MOTHER EARTH NEWS August/September 2021

MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine is the Original Guide to Living Wisely. Launched in 1970, each bimonthly issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features practical and money-saving information on cutting energy costs; using renewable energy; organic gardening; green home building and remodeling; fun do-it-yourself projects; and conscientious, self-sufficient lifestyles

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2 мин.
unexpected opportunities

I recently read that the pandemic-driven recession was quite different from others of recent times, and that one of the more notable results was that a record number of businesses had been started. In another article, I learned that a record number of telecommuting employees were quitting, rather than go back to the daily commute and office or factory life. I read in yet another article that many businesses were having difficulty finding, much less hiring, employees. Businesses that typically pay poorly were having a particularly difficult time with hiring, but even businesses that paid well but required folks to be on-site were having trouble. This all seems counterintuitive to me at first glance. Aren’t we supposed to be grateful for any scrap of a job as we come out…

2 мин.
renewable energy potential exceeds demand

Over the past decade, the cost of solar energy has plummeted, making it a more economically viable option for meeting energy demand. Further, new insight in a report from London-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative suggests that, by the end of the decade, renewable energy will be more affordable than fossil fuels almost globally. In addition to its eventual economic advantage, the potential of renewable energy is “far higher than that of fossil fuels and can meet global energy demand many times over.” One-hundred times over, to be exact, and that’s “with current technology and in a subset of available locations.” The report, “The Sky’s the Limit,” points out that the land footprint required by renewable energy to meet global energy demand is less than the footprint required by fossil fuels. It…

1 мин.
gm mosquitoes released

In May 2021, thousands of genetically modified (GM) mosquito larvae were released in the Florida Keys by British-based biotech company Oxitec. These male mosquitoes were modified in a laboratory with a self-limiting gene that prevents any of their female offspring from reaching breeding age, and then they were released into the wild to hatch, develop, and mate. Oxitec says this pilot program is intended to reduce rates of mosquito-related diseases, such as dengue, Zika, and yellow fever, and that it’s limited to a target species, Aedes aegypti. This species is responsible for transmitting a number of diseases globally, and it’s increasingly resistant to insecticides, which is why scientists are pursuing more permanent pest control. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 1 billion GM mosquitoes have…

1 мин.
line 3 pipeline meets resistance

Protests are ramping up around the proposed Line 3 pipeline expansion in Minnesota, with hundreds convening at the Treaty People Gathering in early June for coordinated acts of civil disobedience meant to bring national attention to their resistance. Canadian company Enbridge is building the $3 billion expansion, currently in its final stages of installation, that would increase the pipeline’s size — giving it the capacity to carry 760,000 barrels of tar sands per day from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin — and send it through new regions. Line 3 crosses the Mississippi River in two places in Minnesota, as well as more than 200 other waterways, and would be newly routed across hundreds of miles of treaty-protected land where Anishinaabe people retain the right to hunt, fish, forage, and harvest wild…

1 мин.
smithsonian garden archive

Smithsonian Gardens, an extension of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., maintains a large off-site greenhouse, horticultural exhibits, and 180 acres of gardens and landscapes (or “outdoor museums”) that surround the Smithsonian buildings. Now, the Institute has extended that botanically enhanced museum experience to its website, where it’s gathered images from photographers, seed companies, and garden designers to provide the public with a virtual tour through great gardens past and present. It intends this collection to be beneficial for historians, designers, students, and others who want to research or publish the images. The collection includes representations of stereographs, lantern slides, autochromes, glass plate negatives, 35 mm slides, and digital images. These online archives also include a timeline of American garden history, and a “Solve a Mystery” page: Some of the plots…

1 мин.
updated drought database

Knowing when a dry spell is on the way could help farmers take steps to mitigate drought’s far-reaching impacts. And stepping in to serve that predictive purpose is the redesigned U.S. Drought Portal, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). This tool touts accessible features that enable users to check current drought conditions and forecasts by location, including locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. According to NIDIS, the Portal also aggregates data on how drought affects various economic sectors, such as agriculture, energy, water utilities, and recreation. Additionally, the site displays soil moisture conditions, historic drought conditions, and wildfire updates. You can peruse overviews of various types of droughts, such as flash droughts and snow droughts; learn about nationwide initiatives to address drought; and access…