Pl@ntNet is an app that can identify plants using the camera on your mobile. Presently, it’s limited primarily to Western Europe (since it was in France),Indian Ocean, and parts of South America. The technology behind it can be used to extend it elsewhere and let’s hope it gets more global support.
“What makes the project unique and innovative is that it is based on data collected through a large and dynamic social network that regularly collects field data, that shares this data, meaning that this knowledge is constantly updated which also allows the use of a certain number of visual patterns expressed by plants”.
In 2006 Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth which was a film that changed the discourse around climate change by bringing knowledge to those who were ignorant about basic environmental knowledge. In the last two years there has been positive movement towards making the human-built world more eco-conscious but we do have a lot further to go. In this TED talk Al Gore goes into why he’s optimistic about the next ten years.
Al Gore has three questions about climate change and our future. First: Do we have to change? Each day, global-warming pollution traps as much heat energy as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs. This trapped heat is leading to stronger storms and more extreme floods, he says: “Every night on the TV news now is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.” Second question: Can we change? We’ve already started. So then, the big question: Will we change? In this challenging, inspiring talk, Gore says yes. “When any great moral challenge is ultimately resolved into a binary choice between what is right and what is wrong, the outcome is foreordained because of who we are as human beings,” he says. “That is why we’re going to win this.”
China was building coal power plants at an alarming rate over the last couple of decades and the repercussions of that policy have been felt. Pollution throughout the country kills thousands and has gotten so bad at times that parts of the country essentially close. Coal is largely to blame.
The pollution released by those plants is massive compared to alternatives like natural gas (still gross) and renewables (the best!). Indeed, China is cashing in on the global trend towards renewable energy by increasing their domestic production of wind turbines and solar voltaic plants. Finally they will benefit from this internally by closing 1,000 coal plants and replacing it with alternatives.
Thanks to this effort from China we will breath a little better in the years to come.
The news was confirmed on Monday by China’s National Energy Administration, and first reported by Xinhua, the state-run outlet, after detailed plans to slash coal consumption were issued earlier this month by the country’s powerful executive body, the State Council. The move will accelerate China’s well-documented shift away from coal.
The news comes as a Chinese firm topped a reputable global ranking for wind energy production for the first time, besting US giant General Electric. Chinese companies already lead the world in solar energy production.
Canada Blooms is a competition to demonstrate one’s ability to display flowers. In the past it was based on the look of the arrangement done in a garden, now they are expanding how they think about flowers. This year they want people to submit rain gardens to the competition.
Rain gardens are preferred because they use water that falls from he sky instead of draining local aquifers or other finite sources. It’s good to see a Canada Blooms caring about the environment and hopefully they will become more conscious of nature with every year.
“Rain gardens are a brilliant concept,” says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “By creating some small adjustments in your home garden you can not only create a fuller, lush garden, but you will also help improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and ease the strain on our environment.”
Rain gardens are natural or man-made rainwater runoffs that allow storm water to be soaked into the ground and plants rather than flowing into storm drains. By diverting the water that would eventually drain out to local rivers, lakes or to the sea, rain gardens help prevent erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Bees are having a hard time in the 21st century everything from radio waves to pesticides are messing with their honey creation. The poor creatures are also suffering from a massive colony collapse disorder. What’s more native species need to compete with colonies that are shipped around for farmers.
Fortunately there are still ways to help bees! Farmers in Mexico and India are using techniques learned over a millennium ago to keep their local bee populations surviving. No more pesticides or bizarre treatment of bees – instead these farmers help the bees help themselves (and humans).
On the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, where large swaths of native forests are still intact, scientists interested in restoring that function are working with Mayan farmers to revive traditional beekeeping. The researchers’ long-term studies of bee populations and surveys of beekeepers in remote Mayan villages showed that the practice is no longer being passed down through families. To help preserve a tradition they saw as essential to preventing local extinction of these stingless bees Buchmann, Roubik, Villanueva-Gutiérrez, and other colleagues from the University of Yucatan started annual workshops to train a new generation of beekeepers.