Environment


Lost in all of the hype and hysteria and White House panels on how industry is killing bees is the last indicator species that was being doomed by non-organic pesticides: frogs.
The country of France recently sided with environmental donors and mandated that new buildings must have solar panels or plants on the roof. Though the science is unclear, the belief is that this will naturally cool buildings or, in the case of planets, retain rainwater, reduce problems with runoffs and favor biodiversity.

Since environmentalists also once insisted that coral reefs should be built from tires, and that ending up costing 100X as much as it saved, politicians only agreed to partial coverings and only on new buildings in commercial zones. Time will tell if the plan is helping or if it is just a political placebo, like biofuels and wind energy.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service  of the United States Department of Agriculture has released its honey report for 2014 and found it's boom times for bees.

Hives increased again, another 4 percent, up to a whopping 2.74 million colonies, and honey production is up 19 percent. Yield per colony averaged 65.1 pounds, which is up 15 percent.

If there is a Beepocalypse, the bees have not gotten the memo.
A few years ago, bees suddenly had a sharp decline in numbers. This "Colony Collapse Disorder" as it is called, is a disorder in the sense that it is a recurring phenomenon, detailed for the last 1,000 years even when record-keeping just consisted of sporadic anecdotes. It was noted more frequently as record-keeping became more thorough. so it appeared far more often by the 1800s. By the 1900s, record-keeping had improved enough that there were seven recorded instances of this CCD phenomenon just in the United States.

A National Academy of Sciences panel said that, with proper governance and other safeguards, we should commence more research on geoengineering — technologies that might let humanity deliberately intervene in nature to counter climate change.  With the planet facing potentially severe impacts from global warming in coming decades, drastically reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases was by far the best way to mitigate the effects of a wa

In climate accounting, what is counted and not counted is important. 

Former wetlands that have been drained and which are currently used for forestry and agriculture give off 11.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which is virtual CO2 for climate accounting, but emissions from drained peatland are not visible since they are included with forest growth.

A new report from the Swedish Board of Agriculture, 'Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Peatland, says that drained peatlands could be restored into wetlands so to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - drained peatlands that are used for forestry production show that nutrient-rich, well-drained areas of land release more greenhouse gases than nutrient-poor, wetter grounds do.

Researchers have discovered that a network of viruses usually associated with managed honeybees pose a widespread risk to bumblebees in the wild also.

The study revealed multiple interconnected diseases that are threatening several species of bumblebee and the managed honeybee, which are essential pollinators of many agricultural crops and wild flowers.  Previously research had only identified one virus, deformed wing virus, which had most likely spilled over from managed honeybees into wild bumblebee populations, and fluctuations in wild bees were attributed to pesticides by activist groups rather than the other viruses.
Potatoes are an essential food for humans and now two new varieties produced by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development have been added to the Registry of Commercial Varieties. 
Northern British Columbia's First Nation leaders repeatedly rejected the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines from Alberta and so oil companies are shipping more oil by rail, which requires no new approval, and is inherently more environmentally risky than the pipeline they said was too risky. 

If you are more familiar with U.S. scientization of politics, it is like the Obama administration ignoring Yucca mountain science reports so that nuclear waste can remain in over 100 different locations of suspect quality: A win for environmental activists who wanted to flex their muscles but a loss for everyone else.