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The Breakdown: March 5th

The inspiring thing that happened when a Japanese village went almost waste-free

The village of Kamikatsu sits among verdant rice fields and mountainous forest on the Western Japanese island of Shikoku. With less than 1,700 residents, it’s the smallest village on the island, but for the last few years, has been garnering headlines around the world.

For decades, the village had given little thought to processing its waste, either burning it in an open incinerator or burying it in the ground.

A failed new incinerator project, however, forced the village to rethink its strategy and a lofty ambition was born - to become a zero-waste town by 2020.

Today, more than 80% of the village’s waste is kept out of incinerators and landfill, but the transformation wasn’t easy or quick.

Read more at World Economic Forum.

Evidence For Global Warming Passes Physics' Gold Standard Threshold

You and I, we know climate change is definitely real. But physicists have a gold standard for the burden of proof known as five sigma. A new analysis shows that even the most conservative climate data have passed this point. Read more at earther.gizmodo.com.

3 Big Myths about Modern Agriculture

Myths get in the way of our ability to restore degraded soils that can feed the world using fewer chemicals.

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily.
After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals. Read more at Scientific American.

Extreme CO2 levels could trigger clouds ‘tipping point’ and 8C of global warming

 

If atmospheric CO2 levels exceed 1,200 parts per million (ppm), it could push the Earth’s climate over a “tipping point”, finds a new study. This would see clouds that shade large part of the oceans start to break up. Read more at Carbon Brief.

For every $1 they invest in cutting food waste, restaurants save $7

At one Brooklyn restaurant, the scraps of carrots, beets, and cilantro that come from making one item on the menu are made into a second $15 dish. Other chefs have created dumplings or ravioli or burgers from scraps that would otherwise be wasted–or have started to offer smaller servings, so customers are less likely to leave food on the plate. Many restaurants are thinking about food waste more than they did in the past. But by one estimate, restaurants in the U.S. alone still throw out 22 billion to 33 billion pounds of food each year. Read more at Fast Company.

How artificially brightened clouds could stop climate change

In June, 1991, something surprising happened to the Earth. Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines, erupted. The first surprise was that it was thought to be a mountain, not a volcano. In fact, pressure built up over centuries beneath this dormant volcano caused the second largest eruption of the 20th Century, spewing vast amounts of white ash and sulphates as high as the stratosphere – 10 km above the Earth’s surface.
Around 15-17 million tonnes of this volcanic material spread into a lazy haze covering much of the globe. During the following 15 months, scientists discovered a second surprise: this particle cloud had formed a protective sun-shield, reflecting a significant proportion of the sun’s rays back into space. As a result, the average global temperature that year dropped by 0.6C. And for some researchers, that raised an interesting possibility. Could we do this on purpose, deliberately producing artificial clouds reduce global warming?

Read more at BBC.
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.