Faced with serious soil erosion farmers in Argentinia have adopted ‘not till‘ farming in which fields are not ploughed during the year. Crops and seeds are planted directly into last years stuble with minimum disturbance to the soil. Coupled with other best practice farming techniques such as rotation and insect management, erosion has been reduced by 90%, evaporation by 70%, soil quality, biodiversity and production have all increased and CO2 production has decreased. In the UK there are a growing number of farmers finding that ‘no till’ is providing noticeable advantages and it is being encouraged alongside rivers to reduce the amount of silt that washes into the water from the fields.
Environmental crime – poaching, illegal logging, waste dumping, etc. is now the worlds 4th largest crime leaping from $91bn in 2014 to $258bn today. The top three are drug smuggling, counterfeiting and people smuggling. One of it’s consequences is the loss of 25% of the worlds elephants in the last decade. Guardian Weekly
“There is already airport capacity for families taking their yearly holiday. New runways only benefit the 15% of flyers who take 70% of our flights, cooking our planet. These are rich frequent leisure flyers. The most reliable predictors of frequent flyer status are a household income over £115,000 and owning a second home abroad, but it’s the poorest people who suffer most from climate change.” Plane Stupid
Indonesia! 117,000 fires lit to clear forest for agricultural use are raging along it’s 5000km length. Peat in the ground is also on fire. Orangutans, Clouded Leopards, Sun Bears and the Sumatran Rhino are just some of the species at risk. Guardian Weekly
Researchers at Newcastle and Durham Universities have concluded that European shales are too complex for fracking;
“It is clear there are very few European countries in which fracking is likely to happen any time soon, if at all. Many apparently prospective European shales have turned out to be more geologically complicated than expected.
Much remains to be understood about how shales form, how they vary, and how they behave when fracked. Europe’s shales were always going to be different to those of North America. To major companies, they now look a great deal less enticing. Nonetheless, it is crucial that fracking research continues. A good understanding of shale geology is still in its infancy. If fracking is to take place anywhere in Europe, baseline environmental information from potential fracking sites needs to be collected, analysed, and made publicly available, along with long-term monitoring data”
However fracking in UK National Parks is equally unlikely. “Some national parks have no shales or coal within them or adjacent to them, so are of no interest to fracking companies. Many other national parks do contain shales or coal, but their nature means that they are unlikely to yield economic quantities of oil or gas.”
Earlier this year the EU announced funding of £8.6m to study the environmental impact of fracking, and the risks of chemicals and gases being dispersed below the ground.
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University’
A new shower about to be released by Swedish company Orbital Systems uses a filtration system fitted into the base of the shower to recycle water as it is being used. Not only does this save water but as the water is preheated by its first use it also saves a lot of energy. Orbital say that the shower uses 90% less water, 80% less energy. The Guardian calculate that the average British family can save £1200 a year with an Orbital shower! Used filters can be returned for recycling.
A price as yet is unavailable but the company are taking pre-release bookings. orbital-systems.com
Do you know of any other water recycling systems? If so please leave a comment.