The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World?

“The oldest and most common dig against organic agriculture is that it cannot feed the world’s citizens; this, however, is a supposition, not a fact. And industrial agriculture isn’t working perfectly, either: the global food price index is at a record high, and our agricultural system is wreaking havoc with the health not only of humans but of the earth. There are around a billion undernourished people; we can also thank the current system for the billion who are overweight or obese.

Yet there is good news: increasing numbers of scientists, policy panels and experts (not hippies!) are suggesting that agricultural practices pretty close to organic — perhaps best called “sustainable” — can feed more poor people sooner, begin to repair the damage caused by industrial production and, in the long term, become the norm. “

Scientists Tune In To The ‘Voices Of The Landscape’

“There’s nothing new about studying animal sounds; biologists have been doing that for centuries. After all, if you want to understand birds, you need to understand how they communicate.

But Bryan Pijanowski is now asking his colleagues to take a huge step back and, metaphorically speaking, listen not just to the trees, but to the forest.

“We’re trying to understand how sounds can be used as measures of ecosystem health,” says Pijanowski, who teaches in the department of forestry and natural resources at Purdue University.”

House Subcommittee Moves To Block EPA Funding On Emissions

“A House subcommittee has voted to deny funds for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, in a Thursday session that pitted Republicans against Democrats in a heated debate.”

China’s coal reserves ‘will make it new Middle East’, says energy chief

“Fred Palmer, World Coal Association boss, also says China technologically is ahead of US, and fossil fuels are here to stay. Discuss this story and read the full interview with Fred PalmerVast reserves of coal in the far west of China mean it is set to become the “new Middle East”, a leading figure in the global coal industry has claimed. Fred Palmer, the chairman of the London-based World Coal Association and a key executive at Peabody Energy, the world’s largest privately owned coal company, also said that China is leading the US in efforts to develop technology to “clean” coal of its carbon emissions by burying them underground. In a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, Palmer dismissed the idea that the world might ever experience “peak coal” – the point at which maximum global coal production rate is reached.”

Do Green Cars Just Make People Drive More?

“Treehugger reports that in Sweden, purchases of fuel-efficient cars are on the rise, but so are emissions. So does this mean that Swedes are actually driving more (and thus creating more emissions) because their new green cars allow them to do so more cheaply? This question is an example of the Jevons Paradox, which David Owen recently wrote about in the New Yorker: Make something more efficient, and people will use it more.”

See Also: $100 a barrel oil: Bad for Wall Street, good for green cars

Scientists puzzled by Penguin disappearance

“From various articles: British researchers say that the reason a small colony of Emperor penguins on an island off the West Antarctic Peninsula has disappeared, is probably because of sea ice loss caused by global warming.”

Wind turbines on farmland may benefit crops

“Wind turbines in Midwestern farm fields may be doing more than churning out electricity. The giant turbine blades that generate renewable energy might also help corn and soybean crops stay cooler and dryer, help them fend off fungal infestations and improve their ability to extract growth-enhancing carbon dioxide from the air and soil.”

EPA Awards $32 Million to Understand Health Impacts of Air Pollution

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $32 million to fund four new Clean Air Research Centers at universities conducting cutting edge air pollution research. The research will focus on the impacts of air pollution mixtures on people’s health. It is important to understand the health risks associated with exposure to multiple air pollutants because people are exposed to more than one pollutant at a time.”

In Pinedale, Wyo., Residents Adjust to Air Pollution

“Strong sun, not too much wind, a good thick snow pack: sounds like a perfect late winter’s day in a remote rural Western valley rimmed by snaggle-topped mountains.

But that has also been the stage set for the worst ozone pollution event here in three years — in one of the places people might least expect. The nearest metropolis, Salt Lake City, is 180 miles away, and the usual smog suspects — cars, trucks, factories, indeed people in general — are few and far between in a county of only 8,800 residents. “

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
The New York Times covers environmental news and their Science page has additional stories. The Washington Post blog Post Carbon includes stories and commentary on climate and energy issues.

Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.


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