Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sandy and the Age of Superstorms – Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT

Published on Nov 28, 2012 by yaleclimateforum

Has Hurricane Sandy inaugurated a new age of climate fueled superstorms?
Peter Sinclair interviews Hurricane Expert Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and Dr. Jason Box of the Byrd Polar Center.

Emanuel 2007, Environmental Factors Affecting Tropical Cyclone Power Dissipation

Judith Lean, Cycles and Trends in Solar Irradiance and Climate

Yes Men Visit Occupy Sandy in the Rockaways

MSNBC Sandy and Global Warming, Morning Joe Program

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Newest Yale Forum Video: A ‘Play-by-Play’ on Sandy with Kerry Emanuel

November 28, 2012

MIT atmospheric science professor Kerry Emanuel offers a concise “play-by-play” as Superstorm Sandy forms and heads for the New Jersey shoreline in the latest Yale Forum video produced by independent film maker Peter Sinclair.

Sinclair’s catchy video captures Ohio State University professor Jason Box on the subject of Sandy’s relationship to our warming planet. Climate change, Box says, “shifted the odds in its favor” and made its impact more severe as a result of the warmer sea temperatures along the eastern seaboard … and the resulting higher sea levels resulting from those higher temperatures.

Weather Underground founder Jeff Masters and video from “Morning Joe” provide additional material in the video, with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough pointing to a discussion he had recently had with a man who handles insurance rate tables. “This is going to just keep coming,” Scarborough quotes him as saying in reference to sky-high storm-related expenses.

Emanuel at one point notes the irony that greatly reduced sulfur aerosol emissions across North America starting in the mid- to late-1980s as a result of Clean Air Act regulations have allowed ocean temperatures to increase. “That silver cloud, if you will, had a black lining,” Emanuel notes.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Dr. Eric Chivian on Biodiversity, Health, and Climate Change
Dr. Eric Chivian on Biodiversity, Health, and Climate Change
Dr. Chivian looks at polar bears and cone snails — species whose survival is threatened by climate change and what medical science stands to lose if these species disappear. Specifically, Chivian looks at how studying polar bears in their native habitat could help scientists address such human health issues as osteoporosis, renal disease, and obesity related diabetes. He describes how cones snails contribute significantly to the development of medication for chronic pain in patients who no longer respond to opiates.

Environment Ethics

Plantagon: The Future of Urban Food

Growing food vertically in the city? The Swedish company Plantagon will show how to grow more food in less space when it opens its first urban greenhouse in 2013 in Linkoping, a city some 180 miles from Stockholm. The plan is to grow vegetables in a turning helix with minimal water, energy and the need for fertilizer. With the world’s population to top 9 billion by 2050 — and with 80% of those people projected to live in cities — finding innovative, cost effective, and environmentally friendly ways to supply food to cities is a major challenge. Earth Focus visits Plantagon for a look at what might well be the future of urban food.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Faust Discusses Harvard Investments | News | The Harvard Crimson
By Quinn D. Hatoff and Hana N. Rouse, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Rishi Goel

President Drew Faust answers questions at the Undergraduate Council and Harvard Graduate Council General Meeting. Her presence at the open forum was driven by a motivation to increase contact and dialogue with students.

Harvard’s investment strategy is aimed at providing funds for the University’s teaching and research initiatives, rather than promoting a particular social cause through investing, University President Drew G. Faust tried to impress upon students during an open forum hosted by the Undergraduate Council and Harvard Graduate Council Monday evening.

“Its primary purpose and its fundamental commitment is to generating the revenue from the endowment that enables us to do everything that we do,” Faust said of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the University’s investments. “That is its sustaining goal and it devotes itself to that, not to using the investments to advance particular agendas of one sort or another.”

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

University ‘Not Considering’ Divestment | News | The Harvard Crimson
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012

A week after about 2,600 undergraduates voted in support of a referendum calling for Harvard to divest its $30.7 billion endowment from the fossil fuel industry, a Harvard spokesperson said on Wednesday that the University has no plans to adjust its investment portfolio in response to the student plebiscite.

“Harvard is not considering divesting from companies related to fossil fuels,” Harvard Director of News and Media Relations Kevin Galvin wrote in an email to The Crimson.

The divestment referendum, which was approved along with two other student-initiated ballot questions in this month’s Undergraduate Council presidential election, earned 72 percent of the student vote. …(more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Harvard Crimson

Do we need the S-word? Yes, for many reasons
By Matthew Polsky
Published November 29, 2012

Do we really need to use the “S-word” – sustainability — in order to talk about sustainability? Joel Makower originally posed this question (and answered with a “no”). This strikes me as one of the classic questions for our still-young field, one that goes to its core, and which will be raised again and again.

The polar extremes of response to the question are: “Sustainability just doesn’t resonate with my audiences, I can make changes in my organization without it, so who needs it?” versus “How can you possibly talk about a subject without mentioning the main way you refer to that subject?” I aim to speak both to the critics at the first pole, as well as those who want to take the sustainability term further. ….(more).

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Quebec fracking ban challenged under NAFTA

November 25 2012. Source: WW4 Report

US-incorporated energy firm Lone Pine Resources is

challenging Quebec’s moratorium on fracking under terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and demanding more than $250 million in compensation. The company—headquartered in Calgary but incorporated in Delaware—officially notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission that on Nov. 8 it filed a notice of intent to sue the Canadian government under NAFTA’s controversial Chapter 11. Quebec lawmakers in June approved legislation, Bill l8, that imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing pending further study on its environmental impacts. Lone Pine cites Chapter 11′s Article 117, on investor damages, in its claim for the loss of what it calls a “valuable right…without due process, without compensation and with no cognizable public purpose.”

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

20,000 lbs of Fish + 70,000 Vegetables per 1/4 Acre … Portable Farms Aquaponics

Published on Mar 21, 2012 by FoodAbundance

1,000% more productive than conventional gardening & farming. The most robust, most scalable Aquaponics system in the world is the Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System. Maxed out, you can produce 240,000 vegetables and 92,000 pounds of fish per acre, using up to 95% less water and no dirt. These are locally grown, organic, vine ripened vegetables and the freshest of the fresh Tilapia, Catfish or Salmon.

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water only), in a carefully designed, hyper-productive closed-loop system. There is no pesticide, no fungicide, no fertilizer, no watering the garden, no bending down to weed the garden, and you produce food year round, no matter the climate or soil conditions. This can work in the Sahara Desert or in Antarctica.

Using this system, each 25 SF of grow space can feed one adult 25% of their protein and all of their table vegetables, year round, forever! On-site local food production is the ultimate form of food storage.

Anyone can install a backyard version of one of these hyper-productive Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems in their backyard/rooftop/patio and grow with more abundance. It is time to solve hunger worldwide, through creating local food abundance…. Anyone can do it, once you learn how.

You can access their website at:

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Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

1 MILLION pounds of Food on 3 acres. 10,000 fish 500 yards compost

Uploaded by GreenLearning on Jun 25, 2009

Growing power seems to have a winning combo going. I underestimated what they are doing. Based on the information in these videos, IF true, then on 3 acres they are producing 1,000,000 pounds of food each year! How are they doing this? Well, based on the information given in the video…

10,000 fish
300-500 yards worm compost
3 acres of land in green houses
Grow all year using heat from compost piles.
Using vertical space

A packed greenhouse produces a crop value of $5 Square Foot! ($200,000/acre).

Now, just to be clear I am not growing power or will allen. Also, a pound of plant or fish product is not the same thing as eatable food unless you process all parts of them for food. i.e. eating the fish bones and using plant stalks in stews. Generally, nations that are well fed throw away most of the plant and eat only the best parts thus lowing the yield of food.

Growing power depends on and runs on the HUGE amounts of compost they make from food waste that is taken from the city. With out this compost there would be no heat for the greenhouses and no fuel for the plants to grow. Its a great thing to divert this from the landfill and provide cheap food for the community.

My personal experience is that growing 7 pounds of food per square foot in a year is not that hard to do especially if you grow year around. You have to select plants that produce a lot of food in a small space which means you may not get a nutritionally complete diet if thats all you grow. Also layering of growth to use all space is important.

I personally use a 12 foot diameter round pond 2.5 feet deep to grow annually 300+ pounds of fish in an aquaponic system and the bulk of my produce is grow using the biointensive method, in the ground, which is watered from the nitrogen rich fish water. My typical yield is between 6 and 9 pounds of food per square foot per year. This does require that I grow over winter which most people do not do. I find that growing in fall and winter months I actually get more production over fall and winter because there are NO bug problems! The crops do mature much slower, but they will mature! Think of it this way, the standard planted row may have 2 or 3 rows of veggies. Bio intensive will plant 12 rows; thats already 4 times the produce. Now add in onions, for example, that grow vertically above sweet potato vines, this increases production a lot. Now add to that 4 harvest per year vs the standard one season growing season. Now you have X4 more productivity. This brings us to X4X4 or 16 times the productivity of the standard growing methods. If you add to that hanging pot or what ever to add more growing space you have again increased productivity again. I personally have not used vertical space in that way. An snap shot of my experience is growing one sweat potato per 1.5′ x 1.5′ area (2.25 square feet) this one plant produces on average 12 pounds of root per plant and in that space I grow 4 to 6 leeks adding a pond of produce. Now, the vines grow all over the place, and I tie some up, are not confined to that 2.25 square feet of soil space. From each plant you can easily average 3 pounds of eatable leaves as you pick them over the growing season. At this point alone I am averaging 16 pounds of eatable food in 2.25 square feet or 16/2.5=7 pounds of food per square foot. Now that is in ONE GROWING SEASON. As I also grow fava beans, wheat, and fodder greens for two more seasons so my yelid is averaging 8 to 10 pounds in a year. IF I did this on 3 acres of growing space, excluding foot paths and green house walls ect then my production would be 8 pounds per square foot * 43560 feet acre * 3 = 1,045,440 pounds of food. It is possible to get even more by choosing the right crops and getting 4 harvest per year. I have settled on 4000 square feet of growing space per person for providing pretty much all the food a person needs. I suggest anyone starting out begin with a very small garden and do it well. Something like a 5′ by 20′ growing bed would be the most you would start with.

backyardaquaponics [dot] com/forum
Food Now by bountiful gardens
One Mexican Diet by bountiful gardens
Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman

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Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV