Collaborative action in the Midwest is creating a more resilient food system

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The flooding in 2019 or the recent derecho and the devastation of these extreme weather events are a stark reminder of just how fragile our farming system can be. It’s driven home for me, again, just how urgently we need to fix what’s not working in the U.S. food and agricultural system — for the good of farmers, the food on our plates and the planet.

But a range of barriers persistently hinder development of solutions to these challenges at the pace and scale we need. I’m convinced that collaborative action is the only way to overcome the entrenched challenges confronting our agricultural system.

How to create the ULTIMATE research poster with User Experience Design — #betterposter PART 2

The traditional approach to scientific posters is ineffective. Watch this video to learn how to create new, evidence-based poster designs that get you more visitors and transmit your ideas to more people at the conference.

Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers

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This is an unabashedly practical guide for the student fact-checker. It supplements generic information literacy with the specific web-based techniques that can get you closer to the truth on the web more quickly.

This guide will show you how to use date filters to find the source of viral content, how to assess the reputation of a scientific journal in less than five seconds, and how to see if a tweet is really from the famous person you think it is or from an impostor. It’ll show you how to find pages that have been deleted, figure out who paid for the website you’re looking at, and whether the weather portrayed in that viral video actual matches the weather in that location on that day. It’ll show you how to check a Wikipedia page for recent vandalism and how to search the text of almost any printed book to verify a quote. It’ll teach you to parse URLs and scan search result blurbs so that you are more likely to get to the right result on the first click. And it’ll show you how to avoid baking confirmation bias into your search terms.

Popsicles Made From 100 Different Polluted Water Sources Grab World’s Attention

Read the full post at Bored Panda.

These popsicles might look like the sort of thing you’d expect to find being served from a quirky organic artisanal food truck, but one bite could leave you very ill indeed, because they’re actually made from sewage found in the polluted waters of Taiwan.

IEEFA: U.S. land agency is behind the times on utility-scale solar buildout rules

Read the full story from IEEFA.

The Bureau of Land Management, the single biggest steward of real estate in the U.S., often finds itself in the crossfire of heated arguments over how best to use and/or protect the more than 250 million acres it is responsible for across the American West.

To put these vast holdings in context, BLM lands account for 1 of every 10 acres of surface land in the country, so what the BLM does with these taxpayer-owned properties has a big impact on local environments as well as on local economies.

The agency is supposed to see that its lands are managed in the national interest and in a way that meets a long list of responsible-use requirements. BLM lands are set aside for wildlife management, for hunting and fishing, for protection of cultural and historical resources, for camping, boating, hiking, rock-climbing, biking and at least a dozen other purposes.

BLM lands are also used for natural resource development  — mostly logging, grazing, mining and gas and oil extraction — and in this arena, the agency has lagged in responding to America’s shift to renewables in the national energy economy. An overview by the agency published last year showed renewable energy development accounting for less than 1 percent of economic activity on BLM lands, while 70 percent was controlled by oil and gas interests.

As we explained in a report we published this summer, the agency’s approach to utility-scale solar shows why. Less than 1 percent of BLM land across the sun-rich southwestern U.S.— lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah — are qualified for solar energy development under BLM’s rules. Much more is potentially available under special variance rules — some 19 million acres out of the more than 100 million managed in the region — but those rules are a significant and an unevenly administered constraint on new solar development.

Melting Glaciers Are Filling Unstable Lakes. And They’re Growing.

Read the full story in the New York Times. freezing and often an otherworldly shade of blue, glacial lakes form as glaciers melt and retreat. These lakes are a source of drinking and irrigation water for many communities. But they can turn deadly in an instant when the rocks that hold them in place shift and send torrents of water coursing downstream.

Now, researchers have compiled the first global database of glacial lakes and found that they increased in volume by nearly 50 percent over the last few decades. That growth, largely fueled by climate change, means that such floods will likely strike more frequently in the future, the team concluded in a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Associated journal article: Shugar, D.H., et al (2020). “Rapid worldwide growth of glacial lakes since 1990.” Nature Climate Change, 31 August.

3 ways to accelerate a circular food system, even in the middle of a pandemic

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The world produces more than enough food to feed the people living on it. But about 690 million people worldwide still went hungry in the last year. And an estimated 1.3 billion metric tons of food — about one-third of all the food produced for human consumption — is lost or wasted globally each year, according to the United Nations.

In economic terms, there’s massive demand. There’s abundant supply. But our current food system is unable to connect the two.

Understanding what today’s eco-conscious food consumers want

Read the full story at Smart Brief.

Consumers are increasingly paying attention to how their food is produced and showing support for businesses that demonstrate care for the environment. From plant-based meat alternatives to waste initiatives and new packaging technologies, restaurants, consumer packaged goods manufacturers and food retailers are all investing in new, innovative ways to give eco-conscious consumers what they’re prioritizing in their food choices.

Silver Oak Winery Becomes the World’s Largest Living Building

Read the full story in Industry Leaders Magazine.

Around 6.30 a.m. on February 2, 2006, fire trucks from across Napa Valley bolted to the Oakville, California, site of the oldest and most celebrated wineries in the country. The fire engulfed Bonny’s Chai, the 7000-sq.ft. dairy barn that served as Silver Oak’s original winemaking facility in 1972, the year Justin Meyer and Ray Duncan began their entrepreneurial journey with Silver Oaks Cellars.

The founders and staff members of Silver Oak Winery channeled their grief into rebuilding an environmentally sustainable venue. After its completion, the project achieved LEED Platinum in 2016, the first production winery to gain such kudos. Opened to the public in 2018, Silver Oak’s 113-acre Alexander Valley wine-tourism temple is now certified as a Living Building by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), making it the largest certified Living Building in the world. It is also the 25th project ever to meet the ILFI’s rigorous standards, and the second winery to do so.

Celebrate P2 WEek and Support the National Pollution Prevention roundtable

This year’s P2 Week theme recognizes the 30th anniversary of the federal Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. This landmark legislation codified the importance of environmental protection actions that eliminate pollution at the source. Prevention is the cheapest, most proactive and efficient way to handle environmental challenges.

To mark this important anniversary, NPPR commissioned Laura Regan to design this year’s P2 Week art. Regan’s art has also been used to help to raise funds for many organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, the San Francisco Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, and CRES (Center for Reproduction of Endangered species).

Purchase the image as a poster or put it on a mug, t-shirt, notebook, tote bag, or notecard.