Beyond the “modern-day necessities” — cars, gas, electricity, and TikTok — the historically fundamental necessity, farming, contributes to a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. These emissions arise from agricultural practices, forestry, and land-use changes.
… Oh, and cow farts (or rather, their burps). Lest we forget the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that 14.5 percent of GHG emissions come from livestock, with cattle contributing to more than half of those emissions.
Since not-farming is not an option (and we can’t expect cows to never be gassy, even with dietary interventions), it’s high time for a sustainability overhaul of the agricultural industry: planet-friendly farming.
As sunflowers put on a show for us this month, it’s also important to pay homage to another black and yellow marvel of nature: bees.
September is National Honey Month, a time in which we honor the byproduct of the five-eyed, six-legged, insects that have soared through our skies at 20mph for the last 30 million years.
Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars to improved crop yield and quality annually in the United States, according to NASA. And while we all know the “BEES ARE DYING,” which will inevitably wreak havoc on agricultural output, did you know that honey may have played a critical role in human evolution?
Red speckles and poofy, majestical shapes that appear to be pulled straight from a fairy tale are most likely at the forefront of your mind when you think of mushrooms – or, perhaps, some colorful, swirly-whirly imagery and “hippie babble” come to mind.
But there’s far more to mushrooms than meets the eye. Mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi that forms during the hyphae growth stage of mushrooms, has piqued the interests of researchers around the globe.
In recent years, scientists have put mycelium under the microscope due to its physical strength and pharmacological properties. This has opened the floodgates for mycelia to serve as a natural construction compound for building houses or creating new medicines.
Last year saw record-breaking ice melt events in Greenland, with the largest island on Earth yielding a net ice loss of over 300gt, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
To put this into perspective, a gigatonne is 1,000,000,000 metric tons, and a metric ton is equal to 1.10231 US tons. 300gt is roughly 330.7 billion US tons. Here, try out the conversion for yourself. We’ll wait.
However, last year was only the seventh-worst year for ice melt in Greenland. Data from the NSIDC shows 2012 had the highest ice melt, but melt had significantly decreased by 2013 – that isn’t to say conditions weren’t a cause for concern, but they had “chilled out” in comparison to 2012.
So, is there a chance 2020 might spare a little mercy towards Greenland? Well…
Bodies of water dry up before our eyes. Temperatures rise and the heat grazes our skin. We hear the calls of stray wildlife forced out of their natural homes by land development in our backyards. We can smell toxic pollutants and have learned to idolize “fresh air.” Contaminants slither into our rivers and we ingest them through dishes of fish delicacies.
Climate change is happening all around us, and yet, many individuals surveyed during the 2012 to 2016 California droughts felt the situation and climate change were a “distant” problem that didn’t directly affect them.
“Even in more directly affected places, there was often reference to the drought having a greater impact ‘elsewhere’ in the State,” the study explains.