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Natural History Museum identifies more than 500 new species in 2021

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 5:01pm

‘Hell herons’, metallic beetles, tiny shrimp – scientists have been busy describing unusual creatures despite Covid restrictions

Six new dinosaurs, an Indian beetle named after Larry the cat, and dozens of crustaceans critical to the planet’s carbon cycle were among 552 new species identified by scientists at the Natural History Museum this year.

In 2021, researchers described previously unknown species across the tree of life, from a pair of giant carnivorous dinosaurs known as spinosaurs – nicknamed the “riverbank hunter” and “hell heron” – to five new snakes that include the Joseph’s racer, which was identified with the help of a 185-year-old painting.

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Categories: Environment

Tens of thousands are displaced in Brazil after weeks of flooding in Bahia state

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 3:04pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Gram Slattery, Brazil correspondent for Reuters, about the deadly flooding currently happening in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil.

Categories: Environment

Tribes push for a bigger role in managing the shrinking Colorado River's water

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 3:04pm

For a century, Native American tribes have been excluded from negotiations on how to share water from the Colorado River. States say this is set to change, and tribes are pushing to make sure it does.

Categories: Environment

plenty to drink...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 2:10pm

73,79,64,0,W

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

UK zoo helps lost Mexican fish live to see another Tequila sunrise

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 9:05am

Declared extinct in the wild in 2003, species has been reintroduced to its native river after being bred in Chester

A “charismatic little fish” declared extinct in the wild has been reintroduced to its native Mexico after being bred in an aquarium at Chester zoo.

The tequila fish (Zoogoneticus tequila), which grows to no bigger than 70mm long, disappeared from the wild in 2003 owing to the introduction of invasive, exotic fish species and water pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Alok Sharma: Cop26 must not become ‘bunch of meaningless promises’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 6:40am

Climate summit president makes clear UK net zero agenda is responsibility of all government colleagues

Tackling the climate crisis must be a whole government effort or risk the Cop26 climate summit becoming “just a bunch of meaningless promises”, the cabinet minister who chaired the UN summit has said.

Alok Sharma, who acted as president for Cop26 in November, made clear that all of his colleagues must bear a joint responsibility for the UK’s net zero agenda, and that the international community viewed continued UK efforts as vital.

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Categories: Environment

How New England bungled its plan to transition to renewable energy

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 4:00am

Decarbonization should be a slam dunk, especially in progressive states. But a recent fight over hydropower shows states must listen carefully to voters first

Earlier this year, Massachusetts passed a landmark law as part of a push towards decarbonization that requires the state to cut emissions in half by 2030.

But the state’s plan to meet this ambitious goal hit a snag this fall, when residents in Maine voted down a regional clean energy project, arguing it would irreversibly damage their own natural resources in order to deliver hydropower somewhere else.

This article was updated on 29 December 2021 to include comment from Clean Energy Matters, a political action committee funded by Avangrid, and to add further clarification to the story.

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Categories: Environment

Animal crossings: the ecoducts helping wildlife navigate busy roads across the world

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/29 - 3:15am

India’s tiger corridor and Australia’s possum ‘tunnel of love’ are among the myriad infrastructure projects providing safe passage

From a tiny railway bridge for dormice in the UK to elk, deer and bears benefitting from a slew of new animal crossings in Colorado, wildlife bridges are having a moment. As the human footprint on the planet continues to expand, a growing number of roads and railways include provisions for wildlife to pass through fragmented landscapes.

In January, we reported on Sweden’s plans to build a series of “renoducts” to help reindeer traverse the country’s main roads. The Swedish Transport Administration has since completed an ecoduct over the E6 in Skåne in southern Sweden, the third in the county. In southern California, work is due to begin on the largest wildlife bridge in the world in 2022, to connect isolated mountain lion populations north of Los Angeles that are becoming dangerously inbred. Joe Biden has earmarked $350m (£260m) of his $1.2tn infrastructure package for wildlife bridges to lessen the multibillion annual cost of collisions.

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Categories: Environment

Superfood Security is a Seed Away: Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

Doug Fine - Mon, 2020/04/13 - 2:54pm

 

Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

As are many of us, I’m feeling grateful for a lot of things at the moment. In particular, I’m sure glad it struck the three-years-ago-version-of-me as a fun idea to write an optimistic, humorous book that also provides a blueprint for establishing food security in your backyard.

For whatever reason, folks seem to want “funny” and “uplifting” at the moment. And laughing your way to food security? Seemed like a pleasant route. Still does. I’m doing it today – my fingers are still dank with humus as I type. Hemp farming is pretty easy, it attracts bees, and it’s all around about the most fun you can have outside the bedroom.

What I’m describing (and living) is  my new book, AMERICAN HEMP FARMER. It details a season in the burgeoning and newly-legalized hemp industry from a regenerative farmer perspective. The premise is this: a billion-dollar industry is great, but only meaningful if the actual farmers benefit at the retail level from the hemp renaissance.

For customers, the  win-win is that regenerative farming modes result in by-far the best hemp products. It’s not even close. Like fresh squeezed OJ beats frozen concentrate. All while sequestering carbon.

Turns out we have friends in low places. In nurturing a hemp field, we’re not the only species midwifing our hemp crop by planting time. To name one of a few hundred million, I recently gathered and brewed some fluffy white steaks of my watershed’s mycelium allies (fungus), which my family and I applying to our preseason soil in a compost tea this week.

Which leads to the core reason I wrote the book, from the introduction:

Six years ago, a bear fleeing a wildfire in our New Mexico backyard killed nearly all of my family’s goats in front of our eyes. It wasn’t the bear’s fault: he was a climate refugee. It was June of 2013, and drought had weakened the ponderosa pines and Douglas fir surrounding our remote Funky Butte Ranch. Beetles took advantage, and all of southern New Mexico was a tinderbox. Ho hum, just another climate event that until recently would have been called a “millennial” fire.

That’s the paramount reason I’m an overworked employee of the hemp plant: The people I care about most are one blaze away from joining the world’s 20 million climate refugees. At least I get the pleasure of putting “goat sitter” under occupation on my tax form.

The conflagration convinced me that I had to do something, personally, to work on this climate change problem. After some research about carbon sequestration through soil building, it became clear that planting as much hemp as possible was the best way to actively mitigate climate change and help restore normal rainfall cycles to our ecosystem.

This is why I treasure much more than just hemp’s flower gold rush (CBD, CBG, etc.). I also love hemp seed’s superfood and hemp fiber. It’s why I carry a 3D printed hemp plastic goat nearly everywhere I go.

A biomaterials-based economy doesn’t just perform better in our stuff, it means goodbye Pacific Garbage Patch. That is, when everything, even our batteries, is compostable or reusable (I mention batteries because next-generation hemp-based supercapacitors are discussed in AMERICAN HEMP FARMER).

We actually have been given a realistic opportunity to bridge humanity’s climate stabilization mission with its digital trajectory. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, I endeavor to connect the dots in my work, my food, and my whole life, with the thinking that if enough of us do the same, humanity’s got a shot in this here bottom of the climactic ninth.

It’s a solution-based book. Which is to say, it’s chock full of my own mistakes, as well as the triumphs and travails of many of my regenerative farmer friends and colleagues. Michael Pollan argues that we have co-evolved with certain plants, including cannabis. To be sure, hemp/human relations do go back 8,000 years. AMERICAN HEMP FARMER broaches the proud history of government-supported Hemp For Victory gardens going beyond the well-known World War II “Hemp For Victory” effort, all the way back to George Washington himself: in fact, at Mount Vernon last fall, I helped harvest the first hemp crop since President Washington’s time – I did this in colonial clothing and with (trust me) a very sharp sickle.

And that was before nutritionists knew about hemp’s ideal Omega 9-6-3 balance, high mineral content, and rare amount of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) — a fatty acid associated with anti-inflammatory properties, Whereas my family’s own hemp diet once bankrolled the Canadian economy, for the past there years it’s been free. Hemp got federally legalized in the 2014 Farm Bill, and I and my sons get in the soil at this time every year and grow it ourselves. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll even read about a study that indicates a hemp diet might combat obesity.

Sowing hemp is pretty easy, and the harvest is both copious (around 1,000 pounds per acre) and extremely delicious. And I eat a lot of it. Easily a cup a day. As do both my human kids and my goat kids. Indeed it’s very hard to keep the goats out of the field. Hemp seeds are an essential part not just of my family’s health maintenance plan, but of our food security plan. And anyone can do it.

AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is available everywhere now in book, e-book and audiobook form (I narrated the audiobook, which was super fun). And I hope that you find yourself at once giggling and learning as you read it. You can order it here.

Please feel free to share this Dispatch with your friends, family and professional networks. It would be great for folks everywhere to know that not just food security, but superfood security, is a seed (and a permit) away.

Meanwhile, it’s spring on the Funky Butte Ranch, and as AMERICAN HEMP FARMER advises, I’ve got my own hemp permit application filed, I’m building soil (just as the Funky Butte apricots burst into bloom), and I’m ready to grow another scrumptious crop. I like the feeling of knowing my family will thrive for another year no matter what.  When you read AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll see that you and yours can too. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Some reviews follow below, and I’m sending immense thanks for your support/ in ordering this book and telling your friends. OK, I’m off to the field to dump more goat poop and alfalfa on the soon-to-be-planted Funky Butte Ranch hemp field

-Doug Fine

Funky Butte Ranch, New Mexico

April 13, 2020

Order AMERICAN HEMP FARMER here

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

 

Reviews of AMERICAN HEMP FARMER

American Hemp Farmer would have been in George Washington’s library. President Washington grew hemp and was a passionate, regenerative agriculturist. Washington sought advice from those that practiced their trade. Doug Fine‘s American Hemp Farmer is a scholarly, practical and impeccably enjoyable work and a must-read for those who cultivate hemp or are interested in leaping in.”  –J. Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

“With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine shows he is not just our preeminent hemp author, he is one of the most important authors of our time. As I’ve watched him leap between tending goats on his Funky Butte Ranch and hemp fields in Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and who-knows-where else, it sometimes occurs to me that he might be the most interesting man alive. The resulting book is an absolute must read.  –Eric Steenstra, Executive Director, VoteHemp

“A fantastic piece of Americana that shows the way to a sustainable future.” -David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Soaps

“I hope every hemp farmer and policymaker reads this book carefully. It details a roadmap for success, for farmers and the planet. And that’s probably because Doug doesn’t just write about hemp, he lives it.” —Cary Giguere, State Hemp Program Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

                                  Further Praise for Doug’s Work
“Fine is a writer in he mold of Douglas Adams.” —Washington Post

“Fine is Bryson funny.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel

Doug has written the best book of the year and a blueprint for the future of America.”                       –Willie Nelson

About Doug Fine

Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and a solar-powered goat herder. He has cultivated hemp for food, farm-to-table products and seed-building in four U.S. states, and teaches a college hemp class. Willie Nelson calls Doug’s work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” The Washington Post says, “Fine is a storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams.”  A website of Doug’s print, radio and television work, United Nations testimony, Conan and Tonight Show appearances and TED Talk is at dougfine.com and his social media handle is @organiccowboy.

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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