Grateful to the LinkedIn Eco-Enabler post today.

Melaleuca and bamboo growth, conservation and sustainability

Don’t mess with Mother Nature … comments CSea
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10
March

Posted by Green Life Staff

Only someone living in a cave or under a rock will not be able to observe the climate change happening now.  We have unusual weather patterns where the winter season is colder and the summer season is hotter, not to mention that the seasons now overlap more than ever.  As many will say, you can smell it in the air, see it on the ground and feel it in your bones.

So what is a gardener to do when gardening heavily depends on the climate?  Well, let’s adapt to the changes, of course!  This is what our forefathers did before us and we can certainly do it again.

Select Native Plants

With globalization, we have experienced non-native plants being cultivated in many areas of the world.  In many ways, this is a good move considering that biodiversity is a desirable quality in our ecosystems.

The problem, however, begins when the non-native species begin to ruin the natural ecology of the area.  This is possible when the new species carry new diseases to which the local plants have no prior immunity as well as when the non-native plants become invasive.

With that being the case, we should consider reverting to native plants.  This way, you can bring back the natural ecosystem where the plants have been able to adapt to the local conditions.  Plus, you need not worry about feeding water-hungry plants in an area known for being dry and vice-versa.

Rein in Your Lawn

In the first place, do you really need a lawn?  Maybe not especially when you consider the negative impact lawns exert on the environment – the pesticides and fertilizers used on lawns can seep toxic chemicals into the soil while the lawnmowers emit noxious fumes into the air.

Instead, you should put your front yard to good use by planting fruits and vegetables in it. Not only will you be able to help the environment with organic gardening but you will also benefit in terms of good health from the organic foods and the exercise.

Mulch Like There Is No Tomorrow

And speaking of organic gardening, you should mulch as much as possible.  This accomplishes two things:  First, it lessens the trash thrown into the landfills as mulch comes from compost that, in turn, is made of kitchen and garden wastes.  Second, mulch acts as protective barrier against water loss and pests, thus, lessening the need for water and toxic chemicals, respectively.

Help the Animals

It is not only the human species that will be affected by climate change.  We must look after the animals of the Earth especially those involved in food production.  We are talking of everything from little insects like bees and butterflies to big animals like cows and fishes.

While you are it, you should also make sure that you do your part in conserving the other animals of the world.  We have hard choices to make and we have no better time than now to start making them.

Related posts:

  1. What to Grow, Part 2
  2. Creating a Backyard Habitat
  3. 5 Tips to Take Care of Pets and Environment
  4. Victory Gardens – How To Start A Community Garden
  5. What to Grow, Part 1
  6. Autumn Leaves: Healthy Alternatives to Burning Fallen Leaves
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by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 03. 2.10

Cash for Caulkers

President Obama is set to announce a new residential renovation funding program that they call a “triple win”: a jolt to the sickly construction industry, saving Americans money on their energy bills and reducing dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Last month they might have called it a “quadruple win” and mentioned greenhouse gas reductions, but they don’t do that any more, Senator Inhofe would complain.

If they do it right, the six billion dollar program can create a lot of jobs; caulking and sealing is labor intensive, and can put a lot of people to work. But with the power of modern media, it is really easy to do it wrong.

When Planet Green started out, we did a series of posts based on a terrific document prepared by the Rocky Mountain Institute: Cool Citizens: Everyday Solutions to Climate Change: Household Solutions, that looked at the cost of a renovation item, the amount of energy and carbon it saved, and calculated the bang for the buck. It is now eight years old and much has changed, as fuel got more expensive and compact fluorescents a lot cheaper. But the order is probably still pretty much correct.

Some of our Planet Green posts following the RMI order:

Where To Start
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Stop the Air Leaks
Add Attic Insulation
Insulate Your Water Heater
Add Attic Insulation
Install Efficient Showerheads
Install Faucet Aerators

Notice that window replacement is nowhere on the list; it is so far down the list in terms of energy saved per dollar spent that it is almost off the bottom. If I were handing out the bucks, I would ensure that everyone followed the list; no windows unless you caulk first.

But then Pella is spending more on full page ads than Obama is on the stimulus these days, so that won’t happen. And of course, Glenn Beck ran Mr. “put down the handgun and pickup a caulking gun” out of the White House, so the bucks will go to big business.

Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to environmental policies.

The Faces of the Grassroots contest is an opportunity to publicly exhibit creativity with environmental justice stories, and connect with others working to raise awareness of the movement.

Videos can focus on any environmental justice activity, issue, or topic. Examples would be a music video about climate change, or a video recording a successful environmental justice project that has made a community a healthier and happier place to live.

Awards will be given to the winning submissions in each category. The videos will also be featured on EPA’s Web site and may be used as public service announcements.

Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 8, 2010. EPA will announce winners in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Categories and prize money:

Public Service Announcements (30 or 60 seconds)
1st Place – $2,500
2nd Place – $1,500
3rd Place – $1,000
Student Winner – $500 (13-18 years old)

Informational Video (3-5 minutes)
1st Place – $2,500
2nd Place – $1,500
3rd Place – $1,000
Student Winner – $500 (13-18 years old)

More information and the promotional video: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/events/video-contest.html

protect and defend our ecosystems

Date: 16-Feb-10
Country: US
Author: Maggie Fox

WASHINGTON – The coastal fog that gives San Francisco its romantic ambiance is thinning out, a boon to drivers but a real threat to the giant redwoods there, researchers reported on Monday.

It in unclear if natural climate variations or human activity is to blame, but the result could be the loss of trees, they reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Fog prevents water loss from redwoods in summer, and is really important for both the tree and the forest,” biologist Todd Dawson of the University of California Berkeley said in a statement.

“The coast redwood is the tallest living tree species and notably long-lived, with some individuals exceeding 2,000 years in age,” the researchers wrote in their report, available here

“If the fog is gone, we might not have the redwood forests we do now.”

Dawson and colleagues estimated the frequency of fog by looking at weather records, especially airport records dating back to 1951.

“Since 1901, the average number of hours of fog along the coast in summer has dropped from 56 percent to 42 percent, which is a loss of about three hours per day,” said Berkeley’s James Johnstone, who led the study.

The fog is caused by cool surface waters of the Pacific Ocean meeting warm air from the interior of California. It is held in place by an inversion, caused when cooler air is trapped closer to the surface.

“The data support the idea that Northern California coastal fog has decreased in connection with a decline in the coast-inland temperature gradient and weakening of the summer temperature inversion,” Johnstone said.

“As fog decreases, the mature redwoods along the coast are not likely to die outright, but there may be less recruitment of new trees,” Dawson added. “They will look elsewhere for water, high humidity and cooler temperatures.”

The coast redwood, known scientifically as Sequoia sempervirens, is naturally found in a very narrow band along the northeast Pacific coast.

The researchers found changes all the way down the coast from northernmost California to San Diego.

“Fog is clearly a dominant climatic factor on the California coast, and long-term reductions likely have and may continue to impact the water and carbon economy of redwoods and other coastal endemic species,” they concluded.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved

Date: 19-Nov-09
Country: US
Author: Reuters

Russia toughened on Wednesday its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, saying it would target a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 compared with a 10-15 percent pledge previously.

Following are the negotiating positions of the top greenhouse gas emitters before a U.N. meeting in Copenhagen in December due to agree a new global climate deal.

1) CHINA (annual emissions of greenhouse gases: 6.8 billion tonnes, 5.5 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – President Hu Jintao promised that China would cut its carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of economic output by a “notable margin” by 2020 compared with 2005. The “carbon intensity” goal is the first measurable curb on national emissions in China. Hu reiterated a promise that China would try to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020.

* Demands – China wants developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and to promise far more aid and green technology.

2) UNITED STATES (6.4 billion tonnes, 21.2 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – President Barack Obama wants to cut U.S. emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020, a 17 percent cut from 2005 levels, and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

* Obama says he wants an accord in Copenhagen that covers all the issues and that has “immediate operational effect.

Legislation to cut emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels had been approved by a Senate Committee but people few think it can become law before the Copenhagen talks.

* Finance – The United States says a “dramatic increase” is needed in funds to help developing nations.

* Demands – “We cannot meet this challenge unless all the largest emitters of greenhouse gas pollution act together,” Obama said.

3) EUROPEAN UNION (5.03 billion tonnes, 10.2 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – EU leaders agreed in December 2008 to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 30 percent if other developed nations follow suit.

* Finance – EU leaders have agreed that developing nations will need about 100 billion euros ($147 billion) a year by 2020 to help them curb emissions and adapt to changes such as floods or heatwaves. As an advance payment, they suggest 5-7 billion a year between 2010 and 2012.

* Demands – The EU wants developing nations to curb the rise of their emissions by 15 to 30 percent below a trajectory of “business as usual” by 2020.

4) RUSSIA (1.7 billion tonnes, 11.9 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – Cut greenhouse gases by 22-25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That means a rise from now — emissions were 34 percent below 1990 levels in 2007.

5) INDIA (1.4 billion tonnes, 1.2 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – India is prepared to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it could cut with domestic actions, but will not accept internationally binding targets, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said. [ID:nDEL381436]. India has said its per capita emissions will never rise to match those of developed nations.

* Demands – Like China, India wants rich nations to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020. But Ramesh signaled room to compromise: “It’s a negotiation. We’ve given a number of 40 percent but one has to be realistic.

6) JAPAN (1.4 billion tonnes, 11.0 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – Cut Japan’s emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 if Copenhagen agrees an ambitious deal.

* Finance – Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told the United Nations that Tokyo would also step up aid.

7) SOUTH KOREA (142 million tonnes, 2.9 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – Cut emissions by 30 percent below “business as usual” levels by 2020, which is equivalent to a 4 percent cut from 2005 levels.

8) BRAZIL (111 million tonnes, 0.6 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – Will cut its emissions by between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent from projected 2020 levels, representing a 20 percent cut below 2005 levels.

9) INDONESIA (100 million tonnes, 0.4 tonnes per capita)

* Emissions – Aims to cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 below “business as usual” levels.

Taking CO2 from deforestation into account, Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.