13 December 2014
2) Is the World Headed Toward Zero Population Growth?
The population of the world is heading towards an increasing number at an unprecedented rate. The population might be increasing, but it is not increasing everywhere. Even though the current population is increasing, researchers say that the population will slow down quite considerably and we might even see ZPG by the end of the century. The question to be asked is why is the population increasing in some areas and decreasing in others? You need to know the few basic facts on the population of the world and some sample countries. While trying to figure out the population is hard to find but such groups such as United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau who can make estimates with the current between 6.90-6.95 billion. The population has risen and fallen in the throughout the years, however the overall tends show a significant population growth. With the 230 countries with data, only 196 countries have a positive population growth and 34 countries show a decline. The ten countries that have the highest growth rate include seven of them being from Africa. With this information and the how the population can change it will shows us why the population changed the way it has. The countries with increase in population had an increase in birth rate and the countries that had a decline in population had a different birth rate. Looking at the birth rates might be able to tell people about the change in population, but that is not the only thing that we can look at we also have to look at the death rates. Africa is the origin of homo sapiens and it is the home of the highest growth rate in the world. The life expectancy for people in Africa are not very high because of the lack of food and water, causalities of war, and disease. The people with longer life spans means that they have food, water, and medicine are much easier to access. Developing nations are approaching or have already reached zero population growth, the developing nations are the source of the global population explosion. They will shift towards a more balanced growth rate, bringing total world population closer to ZPG. The next fifty years will give us a much clearer understanding of this trend, but this can be hard to say. The population is something that is changing all the time as time goes on.
3) Robyn O’Brien: The Erin Brockovich of Food
She shares to the people about her personal story about how it inspired her current path as a real food evangelist. She went to business school and then went on to be a food analyst. Until after she had kids she never thought about what was put into the food that they were eating. 1997 to 2002 there had been a doubling of peanut allergy and 1-17 kids under the 3 have a food allergy. She also went on to learn that there has been a 256 percent increase in the rate of hospitalizations due to food allergies. A food allergy is when your body see food proteins as foreign. Is there something different in are food then there was when adults where kids. They are putting new proteins in our food in these days. Why don’t they test the food that people eat? Adding genetically modified things into the milk that we drink by giving it to cows are making the animals sick. The United States had the highest rate of cancer in the world. 9 out of 10 women have breast cancer that is environmentally triggered. Scientist engineer all of the food that we are eating in this world today. They do it with weeds so that it doesn’t have to worry about weed killer. As she learned more about food allergies she learned about a corn allergy. All of this is hard information to learn. The things that are put in our food is not put in the food round the world it is only in the United States. One person can make all of the difference in the world. We are using many new ingredients in the world today. Organic food is very expensive to buy, but they are better with you. All of the organic farmers are charged fees to make sure that there food is not made with chemicals. The food that is disturbed in this food is the same food that is disturbed in other countries, but we use the chemicals and other countries don’t use the chemicals. Companies are spend more money on healthcare then they are on the food that they are selling with chemicals in them. Everyone can do one thing even if you don’t do all things. Everyone needs to do one thing to make a change in this world o we are eating better food.
4) Eradicating Invasive Species Sometimes Threatens Endangered Ones
There has been a study of California clapper rail and salt marsh cordgrass spartina offers new insight. A question to be asked is what should resource managers do when the eradication of an invasive species threatens an endangered one? This work is a framework of cost efficient management solutions to the conflict between removing invasive species and conserving biodiversity. This project exemplifies the goals of the CNH program which are to advance the understanding of complex systems that will improve humans and nature. The California clapper rail is a bird only found in San Francisco Bay. This type of bird depends on the invasive salt marsh cordgrass as a nesting habitat. Its native habitat has slowly vanished over recent decades, largely due to development. Studies show that rather than moving as fast as possible with eradication and restoration plans the best approach is to slow down the eradication of the invasive species. Recovery of the system provides appropriate habitat for the endangered species. Think about only one species is not the way to think about it because there are many different types of endangered species out there all over the world. The whole management system needs to take longer and you need to have much more flexibility in the timing of longer time-frames. Scientists have combined economic and biological data to develop a model framework to balance conflicting management goals, including endangered species recovery on the clapper rail. As more endangered and threatened species are becoming dependent on invasive species for habitat and food. A case where the eradication of an invasive species threatened to compromise the recovery of an endangered plant or animal is in the southwest United States where an eradication Tamarisk was cancelled because the invasive tree provides nesting habitat for the endangered Southwest Willow Flycatcher. As the eradication program increase in number, we expect this will be a more common conflict in the future.
5) Indigenous Mountain Farmers Unite on Climate Change
Farmers from 25 indigenous mountain communities in ten countries have come together to share traditional knowledge that could help them to mitigate climate change. The International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples was formed last month (26 May- 1 June) in Bhutan. It includes a lot of communities. Membered communities from Bhutan, China, and Peru have agreed to exchange seeds. The agreement was to extend to the other members at the most recent meeting. The farmers tell people that it will enable them to access new seed varieties that are more resilient to pest and droughts. This will help people increase their crop diversity and will reduce their dependence on corporate-owned seeds. Learning from other farming communities, means that they have faith in their own systems, values, and traditional knowledge. The meeting also developed The Bhutan Declaration on Climate Change which calls the government to support climate change adaptation measures. They also want to create effective solutions for conservation, food security, and climate adaptation. Mountain environments are considered to be harsh natural conditions which are being exacerbated by changes in climate. A lot of the adaptation funding never reaches communities or goes towards developing high-tech solutions which can replace local crop diversity and knowledge. The member communities have a seed exchange program in Peru where the indigenous people protect traditional seed varieties. The program will focus on the exchange of potatoes between mountain communities. This network is a good initiative to fill the knowledge gap and address similar problems between mountain communities with similar farming systems.
6) Why Boston Has the Best Tasting Tap Water in the Country?
The secret ingredient in Boston’s prize winning tap water? Forest conservation. People already love Boston for its unmistakable accent and unpredictable baseball team, but what people should consider about adding to the list is the tap water. Boston came out on top of this year’s tap water taste test. Boston’s secret ingredient? Watershed protection. Between 1985 and 2012 Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is where Boston buys its water from. Forests in the protected area cleans the water naturally so that by the time it gets to the city it requires only limit filtering. Because of this there is no need for the cocktail of chemicals in most cities water utilities use. This uninhabited, undeveloped space naturally filters the water before it reaches the reservoirs, as well as during its journey to the city, purifying it. This doesn’t just make the water healthy and tasty, but it also eliminates the need to use any chemicals. This tap water might not come cheaply, but it has cost the authorities billions of dollars to purchase the four hundred square miles of protected forest surrounding reservoirs as well as their cleanup. Though the huge improvement in quality made since 1985, it seems like money well spent. In the early 80’s the filthy state of the Boston Harbor made national news and sued state agencies for violating the Massachusetts Clean Water Act. Authorities spend $131 million in restoring the Boston Harbor and Charles River. It was used for land perseveration around Boston’s drinking water source. Four hundred square miles of forest makes a protective ring around the city’s two major reservoirs. Utilities aspiring to win the prize next year might borrow a page from Boston’s playbook and collaborate with state conversation agencies to protect their watersheds. With consumers’ confidence in tap water is likely to rise when improved source protection. This could spell trouble for the bottle water industry. These are the things that make Boston’s tap water tasting so good.