Friday, March 26, 2021

turning the desert into a forest


"When the rains arrive, his pits pit collect more water that feeds down to the seeds, increasing crop yields by up to 500%, according to the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

The adoption of zai and similar soil and water conservation methods across the West African nation over the past 30 years has improved food security, groundwater levels, tree cover and biodiversity, according to a 2018 study in the journal Sustainability."


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I believe China is also working on this idea.  Let's hope it works in many places.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

better cow food and jet fuel to help fix climate change


"According to a new study, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, the addition of scant amounts of seaweed to the diet of beef cattle reduced methane emissions by more than 80 percent. "


"Food waste often ends up in landfills, where it emits methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first two decades after it’s released. The paper sets out a method of producing fuel with this waste in a way that avoids methane emissions and instead transforms it into “volatile fatty acids,” which can then be made into jet fuel. 


The fuel can just be used in planes’ engines without modification, according to the study, and it’s compatible with existing energy infrastructure."

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Some hopefully good news!  I would think the seaweed supplement could be started immediately, while the jet fuel project will still take a while.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

There goes the neighborhood; rain forests take a beating


"Logging and land conversion, mainly for agriculture, have wiped out 34 per cent of the world's original old-growth tropical rainforests, and degraded another 30 per cent leaving them more vulnerable to fire and future destruction, according to an analysis by the non-profit Rainforest Foundation Norway.

More than half of the destruction since 2002 has been in South America's Amazon and bordering rainforests."

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We can build electric cars and windmills, but we can't build rain forests.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

California test results for Universal Basic Income


"After receiving $500 per month for two years without rules on how to spend it, 125 people in California paid off debt, got full-time jobs and had “statistically significant improvements” in emotional health, according to a study released Wednesday.

The program was the nation’s highest-profile experiment in decades of universal basic income (UBI), an idea that gained national attention when it became a major part of Andrew Yang’s 2020 campaign for president."


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The fear has always been that a UBI would create lazy people, but that isn't what happens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

law requires that products be fixable and last 10 years


The change comes as a result of legislation from the European Parliament, which recently voted in favour of establishing stronger “right to repair” rules. These rules should help reduce electrical waste, which has been increasing due to greater manufacturing.

While the UK has left the European Union, the UK’s manufacturing standards will necessarily have to match those of the 27 nation bloc, in order for any trade to continue. The rule comes into effect today.

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I've been hoping for this for years.  Some products, for example, have batteries built-in in such a way that it would be difficult for a DIY person to replace.  This is a win-win for consumers, the environment, and everybody.


Monday, March 1, 2021

How's about we just ban cars from cities?


Mr. Würzner, who drives an experimental hydrogen-powered Mercedes, acknowledged that not every city could afford to do all the things that had made Heidelberg a showcase for environmentally friendly planning. The University of Heidelberg, one of Germany’s most prestigious universities, has spawned numerous research institutes that provide a solid tax base. The residents tend to be well educated and affluent.

“It’s true the city is in a quite good financial situation,” Mr. Würzner said.

But he said he often heard from mayors in Europe, the United States and Asia who wanted to emulate Heidelberg’s strategy.

“We all know we have to go in this direction,” he said. “It’s just a question of how fast.”


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The problem in the US is cities, like say Phoenix, were designed around the automobile.  You pretty much have to drive to work, to the grocery store, etc.  It will take quite a bit to re-arrange everything so pedestrians and bikes reign.  But Phoenix has also built a rail system and is expanding it.  So there is effort in the right direction.


trickle down economics does not work, says 50 years of data


But the analysis discovered one major change: The incomes of the rich grew much faster in countries where tax rates were lowered. Instead of trickling down to the middle class, tax cuts for the rich may not accomplish much more than help the rich keep more of their riches and exacerbate income inequality, the research indicates.

"Based on our research, we would argue that the economic rationale for keeping taxes on the rich low is weak," Julian Limberg, a co-author of the study and a lecturer in public policy at King's College London, said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. "In fact, if we look back into history, the period with the highest taxes on the rich — the postwar period — was also a period with high economic growth and low unemployment."


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"The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands."

 Will Rogers