Books | Trash of the titans

Read the full story at SmartPlanet. If you’re in a public place playing a ’90s radio station, the song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette will almost certainly cause an esoteric tiff. Rain-soaked weddings and fly-filled wineglasses, many claim, are actually misidentified examples of Murphy’s Law. In his first book, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash …

Five years later, Legacy Amendment positions Minnesota as leader in clean water initiatives

Five years ago this week, Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment that increased the state’s sales tax by three-eighths of one percent to fund projects related to clean water, natural resources, and arts and culture. According to a 2008 poll by Minnesota Environmental Partnership, clean water was the leading issue that motivated voters to support …

Fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats proves hardy survivor

Read the full story from the University of Illinois. After taking an in-depth look at the basic biology of a fungus that is decimating bat colonies as it spreads across the U.S., researchers report that they can find little that might stop the organism from spreading further and persisting indefinitely in bat caves. Their report …

Top Ten Toxic Threats 2013

This 2013 report is the eighth in an annual series of reports released by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute. Previous reports have highlighted some of the world’s worst polluted places, presented examples of successful cleanup projects, and outlined the world’s worst pollution problems. This year’s report takes a look at the progress made in dealing …

Crafting a Better Enzyme Cocktail to Turn Plants Into Fuel Faster

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. The new research, published in October in the journal Molecular BioSystems, is part of a worldwide effort …

Plant Production Could Decline as Climate Change Affects Soil Nutrients

Read the full story from Northern Arizona University. As drylands of the world become even drier, water will not be the only resource in short supply. Levels of nutrients in the soil will likely be affected, and their imbalance could affect the lives of one-fifth of the world’s population. That includes people living in Arizona, …