10 in 2 - Week of September 18th - transgenic wilderness

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 18th

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

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Park rangers in Indonesia may have spotted an animal thought to live only in folklore and history books: a Javan tiger, declared extinct more than 40 years ago. The sighting offered a rare bit of positive environmental news to a country in which natural places are being destroyed at an alarming rate (NYT)

  2. Erhai Lake of Yunnan Province in southwest China has long suffered from pollution and enormous algae blooms caused by agricultural fertilizer runoff. The local government is determined to fix it by limiting abuse of chemical pesticides and fertilizers on the main local cash crop of garlic. Two experiments were launched, one in which fertilizer use was reduced by thirty percent and in the second, chemical fertilizers were abandoned completely.  In both experiments, in addition to the reduction of toxic run off the nutritional content and value of the garlic was elevated, giving hope to farmers who want to make money while doing no harm to the ecological system. (china.org.cn)

  3. California-based distillery Misadventure & Co. is working to reduce food waste in a completely unexpected way — by transforming discarded Twinkies and other dump-destined baked goods into vodka. Recovered products are blended, mashed and pitched with yeast to ferment into alcohol, before undergoing the distillation process where it is filtered into vodka. (Sustainable Brands)

  4. A recent study from the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that people who trip on psychedelics are more likely to be environmentally conscious. The study reported that "there is strong reason to believe that psychedelic substances increase nature relatedness as a function of their ego-dissolving effects." (Salon)

  5. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, to pay billions in compensation for past and future flooding, coastal erosion and property damage resulting from climate change. The suits claim the extraction and development of fossil fuels prompted a significant increase in global warming, and are the first, but likely not the last of their kind. (SF Gate)

  6. Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley technology startup incubator that’s that offered early funding for Airbnb, Dropbox, and many others, has its eyes on backing an even bigger potential disruption: basic income. The firm just completed its year long feasibility study and is embarking on a 5 year study with 3000 participants. For more on basic income, listen to this week's 99% Invisible podcast for a great story on The Finnish Experiment and how design thinking led them to basic income. (Inverse) (99 Percent Invisible)

  7. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup announced they will get all of their energy from renewables in a few years in another show of corporate support for climate action. Both banks also are joining RE100, an initiative that brings together over 100 large companies that are working towards only running on clean energy. (Bloomberg)

  8. The dawn of a 'transgenic wilderness' is upon us. Genetically modified hybrid animals could rehabilitate ecosystems that have been harmed by human development. The controversial idea, sometimes called "facilitated adaptation," posits that damage done to the planet's wildlife can be managed, and even reversed, by manually retooling the genes of threatened species for survival. (CNET)

  9. Fetal deaths rose and fertility rates dropped after Flint, Michigan switched to lead-poisoned water. Economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University estimate as many as 276 more children would have been born among babies conceived from November 2013 to March 2015 if Flint did not switch water sources. (Business Insider)

  10. The Denver Post has learned that Colorado landfills are illegally burying low-level radioactive waste from oil and gas industry. Health officials are trying to stop the practice and make new rules for low-level radioactive waste. Regulators said they don’t know of any “imminent” threat to public health, but we doubt that is making anyone feel better about the situation. (Denver Post)

 



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