Category Archives: Environment

“North is on the move”

NPR Science: As Magnetic North Pole Zooms Toward Siberia, Scientists Update World Magnetic Model.

“North is on the move, and that’s a problem for your smartphone’s maps.

Earth’s geographic north pole is fixed. But the planet’s magnetic north pole — the north that your compass points toward — wanders in the direction of Siberia at a rate of more than 34 miles per year.

That movement may seem slow, but it has forced scientists to update their model of Earth’s magnetic field a year earlier than expected so that navigational services, including map-based phone apps, continue to work accurately.”

NPR: The North Magnetic Pole Is Shifting East, Fast. “NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Nature reporter Alex Witze about a rapid shift in the Earth’s magnetic poles.”

Apprehensions on US-Mexico border: Trump’s first year in office saw lowest number since 1971

BBC: Trump wall – all you need to know about US border in seven charts.

“Mr Trump argues $5.7bn (£4.5bn) is needed to address a “humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border and has warned the shutdown will continue until he gets the cash.

Democrats say the wall is a waste of taxpayers’ money and accuse the Trump administration of a “manufactured crisis”.

Here are seven charts and maps that try to explain where we are with the wall and what the situation is like at the US-Mexico border.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“Chocolate Chirp Cookies”

NPR The Salt: Should Hyping Edible Bugs Focus On The Experience Instead Of The Environment?

“Farming insects may be more sustainable than raising meat, but so far that hasn’t been quite enough to convince most Westerners to eat them.

Marketing them as delicious, exquisite delicacies, though? That might do the trick.
[…]
Current marketing tactics for eating insects tend to point out environmental and health benefits. But a new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition suggests it might be better to focus on taste and experience, such as highlighting how much dragonflies taste like soft-shelled crabs.”

Best food name ever: “Chocolate Chirp Cookies” for cookies baked with cricket flour.

“While visitors are enjoying the free access, they may be doing irrevocable damage to America’s national parks.”

The Guardian: Joshua Tree national park announces closure after trees destroyed amid shutdown.

“For 17 days, a host of volunteers and a skeleton staff kept the trash cans and toilets from overflowing at Joshua Tree national park.

But on Tuesday, 18 days after the federal government shutdown furloughed the vast majority of national park staff, officials announced that vandalism of the park’s distinctive namesake plants and other maintenance and sanitation problems will require closure starting Thursday.

“While the vast majority of those who visit Joshua Tree do so in a responsible manner, there have been incidents of new roads being created by motorists and the destruction of Joshua trees in recent days that have precipitated the closure,” spokesman George Land said in a news release.”

Vox: Joshua Tree National Park has been trashed in the shutdown. Now visitors are cutting down trees. “Despite severe damage, the park will not shut down entirely.”

“A week ago, Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was forced to shut down its campgrounds due to “health and safety concerns over near-capacity pit toilets,” according to CNN.

But despite the partial closure, things continued to get worse.

According to National Parks Traveler, visitors are creating illegal roads and driving into some of the park’s most fragile areas. They are also chopping down trees, setting illegal fires, and graffitiing rocks. With Joshua Tree being roughly the size of Delaware, the eight on-duty law enforcement rangers had no way to stop all the prohibited activity.”

Links via MetaFilter.

I’ve been to Joshua Tree National Monument during a school exchange back in 1992, before it became a National Park, and again with André in 1999. It’s been on my list of places to re-visit more thoroughly, but now I’ll have to find out if it’s still worth it. It’s a shame that this is happening to Joshua Tree and many other National Parks because of a stubborn and incompetent president.

Keine Frage: Schützen!

WDR Doku: Wölfe – Schützen oder schießen? (YouTube, 43:50min) “Die Wölfe sind zurückgekehrt und breiten sich in Deutschland aus. Aber sind Wölfe automatisch gefährlich für den Menschen? Tendenziell sollen Menschen für den Wolf uninteressant sein, aber was sagen Experten? Ob in Niedersachsen, Sachsen oder jüngst in Nordrhein-Westfalen, allerorten werden die Raubtiere gesichtet – Der Wolf ist zurück in der deutschen Wildnis.”