“California’s ‘dry farmers’ grow crops without irrigation”

“Jim Leap fondly recalls the first Early Girl tomatoes he grew at UC Santa Cruz’s farm in 1990. Sweet and bursting with flavor, they were raised without a single drop of irrigated water. Nearly three decades later, he remains deeply committed to “dry farming” — forsaking modern irrigation and relying on seasonal rainfall to grow tomatoes, winter squash, potatoes, dry beans and corn on the 4-acre San Juan Bautista farm that Leap and his wife, Polly Goldman, have owned for eight years.”

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2019/02/10/californias-dry-farmers-grow-crops-without-irrigation/

“This new IBM recycling tech makes brand new plastic from dirty bottles”

“Researchers at IBM developed the process, called VolCat, as an alternative to traditional recycling. The usual process involves sorting waste, washing it, separating out contaminants, chopping it up, and re-melting it. The result is a lower-quality plastic that brands often don’t want to use. IBM’s process is one example of a growing number of new methods for chemical recycling. ”

https://www.fastcompany.com/90304045/this-new-ibm-recycling-tech-makes-brand-new-plastic-from-dirty-bottles

“Carbon offsets: Worth buying to fight climate change?”

“If you’ve ever booked a flight with an airline like Air Canada or WestJet, you might have been offered a chance to pay money to “offset” the carbon emissions from your flight. But what exactly does that mean? Is it worthwhile? And how do you know you’re really getting what you pay for? Here are the answers to those questions — and more about a controversial tool in the fight against climate change.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faq-carbon-offsets-1.5008339

“Students Are Preparing for the First Major U.S. Climate Strike Next Month”

“Alexandria Villasenor doesn’t remember a world without climate change. When she was eight, Folsom Lake, the reservoir practically in her backyard in Davis, dried up amidst California’s epic drought. She peered at the dead fish on its former shores and felt her anxiety about the future start to grow. The 13 year old has since moved to New York, but she was back visiting friends and family in Davis recently when the Camp Fire struck 90 miles to the north. Smoke wafted over Northern California, creating the most toxic air on the planet. Fearing for her health, Villasenor left. And in that moment, she knew she couldn’t idly accept a future of ever-worsening drought, fires, and weather whiplash turning her home state into a climate change-fueled wasteland.”

https://earther.gizmodo.com/students-are-preparing-for-the-first-major-u-s-climate-1832260725

“How to stop the climate crisis: six lessons from the campaign that saved the ozone”

“Thirty years ago, all 197 countries got together to ban the gases damaging the Earth’s ozone layer. Now we need to unite to combat an even greater threat. What can we learn from 1989?”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/20/how-to-stop-the-climate-crisis-six-lessons-from-the-campaign-that-saved-the-ozone

“Ways to help kids cope with — and help combat — climate change”

“News of the coming environmental collapse has broken with unnerving regularity, and with each new tidbit — the Arctic Ocean has lost 95 percent of its oldest ice, global warming is making already-dramatic natural disasters more fierce, Europe’s climate disaster is growing, and October’s news that we have 12 years to limit climate-change catastrophe — my anxiety about the future grows. But I’m far more worried about our kids. They hear about our planet’s rising temperature and rapidly melting ice, giant islands of floating plastic, and the more than 16,000 animals threatened with extinction almost as much as we do, and they’re feeling the impact.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/ways-to-help-kids-cope-with–and-help-combat–climate-change/2019/01/21/f7cc6424-180a-11e9-9ebf-c5fed1b7a081_story.html?utm_term=.7be073796b35

“Morocco in the fast lane with world’s largest concentrated solar farm”

“It’s not just on the track that Morocco is aiming to become a world leader in renewable energy. As well as a host nation of a Formula ePrix, the country is also home to the world’s largest concentrated solar farm. Built on an area of more than 3,000 hectares in area – the size of 3,500 football fields — the Noor-Ouarzazate complex, produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Prague, or twice the size of Marrakesh.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/06/motorsport/morocco-solar-farm-formula-e-spt-intl/index.html

“Big retailer will test reusable packaging to replace throwaway plastic in Canada”

“Canadian efforts to reduce single-use plastic will get a boost this year when a major retailer is slated to launch a test of reusable packaging in the most populated part of the country. The chain’s identity is expected to be unveiled this spring, with online operations starting by year end, says the founder of recycler TerraCycle’s Loop. “I say this as a Canadian, I’m super excited about getting Loop to Canada. I think it will resonate really well with the public there,” says Tom Szaky, who grew up in Toronto.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/loop-reusable-packaging-1.5004525

“Scubalike technology could suck carbon dioxide from smokestacks”

“The technology that allows submariners to breathe underwater could someday allow the rest of us to breathe cooler air. Researchers have found a way to suck planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial smokestacks using a chemical technique similar to one scuba divers and submarines use to “rebreathe” CO2-rich exhalations. The team’s technique “has tremendous potential,” says Kristin Bowman-James, a chemist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.”

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/scubalike-technology-could-suck-carbon-dioxide-smokestacks

“Better recycling through chemistry”

“While it’s true that any type of recycling reduces the need for fossil fuels and reduces the amount of waste that continues to taint our landscapes and our oceans, not all recycling is the same. Looking specifically at plastics, most plastics are recycled mechanically, which means they are shredded and then melted and pelletized so that they can be reused as recycled plastic. While this is a relatively simple and inexpensive approach, it introduces a number of compromises and is technically considered downcycling, because there is a loss of quality each time the material is processed. This means that there are a finite number of times the material can be recycled.”

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/better-recycling-through-chemistry