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The Breakdown: June 11th

A selection of notable publications on sustainability, climate change, organics recycling, and soil nutrition brought to you by Full Circle Environmental. As innovators in organics recycling, we want to help our friends and partners stay informed about the topics that motivate us every day. 

Three Surprising Solutions To Climate Change

When the analysts at Project Drawdown quantified the impact of 100 solutions to climate change, they were surprised by some of their results, the organization's executive director said in a recent appearance at Carnegie-Mellon University.

"Some solutions were a total surprise," said Jonathan Foley, an atmospheric scientist who took the helm of Project Drawdown late last year, after the list was made. "Some surprised me, and I've been working at this for a long time."


 

We know what we have to do to avoid a climate catastrophe: eat a plant-rich diet, change our energy mix, electrify transport, reverse deforestation. But there are many more solutions to climate change, including some potent ones that rarely get attention.

Project Drawdown claims to be the first effort to measure and project the impact of a multitude of existing climate solutions using uniform metrics—carbon emissions avoided or reduced, money spent, money saved—allowing "an apples-to-apples comparison." Foley highlighted three solutions in particular that emerged from the analysis more powerful than expected:

Continue reading on Forbes.

Using Garbage to Rebuild Tired Soil

Soil not only helps us grow crops, it holds onto carbon and filters water, but over time, soil gets tired and becomes ineffective at doing those things. The "Fab Soil" project at the University of Plymouth in the UK is working on different ways to reenergize tired dirt. "We're trying to create a soil that performs even better than the natural soil because we can actually adapt its functions and the constituents of the natural soil, so that could have global opportunities for food security and for flood management". 

Watch the video on VOA.

Climate change could pose 'existential threat' by 2050: report

Twenty days of lethal heat per year. Collapsed ecosystems. And more than 1 billion people displaced.


Those are all probable scenarios that could devastate societies by 2050 if swift and dramatic action isn't taken to curb climate change, according to a think tank report backed by a former Australian military chief.
The paper, by the Melbourne-based Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, is not a scientific study, but an attempt to model future scenarios based on existing research.

It paints a bleak future in which more than a billion people are displaced, food production drops off and some of the world's most populous cities are left partially abandoned.

Its foreword is written by Chris Barrie, a retired admiral and former head of the Australian Defense Force, who said that "after nuclear war, human-induced global warming is the greatest threat to human life on the planet."

"A doomsday future is not inevitable," he notes. "But without immediate drastic action our prospects are poor."

Keep reading on CNN.

Can small-scale farmers grow a healthier Central Valley?

From above, the crops of California’s Central Valley look like a giant tile floor. Some of the tiles are fuzzy; these are the densely planted almond and mandarin groves that dominate large swaths of the Valley. Others are striped; these are rows of grapes growing on long trellises. They stretch for 450 miles across the heart of California, many belonging to industrial farm operators that net millions of dollars a year in profits.

What a satellite image won’t show you are the complicated social and political frameworks that govern the Central Valley. For every wealthy landowner, there are thousands of workers, many undocumented, laboring in the fields. The inequalities are glaring: The Valley is home to some of the most impoverished cities in the country. Many residents, surrounded by agricultural bounty, live in food deserts.

Read more on grist.

Pressure mounts on aviation industry over climate change

Under pressure from frequent flyers alarmed over climate change, the airline industry says it is "hellbent" on reducing emissions — but the technology needed to drastically reduce its carbon footprint is still out of reach.

In recent months climate activists have stepped up efforts to convince travelers to boycott air travel, with Swedish schoolgirl and campaigner Greta Thunberg spearheading the trains-over-planes movement and making "flygskam", or flight shame, a buzzword in the Scandinavian country.

Read more on Yahoo News.

Underground Microorganisms Build Healthy Soil for a Cooler Planet 

I live in a Burlington neighborhood where uniform, lush lawns and manicured flower beds are standard. From a distance, my yard might pass muster. But up close, it's a mishmash of grass, violets, dandelions, mystery plants and bare patches. It also harbors a happy grub colony and becomes a dust bowl by midsummer.

Attempting to help it, I've given it compost, yanked dandelions, sprinkled Milky Spore (a bacterial grub control), set the electric mower at four inches and mowed less often. I've also eschewed chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.

After recent interactions with the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition, however, I have a completely new way to think about my lawn — and the plight of the planet.

I've learned that healthy soil is key to a healthy lawn and is a complex ecosystem. Healthy soil sequesters more carbon and is better able to absorb heavy rainfall and to remain moist during droughts. What makes healthy soil so amazing? Tiny creatures invisible to the naked eye.

Keep reading on Seven Days.
About Full Circle Environmental, LLC:
At Full Circle, we're developing the future of composting. Our microbial inoculant powers an anaerobic fermentation process that's faster than traditional composting with simpler input management and greater nutrient retention in the resulting fertilizer. We see food waste as both a global challenge and massive opportunity and believe now is the time for action. 
Learn more at fullcircle.green
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