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  1. #41
    China's Sponge Cities Aim to Re-use 70% of Rainwater - Here's How

    Groundwater over-extraction, waterway degradation, and urban flooding are forcing China’s cities to address a vicious cycle. Sprawling urban development and use of impervious material prevent soil from absorbing rainwater, prompting further investment in infrastructures that typically impede natural processes and worsen flood impacts.

    China’s “sponge city initiative” aims to arrest this cycle through the use of permeable surfaces and green infrastructures. However, the initiative faces two challenges: lack of expertise of local governments to effectively coordinate and integrate such a complex set of activities, and financial constraints.

  2. #42
    10 best indoor air purifier plants

    These days the air pollution limit is touching the sky and due to this, you may get affected by several kinds of diseases. so, if you want to keep yourself and your family healthy the only way is to plant trees outdoor or indoor. These indoor plants are neither costly nor require any maintenance. Moreover, these are easily available in your local nursery or you may go online. According to the same research, one medium size plant can clean the air of 100 m2 area, so you may decide your requirement.

  3. #43
    Cycling Success May Hold Key to Land Savings

    Making minor changes to how food is produced, supplied and consumed around the world could free up around a fifth of agricultural land, research suggests.

    Scientists have applied the British cycling team’s strategy of marginal gains – the idea that making multiple small changes can lead to significant effects overall – to the global food system.

    They found that small steps – such as reducing food waste, tweaking diets and improving the efficiency of food production – could together reduce the amount of land required to feed the planet by at least 21 per cent.

    Altering diets in developed nations was also found to have the greatest potential to reduce the impact of food production.

  4. #44
    Shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty, study finds

    Efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but do so at the expense of increased inequality, according to a new Portland State University study.

    Findings, published recently in the journal Energy Research & Social Science, support previous claims by researchers who argue that renewable energy consumption may be indirectly driving energy poverty.

    Energy poverty is when a household has no or inadequate access to energy services such as heating, cooling, lighting, and use of appliances due to a combination of factors: low income, increasing utility rates, and inefficient buildings and appliances.

    McGee said that in nations like the United States where fossil fuel energy is substituted for renewable energy as a way to reduce carbon emissions, it comes at the cost of increased inequality. That's because the shift to renewable energy is done through incentives such as tax subsidies.

    This reduces energy costs for homeowners who can afford to install solar panels or energy-efficient appliances, but it also serves to drive up the prices of fossil fuel energy as utility companies seek to recapture losses. That means increased utility bills for the rest of the customers, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure, which creates energy poverty.

    "People who are just making ends meet and can barely afford their energy bills will make a choice between food and their energy," McGee said. "We don't think of energy as a human right when it actually is. The things that consume the most energy in your household -- heating, cooling, refrigeration -- are the things you absolutely need."

  5. #45
    Ethiopia plants 350m trees in a day to help tackle climate crisis

    About 350m trees have been planted in a single day in Ethiopia, according to a government minister.

    The planting is part of a national “green legacy” initiative to grow 4bn trees in the country this summer by encouraging every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings. Public offices have reportedly been shut down in order for civil servants to take part.

    The project aims to tackle the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country. According to the UN, Ethiopia’s forest coverage was just 4% in the 2000s, down from 35% a century earlier.

    Ethiopia’s minister of innovation and technology, Dr Getahun Mekuria, tweeted estimates of the number of trees planted throughout the day. By early evening on Monday, he put the number at 353m.

    The previous world record for the most trees planted in one day stood at 50m, held by India since 2016.

    Dr Dan Ridley-Ellis, the head of the centre for wood science and technology at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Trees not only help mitigate climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, but they also have huge benefits in combating desertification and land degradation, particularly in arid countries. They also provide food, shelter, fuel, fodder, medicine, materials and protection of the water supply.

    “This truly impressive feat is not just the simple planting of trees, but part of a huge and complicated challenge to take account of the short- and long-term needs of both the trees and the people. The forester’s mantra ‘the right tree in the right place’ increasingly needs to consider the effects of climate change, as well as the ecological, social, cultural and economic dimension.”

  6. #46
    From Italy Back To Poland In A Nissan Electric Van

    In a nutshell: the Nissan e-NV200 showed that we covered 5637 km (3503 miles) in 10 days (excluding the trip to Warsaw the following day to drop off the car). If it hadn’t been for the broken motorbike and miserable weather, we would have done much more. The e-NV200 proved to be a reliable partner offering a lot of cargo space. The EVs available on the market today let you travel conveniently far beyond the city – tourist trails of going from city to city, country to country, work well for EVs.

    The network of fast chargers in Poland and Europe is so well developed now that we normally have a few charging points to choose from. The only blank spots in charging infrastructure were in southern Sicily. As the route we planned was so long, we sometimes had to compromise and miss some tourist attractions, and probably didn’t see all the interesting landmarks. I still think you can plan an EV holiday like ours with stopovers every 300–400 km, instead of 600 km like us, and then without any compromises see what you like and enjoy traveling without pipe emissions. And EVs are fun.

  7. #47
    Putting ecocide on a par with genocide

    Calls for a new Geneva convention to protect wildlife and nature reserves in conflict zones are welcome (Make environmental damage a war crime, say scientists, 25 July).

    But we should go further. Humanity is waging a veritable war on wildlife and nature every day. We are destroying habitats, changing the climate and persecuting animals that encroach on farmland that was once their home.

    The pursuit of wildlife for “trophies” to adorn our walls and with which to pose is the cruellest wildlife crime of all. Scientists have warned that “sport” hunting of lions is leading to a loss of genetic diversity that puts their survival at risk.

    The combined rate of deaths from poaching and trophy hunting is now greater than the birth rate of elephants. Permits are granted to hunters to shoot species that are extinct in the wild and of which just small numbers remain in private collections.

  8. #48

  9. #49
    Biophilia: Sensory Contact With Nature Can Improve Your Overall Well-Being & Mental Health

    Biophilia is the tendency to connect with nature and its lifeforms.

    Research shows that acting on one's biophilia can significantly improve one's well-being and buffer against mental health issues.

    Biophilic designs also appear to promote sustainable growth.

  10. #50
    'Orthorexia' vying for classification as mental disorder as more people become obsessed with 'clean eating'

    Is an obsession with “clean eating” a bona fide mental disorder deserving of its own diagnosis in psychiatry’s official manual of mental illness?

    A flurry of new studies and reviews is breathing new life into so-called orthorexia nervosa, loosely defined as a pathological fixation on eating “pure” foods. At its extreme, adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.”

    According to one new paper, orthorexia is a “cyberpathy,” a digitally transmitted condition of privilege. Whether it’s a “real” mental disease or an imaginary one, the behaviours and consequences are certainly real, according to the author.

    “As a cyberpathy, orthorexia lures the digital flâneurs in search of non-conventional health advice and colonises their imagination with promises and cajoling, micronutrient formulas and ‘biohacks,’ and aspiration/inspiration content,” she wrote.

    “Memes, pictures of ‘healthful’ and colourful meals and tan, muscular bodies in yoga posses, enthusiastic product endorsements and sage dietary and living advice proliferate in unknown numbers, evangelising the populace into the Gospel of Health.”

    Instagram and other social media channels have become the “vectors” of both transmission, and recovery, said Hanganu-Bresch, who described orthorexia as a most unhealthy manifestation of “healthism” — the idea that people are entirely responsible for their own health and that individuals who don’t scrupulously stick to healthy behaviours have only themselves to blame if they get sick.

    “The orthorexic will eliminate harmful or potentially unsuitable substances from the diet according to a logic that shifts with the winds of the food faddism du jour,” she wrote, “hence, the obsession with cleanses, juices, veganism, or raw and organic food.”

  11. #51
    Hybrid Power Plants Are Gaining Momentum. Can We Call It a Trend?

    If we are to believe NextEra Energy Resources, it's already possible to jam wind turbines and solar panels and lithium-ion batteries together into a profitable clean energy smorgasbord. The renewables developer has already done it at least twice, most recently in Oklahoma.

    The hybridization of solar and batteries is well underway, but these new plants represent something different. Instead of calling on batteries to stretch solar generation over a few extra hours of the day, they pair up complementary renewables for round-the-clock production, with batteries to smoothe the gaps in between. The upshot is a more consistent form of clean energy without an overwhelming premium charged for dispatchability.

  12. #52
    The multi-billion-dollar “climate services” industry is altering access to climate change data. Critics fear some may lose out.

    Will the rise of private climate services — where companies sell data tailored to customers — benefit society as a whole or only those who can afford to pay?

    And for companies like his, those profits can be lucrative. Jupiter’s clients include players in oil and gas, insurance and defense. A new customer can expect to pay anywhere from US$200,000 to US$500,000 to learn how it is exposed to floods, heat, storms, fires and other impacts of climate change. A yearlong subscription could start at US$1 million, Sorkin says, “and for large corporations might be substantially more than that.”

    Even industry leaders acknowledge the risk of a not-so-distant future where the wealthy and powerful have better information and tools for protecting themselves from the devastation of climate change than the poor and vulnerable.

  13. #53
    People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds

    The average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year and breathes in a similar quantity, according to the first study to estimate human ingestion of plastic pollution.

    The true number is likely to be many times higher, as only a small number of foods and drinks have been analysed for plastic contamination. The scientists reported that drinking a lot of bottled water drastically increased the particles consumed.

    The health impacts of ingesting microplastic are unknown, but they could release toxic substances. Some pieces are small enough to penetrate human tissues, where they could trigger immune reactions.

    Microplastic pollution is mostly created by the disintegration of plastic litter and appears to be ubiquitous across the planet. Researchers find microplastics everywhere they look; in the air, soil, rivers and the deepest oceans around the world.

    They have been detected in tap and bottled water, seafood and beer. They were also found in human stool samples for the first time in October, confirming that people ingest the particles.

    The new research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, took the data from 26 previous studies that measure the amounts of microplastic particles in fish, shellfish, sugar, salt, beer and water, as well as in the air in cities.

    The scientists then used US government dietary guidelines to calculate how many particles people would eat in a year. Adults eat about 50,000 microplastic particles a year and children about 40,000, they estimated.

    Most food and drink types have not been tested, however, meaning the study only assessed 15% of calorie intake. “We don’t know a huge amount. There are some major data gaps that need to get filled,” said Kieran Cox, at the University of Victoria in Canada, who led the research.

    Other foods, such as bread, processed products, meat, dairy and vegetables, may well contain just as much plastic, he said. “It is really highly likely there is going to be large amounts of plastic particles in these. You could be heading into the hundreds of thousands.”

    Some of the best available data is on water, with bottled water containing 22 times more microplastic than tap water on average. A person who only drank bottled water would consume 130,000 paPeople eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study findsrticles per year from that source alone, the researchers said, compared with 4,000 from tap water.

    Scientists do not know what happens when microplastics are inhaled, but the new study speculates that “most inhaled particles will be ingested” rather than coughed or sneezed out. The researchers also estimated that microplastic particles settling on to a single meal per day could add a further tens of thousands to the annual amount consumed.

    Cox was clear that there are no known health effects as yet, but he said the ingested particles are “a high exposure risk in terms of numbers. It could be a potential alarm call for sure”.

    Stephanie Wright, at King’s College London, who was not involved in the research, said: “These current estimates suggest microplastic exposure is relatively low compared to other particles. For example, it has been estimated that the average western diet exposes consumers to billions of titanium dioxide microparticles, a common additive, each day. However, what comparatively low microplastic exposures mean for health is unknown.”

    The European commission’s chief scientific advisers said in a report in April: “The evidence [on the environmental and health risks of microplastics] provides grounds for genuine concern and for precaution to be exercised.”

    They concluded: “Growing scientific evidence on the hazards of uncontrolled microplastic pollution, combined with its long-term persistence and irreversibility, suggests that reasonable and proportional measures should be taken to prevent the release of microplastics.”

    Cox said his research had changed his own behaviour. “I definitely steer away from plastic packaging and try to avoid bottled water as much as possible,” he said.

    “Removing single-use plastic from your life and supporting companies that are moving away from plastic packaging is going to have a non-trivial impact,” Cox said. “The facts are simple. We are producing a lot of plastic and it is ending up in the ecosystems, which we are a part of.”

  14. #54
    Gloom in horizon as Russia announces it will surge digging of coal

    Climate crisis and environmental concern notwithstanding, the country says it aims for a big dig of the carbon-rich rock. Much of it will be extracted in new Arctic fields.

  15. #55
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg want everyone to fly less to fight climate change. Germany and Sweden are already embracing the 'flight shame' movement.

    Sixteen-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg is currently en route to the US from Europe in a 60-foot, carbon-neutral racing yacht scheduled to complete its zero-emission journey in New York in a few days.

    The young activist-phenom is helping inspire international action against climate change, and she's also a powerful ambassador for a growing anti-air travel movement in Europe, dubbed "Flygskam," or "flight shame," in her native Sweden.

    Thunberg and her anti-air travel allies point out that cutting down on flying is one of the best ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint.

  16. #56
    Italy passes law to send unsold food to charities instead of dumpsters

    Italy joins growing list of countries looking to end food-waste

    Italy is introducing a series of incentives to end food waste. Instead of throwing away leftover food, Italy wants businesses that sell food to donate unsold to charities rather than throw it away.

    The environmental, economic and moral benefits are so clear that the bill received broad support across all political parties and is speeding through the approval process. The next step will be getting businesses to comply, providing some sort of nudge to change the current model of careless waste.

    Other countries such as France are nudging businesses in the form of a steep fine.

    Italy is taking a different approach. Instead of imposing penalties, the country will give garbage collection tax breaks to businesses that take part in the initiative. All food donated by businesses has to be recorded so the tax break will be easy to implement.

  17. #57
    Biohackers are pirating a cheap version of a million-dollar gene therapy

    A group of independent biologists say they plan to copy a costly gene therapy. Are they medicine’s Robin Hood or a threat to safety?

  18. #58

  19. #59

  20. #60
    Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides

    Bees, butterflies, and other insects are under attack by the very plants they feed on as U.S. agriculture continues to use chemicals known to kill.

    America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One.

    This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth US.

    “This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says in an interview.

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