This Summer’s Heat Waves Could Be the Strongest Climate Signal Yet: ‘In many places, people are preparing for the past or present climate. But this summer is the future

By Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, 28 July 2018 Extreme heat killed more than 80 people in Japan in July, just a few weeks after flooding from downpours was blamed for more than 200 deaths there. Martin Bureau/Getty Images Earth’s global warming fever spiked to deadly new highs across the Northern Hemisphere this summer, and we’re feeling the results—extreme heat …

Reconnecting With Rural America

BY TOM VILSACK FROM WINTER 2018, NO. 47, A JOURNAL OF IDEAS SYMPOSIUM | WHAT IS RED-STATE LIBERALISM? Photo by National Renewable Energy Lab via CC 2.0 In 2012 my wife, Christie, ran for Congress against incumbent Representative Steve King in Iowa’s 4th congressional district. The 4th congressional district was considered to be one of the top ten most conservative districts in the country in 2012. The …

Clothing from Ag fibers + Urban Gardening 101: How to Deal With Contaminated Soil

By Brian Barth, Modern Farmer, on EcoWatch Urban soils are particularly prone to contamination. Fifty years ago, your yard could have belonged to a farmer, who, perhaps not knowing any better, disposed of old bottles of anti-freeze or contaminated diesel in a hole out behind the tractor garage. Or perhaps the remains of a fallen down outbuilding, long ago coated …

Solar PV shows a record learning rate: 28.5% reduction in cost per Watt for every doubling of cumulative capacity

Kees van der Leun‏ @Sustainable2050 Latest learning curve for solar PV modules, by @BloombergNEF, shows a record learning rate: 28.5% reduction in cost per Watt for every doubling of cumulative capacity, 1976-2018e! Includes the spectacular 35% drop, forecast for this year. 2:38 PM – 20 Jun 2018Kees van der Leun‏ @Sustainable205024h24 hours ago The sustained dramatic improvement in solar PV costs, already …

How to Build a Chicken Coop

By Brian Barth, Modern Farmer If you’ve taken the plunge and are brooding baby chicks, the only thing that stands between you and a supply of fresh eggs is a permanent place for your hens to call home. By six weeks of age they need something more than a cardboard box to live in. Building a basic chicken coop for a …

Takings Will Coloradans vote away their peaches and plums? Their bees?

  A bee pollinating an apple blossom. Within six months, the European Union will ban all outdoor use of the class of pesticides known as neonicotiniods. Neonics (for short) have been linked to bee kills, are toxic to birds, and even threaten the health of aquatic ecosystems. While neonics are under attack from environmental activists in the US as well, anti-regulatory ideology at the Federal level …

Agroecology Is Becoming A Global Movement. But Where Does the U.S. Fit In? Movements move government policy, not the other way around.

Support farmer-to-farmer exchange that spreads agroecological practices through existing, and expanding, networks of small-scale family producers. It would entail greatly expanding the numbers of small, ecological farmers, based on the wisdom of those who already produce in this way  “Scholars interested in advancing agroecology must turn to their own institutions, see how we do and don’t work with and for …

Exporting water quality problems

Mar 22, 2018, by Kate Ravilious, contributing editor to environmentalresearchweb. A new study has shown that some rivers are far more capable of mopping up livestock-related pollution than others. For countries, like the UK, with rivers that are already overloaded, imported meat helps to keep rivers clean at home, but often results in extra river pollution elsewhere. Intensive livestock farming is a major source of …