Fighting the drought, water efficiency in California

For our Economics classes at Pinchot last year, I – with a few friends and classmates – worked on water in California. My part was focusing on the inefficiency and the leaks occuring in the State. The findings are quite unsettling.

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Uruguay to invest $2.6 billion in Wind energy

The drought that is affecting Brazil so much is also undermining Uruguay and its large dependance on hydro energy ( 74 percent of local electricity ). The current alternative to hydro is oil. So the country will invest $2.6 billion ( 2.3 billion euros ) in wind energy in the next couple of years.

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A massive drought strikes Brazil

In the land of carnavals, I had read that some festivities had been cancelled because of the lack of water, so I knew something was wrong in Brazil. In fact, it is the worst drought in 84 years ! 

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2014 was the hottest year on record

2014 was according to the Japan Meteorological Agency the hottest year ever recorded. Other agencies around the world will present the same conclusion in the next days or weeks as records were broken all around the world.

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Climate change dries up lakes in China and California

If you think climate change is a threat only to a distant future, please read on. In California, the situation is critical as to the Weather Channel : ” California’s reservoirs are severely depleted due to the ongoing widespread drought conditions “ ” As of Jan. 21, 2014, 67 percent of California was in extreme drought, … Read more

Climate change’s influence in the Middle East

I particularly like Thomas L Friedman’s articles on climate and environmental issues. His book, Hot, Flat and Crowded is still one of my favorites. Now here comes a little gem of how climate change is wrecking even more the Middle East.

His article starts with these words : ” In the 1970s, I got both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in modern Middle East studies, and (…) at no time did environmental or climate issues appear anywhere in the syllabi of my courses.

” Today, you can’t understand the Arab awakenings — or their solutions — without considering climate, environment and population stresses. “

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Cover crops are the future of sustainable agriculture

A mere two weeks ago I was in a middle of a field with my dear uncle Christophe. He was explaining me how he is planting cover crops in some of their fields to cut fertilizer and pesticides use as well as protecting the Environment.

Now, back to present days, I read a long and fascinating article by Tom Philpott  – for those who grew up in a farm and/or are interesting in agriculture – on the many other benefits of this practice and how it is being promoted in the United States.

Cover crops provide so many advantages over current farming practices that it has to be hoped it will become common practice globally in the next decades.

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Don’t say climate change, prefer ” climate crises “

Global warming could lead to more violence and warsTo a recent study, global warming could cause a 50 percent increase in violent conflict. Given that it has already sparked the matches of war in Darfur and Syria, one can be scared.  As the Guardian noted :

” A group of researchers have trawled the scientific literature and concluded from 60 studies, from Somalia and China to Colombia and the Middle East, that unusually warm weather generates more aggression and conflict.

” In parts of equatorial Africa, they suggest, every added degree of heat increases the chance of conflict between groups by 11 to 14%. “

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Why I am against fracking

I was pleased to see the previous French conservative government had banned fracking and I am equally pleased to see that the new liberal government – elected in May – kept it banned.

So there is a political consensus against it, at least in France. This is a good thing as fracking is, let us not mince words, dangerous. This was clearly shown in the recent European report.

Hydraulic fracturing uses a lot of water, contaminates water tables, both being a huge problem as droughts are becoming more and more frequent as climate warms.

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