10 in 2 - Week of September 11th - moving to the country, not gonna eat a lot of peaches

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 11th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

  1. According to a study done at RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, a simple and inexpensive way to significantly increase a plant's drought tolerance is to grow it in vinegar-laced soil. Given trends associated with climate change, this could be a game-changer. (Popular Science)

  2. The Baker Institute, a thoroughly mainstream policy think tank, argues in Forbes that we should fund disaster relief by FEMA and other local agencies with a tax on carbon. Since excess carbon is a contributing factor to the increasing ‘once in a thousand year’ weather events, it just makes sense. It is just a matter of time before we have no choice but to internalize the growing costs of renegade carbon in the atmosphere. (Forbes)

  3. Uber launches Clean Air Plan for a greener future. The plan is specific to the UK,  includes goals of ensuring every car available on uberX in London will be 100% hybrid or fully electric by the end of 2019, and in the larger UK by 2022, and fully electric by 2025. In addition Uber is pledging  £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their driver’s cars to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, and expects to pay out £150m over the life of the fund. (Uber)

  4. A fungus with an appetite for plastic has been discovered in a garbage dump. Scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre and the Kunming Institute of Botany in China think the fungus could help deal with our waste problem by using enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials. (Agroforestry World)

  5. On September 7 a video went viral on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat showing a river of mud and grass moving through what social media users recognized as the Dimye village on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Since the video began circulating, many have speculated that the flow was caused by the melting of permafrost. (National Geographic)

  6. New Delhi-based Ant Studio made a zero-electricity air conditioner to combat the brutally hot summers in India’s capital. This low-tech, energy efficient, and artistic solution to the sweltering heat harnesses the power of evaporative cooling. The innovative honeycomb-like installation is made with conical clay tubes that naturally reduce the surrounding temperature. (Inhabitat)

  7. The Red List of Threatened Species, maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has declared the Christmas Island pipistrelle, a bat species found only on that island, extinct. Meanwhile, due to habitat loss and human pressures, Thailand’s Thongaree’s disc-nosed bat, Madagascar’s Rumpelstiltskin pygmy grasshopper and 5 species of African antelope have moved to the critically endangered list. On the positive side, the Rodriguez flying fox and the snow leopard are moving back from the brink. (New Scientist)

  8. A study published in the journal Biological Conservation, shows that in the last 35 years, the population of western monarchs has plummeted from about 10 million living along the west coast to approximately 300,000. Even more concerning, if present trends continue, the butterflies face an 86 percent extinction probability over the next 50 years. (Sierra Club)

  9. 2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. Climate change, and the loss in winter chill that can come with it, poses a particular threat to fruit and nut trees and the farmers who depend on them. Farmers who grow annual crops, such as corn and wheat, replant every year and might be able to adapt more nimbly. (538)

  10. Israel-based startup StoreDot has some weird ‘organic’ battery technology that they claim can charge an electric vehicle in 5 mins, and they just raised $60 million led by Daimler. However, when it comes to claims of “battery breakthroughs”, it’s extremely difficult to distinguish what has real potential and what is simply PR fluff. (Electrek)

 



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