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Weekly Environmental Updates
Questions about climate change have not been a major feature in this year's presidential debates, to the chagrin of climate scientists. One chalks it up to "collective cowardice" and questions whether the fact that TV networks take in billions of dollars in ad revenue from fossil fuel companies. Nearly two thirds of Americans claim that climate change is personally important to them.
"Climatic Events" will reportedly cause steep declines in wine production this year in Chile and Argentina, making 2016 one of the lowest production years in 2 decades. Warming temperatures are blamed for advancing harvest dates in some areas and making grapes such as pinot noir unsuitable for regions where they are currently grown. In other areas such as Bordeaux, colder temperatures could also affect the growing season.
Cow burps may not be what come to mind when you think of pollutants, but they are reportedly a major source of global methane emissions. Australian researchers suggest that adding small amounts of Asparagopsis taxiformis, aka seaweed, can disrupt the enzymes in a cow's gut that make methane and reduce cow belching by up to 99 percent. While not yet tested in the field, the hope is that burpless cows and less pollution could be the result.
Growing legumes and clovers as cover crops allow ecologically aware gardeners to reduce their reliance on chemical fertilizers. Legumes provide nitrogen for vegetable crops, but must be killed and tilled in before they set seed in order to provide the most nitrogen. Cereal grains, although not nitrogen-fixing, make for good companions.
Some knitters like to put out yarn scraps for birds to use in building their nests, but animal protection groups warn that putting out synthetic yarns could harm the environment. If you must put out yarn, experts recommend leaving out natural fibers such as cotton or wool, vs synthetics. They add that creating a diverse backyard environment will provide all the nesting materials needed for our feathered friends.
Oilfield Prayer Day is not an SNL skit, but a celebration of the oil and natural gas industries cooked up by Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma, and Reverend Tom Beddow, director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Oil Path Chaplains Ministry. The governor called upon all Oklahoma churches to "pray for the oil field" on October 13th. Oklahoma had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake last month in an area regularly injected with wastewater, aka fracking. The fracking process has been linked to an increase in earthquakes.
Roman Hills