10 in 2 - Week of September 4th - wild dogs vote by sneezing

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 4th

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



...so here we go:


  1. Mars, the privately held chocolate company has pledged to spend $1 billion on its "Sustainability in a Generation" plan. It aims to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and promoting sustainable farming. Mars wants big companies around the world to follow its lead, which will include investments in renewable energy, food sourcing, cross-industry action groups, as well as directly in support of farmers. (Business Insider)

  2. According to Forbes, Sustainable food startup Memphis Meats received $17 million in Series A financing from notable investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and more. The company is developing “real meat grown directly from animal cells.” A new trend in food that is designed to significantly reduce the environmental, social and moral footprint associated with industrial scale meat production. (Forbes)

  3. The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States. All of this is made possible by a commitment to sustainable food systems and technological research in the face of the global population boom. (National Geographic)

  4. In a related story, SoftBank-backed startup Plenty is out to build massive indoor farms on the outskirts of every major city on Earth. In the world they are imagining and attempting to create, food could go from farm to table in hours rather than days or weeks. The startup is on track to begin deliveries from its pilot vertical farm to grocers in the bay area by the end of 2017. (Bloomberg)

  5. Nonprofit Democracy Earth’s Sovereign app is poised to completely change how people vote. Employing blockchain technology, the app allows people to securely and easily vote on important issues at a country or company level.. The first test of Sovereign allowed users to vote on an unofficial deal between Columbia and a rebel group. A number of South American political groups have reportedly already expressed interest in the app, which could help trigger a more widespread adoption of internet-powered democracy. (Democracy Earth)

  6. In a related study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, African wild dogs vote over pack decisions by sneezing - the more sneezes there were, the more likely it was the pack moved off and started hunting. This differs from the Democracy Earth news in one crucial way: the study suggested some sneezes hold more weight than others, and much like many humans, the dogs haven't yet figured out what blockchain is, exactly. (BBC)

  7. Another nonprofit story: OpenSourceSeeds based in the German town of Marburg has just launched a licensing process for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity. The idea is to separate seeds from the private domain, in direct response to the increasing trend towards monopolization of genetic resources.

  8. Zach saw a tweet this week that gave solid reasoning for his preponderance for arguing with people online despite the next to zero chance of changing their minds. Reason one, to change the minds of less- committed onlookers. Two, to give comfort to onlookers who are glad to have allies in the fray. Three, to reinforce the valuable norm of sharing one's opinion.  And four, to model polite and reasonable argumentation. So get out there, and politely hammer on climate skeptics. (@juliagalef)

  9. A new study published in the journal Risk Analysis found that Americans across the political spectrum are more likely to support policies designed to mitigate climate change after viewing news articles and images that inspire hope. Articles that provoked fear, on the other hand, encouraged people to be more willing to compromise on the issue, particularly conservatives who are less likely to support climate change policies. Anger had the opposite effect, spurring people to stick to their beliefs and remain divided down political lines. (Wiley Online Library)

  10. Understanding the link between climate change and the recent apocalyptic weather around the globe really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. A warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, thus the same storm in a warmer planet would give you more rainfall. (Time)


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