Tuesday, March 24, 2015

drag2share: Costa Rica hasn't used any fossil fuel in over two months

source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/23/costa-rica-hasnt-used-any-fossil-fuel-in-over-two-months/?utm_source=Feed_Classic_Full&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Engadget&?ncid=rss_full

Workers of the Costa Rican Electricity I

It's been 75 days since Costa Rica's power grid last had a sip of petroleum. Thanks to heavy rainfall at the start of the year, the Central American nation has been able to provide 100 percent of its energy needs via renewable resources. This certainly represents a major milestone in green energy production but there's no guarantee that other nations will be able to replicate this feat or that Costa Rica's renewable energy scheme is even sustainable.

It doesn't hurt that Costa Rica has invested heavily national power grid. 80 percent of Costa Rica's entire energy budget comes its four hydroelectric plants with another 13 percent derived from geothermal stations. Solar, wind and fossil fuels round out the remaining 7 percent.

Of course, these fossil fuel alternatives are not without drawbacks. The nation's hydro-electric dams may be working at capacity right now, thanks to those heavy rains at the start of the year, but should the country face drought (or even just seasonal water shortages), Costa Rica may have to revert back to petroleum power in order to keep the lights on.

Costa Rica pulled this off thanks in part to its small population (just 4.8 million people) and lack of energy-intensive manufacturing industries, which keep the nation's energy needs relatively low. What's more, Costa Rica sits atop a highly active volcanic region of the Earth, enabling the nation to harness geothermal power in addition to hydro, solar, and wind energy.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field | Earth. We are one.

source: http://earthweareone.com/37-million-bees-found-dead-in-ontario-canada-after-planting-large-gmo-corn-field/


Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives.

"Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions," Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or "neonics." for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Two of Bayer's best-selling pesticides, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The marketing of these drugs also coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European countries and the United States.

Nathan Carey another local farmer says that this spring he noticed that there were not enough bees on his farm and he believes that there is a strong correlation between the disappearance of bees and insecticide use.


Monday, February 16, 2015

This Bill Gates-supported startup is about to open the world's largest fly farm in South Africa

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/jason-drew-magmeal-farm-in-south-africa-2015-2

jason drew pub

The world's largest fly farm is about to open in South Africa as part of an initiative to produce sustainable feed for chicken and fish.

Industrial farmed chicken and fish eat fish meal, which is bad for the environment because it depletes already fragile fish resources. To create 1 kilogram of high-protein fish meal, for example, it takes 4.5 kilogrammes of smaller pelagic fish such as anchovies and sardines, according to Time Magazine.

The cost of fish meal is also rising with increased demand for fish. Fish meal sold for less than $500 (£325 ) a tonne in the early 2000s, but last year it peaked at $2,400 (£1,562) a tonne, according to Bloomberg.

But AgriProtein, a South African farming company, has a solution. AgriProtein produces MagMeal — animal feed that is made from fly larvae that feeds on waste. The benefit of MagMeal is two-fold: It offers a sustainable, natural source of protein for farmed animals (there's no shortage of flies), and at the same time, helps to eliminate garbage. 

In 2012, AgriProtein received funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support its insect-based protein product and the company's commitment to waste solutions.  


“It is not different from what already happens in nature,” Jason Drew, the founder and director of AgriProtein told Business Insider UK. “The anomaly is what we do now — 30% of the fish we take is not consumed by humans, but rather fed to fishes or chickens. I mean, if ! a chicke n was meant to eat fish it would be called a seagull."

AgriProtein, founded in 2009, started building its first industrial-scale factory in May 2014. The plant, which can house more than 8 billion flies and produce 22 tons of larvae every day, is set to open next month, according to Drew. 

How it works

Common flies are harvested with organic waste, such as food leftovers from supermarkets and restaurants and remains from slaughterhouses. The flies lay their eggs in the waste, and these eggs rapidly turn into larvae, eating the waste as they grow. The BBC calculated that one kilogram of eggs becomes 380 kilogrammes of larvae in just three days.

After a few days, before they become flies, the larvae are collected, washed, and pressurised into MagMeal, which can be delivered to chicken barns and fish farms.

Opening a new fly farm costs about £5.2 million ($8 million), but the investment would be amortised very quickly since the operational costs are low. AgriProtein already has an agreement with Cape Town’s waste disposal agency, helping them to sort out what to do with the garbage of a city of four million.

Magmeal HRAgriProtein raised £7.15 million ($11 million) from private backers like Twynam and s.Oliver to help build its latest commercial farm.

The future of the food industry

A native Yorkshireman, Drew moved to South Africa in 2003. Five years later, he quit his job as manager to dedicate his career to the environment.

Now, Drew calls himself an &ld! quo;envi ronmental capitalist.”

“The industrial revolution is over, and the sustainability revolution has begun," Drew says. "During the industrial revolution you either were environmentalist or a capitalist, and you couldn’t be both. But I am a capitalist and an environmentalist the same time."

He adds: "I am in the business to make millions, but I want to defend the environment. The sustainability revolution can be both: the environmentalists needs to understand that they must follow the market, or otherwise they will fail, and the markets need to understand that if you are a businessman who doesn’t understand the environment you will fail.”

Drew has written two books with one more, "The Environmental Capitalist," set to arrive in April. Drew also spoke about his flies at TEDx and Creative Innovation.

Drew's aim is to feed a growing world population without further depleting the planet’s natural resources. Every day, the world populations grows by 200,000. To meet this growth, combined with an increase demand for protein from the developing world, the world’s annual production of meat will have to increase to 376 million tonnes by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. Fifteen years ago, it was little more than 200 million tonnes.

Although AgriProtein has approval in South Africa, it is still banned in Europe due to a regulation introduced during the mad cow disease epidemic that prohibits the feeding of livestock with processed meat. MagMeal falls into this category! .

The new farm, located about 120 kilometres north of Cape Town, will be joined by another South African facility later this year. 

“We are in talks to license our technology abroad," Drew says. "We want to bring fly farming to the US, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. In 15 years, we could have 40 to 45 of these farms worldwide.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted


Friday, February 13, 2015

Article: Scientists Have Figured Out a Way to Convert Solar Energy Into Liquid Fuel

The potential applications of solar power just got a whole lot wider Researchers at Harvard have discovered how to convert solar energy into liquid fuel, potentially accelerating our switch to the alternative-energy source, according to an article in this month's scientific journal Proceedings of...


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Thursday, February 5, 2015

How natural disasters terrorize the business world in one infographic

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/natural-disasters-and-business-infographic-2015-2

We all live with natural disasters happening all around us all the time. Volcanos, tsunamis, earthquakes, it's all around us.

But we don't often think about how it could affect us, and we very rarely think about how it could affect society at large, including the world of business.

The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management recognized this and put together an awesome infographic on how the top natural disasters could affect business.

They say natural disasters have cost the global economy $2.5 trillion since 2000.

Here's the breakdown of the huge stakes, all in one place.


SEE ALSO: The countries most likely to survive climate change in one infographic

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 amazing maps that show how important Canada is


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Here's a Shocking Visualization of the Planet's Rising Temperatures

Source: http://gizmodo.com/heres-a-shocking-visualization-of-the-planets-rising-te-1680588303

Here's a Shocking Visualization of the Planet's Rising Temperatures

Last week, NASA and NOAA announced that 2014 was the hottest year in Earth's recorded history . This animation by Bloomberg brings that finding into sharp focus.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Graphic clearly shows human pressure on Earth reaching critical level

Source: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/graphic-clearly-shows-human-pressure-on-earth-reaching-1679840217

Graphic clearly shows human pressure on Earth reaching critical level

Using 24 key social, economic, and environmental indicators, our friend Félix Pharand-Deschênes has created a dashboard that shows how human pressure on planet Earth is reaching critical level. Fast. The acceleration shown over the last 60 years is absolutely crazy. Zoom in. Freak out.