Canadian Geographic has just released a short article that certainly begs the half-full-half-empty glass question, or, this case, forests. Over 90% of Canada’s intact* forest is boreal forest, making it, at 300 million hectares, the largest intact forest in the world. However, the same can’t be said for some the species-rich southern forests which have almost eliminated. And, sadly, Alberta has only 16% of it’s intact boreal forestremaining. So, much to celebrate, but also much to consider.
*intact = a forest area of 50 000ha or larger.
Sad news from the Journal of Science, reported by the Guardian:
Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source
This drastically changes the climate landscape, as tropical forests can longer be counted as climate sinks.
Forests globally are so degraded that instead of absorbing emissions they now release more carbon annually than all the traffic in the US, say researchers.
Alex Cequea of SocialGoodNow.com has produced an excellent video explaining why people are not convinced by facts. I’m guessing, the catalyst for this was (and still is) the climate change deniers.
Why facts don’t convince people
If you’re a teacher, show this to your class, especially if you use debates as a teaching too, as the video also looks into the obstacles preventing people from believing facts and what you can do to help bring people around to the side of fact. But, even if you’re not a teacher, the video provides an interesting and well-researched look at the problem of people “thinking” with their emotions when the facts say something very different.
I feel like I’ve been asleep at the wheel having missed this excellent video of CO2 emissions over a period of one year. Very helpful, as is the accompanying text.
NASA Computer Model Provides a New Portrait of Carbon Dioxide
And, have a look at this one, quite similar, but more dynamic, from Vox.
A fascinating glimpse of thousands of years of climate data and biota is being revealed as the world’s largest mega slump or thermokarst develops in Siberia. The Batagaika Crater is north of Irkutsk, Russia and is exactly what climate scientists have been predicting from the increased warming in the Arctic – and is a classic example of positive feedback.
Read more at ScienceAlert.com
Right on the heels of unsustainable fruits & veg, comes an article on sustainable “clean meat” from the World Economic Forum:
Scientists serve up 100% real meat, without the cruelty or carbon
Strangely, as I read this article I got a queasy feeling in my stomach, thinking about “a small sample of animal cells that regenerate themselves outside of the animal in large steel tanks”. Embarrassingly, I have to ask myself, “Why does this make me queasy, yet the slaughter of animals living is less-than-ideal conditions just to provide a hamburger, does not?”
The next time you bite into that seemingly luscious red strawberry – in January – think about this article…
Are supermarkets facing the beginning of the end?
We, in the West, really do face a number of hypocritical decisions and actions on a daily basis. Many of us recycle, but then we go buy more “stuff”; we love our “self-propelled” activities, but then drive our cars to enjoy them; we eat healthy diets, but demand unquestionably unsustainable fruits & veg all winter long.
For most North Americans, it’s possible to have virtually the same health benefits by purchasing locally-grown fruit and veg in season – even through the winter – especially the veg because eating vegetables is far healthier than eating fruit. But let’s face it, selling beets, carrots and cabbages is not as sexy as strawberries, kiwis, avocados, mangos, etc. And lettuce in January is, perhaps, the least sustainable of all. Imagine transporting a truckload of plants from Mexico or California that are 96% water, all this way, just to add a few micronutrients to our table.