Agriculture begins to tackle its role in climate change

After years of being off the table in climate talks, agriculture is now being considered widely by countries trying to reach their Paris emissions cuts pledges. By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News 4 Jan 2017 Farming in places like drought-plagued California is clearly impacted by climate change, but it can also play a role in slowing global warming, many countries …

How a climate-friendly flour company built a flourishing market

Shutterstock By Patrick Mazza on Feb 20, 2017 Shepherd’s Grain sells not only high-quality flour made from wheat grown with no-till practices, it also sells the story of no-till, a farming method that eliminates the significant climate-warming carbon releases caused by plowing. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company sources wheat directly from family farmers around the interior Pacific Northwest and …

Poverty leads to stress and increased cortisol which increases obesity

From Science Daily, 23 Feb 2017 People who suffer long-term stress (such as those in poverty, according to epidemiologists Pickett and Wilkison) may also be more prone to obesity, according to research by scientists at UCL which involved examining hair samples for levels of cortisol, a hormone which regulates the body’s response to stress. The paper, published in the journal …

Less than 10 percent of food currently wasted in US reaches the 1 in 7 Americans without enough to eat

Cross-posted from ThinkProgress.org During this season of charitable spirit, holiday meal preparation, and reckless consumer behavior, the amount of food we throw in the trashcan deserves a moment of our attention. Fifty-two million tons of food are wasted by consumers and consumer-facing businesses annually — over 80 percent of all U.S. food waste. Currently, less than 10 percent of that food is …

What is the cost of half of refugee children not being in school, when 90%+ were attending before climate, drought, famine and other disruptions in their countries?

New York Times, 16 Sept 2016 The report said only 50 percent of refugee children have access to primary education, compared with a global average of more than 90 percent. As children grow older the gap widens — 22 percent of refugee adolescents attend secondary school, compared with the global average of 84 percent. One percent of refugees attend college, …

During drought, dry air can stress plants more than dry soil

Newly published research finds that low relative humidity in the atmosphere is a significant, growing and often under-appreciated cause of plant stress in hot, dry weather conditions. The finding suggests that models used to gauge the impact of drought on ecosystems should be refined to more accurately account for the role of low atmospheric humidity.The finding suggests that models used …

Transport agency making side areas available for vegetable gardening

By Jonathan Prynn, cross-posted from the London Evening Standard 22 September 2015 After Transport for London made the spot available, charity workers transformed a windswept station platform into a thriving fruit, vegetable and flower garden to brighten up commuters’ lives.  They plan to create dozens more across London. The “Energy Garden” at Brondesbury Park Overground station in Kilburn has been so successful …