Earth & AtmosphereListen, Read, Watch
Bacteria and fungi, Earth’s quintessential biochemists, are famous for the odd molecules they produce. But human beings are no slouches. According to one estimate, global commerce swells with thousands of industrial chemicals, many completely novel, some very toxic
Thirty-five years after gaining independence, Belize, Central America’s youngest nation, stands on a cusp of development that will either protect crucial wildlife habitat or gradually lose it to wide-scale agriculture.
For those who thought that corporate concentration in the food industry couldn’t get tighter, wake up and smell the coffee. The Big Six seed and farm chemical producers are now on the verge of coalescing into three. Amazon may soon be the world’s biggest supermarket.
Standing on the edge of little Battir, I feasted my eyes on an astonishing sight: an amphitheater of ancient stone terraces covered in a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, herbs and trees — including olive trees over a thousand years old.
Imagine an electric-powered fleet of Canada Post vehicles, along with vehicle charging stations at post offices. And postal banking, where loans could be secured for renewable energy installations and home energy retro-fits. Listen up.
Last fall I rode 1500 miles from Taos, New Mexico to New Orleans on a 1983 Yamaha xs-650. It was my first solo, long distance bike trip and New Orleans — a legendary city — seemed like a good destination.
A mild mid-March in Canada’s notoriously frigid prairie capital cannot be definitively pinned on global climate change. Still, for anyone willing to listen, read and watch, the writing is on the wall. Earth is warming — and fast.
Will global capitalism eventually wean itself off fossil fuels? Can wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources generate enough joules to drive permanent economic growth? Should carbon emissions be taxed?
Things constantly change. Everyone knows it. Steady, sometimes sudden change provides contour to individual human lives. Now, it seems humans have changed planet Earth like it’s never been changed before.
Like Earth’s climate, Manitoba Hydro’s office tower — in the city of Winnipeg — is an integrated system. As Earth’s climate warms, energy efficient buildings like this will be in demand.
It would be difficult to go a day without stainless steel, and that steel would not be stainless without ferrochrome — the end product of chromite mining. In northern Ontario, chromium mining generates controversy.
In an agronomy lab and farm field in Montpellier, France, scientists are uncovering the secrets of one of the world’s great crops. The potential spin-offs for global green economies are huge.
Picture a landscape buried beneath a sky-high heap of dead plants and animal corpses. This is what Earth’s surface would look like if it weren’t for fungi. Fungi are the biosphere’s recyclers. Human society depends on them absolutely.
Plants that grow from seeds are the foundation of humanity’s food supply. Wheat, barley, oats, corn, potatoes and a dizzying variety of beans and legumes … Conserving these seeds of survival is one of humanity’s greatest challenges.
In the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where cattle peacefully graze and ranchers retire to handsome chalets, a purple haze hovers. Fracking is being blamed not only for air pollution, but for a litany of health complaints.