Historic sites that attract a lot of tourists know that if they loose their historical look that the tourists will stop coming, so how do you locally produce renewable energy while not looking modern? This question has been answered by the stewards of Pompeii with a simple solar solution. A local solar artisan found a way to manufacture solar panels that look like standard Roman roof tiles. They aren’t the most efficient solar panels but they work and they fit in with the aesthetic.
The traditional PV tiles are made from a polymer compound, which allows the sun’s rays to filter through. The photovoltaic cells are then integrated into it by hand and covered with a layer of the polymer compound. “We can also give it the look of stone, wood, concrete, and brick. As a result, such a solution can be installed not only on roofs but also on walls and floors,” says Quagliato.
Dyaqua’s clients are mainly local councils, owning assets that are subject to artistic or architectural constraints. Approved by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the traditional PV tiles have been also installed in Vicoforte, not far from Cuneo, and will soon be used in Rome’s renowned museum of contemporary art, Maxxi. In the coming months, they will also cover the roofs of some public buildings in Split, Croatia, and Evora, Portugal. Together with Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, the Portuguese city is one of the demo sites that are testing innovative solutions aimed at combining sustainability with the valorization of architectural and cultural heritage, within the European project Pocityf. The Italian company Tegola Canadese is among its technical partners.
Dense mangrove forests provide an ecological boost wherever they are found because they protect both land and sea species. They are really ecosystems unto themselves with nuance and each with their own history. That history can help us understand how the delicate forests will survive climate change, we know they have before and now we can understand how we can help them survive our current rapidly changing climate.
Mangroves are also gorgeous!
“The most amazing part of this study is that we were able to examine a mangrove ecosystem that has been trapped in time for more than 100,000 years,” said study co-author Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, a marine ecologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and a Pew Marine Fellow. “There is certainly more to discover about how the many species in this ecosystem adapted throughout different environmental conditions over the past 100,000 years. Studying these past adaptations will be very important for us to better understand future conditions in a changing climate.”
Combining multiple lines of evidence, the study demonstrates that the rare and unique mangrove ecosystem of the San Pedro River is a relict—that is, organisms that have survived from an earlier period—from a past warmer world when relative sea levels were six to nine meters (20 to 30 feet) higher than at present, high enough to flood the Tabasco lowlands of Mexico and reach what today are tropical rainforests on the banks of the San Pedro River.
Food price volatility and production due to climate change is upon us already, and you’ve probably noticed it at your local grocer through increase costs. Farmers are grappling with climate change’s impact on predictable weather, meaning crops are have a harder time growing and farmers have a hard time planning.
Historians provide a solution. By looking into how agrarian societies survived (and failed) in the past we can better see what our future holds. There are techniques, policies, and trading routes that we may need to revive from hundreds of years ago to ensure we can feed all on Earth.
Such policies and community projects, some of which I have had the privilege to be involved with, deal mostly with the present and the future. Yet for decades, climate historians have also looked to the past to more fully understand the relationship between human history and the Earthâ€™s climate systems. Agriculture has been at the center of many of these studies, as many pre-industrial societies relied largely on arable crop outputs whose success was contingent on specific meteorological and ecological conditions. All methods of food production, from farming to hunting, fishing, and foraging, were intimately linked to seasonal, annual, and decadal variations in weather and climate. For agrarian societies who relied on arable staple crops such as wheat or rice, the success or failure of a harvest had multifold ramifications for individuals, communities, and economic systems.
A series of thought provoking art works commissioned by Toronto History Museums wants to shake up your understanding of local history. The collective project called Awakenings approaches tales from the past that have gone unheard, or highlight the efforts of people traditional ignored by historians. The project isn’t just about recognizing the past, it’s also about recognizing the present. The ongoing series features features local Black, Indigenous and artists of colour in all aspects of its creation. The short films are powerful and here’s hoping that they change the modern discourse of history.
â€œWhen you acknowledge this land and its history, what are you actually acknowledging? Do you know who these nations are?â€ asks actor Nadia George. Well, do you? Watch and learn a few things about the cityâ€™s Indigenous origins, such as the 250,000 acres, stretching from the lakeshore up to King City, sold to the British for a paltry 10 shillings, worth about $40 today.
â€œItâ€™s really a call to action. So when you see all of the different â€¦ artistic interventions, theyâ€™re meant as a jumping-off point. So weâ€™re not just illustrating what took place; weâ€™re saying, OK, how does it relate to the present? And how can it help shape our future?â€
When European explorers made first contact with peoples around the world both cultures changed. Unfortunately for those being contacted they were changed by a lot of diseases and exploitation (sadly the exploitation continues to this day). Europeans also ignored the long history of the peoples they met and devalued their oral traditions. A recent example of this in Canada is around the discovery of the HMS Terror.
Globally there are many stories that can be traced back to events thousands of years ago. It’s only now that the traditional sciences are listening to these stories because physical evidence can be found using modern techniques.
The extraordinary antiquity of such stories, which represent knowledge passed on largely orally, was not demonstrable until recently. This has allowed the full extent and implications of the longevity of the memories on which these stories are based to be appreciated. Another such oral history surrounds the Klamath people of Oregon, in the western U.S., who tell of a time when there was no Crater Lake, only a giant volcano towering over the landscape where the lake is today. As the story goes, the fractious volcano god, besotted with a local beauty, threatened the Klamath with fury and fire unless the woman acquiesced. But her people called upon their protectorâ€”a rival deityâ€”who fought the volcano god, eventually causing his mountain home to collapse in on him and fill with water. For the next approximately 7,600 years, the Klamath taught each new generation the importance of avoiding Crater Lake lest they disturb the evil god within. With remarkable precision, geologists have determined that this is the time of the terminal eruption of the former volcano, Mount Mazama, and the creation of the landscape that exists today. The Klamath were there all along, and their memories of that ancient cataclysmic event have passed into global knowledge today.