoration and reforestation their core business model. Out of all those companies, 14 who had reached median sales growth of 100 percent in 2017, were showcased in a new report titled The Business of Planting Trees: A Growing Investment Opportunity.

The restoration economy, according to the report, refers to the network of businesses, investors, and consumers that engage in an economic activity related to restoring the land. And while there are no officials records on the size of the restoration economy, yet, it does include a vast array of companies, including early stage, pre-revenue startups to timber funds that manage billions of dollars. Similarly, the goods and services produced by these companies vary widely as well, from biofuels to climate-smart credit systems to green infrastructure.

Read more:  http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/startups-emerging-in-the-restoration-and-reforestation-economy/article/512592#ixzz54mz1NtfM

 

http://www.wri.org/publication/business-of-planting-trees

Renewable power generation costs continue to fall and are already very competitive to meet needs for new capacity.

 

January 2018
ISBN : 978-92-9260-040-2

Renewable energy has emerged as an increasingly competitive way to meet new power generation needs. This comprehensive cost report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights the latest trends for each of the main renewable power technologies, based on the latest cost and auction price data from projects around the world.

http://www.irena.org/publications/2018/Jan/Renewable-power-generation-costs-in-2017

China to plant forest the size of Ireland in bid to become world leader in conservation

China wants forests to cover 26 per cent of its land by 2035.

China has announced plans to plant new forests in 2018 that will cover at least 6.6 million hectares, an area roughly the size of Ireland.

The move is China’s latest bid to shed its polluting image and become world leader in environment protection, since President Donald Trump chose to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/05/china-plant-forest-size-ireland-bid-become-world-leader-conservation/

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