What can a Green New Deal learn from other countries?

From net-zero carbon emissions to transportation fixes, some ideas in the Green New Deal have been tested abroad.

A Green New Deal is far from a sure thing. Political challenges are already growing tendrils around the proposal, and it’s not clear how its roughly-outlined plans will coalesce into specific policies. But surveys show that American voters are more concerned about climate change than ever before and that a majority of voters on both sides of the aisle support the idea of a comprehensive plan to address it.

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Posted in Green economy, Green Knowledge | Tagged ,

Growing up in dirty air ‘quadruples chances of developing depression’

Children who lived in areas with higher air pollution when younger are significantly more likely to have developed major depression by the age of 18, according to research.

In the first analysis of how common air pollutants affect teenage mental health, researchers found young people were three to four times more likely to have depression at 18 if they had been exposed to dirtier air at age 12. Comparison with earlier work indicates that air pollution is a greater risk factor than physical abuse in raising the risk of teenage depression.

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Read also: Research Paper

Posted in Air pollution, Depression | Tagged ,

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’

Insects could vanish within a century at the current rate of decline, says global review.

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

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Posted in Insect, Nature | Tagged ,

Forest soil needs decades or centuries to recover from fires and logging

The 2009 Black Saturday fires burned 437,000 hectares of Victoria, including tens of thousands of hectares of Mountain Ash forest.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of these fires, we are reminded of their legacy by the thousands of tall Mountain ash “skeletons” still standing across the landscape. Most of them are scattered amid a mosaic of regenerating forest, including areas regrowing after logging.

But while we can track the obvious visible destruction of fire and logging, we know very little about what’s happening beneath the ground.

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Posted in Forest, Soil | Tagged ,

Climate Change is changing wind patterns and making Ocean waves stronger

Climate change is changing our wind patterns, which is strengthening waves traveling across the earth’s surface.

As climate change has gradually heated oceans around the globe, it’s also been making ocean waves stronger and more deadly, according to a new study published in Nature Monday.

Upper-ocean waves are driven by local wind patterns, which are driven by temperature differences between different layers of the air. So as we pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and heat up the air, we’re also strengthening certain wind patterns and weakening others. The net effect on our oceans is stronger winds making stronger waves.

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Posted in Climate change, Ocean | Tagged ,

Vertical Gardening Ideas for Small Garden and Balcony

A vertical garden is a garden that grows upward (vertically) using a trellis or other support system, rather than on the ground (horizontally). Anything grown on a trellis or even a fence is technically part of a vertical garden. This technique can be used to create living screens between different areas, providing privacy for your yard or home. More recently, vertical gardens can also be used to grow flowers and even vegetables. vertical gardening is used by many as a means to ensure they are using their garden space to its maximum potential. A simple structure formed by bamboo poles can allow bean plants to climb vertically, providing more growing space than would be possible in a conventional horizontal garden. Cucumbers, squash, and even tomatoes can be grown vertically, as well. Climbing plants and vines are far from the only options when it comes to vertical gardening. With a little planning and the right materials, vertical gardens can be created that allow you to grow virtually anything. A number of DIY kits can be found that use small cups or other containers set in rows in the face of vertical support. These containers are filled with soil and seeds and then watered. Of course, you’re not limited to using a single row of containers set into a vertical surface. You can also use virtually any system that allows you to grow upward instead of outward. This includes scaffolding, shelving systems, and more. Simply create flat surfaces at varying intervals along the vertical axis and add plant trays or pots. Harvesting crops from a vertical garden is significantly easier than with a conventional on-the-ground garden. Because you are able to harvest while standing mostly upright or completely upright (depending on the vertical level being harvested), as opposed to kneeling or squatting on the ground, vertical gardening is easier on the back and legs, and many people with arthritis or other disabilities find it highly beneficial.

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Posted in Vertical Garden | Tagged

We Know Nature Makes Us Happier. Now Science Says It Makes Us Kinder Too

Nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior.

I’ve been an avid hiker my whole life. From the time I first strapped on a backpack and headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I was hooked on the experience, loving the way being in nature cleared my mind and helped me to feel more grounded and peaceful.

But, even though I’ve always believed that hiking in nature had many psychological benefits, I’ve never had much science to back me up … until now, that is. Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding and stress, and to increase our attention capacity, creativity, and ability to connect with other people.

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Posted in Nature | Tagged

Gardening to extend your life and drop your stress

Dan Buettner has studied five places around the world where residents are famed for their longevity: Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece, and Loma Linda in California and Sardinia in Italy.

People living in these so-called “blue zones” have certain factors in common – social support networks, daily exercise habits, and a plant-based diet, for starters. But they share another unexpected commonality. In each community, people are gardening well into old age – their 80s, 90s and beyond.

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Read also: Doctors in Scotland can now prescribe nature

Posted in Gardening, Nature | Tagged ,

Why Kids Need Wilderness And Adventure More Than Ever

These days, our kids’ lives are overscheduled, filled with pressure, and can be pretty intense. School, homework, sports and/or other extracurricular activities fill the week and often consumes many weekends as well. We all can feel like there is no time left to fit anything else in. There has to be. Our younger kids and teenagers need wilderness and adventure in their lives and who better to model it to them than us, their parents. I would actually argue that it is more important than a lot of the scheduled activities we have them in now. Wilderness and adventure will help develop them into well-rounded young adults.

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Posted in Children, Nature | Tagged ,

Lessons Learned from Centuries of Indigenous Forest Management

Over centuries, even millennia, indigenous communities have developed interdependent systems of agriculture and forestry that are uniquely suited to the ecological requirements of the land they inhabit. Yet even today says Charles M. Peters, a curator of Botany at the New York Botanical Garden, that skill and knowledge often remain unacknowledged, with some government officials and conservationists arguing that indigenous communities should sometimes be excluded from protected lands that are part of their historical territory.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Peters — author of the recently published book, Managing the Wild: Stories of People and Plants and Tropical Forests — discusses what he has learned from 35 years of working with indigenous forest communities; explains how indigenous farming, even slash-and-burn agriculture, can actually improve forest health; and reflects on the need to enlist indigenous groups as allies in the struggle to preserve and restore tropical forests.

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Posted in Forest, Indigenous communities, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous practice | Tagged , , ,