Ecological Reflections on the Corona virus

From the forests, to our farms, to our gut microbiome

Coronavirus pandemic leading to huge drop in air pollution
‘Largest scale experiment ever’ shows what is possible as satellite images
reveal marked fall in global nitrogen dioxide levels

Can Coronavirus Be a Catalyst for Thinking Globally?
In an age of pandemics and climate crisis, countries’ health,
environmental, and development policies are globally important.

Coronavirus: ‘Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief

The Future of our Daily Bread: Regeneration or Collapse
Our Food Systems are collapsing ecologically, socially and financially:
an agroecological alternative has become a survival imperative.

Why Coronavirus Is Humanity’s Wake-Up Call

Coronavirus, like climate, isn’t just about a singular crisis —
it’s about multiple crises, stacked on top of each other, all at once.

States Quietly Pass Laws Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests Amid Coronavirus Chaos.
Over the past two weeks, Kentucky, South Dakota and West Virginia approved new laws meant
to discourage Dakota Access-style protests. More are on the way.

Coronavirus: Calls to protect great apes from threat of infection

EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

A Green Reboot After the Pandemic.
In addition to threatening millions of lives and the global economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that human societies are capable of transforming themselves more or less
overnight. In fact, there’s no better time than now to usher in systemic economic change.

Glacier loss likely to continue.
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and NIWA scientists are
exploring the ongoing effects of climate change, including possible impacts
from the Australian bushfires, on New Zealand’s glaciers.

New Research is the First to Relate Antarctic Sea Ice Melt to Weather Change in the Tropics
Diminishing sea ice translates to warmer ocean, more rain, and stronger trade winds

Climate change: Earth’s deepest ice canyon vulnerable to melting

U.S. Spring Outlook forecasts another year of widespread river flooding

As the ocean warms, marine species relocate toward the poles: study

Jennifer Taylor Educates and Advocates for Underserved Small Farms in Florida
Along with her husband, Ron Gilmore, Taylor has created a mecca in central Georgia for small-scale organic farmers.

Roadmap to an Organic California: Policy Report

Dirty Dozen™
EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Clean Fifteen™
EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Down Again
Texas A&M Professor Craig Wilson said Monarchs number
about 141.5 million this year, compared to 300 million last year.

Exposure to microplastics causes cellular changes in fish and may disrupt endocrine systems

‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years
The next time you eat sashimi, nigiri or other forms of raw fish,
consider doing a quick check for worms.

Study suggests LEGO bricks could survive in ocean for up to 1,300 years
A study led by the University examined the extent to which items of the
ever-popular children’s toy were worn down in the marine environment.

Is the USDA Certified Organic label a marketing scam?
Organic is based on sound farming practices
that protect resources, and it’s backed by a
rigorous certification process.

Urban land could grow fruit and veg for 15 percent of the population
Growing fruit and vegetables in just 10 per cent of a city’s gardens and other urban green spaces
could provide 15 per cent of the local population with their ‘five a day’, according to new research.

Land-cover maps of Europe from the Cloud.
Earth’s land is covered by a range of different types of vegetation, from forest and marsh to crops and bodies of water, as well as the artificial surfaces that are an increasingly common feature of our landscape.

What is Regenerative Organic Certified and Why it Could Become the New Gold Standard in Organic

Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life
The world’s animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated,
after researchers discovered the existence of ‘Australian’ species on Christmas Island.

Regenerative Agriculture: 25 Things to Know Now
Not to be overly dramatic, but this article contains information that is critical to the future of humanity.
Read on for need-to-know information that can benefit people, the planet…and your bottom line, too

What if sports reacted to climate change like it’s reacting to coronavirus?

India finally takes climate crisis seriously

“A Seller’s Market for Bankruptcy Talent:”
The Beginning of the End of Methane-Producing Fracking?

In some regions with high shares of wind and solar generation, such as
California and Spain, if demand declines and weather conditions continue
as expected, it potentially offers an opportunity for renewables to
take up an even higher share of generation than usual. Elsewhere,
however, weaker electricity demand means power generation capacity is
abundant, which presents significant challenges for how to operate
baseload power — in the form of both fossil fuels and nuclear — while
managing fluctuating renewables generation on the grid.

Amazon rainforest reaches point of no return

Rainforest and reef systems face collapse

Epigenetic Inheritance: A silver bullet against climate change?
Researchers from QMUL and GEOMAR are studying the adaptive potential of fish

Coronavirus Halts Street Protests, but Climate Activists Have a Plan

Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need improvement, say researchers

Study: global banks ‘failing miserably’ on climate crisis by funneling trillions into fossil fuels
Analysis of 35 leading investment banks shows financing of
more than $2.66tn for fossil fuel industries since the Paris agreement



Keep it in the Ground
Scientists agree: to stay within the global carbon budget and avoid dangerous warming,
the vast majority of all proven coal, oil and gas reserves must stay in the ground and
fossil fuel combustion must end by mid- to late-century.

UK: Strictly Sustainable Products Only
The European Commission has announced a deep, transformative and “disruptive” transition to make sustainable products the norm in the EU over the next decade. Under its new Circular Economy Action Plan, published on 11 March 2020, the Commission promises measures across the entire life cycle of products, from design and manufacturing to consumption, repair, reuse and recycling.

The data shows “lifetime emissions” from electric vehicles are lower than from their combustion-engine counterparts

Moore Foundation President Says Covid-19 Could Lead to More Interest in Ecological Sustainability Among Donors

What ‘Walden’ can tell us about social distancing and focusing on life’s essentials

California’s New Electric Plan Doesn’t Cut Enough Carbon

Harmonise ecological and economic spheres
It’s bad policy to perceive natural resources as merely a source of revenue

How Fungi’s Knack For Networking Boosts Ecological Recovery After Bushfires

What do carbon offsetting, carbon net zero, and other sustainability terms mean?

Looking for another crop? Try carbon
A partnership between Locus AG and Nori aims to pay farmers $15 for every ton farmers sequester of carbon for this year.

What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?

(Carbon drawdown positive equals carbon negative . . .)

US organic brand looks to feed, dairy production in ambition to be carbon positive
The newly announced goal of Horizon Organic, a brand owned by Danone North America and the largest USDA-certified organic dairy brand globally, is to be the first dairy brand in the US to be carbon positive throughout its supply chain by 2025.

Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
Climate solutions are expensive investments in the short run but will yield huge long-term savings, according to new research by Project Drawdown.

Investing in Amazon Crude
The Network of Global Financiers and Oil Companies Driving the Amazon Toward Collapse

How South Korea Is Composting Its Way to Sustainability

Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests

Welcome to Equiterra, where gender equality is real

The Great Barrier Reef Is Heading for a Mass Bleaching of Unprecedented Scale

Momentum Builds to Monitor Cancer Alley Air Pollution in Real Time 

After Exxon Refinery Fire in Louisiana

Exxon Lobbyists Pushed European Officials to Water Down Green Deal With Carbon Pricing Plan for Vehicles

The Climate Movement Has Gained Unprecedented Momentum Since 2018

‘The Story of Our Lifetime and Our Planet’ — Environmental Journalism in Troubled Times

Restore soil to absorb billions of tonnes of carbon: study

Companies embracing circularity to turn a profit
As so-called “take-make-waste” business models face increasing consumer scrutiny, companies are embracing the circular economy, boosting their green credentials and turning a profit in the process

Carbon-free Copenhagen: how the Danish capital is setting a green standard for cities worldwide
Looking for ways to cut your travel carbon footprint this year? Set your sights on Copenhagen.
The Danish capital is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025
and is setting a green standard for urban centres worldwide.

Chanel Reveals Its Plan To Shift To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2025

Risk and reward in decarbonising NSW economy, says chief scientist

What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?

The realities of climate change, conservation agriculture and soil carbon sequestration

General Mills Launches Regenerative Wheat Farming Pilot in Kansas

Greenland’s melting ice raised global sea level by 2.2mm in two months
Analysis of satellite data reveals astounding loss of 600bn tons of ice last summer as Arctic experienced hottest year on record

Regenerative agroecology: Protecting animal welfare and the environment

EU Biodiversity Strategy: Call for nature restoration (rewilding)

Nitrogen addition increased CO2 uptake more than non-CO2 greenhouse gases emissions in a Moso bamboo forest

Carbon-Storing Potential of Global Soils for Climate Mitigation
this study, titled “The role of soil carbon in natural climate solutions,”
was published in the Nature Sustainability journal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on How to Build a Green New Deal
The congresswoman on her vision for a post-fossil-fuel future and an economy that works for working people

Here are the top ways the world could take on climate change in 2020

Small ecological farms to regenerate rural areas

In race for a sustainable alternative to plastic, Indonesia bets on seaweed
Edible cups made from seaweed. Shopping bags from cassava starch. Food containers from sugarcane fiber. These are some of the bioplastic alternatives being tried out in Indonesia, the world’s No. 2 producer of seaweed.

The Future of Food – Farming with Nature, Cultivating the Future

Circular Economy Now Becoming a Necessity
Circular Economy is more than just recycling – for any organization, it means a strategic decision and goes hand in hand with new business models.
There are several benefits of the Circular Economy. In many cases, the recycled material costs less than mining and processing primary raw materials which means, the industry can retain ownership of scarce resources if it develops its own material cycles. Most important is that, circular management will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Considering the industry is now coming under substantial external pressure to act in a climate-friendly way. However, many companies are also self-motivated to bring about a positive change in traditional processes.



Environmental policy often has undesirable side effects

Researchers from the University of Bonn show risks and
possible counter strategies in a new publication
“Good intentions” do not generally produce “good results”.
This wisdom also applies to establishing coherent environmental policies.
Without proper oversight and planning, environmental policies can lead to unintended and harmful side effects.
A current special issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters is devoted to this urgent problem.
The guest editors are researchers from the University of Bonn and international partners.
Bioplastics are frequently understood as synonymous with green, sustainable and
environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum based plastic products.
This is not the whole story, however. While it’s true that plastics made from corn, wheat, or sugarcane are,
in principle, climate-neutral and protect declining oil reserves – a broad shift in consumption from conventional
to bio-based materials could be bad news for the environment given the current state of technology.
After all, plant based raw materials are produced on land and unregulated agricultural expansion often
leads to the conversion of natural, such as tropical forests. This jeopardizes climate change mitigation efforts,
because forests bind considerably more carbon than, for instance, corn or sugar cane plantations.
Hence, the unintended consequences of promoting “green” products through
ill-designed environmental policies, could potentially lead to more harm than good for the global climate,
not to mention other consequences, such as rising food prices and biodiversity loss.

Increased greenhouse-gas emissions due to abrupt permafrost thaw.
In a new study [February 2020], researchers show that abrupt thaw could increase emissions by 40 percent.
The permafrost regions of the Arctic, often referred to as nature’s iceboxes,
contain tremendous amounts of carbon, mainly in the form of animal and vegetable matter accumulated
in frozen soils over millennia. Yet microorganisms break down this matter as soon as the frozen soil
begins to thaw, releasing the harmful greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide.
An international team of researchers has now determined that rapid thaw processes have
a significant influence on the amount and types of gases released but were not considered
in permafrost emission estimates so far. As they report in the journal Nature Geoscience,
abrupt thaw processes, which are possible in ca. five percent of all Arctic permafrost landscapes,
could potentially increase total emissions by 40 percent –
a factor that has yet to be considered in current climate models.

What motivates sales of pollinator-friendly plants?
An analysis out of the University of Georgia details the relationship between consumer awareness
and the attentiveness and care given to pollinator-friendly plant purchases.

Putting a Price on Soil

US organic brand looks to feed, dairy production in ambition to be carbon positive
The newly announced goal of Horizon Organic, a brand owned
by Danone North America and the largest USDA-certified organic dairy
brand globally, is to be the first dairy brand in the US to be carbon
positive throughout its supply chain by 2025.

Urban coyotes eat lots of cats—and human garbage, study of their poop reveals
A study that “dissected” 3,100 pieces of coyote poop discovered domestic cats are a big part
of what urban coyotes eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to the National Park Service.