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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

Nitrogen glut: Too much of a good thing is deadly for the biosphere

By: 
Ian Angus

The nitrogen glut (and the uneven distribution that causes shortages in some places, particularly sub-Saharan Africa) is damaging the biosphere in many ways. Recent studies show that its harmful effects will be intensified by climate change. It is painfully clear that any serious effort to prevent ecological catastrophes in this century must include reining in the overproduction of reactive nitrogen.   To determine how that can be done, we need to understand how and why the glut occurred. How did the metabolic rift in 19th century agriculture, characterized by the depletion and waste of essential nutrients, lead in the 20th century to planetary rifts caused by massive oversupply and overuse of the same elements? Part Three will address that question.

The Downside of the World’s Love Affair with Shrimp

By: 
Martha Rosenberg

More than half of imported shrimp is “farmed”—grown in huge industrial tanks or shallow, manmade ponds that can stretch for acres. At least 150 shrimp can be crowded into a single square meter, where they’re fed commercial pellets, sometimes laced with antibiotics to ward off disease. What isn’t eaten can sink to the bottom and rot, creating a putrid soup of feed and fecal matter.

Biomass is Not “Green”: an Interview With Josh Schlossberg

By: 
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

Josh Schlossberg is an investigative journalist, horror author and former environmental organizer who lives in Denver, Colorado. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Biomass Monitor, a subscription-supported publication that bills itself as “the nation’s leading publication investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.” In early September 2018, I was visiting Colorado and met up with Josh. We talked biomass, “renewable” energy, wildfires, politics and activism. What follows is a partial transcript, edited for clarity.

Waste of Energy

By: 
Greta Jochem

Drive down Interstate 95 through Baltimore and you can’t miss the Wheelabrator trash incinerator, its smokestack emblazoned with the city’s name. The Charm City’s single largest source of industrial air pollution churns out well over 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Don’t Fence Me In

By: 
George Wuerthner

Years ago, I recalled standing on the Arctic Coast in Alaska’s Arctic Wildlife Refuge looking south across the coastal plain towards the Brooks Range. One of my impressions was that I saw what the Great Plains might have looked like in the days before livestock. To me, it was the lack of fences which was one of the most remarkable features of that place.

Yet fences are so ubiquitous that they are virtually invisible to most people—until you are someplace like the Arctic Coast where they don’t exist. Fences run across even some of the most remote parts of the West.

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