Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume 245

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A weekly roundup of important green news stories from around the web…

Our species has exceeded the sustainable carrying capacity of this planet. You may disagree. At least it is close, and estimates are that human population will peak around 2050, based on current trends. Based on the Kissinger Report, from 1974, when we first felt the bite of oil shortage, there is a lot of focus among the elites on the tractability of a social group. A social group is less tractable, when it has a rapidly growing population, with lots of young people, and not enough resources to provide good prospects for them to advance within the system.

If the Keystone XL oil pipeline were approved today, residents in the six states along its route would not receive equal treatment from TransCanada, the company that wants to build the project. The differences are particularly striking when it comes to tax revenue and environmental protection. States with stronger regulations have won protections for their citizens, while other states sometimes focused more on meeting TransCanada’s needs.

Industry and government are on track to bring down the cost of batteries to power hybrid and electric cars, which is crucial for improving commercial appeal of those vehicles, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Wednesday. Chu said at the Detroit Economic Club the Obama administration is not deterred by soft sales of plug-ins in their first full year in showrooms, nor does it worry about the potential for overcapacity in battery production.

The United States is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars. In late 2007, the United States ambassador to France and business partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, requested that the European Union along with particular nations that did not support GMO crops be penalized.

Honeybee populations have been in serious decline for years, and scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields.

Stormwater drains are designed to help mitigate some of the problems caused by large storms and constant runoff. These drains channel the water off the streets and other impervious surfaces and send it straight into our waterways (lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water). Unlike wastewater systems, though, this water will not be treated before it reaches those waterways, so any pollutants and trash it picks up along the way will go with it to the end.

This is one of the most basic reasons. People have grown their own food as individuals or a community for hundreds and thousands of years. Look back at history and you’ll see how societies and civilizations were built up around fertile land and access to water. It’s not until the last 100-200 years that we’ve become so far removed from the process and rely upon others (that we don’t even know) to supply us with what we need to survive. We are humans. We grow food.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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