Viewing entries tagged
Protecting the Environment

Farmer Economics and Saving The Planet: The Case of Herbicides

Luckily, “smart sprayers” have arrived! These sprayers use machine-vision technology that enables weed recognition and the targeting of individual weeds. According to a recent survey, 20% of precision technology dealers indicated they were already offering the sprayers, and half the dealers foresaw offering the sprayers in the near future, given farmer interest and product improvements. …Precision spraying means less herbicide residue outside the target. Good for the soil, good for the water, and good for endangered species everywhere.

GM Crops, Climate Change and Protecting the Environment: The Latest Research

According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) associated with land use account for somewhere between 21-37% of all anthropogenic emissions. Agriculture is the main culprit, both as a cause of deforestation and as a major emitter of GHGs, especially carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Agriculture is also destroying biodiversity and pushing all sorts to species to the brink of extinction.

Saving Endangered Species Through Better Farming

To make matters even worse, most of the developing world is moving to beef and cows wreak much more environmental havoc than chickens and pigs. Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue at least for the next couple generations. Which is a long time if you’re an endangered species.

Environmental Issues to Engage Climate Change Skeptics

…For instance, in a recent survey, even though just 36% of Republican or Republican-Leaning Millennials endorsed “Earth is warming mostly due to human activity”, 83-87% of the same group supported expansion of renewables and 60% wanted the government to do more to protect animals and habitat (Pew Research 2019). So here are some environmental causes the skeptics might be interested in: …

How Can We Save Coral Reefs? A Primer

Overfishing, destructive fishing practices, coral harvesting and mining, sewage, sedimentation, pollution, elevated sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification are all stressors. Less stress and greater resilience to stress increase the likelihood of coral reefs living beyond the Anthropocene.

Ideology and Green New Deal, Part I: Introduction

…where once the Big Solution was seen as a means to fixing problems, it eventually becomes an end in itself - one that requires Big Problems to justify.  That’s because Big Solutions tend to involve painful sacrifice (the darkness before the dawn). And that pain had better be worth it!

Help Flowers Help the Planet: Part II

In Part I of this series, we established that the biosphere was in trouble because close to a fifth of all land plant species are threatened with extinction; 90% of all living land plants are flowering plants; and, most of terrestrial life depends, either directly or indirectly, on flowering plants. Houston, we have a problem…So, let’s create and manage flower and pollinator habitat! Focusing on urban spaces, home gardens, and farmland…

GM Crops: Good News, Bad News, and Some Fixes

The USDA and National Institute of Food and Agriculture do have a bunch of suggestions on how to deal with insect resistance, many of which would also help protect vulnerable birds and non-target insects. As follows…

Truth-Value and Use-Value: The Case of the Always-Changing Climate

My point here is simply to highlight that disagreements about “facts” are often less about their accuracy than their use-value - that is, what would happen if a lot of people accepted these facts as true. And thus we have a whole industry of scribblers and pundits who provide “context” to uncontested facts. Of course, such context comes with its own truth-value and use-value.