Oil! Our secret god, our secret sharer, our magic wand, fulfiller of our every desire, our co-conspirator, the sine qua non in all we do! Can’t live with it, can’t — right at this moment — live without it. But it’s on everyone’s mind.
Back in 2009, as fracking and the mining of the oil/tar sands in Alberta ramped up — when people were talking about Peak Oil and the dangers of the supply giving out — I wrote a piece for the German newspaper Die Zeit. In English it was called “The Future Without Oil.”
Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid. “I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase,” he tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees.”
These days, he’s living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he’s now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they’ve laid down roots in human history and culture, too.
A small garden is taking root around the corner from an East Chicago ArcelorMittal plant. Its presence on the 3000 block of Michigan Avenue is to draw another type of visitor to the industrial grounds – monarch butterflies.
JobLink, which has provided classes and training to mill workers since 1980, is providing a class for ArcelorMittal employees to come in their off-time in a lot next to its office and put in some elbow grease for the garden to bloom.
In 1995, National Geographic sent a reporter to the American West to document what the magazine called “A Farming Revolution“: a back-to-basics movement that eschewed monoculture crops and synthetic fertilizers and relied on crop rotation, green mulches and respect for the soil.
Fast forward 20 years, and the principles expressed by the fringe farmers in that story have become the basis of organic agriculture and the bedrock of the food movement.
The Obama administration is hatching a plan to establish a 1,500-mile butterfly corridor along US Interstate 35 connecting Minnesota and Texas to protect the monarch butterfly.
The majestic North American monarch is well known for both its trademark orange and black stripes as well as its epic annual migration from Canada to Mexico.
The humble bee — nuisance, threat, and linchpin of the American food supply — has won over the leader of the free world. And now President Obama is intervening on the bee’s behalf as its habitat dwindles.
On Tuesday, the Obama administration will announce the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, a bureaucratic title for a plan to save the bee, other small winged animals and their breeding grounds.
The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better. A new federal plan aims to reverse America’s declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.
While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move.
Monarch butterflies: They are the iconic symbols of international cooperation in North America in the face of climate change.
Because of their long distance migration across a variety of climates and habitats, monarchs serve as a messenger of the collective global effects of climate change interacting with a variety of other stressors, natural and human-triggered.