If global temperatures rise as predicted, the planet’s sobering message to tropical insects is: adapt or die. Scientists warn that a full blown wipeout is in the cards, altering the face the entomology forever as we bid adieu to a host of beetles, butterflies, aphids and others insects.
Researchers at the University of Washington explained that while temperature rises could deplete insect populations in the tropics, it could also result in an insect boom at higher latitudes as tropical insects are driven out of their normal habitats. The effects on plants pollination and the food supply are unknown. Says the BBC: “In the research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. scientists studied how temperature changes between 1950 and 2000 had affected 38 species of insects”.
All of us greenies know its better to buy directly from the small farmers at the farmers markets, then to buy from big business farming, right? Well, in most cases I would say that is true, but not always. I just came across Benziger Family Winery here in California and I am blown away. They not only grow all their grapes organically and Biodynamically, they also have built an sustainable water system. They save all the water used in production, clean it in their man made wetlands, and then re-use it again. Almost a closed loop system. Why isn’t everyone doing this?
Mike Benziger Talks About The Water System: “Winemaking can be a pretty water-intensive business. Preventing the conditions where bacteria could thrive means being meticulously clean. And that takes water. How do we to reconcile our commitment to environmental responsibility with our need to keep clean? How about a recycling system, built right into the property.
We pump gray water, which is the water used in winemaking production, into the first of two ponds. The water then flows through an embankment of water plants into the lower pond. By the time the water reaches the lower pond, about 3 days, the root systems of the plants have acted like a filter, and cleansed the water of impurities. Once clean, the water in the lower pond can serve as an irrigation resource during years as dry as we expect this one to be.”
Below is a featured video from the Sundance Channel about the Benziger water system.
Quest again shows us the details behind our world. In this show they look at the amazing world of Beetles. It’s been 150 years since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Yet his ideas remain as central to scientific exploration as ever. QUEST follows researchers who are still unlocking the mysteries of evolution, like entomologist David Kavanaugh, who predicted that a new beetle species would be found on the Trinity Alps. Find out if his prediction came true…
I was prone to environmental passions early in life. I’ve run the gamut from tree hugging innocence to jaded “futilism”; evolving from “dark green” (embracing ideas that depend on relinquishing technology in order to reduce its impact on the earth) to my current “bright green” place, which fits me just right.
Bright Green refers to a subcategory of environmentalism where technology achieves ecological sustainability without reducing the potential for economic growth. Land reclamation/rehabilitation endeavors – the process of cleaning up a site that has sustained environmental degradation – have evolved, and in many cases allow for the restoration of the land, or conversion into a wildlife habitat.
An article by Stephen Moss in The Guardian espoused this very process with the restoration of Canvey Wick, on the edge of the Thames Estuary in the U.K. Moss states that the area, once the site of a huge oil refinery, now wears the crown as “England’s little rainforest”. He offers, “For its size, the site supports more different species of plant and animal than any other place in Britain”. As I read, the real impact on me was the joyful knowledge that the abandoned oil refinery sitting vacant all of those decades had become a magnificent sanctuary and preserve. Worldwide, many other similar sites draw a multitude of visitors and membership…
We interrupt your reading pleasure to bring you a devastating announcement: the Maderian Large White is the first butterfly to become extinct in Europe since the 17th century.
At a recent International conference of butterfly experts, it was confirmed that many butterfly species around the world are either endangered or extinct. The conference was held as the inaugural meeting of organizations partnering together to form the Butterfly Conservation Europe. Experts from over 31 different countries were represented and the devastating news of the Maderian Large White was announced.
G Living has been covering the very important story about the Worlds Bee populations dying at a very alarming rate. Entire colonies just die off, leaving bee keeps to come back to empty hives. A German theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world – the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. But now a new story in the L.A. Times says the more likely answer is a fungus.
(summary of l.a.times.com article) A fungus that caused widespread loss of bee colonies in Europe and Asia may be playing a crucial role in the mysterious phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder that is wiping out bees across the United States, UC San Francisco researchers said Wednesday. But the results are "highly preliminary" and are from only a few hives from Le Grand in Merced County, UCSF biochemist Joe DeRisi said. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos