Link: President Barack Obama traveled to California on Friday to highlight the state’s drought emergency at two events near Fresno, calling for shared sacrifice to help manage the state’s worst water shortage in decades. He then spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the hospitality of some of the state’s top water hogs: desert golf courses.
Link: We already know that plastics are choking up our oceans and they are evenpoisoning our food, but are there any viable alternatives? From discarded eggshells to bananas, we’re not short of potential feedstocks for bioplastics. But one company is taking the idea a step further — instead ofcreating bioplastics from plants, it wants to replace plastics outright with a mushroom-based material that it grows.
Link: To protect small and family farms from industrial factory farming, over a decade ago a handful of Pennsylvania townships stood up to some of the country’s largest agribusiness corporations. Recognizing that the state and federal government, rather than protecting them from factory farms, were in fact forcing them into communities, the townships took the unprecedented step of banning corporate farming within their borders.
Link: Pagan Island, an idyllic Pacific Island in the Marianas, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, some of them unique, and enjoying a perfect ecological balance, is facing Armageddon: in March of this year the US military announced its intention to use the Island as a live-fire training range. In plain English, they plan to blast it to pieces.
Link: Brazil’s economy is growing fast, and it is expected to need an increase of 50% in power generation capacity over the next decade. Currently, the country gets quite a lot of its electricity from hydro, but because it is becoming more reluctant to build new dams on its numerous rivers, it is now turning to another plentiful source of energy: Wind power. The country doesn’t have much of it right now, but a big wind turbine boom seems to be starting.
Link: Last year and earlier in January we reported on a river otter in San Francisco that made headlines. Sutro Sam was the first otter spotted in the city in perhaps more than 50 years. But this temporary resident of the Sutro Baths ruins is just one member of the recovering river otter populations in the bay area
Link: Solar and wind power have very distinct profiles. Solar varies the most over the course of a day, but the general outline of solar production is very predictable even if the total power delivered varies a bit with cloud cover. Wind tends to be steadier, but the total amount being produced can change at any time of day.