Sunday, September 24, 2017

turning the desert into a green land

"Since 2013, we have been conducting an outdoor planting experiment  at  two  sites  (with  areas  of  approximately  550 m2  and  420m2,  respectively)  in  the  Nan’an  District  of  Chongqing,  China. 
Desert landform conditions were simulated in the experiment by establishing  a  15-cm-  to  25-cm-thick  plain  sand  layer  underlain  by  a  20-cm-  to  30-cm-thick  gravel  layer  on  the  ground.  Afterward,  three  types  of  “soilized”  sand  layers  with  thicknesses  of  10–20 cm, which were obtained by mixing sand with a modified sodium  carboxymethyl  cellulose  (CMC)  solution  (containing  2%  modified  CMC  and  5%  compound  fertilizer)  at  a  weight  ratio  of  1:0.15, were placed on top of the plain sand layer in separate sections. Three types of commercially available sand for building and construction (clean river sand), with different fineness moduli of 1.22,  2.97,  and  3.71  and  without  any  soil  content,  were  subjected  to  “soilization”  for  the  experiment.  In  addition  to  these  river  sands,  three  other  granular  materials  (machine-made  sand  from  stone, sand mixed with machine-made sand from stone, and sand mixed with saw-dust) were also used in the planting experiment after  “soilization.”  Many  types  of  plants  (Fig.  1(a)),  such  as  rice  (Fig.1(b)),  corn  (Fig.  1(c)),  and  sweet  potatoes  (Fig.  1(d)),  were  planted in the “soilized” sand. In each year of the experiment, the plants  have  survived  the  heavy  rains  and  continuous  high  temperature  over  consecutive  sunny  days  that  are  characteristic  of  the climate in Chongqing, China. During these periods of continuous  high  temperature,  the  plants  have  been  appropriately  watered  at  different  intervals.  The  constraining  material  was  added  to the “soils” only once in the spring of 2013, and no further supplementation  has  been  made  to  the  “soils”  after  that,  except  for  the addition of an appropriate amount of fertilizer each year since 2014.  There  have  been  two  harvests  each  year,  and  the  plants  have  always  grown  luxuriantly  and  fruitfully  in  the  different  'soils.'"

This would be a wonderful thing for many countries, and for the world by helping slow climate change.  and simple!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

simple solution; make the polluters pay for their pollution

"Highlighting the dramatic progress made by China and India, Erik Solheim, executive director of UN Environment, urged governments to take a joined-up approach to going green.
'The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatized, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialized,' he told an international conference on sustainable development at New York's Columbia University on Monday.
'That cannot continue,' he said. 'Anyone who pollutes, anyone who destroys nature must pay the cost for that destruction or that pollution.'”

Makes perfect sense to me.  The Commons must be protected for all.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Netherlands shows the way for farming

"Seen from the air, the Netherlands resembles no other major food producer—a fragmented patchwork of intensely cultivated fields, most of them tiny by agribusiness standards, punctuated by bustling cities and suburbs. In the country’s principal farming regions, there’s almost no potato patch, no greenhouse, no hog barn that’s out of sight of skyscrapers, manufacturing plants, or urban sprawl. More than half the nation’s land area is used for agriculture and horticulture.

Banks of what appear to be gargantuan mirrors stretch across the countryside, glinting when the sun shines and glowing with eerie interior light when night falls. They are Holland’s extraordinary greenhouse complexes, some of them covering 175 acres.
These climate-controlled farms enable a country located a scant thousand miles from the Arctic Circle to be a global leader in exports of a fair-weather fruit: the tomato. The Dutch are also the world’s top exporter of potatoes and onions and the second largest exporter of vegetables overall in terms of value. More than a third of all global trade in vegetable seeds originates in the Netherlands."

Great article.