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Environment
Articles and discussion regarding holistic approaches to environmental protection and use.

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Articles

For woodland owners and agricultural producers, creation of the Northeast Regional Hub for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change in Durham, N.H., will bring climate change science tools closer to home.

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• Organic Farms Support Biodiversity
• Flowering Cover Crops Assist Blueberries
• Wildflowers Assist Blueberry Pollination
• Food Supplies Expanding but Food Species Decreasing

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• Agriculture can help mitigate climate change
• Organic farm soils stockpile organic carbon
• Climate change and hardwood forests
• USDA’s 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map obsolete

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Low corn yields due to drought and expensive feed led some conventional farmers to feed their cows unusual products last summer.

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The global adult human biomass in 2005 was about 287 million tons. Overweight people accounted for 15 million tons; obese people for 3.5 million tons. The authors of this study say that the increasing weight of the world population could put the same demands on world food energy as an extra half billion people.

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Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the increase in atmospheric N2O in the last few decades is due to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use. 

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• Buy Local Carbon Credit Project
• Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change

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• USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map
• “Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate"
• Wild bees emerging earlier in the spring

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• Climate change hotspots
• Dairy cows on pasture better for environment
• Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health

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Air at some U.S. factory farm test sites is dirtier than in America’s most polluted cities and exposes workers to concentrations of pollutants far above occupational safety guidelines, according to the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

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Iowa farms are losing topsoil up to 12 times faster than government estimates, says the Environmental Working Group’s new report “Losing Ground,” based on research by scientists at Iowa State University.

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A Maine Phenology Project invites the public to help scientists document local effects of climate change by observing and recording the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals in their backyards and communities.

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University of Illinois entomology professor Sydney Cameron and her colleagues have found declines of up to 96 percent in populations of four of eight bumble bee species studied across the country, and declines in their geographic range since record-keeping began in the late 1800s.

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Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute president and author of the new book World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, says the current food bubble economy is like the recent U.S. housing bubble, except that the food bubble is global, so its bursting could have further reaching impacts.

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Two articles: Green Roof Center; Farms and Forests Can Reduce Global Warming

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Leading crop-production models predict that higher temperatures and dryer soils will diminish crop yields as a result of global climate change in the year 2050. The models also predict that another anticipated climate-change phenomenon – the yield-stimulating effects of elevated carbon dioxide – will offset those losses. So nothing gained or lost, right? Not quite, says a team of scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Switzerland.

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David PimentelEntomologist and ecologist Dr. David Pimentel of Cornell University was the keynote speaker at MOFGA and Cooperative Extension’s Farmer to Farmer Conference in Bar Harbor in November 2005. In introducing him, Russell Libby mentioned John Seymour’s essay for Resurgence magazine years ago called "The Age of Healing." Seymour said we’ve been plundering the world’s resources for the last 150 years, and now we can keep doing the same and go into an age of chaos; or we could try an age of healing.

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Coleen O'DonnellWhen the Lakes Environmental Association (LEA) in Bridgton, Maine, offered a discussion series entitled "Exploring Deep Ecology," I enrolled, intrigued with the possibility of understanding ecology more deeply. I thought discussions of deep ecology might get at the deep interconnectedness of all beings and aspects of Nature and the ways our present attitudes have created an environmental crisis.

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Spring equinox approaches. What a good time to celebrate our world! Any time is good, really, but picking a significant date can prompt us to slow down and appreciate our ecosphere. Consider hosting an ecosphere celebration.

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In the largest and most comprehensive study of organic farming to date, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, scientists from leading UK institutions show conclusively that organic farms benefit a range of wildlife, including wild flowers, beetles, spiders, birds and bats, more than their conventional counterparts.

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