If Food Waste Were a Country, It Would Rank No. 3 for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
There’s a consensus that we must act urgently, if we are to avoid a four-degree Celsius raise and total systems collapse.
First we should safeguard, restore and wisely manage our life-support systems, including uncontaminated water bodies and sources, soil and seeds and practice conservation and efficiency.
Known climate-destructive practices must be phased out as soon as possible, including extreme forms of fossil-fuel extraction (e.g. fracking, SAG D, deep-water drilling surface mines, mountaintop removal and tar sands projects), ocean trawling, overfishing, crop burning and endangering nature’s protective resources like mangroves, coral reefs, forests and peat land.
We must also immediately wean ourselves off fossil fuels; coal, natural gas and oil—and invest in a combination of decentralized renewable energy; solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, micro-hydro and liquid fuels made from waste and other sustainable feedstocks.
Water-intensive, mono-crop, petrochemical industrial agriculture has decimated our topsoil and created dead zones in the oceans. The simplest, most natural and likely, the most effective way to sequester carbon is to rebuild soil. Regenerative organic farming practices build soil. Some of the methods used to accelerate nature’s intelligent soil development process include compost, bio char, brown coal, Micorizal fungi, vermaculture and managed livestock.
If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter behind the U.S. and China. Diverting organic waste from landfills and livestock manure from ponds in anaerobic digesters, compost and pyrolysis can amend soil vitality while reducing methane.
While these changes might seem challenging, we do have the capacity—if we can only galvanize the will. Many communities have already begun implementing some of these solutions. But top-down change is also essential, if we are to address the climate crisis with the speed and scale needed. For this to happen, citizens must insist on getting the influence of money out of politics and the legislative process.
Maximizing regional self-sufficiency with these agricultural practices and energy production methods will strengthen local economies, make them more resilient, help prevent global conflict, and ease the sense of scarcity and the economic burden increasingly felt by the majority.
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One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.
Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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In December of 1924, the heads of all the major lightbulb manufacturers across the world met in Geneva to concoct a sinister plan. Their talks outlined limits on how long all of their lightbulbs would last. The idea is that if their bulbs failed quickly customers would have to buy more of their product. In this video, we're going to unpack this idea of purposefully creating inferior products to drive sales, a symptom of late-stage capitalism that has since been coined planned obsolescence. And as we'll see, this obsolescence can have drastic consequences on our wallets, waste streams, and even our climate.
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