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At least 18 peaceful environmental protesters jailed in UK this year

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 6:38am

Ten Insulate Britain activists spent Christmas in jail as campaigners decry ‘power grab’ over right to protest

At least 18 peaceful environmental protesters have been sent to prison this year, with 10 spending Christmas Day behind bars.

As concern about the climate crisis grows, activists have been jailed after blocking roads, disrupting court proceedings and in one case climbing on top of an aeroplane in an attempt to draw attention to the escalating emergency.

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Categories: Environment

Campaigners force Shell to halt oil exploration on South African coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 6:20am

Court instructs company to stop tests along Wild Coast after concerns raised about wildlife and lack of consultation

Shell will be forced to halt oil exploration in vital whale breeding grounds along South Africa’s eastern coastline after a local court blocked the controversial project.

The court order calls for an immediate halt to Shell’s seismic tests which involve blasting sound waves through the relatively untouched Wild Coast marine environment, which is home to whales, dolphins and seals.

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Categories: Environment

The Sun Belt is making a big play for the hot electric vehicle market

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 5:01am

Georgia recently nabbed an agreement for a $5 billion Rivian electric vehicle plant. Rivian is one of the hot new electric vehicle startups.

(Image credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Western US states hit by record freeze and heavy snow

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 4:56am

Severe weather brings record low temperatures in Seattle and huge snowfalls in California and Nevada

The US west is facing record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snow as severe weather sweeps the region from Washington to California.

Officials in Oregon and western Washington opened emergency warming shelters as temperatures dropped into the teens (below zero in centigrade) amid an arctic blast that forecasters said would last several days. In California, heavy snow closed ski resorts and shut down travel across much of the Sierra Nevada, the mountainous region along the California-Nevada border.

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Categories: Environment

Labour demands stricter air pollution limits after child poverty link revealed

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 4:23am

Research shows UK’s 50 most polluted areas also have highest rates of child poverty

The Labour party has demanded stricter limits on air pollution after analysis showed the close correlation between children living in poverty and dirty air in the UK.

Five London boroughs rank worst for child poverty and worst for dirty air, according to government data collated by Labour, mapping areas of high poverty against statistics on air pollution. The analysis showed that the higher the rate of child poverty in a given area, the dirtier the air there was on average, with most of the 50 most polluted areas in the UK also showing the highest rates of child poverty.

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Categories: Environment

Telling people to ‘follow the science’ won’t save the planet. But they will fight for justice | Amy Westervelt

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 1:00am

The climate emergency has clear themes with heroes and villains. Describing it this way is how to build a movement

The biggest success of the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long campaign to push doubt about climate science is that it forced the conversation about the climate crisis to centre on science.

It’s not that we didn’t need scientific research into climate change, or that we don’t need plenty more of it. Or even that we don’t need to do a better job of explaining basic science to people, across the board (hello, Covid). But at this moment, “believe science” is too high a bar for something that demands urgent action. Believing science requires understanding it in the first place. In the US, the world’s second biggest carbon polluter, fewer than 40% of the population are college educated and in many states, schools in the public system don’t have climate science on the curriculum. So where should this belief – strong enough to push for large-scale social and behavioural change – be rooted exactly?

Amy Westervelt is a climate journalist and the founder and executive producer of the Critical Frequency podcast network

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Categories: Environment

Britons think politicians’ hypocrisy will hamper tackling climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/28 - 1:00am

Net Zero Diaries focus group finds people sceptical about whether Cop26 commitments will stick

Britons are concerned that hypocrisy by politicians will affect the public’s willingness to change their own behaviour to tackle the climate crisis – and doubt that Cop26 commitments can be met unless they are legally binding.

The opinions come from the latest in the Net Zero Diaries, a project run by the consultancy Britain Thinks to examine evolving attitudes to the pursuit of a net zero emissions target, the first collation of public views from the cohort since the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

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Categories: Environment

Polish court revives ‘highly flawed’ hydroelectric dam plan for Vistula River

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/27 - 11:30pm

Despite warnings that it would devastate rare wildlife habitats, the controversial project is back on the table

The construction of a €1bn (£850m) dam on the Vistula River is one step closer to getting the green light in Poland, despite warnings that it could devastate rare wildlife habitats.

The Vistula runs more than 620 miles from the Carpathian mountains, passing through major cities before flowing into the Baltic sea. The state-owned company Polish Waters intends to build a dam over the river’s main channel at Siarzewo, north west of Warsaw, with the primary aim of creating hydroelectric power as well as flood protection, water management and navigation.

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Categories: Environment

bare bones airbnb...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/12/27 - 3:50pm


$250/night2 night minimumbedwetters welcome73,79,41,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

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


Book Doug’s Live Event here.

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



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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