Wednesday, May 24, 2017

British territories' environment 'at risk'

Wildlife and the environment in far-flung British territories are under threat, says a report.

Environment ministers from Britain's overseas territories say the government has cut funds and been distracted by Brexit. They say there is huge confusion among government departments about responsibility for the territories.

The government calls the criticism unfair and points to its creation of large marine protection areas.

The UK holds jurisdiction over 19 British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies - parts of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories.

Therefore, I would argue that it is time for the colonies to take more responsability and control of their environments. Editor

https://goo.gl/nCvcwz

Monday, May 22, 2017

Atlantic Crossing

Albert Bates is in London this week and on their trip across the pond they could not help but think how much more we would much prefer to have gotten here by sail.

Sadly, there is a distinct competitive advantage that favors passenger jets. If following tradewinds for an ocean crossing means devoting days and weeks for such travel, clipper ships are not coming back any time soon. Still, given the past century’s advances in materials and computing power, there are great opportunities for innovation in Atlantic crossings.

There are also some black swans that could tip the balance against flying. The three biggies are peak oil, climate weirding and cyberwarfare.

https://goo.gl/U2B7LN

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Climate change can cause both flooding and droughts


Climate change can cause both flooding and droughts. How is that possible? Learn more: bit.ly/2kY6xh6

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Climate War Room now has new .eco domain

The Climate War Room, an initiative of The Cayman Institute is committed to using a .eco domain, which is a new web address ending for anyone committed to positive change for the planet.


.eco is a new web address ending—known as a top-level domain—for anyone committed to positive change for the planet. .eco web addresses are available to any business, government, non-profit or individual working toward a sustainable future.

The .eco domain is backed by more than 50 environmental organizations including Conservation International, United Nations Global Compact and WWF and is a trusted symbol for the environmental community. www.climatewarroom.org

Towards a livable future


Humans have influenced nature since as early as the Ice Age, and over the past century our impact has become even greater with our many new technologies and a growing world population. Leiden researchers study this impact and how we can keep it within reasonable limits so that nature can be preserved. We cannot do without nature: we need it for our food and for raw materials, as well as for relaxation.

Human and nature: a complex relationship

Humans were probably already deliberately burning down forest areas at the end of the Ice Age, in order to create a more variable landscape. Since then the world population has grown exponentially, and will continue to do so, which means that man's impact on the planet will also increase. Natural systems and cycles are becoming disrupted leading to such problems as pollution, depletion of resources and climate change. There is evidence that biodiversity plays a major role in stable ecosystems, and, besides this, nature is a valuable asset for humans because of the peace and relaxation that it can offer. The way we use the planet does not always reflect our desire to create -- and maintain -- a healthy living environment. In Leiden researchers investigate how we can bridge this gap and how we can provide a good life for ourselves without harming the planet and future generations.

What works for us?

Leiden researchers from different disciplines conduct research on nature and biodiversity, investigating such questions as what man's impact is in farmland areas, for instance. 'The Netherlands is a small country with a super-intensive agrarian culture,' Gert de Snoo explains. De Snoo, Professor of Conservation Biology, and his colleagues discovered that maintaining small areas of nature on farmland, such as wild flowers along the borders of fields, can have a positive effect on biodiversity. Ecotoxicologists conduct research on the effects of biodiversity, exploring the influence of pesticides on local biodiversity. We can also learn from the past. Archaeologists study how man influenced his living environment in the past and what the consequences were. This could be something like the erosion of areas of loess in South Limburg, a process that was started by the Romans, but that only in the 20th century led to extensive mudslides, making the land permanently unsuitable for agriculture. All these insights generate knowledge about how we can best approach our need for food while at the same time preserving the planet.

Don't exhaust nature: use it wisely

We all want so much today: we want to live in nice houses, fly all over the world and have the newest and best smartphones. All this is possible, but at the same time we are exhausting the planet because all these products and services need raw materials. Over the years Leiden has collected enormous amounts of data on raw material supplies. How do physical flows of raw materials move across the world? Where can they be found? Leiden has the world's biggest database on this issue, which makes it possible for our researchers to chart the metabolism of society. This offers insights into the best ways of using and reusing sustainable materials so we are better able to create a circular economy.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Leiden, Universiteit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference

WHY CAYMAN? WHY NOW?

Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels.

The Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC) is about building our resilience as a small nation, about diversifying our energy sector and the way that we do business.

It is about ensuring sustainable social and economic growth through strong leadership, recognising the threat of climate change and the vulnerability of islands across the world and voicing our commitment to take the measures that we can take now. More

Sunday, March 5, 2017

This grazing and cover crop system is producing some impressive numbers - By Gabe Brown


Phone calls, emails and even a few old-fashioned letters — all say the same thing. As I travel presenting at conferences and workshops, the statement comes up repeatedly.

If only I had a dollar for the number of times I had people tell me, “Gabe, you just don’t understand that our soils are not like yours.” I have learned to listen patiently (OK, sometimes not so patiently) as these people tell me all the reasons my soils are productive, and theirs are not.

When they finish, I ask them what they imagine their land looked like pre-European settlement. To this I usually receive a puzzled look.

My point is this: How is it that these lands were once healthy, functioning ecosystems? What changed between then and now? Could it be that we are the reason our land is no longer as productive as it once was? Could it be we are the reason that our soils do not function properly?

We get a lot of visitors to our ranch, more than 2,100 last summer alone. I think most come wanting a “silver bullet.” What we show them is simply how to use the principles of nature to their advantage.

I make it a point to show the difference between soils on our ranch and those of nearby operations. All have the same soil types.

The accompanying table shows soil testing results for four operations in my neighborhood. The one titled “Organic” is just that — an organic operation that is very diverse in its cropping system. The operator grows spring wheat, barley, oats, corn, sunflowers, peas, soybeans, dry edible beans and alfalfa. Natural, organic fertilizers are used. No livestock are integrated onto this cropland. More