Agriculture

A global climate change directive?
March 14, 2014 04:11 PM - Editor, ENN

Could another climate change deal be in the works? World leaders are meeting in Brussels this month to discuss climate change. While environmentalists are calling for urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, diplomatic language presented in the introductory document is most likely not ambitious enough.

Agricultural Subsidies Remain a Staple in the Industrial World
March 12, 2014 11:20 AM - Grant Potter, Worldwatch Institute

In 2012, the most recent year with data, agricultural subsidies totaled an estimated $486 billion in the top 21 food-producing countries in the world. These countries—the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and seven other countries (Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine)—are responsible for almost 80 percent of global agricultural value added in the world.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Trash talk: Ocean Dumping
March 10, 2014 11:01 AM - McKaylee Reavis, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Remember the excitement that filled your body when your parents told you the family was going to go to the beach? Remember the excitement slowly leaving your body when you witnessed the trash that covered the beach for miles? Ocean dumping has become a major problem for marine life and the people who enjoy its many benefits. Many marine animals have suffered from the trash in the water and people have suffered from the sight of trash filling the ocean and cluttering the beaches ruining their supposed beautiful day. Industries, cities, and militaries have been dumping their waste into the ocean for years now. One solution to prevent this problem is to impose stricter restrictions on ocean dumping that range from pedestrian waste to toxic nuclear hazard.

How to do a Successful Spring Garden
March 9, 2014 09:23 AM - Beth Buczynski, Care2, Care2

This is it. The year you stop wasting time and energy on inedible grass, and plant a garden instead. Growing your own food is a powerful, revolutionary action. It reduces your dependence on an agricultural system that’s more concerned with profit than nutrition or food safety. It also gets you outside, hands in the dirt, appreciating Mother Nature’s glorious ability to turn a tiny seed into a delicious supper. But we're not as good as gardening as we once were. We're out of practice. Those of us who've never tried gardening (or tried and failed) have lots of doubts. You’ve heard the saying "failure to plan is a plan to fail"? Although Spring has yet to officially arrive, now is the time to start planning your garden, and gathering the tools you'll need to make it thrive. That’s why we've put together this simple to-do list. And if you've got any tips or suggestions that can help turn brown thumbs green, please share them in the comments!

Challenges and a call for Conservation Cooperation in the Arab world
March 8, 2014 08:31 AM - Mark Henley, SciDevNet

The Arab region's best chance of facing the challenges of food insecurity, water scarcity and natural disasters lies in collaborating on environmental preservation, a study says. The study, published in The Lancet (20 January), argues that current academic discussions about health, population and development in the Arab region fail to convey the true level of urgency.

Clear through the haze for marine ecosystems in Southeast Asia
March 7, 2014 11:51 AM - Kimberly Wang, National University of Singapore

The unprecedented high levels of transboundary haze in Southeast Asia last year prompted Dr. Zeehan Jaafar, a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science, and Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, a postdoctoral research associate at the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, USA), to critically evaluate the potential impacts of biomass burning and haze to marine ecosystems in the Southeast Asian region.

Crop Pests "Vastly Underestmated' Warns Study
March 6, 2014 03:22 PM - Sci Dev Net Contibutor, SciDevNet

The number of different pests plaguing crops in the developing world may be vastly underestimated, contributing to severely reduced harvests in some of the world’s most important food-producing nations, say researchers.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: The faults of fracking
March 3, 2014 11:41 AM - Reid Short, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Hydraulic Fracturing is a process that sends pressurized liquid down to a target depth to fracture rock and draws out liquids, such as natural gas. This process is used to retrieve the gas from rock formations beneath the earth that were previously thought to be unsuitable for gas production (Helman) (Rao). Fracking is now being implemented all over the world. Many countries have turned to this method of extracting gas to lower fuel costs and balance their trade deficits, but these countries, including the United States, are allowing fracking to cause major damage to the environment. The water pollution, and air pollution that are caused by fracking, and the law exemptions it has, are inexcusable because of the damage and danger they cause to the environment.

The dangers of chemicals used in food packaging
March 2, 2014 08:32 AM - Jo Adetunji, The Ecologist

The long-term effects of synthetic chemicals used in packaging, food storage and processing food could be damaging our health, scientists have warned. Jo Adetunji reports. We actually know very little about how chemicals affect bodily functions or promote disease, or at what life stage we are susceptible. In a paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the authors said most of these potentially damaging chemicals were found in "food contact materials". These include the coatings on the inside of cans, laminates on cartons, and glass jar seals.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Resources
February 24, 2014 01:07 PM - Flavio Avalos, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Fossil fuels have been the main source of the energy all over the world. They increase the amount of CO2 emissions, and the emission of CO2 is a great cause of global warming in the atmosphere, destroying the atmospheric layers. What can we do to lower the demand of fossil fuels and become more eco friendly with renewable energy resources? The percent of US transportation sector consumption is 95.4% fossil fuels (Article 3), and this shows the reliance of the US on fossil fuels. As the Institute for Energy states, "Fossil Fuels make modern life possible" and that the only reason that our modern society works and the privileges we get are all due to the fact of fossil fuels (Article 3). Need I remind you: fossil fuels are limited and could go out?

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