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Category Archives: Environmental Law

What Plants Can Teach Us About Politics

Outside – “In his new book, ‘The Nation of Plants,’ botanist Stefano Mancuso suggests that human democracies may have something to learn from the world’s trees and flowers..

By perceiving plants as being much closer to the inorganic world than to the fullness of life, we commit a fundamental error of perspective, which could cost us dearly,” warns the Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso in his latest book, The Nation of Plants. Mancuso is director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology at the University of Florence and a leader in the emerging study of what he calls plant intelligence. Some biologists say that since plants lack neurons, plant neurobiology is an oxymoron. They dismiss the field as much ado about nothing—like the famous but ultimately debunked 1973 work The Secret Life of Plantswhich had everyone playing Mozart for their ferns but is now seen as a confused and wishful attempt to endow plants with a sentience they just don’t have.

Yet research by Mancuso and others has shown that plants communicate, perceive, and respond to each other and their environment, and can even exhibit something like memory. Plants may lack brains, but, as Mancuso has argued in popular books like Brilliant Green (coauthored with journalist Alessandra Viola in 2015), they’re in no way inferior in biological sophistication or evolutionary ingenuity to animals. In The Nation of Plants, Mancuso half-seriously suggests that they may even be smarter than humans when it comes to the way they live together…”

Recycle everything with TerraCycle

“TerraCycle® is a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste®. In 21 countries, we tackle the issue from many angles. We have found that nearly everything we touch can be recycled and collect typically non-recyclable items through national, first-of-their-kind recycling platforms. Leading companies work with us to take hard-to-recycle materials from our programs, such as… Continue Reading

ITER, The Grand Illusion: A Forensic Investigation of Power Claims

“Is nuclear fusion a likely solution to climate change? Is fusion a viable energy alternative? For 70 years, fusion scientists have promoted new design concepts, pointed to computer models, and unequivocally stated that fusion is the answer. But where is the experimental evidence that the scientific method demands? And why has energy from nuclear fusion… Continue Reading

A 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent

National Intelligence Council – Global Trends 2040 – A More Contested World – March 2021: “…Published every four years since 1997, Global Trends assesses the key trends and uncertainties that will shape the strategic environment for the United States during the next two decades. Global Trends is designed to provide an analytic f ramework for… Continue Reading

New U.S. Carbon Monitor website compares emissions among the 50 states

UCI News: “Following last year’s successful launch of a global carbon monitor website to track and display greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of sources, an international team led by Earth system scientists from the University of California, Irvine is unveiling this week a new data resource focused on the United States. Near real-time, state-level… Continue Reading

We sampled tap water across the US and found arsenic, lead and toxic chemicals

“A nine-month investigation by the Guardian and Consumer Reports found alarming levels of forever chemicals, arsenic and lead in samples taken across the US by Ryan Felton and Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports and Lewis Kendall for the Guardian – “In Connecticut, a condo had lead in its drinking water at levels more than double… Continue Reading

Why You Should Plant Oaks

The New York Times – “These large, long-lived trees support more life-forms than any other trees in North America. And they’re magnificent…Oaks support more life-forms than any other North American tree genus, providing food, protection or both for birds to bears, as well as countless insects and spiders, among the enormous diversity of species….“There is… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, April 4, 2021

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, April 4, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex… Continue Reading

How can we better dispose of PPE so it doesn’t keep polluting our oceans?

Fast Company: “Six months after the Ocean Conservancy added a PPE category to its waste collection app, beach cleaners said they collected 107,219 such items. It’s another sad reality of the COVID-19 era that some of the steps we’re taking to stay safe and combat the coronavirus spread are often in opposition to hard-fought efforts… Continue Reading

U.S. High Tide Flooding Probability Scenarios Through 2100

ESRI.com – “High tide flooding today mostly affects low-lying and exposed assets or infrastructure, such as roads, harbors, beaches, public storm-, waste- and fresh-water systems and private and commercial properties. Due to rising relative sea level (RSL), more and more cities are becoming increasingly exposed and evermore vulnerable to high tide flooding, which is rapidly… Continue Reading

Biden administration will investigate Trump-era attacks on science

The New York Times – “The Biden administration will investigate Trump-era political interference in science across the government, the first step in what White House officials described as a sweeping effort to rebuild a demoralized federal work force and prevent future abuses. In a letter to the leaders of all federal agencies, the White House… Continue Reading

NASA study says it’s the first to directly measure humans’ role in climate change

Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing. First published: 25 March 2021 https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091585 “Changes in atmospheric composition, such as increasing greenhouse gases, cause an initial radiative imbalance to the climate system, quantified as the instantaneous radiative forcing. This fundamental metric has not been directly observed globally and previous estimates have come from models. In part,… Continue Reading