All posts tagged: environment

Why business is calling for global rules in plastics treaty – POLITICO

Why business is calling for global rules in plastics treaty – POLITICO

Whether it is a carrier bag floating across the street in a gust of wind, or a disposable bottle washed up on a beach 10,000km away from where its contents were drunk — plastic pollution is everywhere.  It is a huge problem stretching to all areas of the world. Of all the plastic produced globally, 40 percent is packaging, and a significant share of it is used just once and then discarded, contributing to the growing plastic pollution crisis.  As obvious and apparent as the problem is in our everyday lives, it is not too late to turn the tide on what has become one of the world’s most-pressing environmental issues. It is not too late to turn the tide on what has become one of the world’s most-pressing environmental issues. To create the critical and urgent change needed, we need a legally-binding treaty underpinned by harmonized regulations that can tackle the entire lifecycle of plastic products. Anything less will see us continue down a ‘business-as-usual’ path which no longer works for people or the …

The Rise of the Carbon Farmer

The Rise of the Carbon Farmer

Patrick Holden strolls across the field, pausing from time to time to bend and point out a bumblebee, or a white butterfly, or a dung beetle. A wide expanse of blue sky stretches above. Beneath, undulating green hills, sprawling hedgerows, a horizon broken only by the jagged tips of Wales’ Cambrian mountain range. Sun-soaked goodness. “Can you see that bumblebee working the clover?” he asks, voice breathy with exertion. “The bird life, insects, butterflies, small mammals, and bats … the biodiversity of this place is unbelievable.” This is all here, he says, because he’s farming in harmony with nature. The secret to this small oasis, Holden says, is the way he works his land. He is one of a growing number of farmers shaking off conventional methods and harnessing practices to rebuild soil health and fertility—cover crops, minimal tilling, managed grazing, diverse crop rotations. It is a reverse revolution in some ways, taking farming back to what it once was, when yield was not king, industrialization not the norm, and small farms dabbled in many …

Why is Germany maintaining economic ties with China? | Business and Economy

Why is Germany maintaining economic ties with China? | Business and Economy

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been on a three-day visit to China in a bid to shore up economic ties. Germany is China’s biggest European trade partner. But, Berlin also sees Beijing as a competitor and a rival. And – in its first-ever “strategy on China” launched last year – pledged to reduce German dependence on the Chinese market. But, during his visit last week to China, the German Chancellor signalled his intentions to maintain business ties. That may have angered some of Olaf Scholz’s closest allies. The European Union has launched several investigations into exports of Chinese green technology to protect European industry from competition. Are Nigeria’s reforms working? We speak to the president of the United Nations General Assembly on sustainability. Source link

Turning jeans blue with sunlight might help the environment

Turning jeans blue with sunlight might help the environment

bacteria: (singular: bacterium) Single-celled organisms. These dwell nearly everywhere on Earth, from the bottom of the sea to inside other living organisms (such as plants and animals). Bacteria are one of the three domains of life on Earth. carbon dioxide: (or CO2) A colorless, odorless gas produced by all animals when the oxygen they inhale reacts with the carbon-rich foods that they’ve eaten. Carbon dioxide also is released when organic matter burns (including fossil fuels like oil or gas). Carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, the process they use to make their own food. chemical: A substance formed from two or more atoms that unite (bond) in a fixed proportion and structure. For example, water is a chemical made when two hydrogen atoms bond to one oxygen atom. Its chemical formula is H2O. Chemical also can be an adjective to describe properties of materials that are the result of various reactions between different compounds. colleague: Someone who works with another; a co-worker …

No, Dubai’s Floods Weren’t Caused By Cloud Seeding

No, Dubai’s Floods Weren’t Caused By Cloud Seeding

Dubai is underwater. Heavy storms have caused flash flooding across the United Arab Emirates, leading to shocking scenes circulating on social media: Cars abandoned by the roadside, planes sloshing through flooded runways. Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Dubai’s busy international airport, and at least 18 people have died in neighboring Oman. News reports and social media posts were quick to point the blame at cloud seeding. The UAE has a long-running program for trying to squeeze more rain out of the clouds that pass over the normally arid region—it has a team of pilots who spray salt particles into passing storms to encourage more water to form. The floods were positioned as a cautionary tale by some: Here’s what happens when you mess with nature. Even Bloomberg reported that cloud seeding had worsened the flooding. The truth is more complicated. I’ve spent the last few months reporting on cloud seeding in the UAE for an upcoming WIRED feature, and while it’s true that the UAE has been running cloud seeding missions this week—it …

Biden wants to triple China tariffs on steel, aluminum imports

Biden wants to triple China tariffs on steel, aluminum imports

President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November. Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Images President Joe Biden is calling on the U.S. Trade Representative to triple the China tariff rate on steel and aluminum imports as he makes the rounds in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, the president will visit the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh. Biden’s demand to raise the current 7.5% average tariff on steel and aluminum is an effort to make clear that his administration’s recent warnings about China’s trade practices are not empty threats. On a visit to China last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised concern that Chinese subsidies were creating an oversupply of clean energy products, like solar panels and electric vehicles, that would outpace domestic demand. She worried that overcapacity could be dumped on global markets at artificially cheaper prices, potentially stifling competition. In an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen, Yellen said that tariffs were …

J Doyne Farmer: The man reinventing economics with chaos theory and complexity science

J Doyne Farmer: The man reinventing economics with chaos theory and complexity science

IN 2006, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York started to worry about the overheating US housing market. Concerned that the bubble might burst, they used their best model to predict what would happen if house prices dropped by 20 per cent. Not much, was the answer it churned out. Soon after, house prices fell by almost exactly this amount, leading to probably the worst period of global economic decline in a century. Economics is often lambasted for being a pseudoscience, with dense mathematical formulae that belie its subjectivity and a poor track record of making accurate predictions. J. Doyne Farmer thinks we can do better. In his new book, Making Sense of Chaos, he unpicks why standard economic approaches often fail – and presents a radical alternative. Complexity economics, as it is called, treats economies as systems akin to natural ecosystems or Earth’s climate. Giant computer simulations based on these ideas offer a better representation of how billions of people interact within the global economy. Farmer currently holds posts at the University …

‘Water is more valuable than oil’: the corporation cashing in on America’s drought | Environment

‘Water is more valuable than oil’: the corporation cashing in on America’s drought | Environment

One of the biggest battles over Colorado River water is being staged in one of the west’s smallest rural enclaves. Tucked into the bends of the lower Colorado River, Cibola, Arizona, is a community of about 200 people. Maybe 300, if you count the weekenders who come to boat and hunt. Dusty shrublands run into sleepy residential streets, which run into neat fields of cotton and alfalfa. Nearly a decade ago, Greenstone Resource Partners LLC, a private company backed by global investors, bought almost 500 acres of agricultural land here in Cibola. In a first-of-its-kind deal, the company recently sold the water rights tied to the land to the town of Queen Creek, a suburb of Phoenix, for a $14m gross profit. More than 2,000 acre-feet of water from the Colorado River that was once used to irrigate farmland is now flowing, through a canal system, to the taps of homes more than 200 miles away. A Guardian investigation into the unprecedented water transfer, and how it took shape, reveals that Greenstone strategically purchased land …

Aerial video shows mass coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef amid global heat stress event – video | Environment

Aerial video shows mass coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef amid global heat stress event – video | Environment

Scientists have recorded widespread bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef as global heating creates a fourth planet-wide bleaching event. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch, 54% of ocean waters containing coral reefs have been experiencing heat stress high enough to cause bleaching ► Subscribe to Guardian Australia on YouTube Source link

Soundscape ecology: a window into a disappearing world – podcast | Science

Soundscape ecology: a window into a disappearing world – podcast | Science

What can sound tell us about nature loss? Guardian biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston tells Madeleine Finlay about her visit to Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, where ecologist Richard Broughton has witnessed the decline of the marsh tit population over 22 years, and has heard the impact on the wood’s soundscape. As species lose their habitats across the world, pioneering soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause has argued that if we listen closely, nature can tell us everything we need to know about our impact on the planet How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know Source link