Category Archives: Environment

Working toward a healthy and sustainable diet

wpid-20150112_151027.jpgIn a recent review in the journal, Frontiers in Nutrition, Ruini et al. state that there is a

“strong correlation between the environmental impact of food and their nutritional characteristics. Specifically, it has been demonstrated that the foods whose consumption should be moderated for health reasons are also those that have a greater impact in terms of soil use, water consumption, and CO2 emission. In other words, to achieve a sustainable, healthy diet is essential to eat more plant-based foods and reduce our consumption of meat, animal products, and other foods, like salted snacks and sweets, which offer little in terms of nutritional value.”

An important observation.  It would appear that a plant-based diet is better for our health, more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Reminds me of that quote that we are sometimes surrounded by solutions rather than problems!

  1. Ruini, Luca Fernando, Roberto Ciati, Carlo Alberto Pratesi, Massimo Marino, Ludovica Principato, and Eleonora Vannuzzi, ‘Working toward Healthy and Sustainable Diets: The “Double Pyramid Model” Developed by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition to Raise Awareness about the Environmental and Nutritional Impact of Foods.’, Frontiers in Nutrition, 2 (2015), 9 <Link>

 

 

It looks like Apple is building a car.

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In an article in MacWorld (1), Elon Musk was quoted as saying that Apples Project Titan was an “open secret … It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it.”

Personally, I believe that environmentally friendly, point to point transport, will be the future of modern transit systems.  This is not to say that mass transit systems do not have a role. We just need to keep in mind their practical limitations. Ever tried to do the family shopping by train?

  1. Raymundo, Oscar, ‘Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the Apple Car: “It Will Expand the Industry” | Macworld’, Macworld (Macworld, 2016) <Macworld> [accessed 12 January 2016]

China closing coal mines in its own country and mining the Liverpool Plains

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The state government has approved the Shenhua coal mine in the Liverpool Plains, which is perhaps the most productive agricultural land in the country (1). At the same time, the Chinese government plans to halt coal mining approvals in its country and close a thousand mines that are already in production (2).  Bob Hawkes 1988 wish that we should become a clever country has clearly not eventuated (3).

(1) Hannam, Peter, ‘Giant Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine in the Liverpool Plains Approved’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January 2015 <http://www.smh.com.au/environment/giant-shenhua-watermark-coal-mine-in-the-liverpool-plains-approved-20150129-1317wh.html> [accessed 5 January 2016]

(2)  ‘China to Halt New Coal Mine Approvals Amid Pollution Fight – Bloomberg Business’, Blumberg News, 30 December 2015 <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/china-to-suspend-new-coal-mine-approvals-amid-pollution-fight> [accessed 5 January 2016]

(3)  ‘TFGA :: More than 25 Years after “the Clever Country” Little Has Changed’, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association., 2 July 2012 <http://www.tfga.com.au/in-the-news/ceo/more-25-years-after-clever-country-little-has-changed/> [accessed 5 January 2016]

The Strong Economics of Wind Energy

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Abraham, John, ‘The Strong Economics of Wind Energy | John Abraham | Environment | The Guardian’, The Guardian, 2015 <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/dec/28/the-strong-economics-of-wind-energy> [accessed 28 December 2015]

Volcanic iron delayed explosion of life on Earth

2002-04-11_1900-54-0002-0002Swanner, Elizabeth D., Aleksandra M. Mloszewska, Olaf A. Cirpka, Ronny Schoenberg, Kurt O. Konhauser, and Andreas Kappler. 2015. “Modulation of Oxygen Production in Archaean Oceans by Episodes of Fe(II) Toxicity.” Nature Geoscience, January. doi:10.1038/ngeo2327. (See Link)

Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?

“This research shows that the percentage of green space in people’s living environment has a positive association with the perceived general health of residents. Green space seems to be more than just a luxury … ” (See Link)

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Earth From Space: 15 Amazing Things

Earth From Space: 15 Amazing Things In 15 Years

NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio showing the seasonal changes in vegetation on the planet. Winters seem to be much harsher in the Northern Hemisphere!
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