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Positive News about Trees & the Environment

Not Just a Pretty Tail – New research has revealed that the Lyrebird, Australia’s iconic songbird, with feet like garden rakes, and an appetite for worms and soil-dwelling insects, reduces the risk of bushfire by spreading dry leaf litter and digging safe havens that help other species survive fires.
alex maisey

China will boost efforts this year to rid itself of a strong addiction to coal in a bid to reduce damaging pollution as well as cut the energy intensity of its economy, which is expected to grow at its lowest rate in 25 years. They will raise wind, solar and natural gas capacity, which will also have an effect on commodities markets for crude oil and iron ore.
A man walks over a bridge as smoke rises from chimneys of a thermal power plant in Shanghai

Moringa are known as ‘miracle’ trees because of their many uses as food and as a source of oil. Seeds from the trees are also used to purify water, and recent research has shown that the seeds can also be used for separation of different materials, applicable to mining industries.
Majority Kwaambwa

New Acoustic Insulation Material That Incorporates Fibers from Orange Tree Pruning – This research is a leading example in the field of the development of the materials commonly known as eco-friendly. Research using ground olive stones is also near completion. One of the advantages of this new material is that it will enable an agricultural sub-product such as the waste from orange tree pruning to be used, with the resulting economic benefits for the industry.

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Smithsonian Magazine reports that Canada’s Northwest Territories will be host to the biggest Morel Mushroom harvest in world history in 2015, due to recent fires.

David Cavagnaro:Visuals Unlimited:Corbis

The discovery of a rare copy of the Magna Carta came along with the unearthing of a copy of The Charter of the Forest, written only two years after the signing of the first document, in 1217. The role of The Charter of the Forest was to up forests to the common man. Before that, only the King and his nobles were allowed access to the “royal forest,” which was a full third of the country’s land.
Kent County Council

Latin American mayors convened in Buenos Aires at the C40 Latin American Mayors Forum to demonstrate bold leadership in the world’s largest cooperative effort among mayors to fight global climate change and its effects. Included in these efforts is the C40 City Clean Bus Declaration of Intent, demonstrating a commitment by C40 cities to reducing emissions and improving air quality through the introduction of low- and zero-emission buses in their fleets.

The Nation

 

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Positive news about Trees and the Environment

Wolverines making comeback in Washington – the state transportation department is spending millions on crossing structures, both over and underneath busy I-90, which will allow the animals to expand their range, which will give them greater mating options and genetic diversity. The crossings would likely also restore connectivity for the Cascades’ northern and southern black bear populations, which haven’t been able to mingle or mate easily for decades.

Read the full text of these stories at my website. http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

factzoo.com
Scientists Seeking to Save World Find Best Technology Is Trees – Oxford University scientists, who considered methods ranging from capturing emissions from factories and power stations to extracting carbon dioxide directly from the air, and adding lime to oceans to increase their absorption of the gas, released a study which determined the best technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and try to reverse global warming is trees. (Duh.)

Suzanna Gonzales:Bloomberg
Community Energy: Power from the People – Community energy initiatives based on local renewable resources are now emerging across the country. While these projects take a variety of forms, such as wind, solar, hydropower and biogas, one common element is local ownership.

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The “Wind Tree,” an extremely quiet, 3-meter-tall generator designed for urban environments, created by French company NewWind, makes the most of smaller air currents. The “leaves” are mini turbines and together could power 15 streetlights. (posted previously, but worth mentioning again.)

Paris accueille L'Arbre à Vent2

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Positive news about trees and the environment (for a change!)

biomass, endangered species, energy efficiency, Environment

Great wall of trees keeps China’s deserts at bay, called “The Great Green Wall” – a massive belt of trees being planted across China’s arid north -“ has reportedly improved vegetation and dust storms have decreased significantly in the region, compared with other areas. Read the full text of this and other stories at my website, listed below.

Landov:Xinhua:Press Association Images)

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

Steam to run one of Procter & Gamble’s largest paper manufacturing plants will soon be created by using peanut and pecan shells, treetops and mill waste such as sawdust. A $200 million biomass cogeneration plant, which is now under construction in Georgia, will significantly increase the Cincinnati-based company’s use of renewable energy.

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Chiefs’ Joint Restoration Projects to have Meaningful Impact on Family-Owned Forests in Oregon’s Elkhorn Mountains and Wisconsin’s Lake Superior watershed, where family forest owners are being engaged to help reduce the risk of wildfire, improve the habitats of threatened fish and animals, ensure clean water, and other critical outcomes.

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U.S. Wildlife Managers Mark Population Rise for Rare Mexican Grey Wolf, which were believed to be all but extinct in the United States in 1998 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began reintroducing the animal to its native range. The number climbed to 109 in 2014, marking the fourth consecutive year that the population has risen by at least 10 percent.

desert.usa.com

EU Introduces New Rules to Make Cooking Greener. The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union, beginning Friday. The cumulative savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

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ENERGY 2.0 :: THE TREE WIND LAUNCHED IN PARIS (2015)

Terrific!

___ architecture for the 99

Paris accueille L'Arbre à Vent

“The official launch of the final prototype (of the wind tree) will take place at Place de la Concorde in March 2015 when the Tree will be ‘planted’ and remain there until May. NewWind say they have already sold 40 pre-mass production Trees to be installed in France in September 2015. Mass production and commercialization in France and neighbouring countries is scheduled for June 2016.”http://www.newsweek.com/new-tree-shaped-wind-turbine-be-installed-streets-paris-296591

official : http://www.arbre-a-vent.fr

Paris accueille L'Arbre à Vent2

new wind arbre-a-vent

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Some positive tree and environmental stories

 

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLY LOVERS: The number of Monarch butterflies that reached wintering grounds in Mexico has rebounded 69 percent from last year’s lowest-on-record levels, but their numbers remain very low, according to a formal census by Mexican environmental authorities and scientists released Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

 

Rebecca Blackwell, AP

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced plans Monday to spend $2 million this fiscal year on conservation projects to save the declining monarch butterfly species.
The agency is teaming up with the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore and enhance 200,000 acres of monarch butterfly habitat on private and public land. The population of the North American pollinator has declined by 90 percent since the 1990s, largely due to the destruction of milkweed — the primary food source of monarch caterpillars. Complete stories and links for all these stories can be found at my website – link below.

 

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

 

On a really positive note, Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, recently became the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy movement.

 

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Diver finds 10,000-year-old FOREST hidden under the North Sea. It is believed the forest, which originally stretched as far as Europe, was drowned when the ice caps melted and the sea level rose 120 meters, and may have become exposed following the stormy weather last winter. The fallen trees are now lying on the ground where they have formed a natural reef, which is teaming with colorful fish, plants and wildlife.

 

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Minnesota officials on Thursday put the brakes on the rapid conversion of pine forests to potato fields in the northwestern part of the state while they conduct an environmental review to get a better understanding of the potential threats to groundwater, fish and wildlife.
This is a story worth following, for as we know, big business usually gets it’s way – these guys – R.D. Offutt, the nation’s largest potato grower, supplying the fast food industry and potato chip manufacturers with potatoes commonly drowned in pesticides – has obtained permits for 32 irrigation wells in 4 counties since 2010, with applications pending to drill 35 more. The forests they intend to clear are in an area whose sandy soils are highly permeable to agricultural fertilizers. That raises the risks of nitrate contamination of waters that feed into the Mississippi River, which supplies drinking water to Minneapolis and other downstream communities.

 

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Green Infrastructure Helps Communities Become “Climate Smart”

THE DIRT

At the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in Baltimore, a panel of experts called for using green infrastructure to make communities “climate smart,” which can also boost their resilience to natural disasters.

According to Breece Robertson, the Trust for Public Land’s geographic information systems (GIS) director, climate-smart cities use green infrastructure in four ways (see a brief video above). They create “safe, interconnected opportunities to walk or bike; cool down the city by planting trees and creating parks; absorb stormwater to save energy and recharge aquifers; and protect cities through green shorelines.”

In a pilot study with New York City government, Columbia University, and Drexel University on how to use green infrastructure to protect New York City’s waterfront, the team created a GIS data tool to model priorities. According to Robertson, the models found that “green buffers really do improve resilience.”

Pete Wiley, an economist with the NOAA’s office…

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PGG Weekend in Belgium – Arboretum Kalmthout

I love these photos and wish I could visit the arboretum.

Life of a Plant Lover

This is the second post about the PGG study tour to Belgium. Please click here if you would like to read the first post. Enjoy! 🙂

Arboretum Kalmthout

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Arboretum Kalmthout

The weather hadn’t improved at the start of the weekend, on Saturday we all woke to grey and misty skies. However seeing Arboretum Tervuren the day before had whetted our appetites and we were all keen to see the next two places on the list – the first being Arboretum Kalmthout.

Arboretum Kalmthout has existed for more than a century. Its history goes back to 1856, when the Antwerp nurseryman Charles Van Geert in Kalmthout started with a testing ground for his nursery in Antwerp. It remained a farm until 1952, when brothers George and Robert De Belder bought the land to make their private collective garden.

View of the lawn

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Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’

Picea abies 'Nidiformis'

Under the inspiring leadership of Robert…

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