Snippets for 20 May 2021


In this edition of Snippets we have an interesting selection of articles for you. We start with findings from a survey about how COVID-19 has changed people’s habits, and what impact that might have on decarbonization goals.


Then we move on to a Dutch citizens group that is getting fossil fuel ads banned from public transport, to help fight climate change.


After that, we look at New Zealand’s first significant commercial solar power scheme and the potential pitfalls of the hydrogen economy.


We then move on to a series of articles about regenerative agriculture and the benefits of adding diversity to monocultures and we finish with a very interesting approach to reducing food wastage.


Enjoy!


Learnings from a recent survey done in six wealthy nations shows that people feel that COVID-19 may have changed their habits in a way that could help meet decarbonization goals. This includes things like working from home and travelling less. Also asked was about the likelihood that their country would meet those goals. Interestingly enough, the nation with the weakest climate goals had the highest level of positivity around their ability to meet those goals….imagine that. Read more.....





A Dutch citizens group is working with city governments in order to remove advertisements for fossil fuels or related products from public transport service areas. They are basing their action on tactics that were used to take on the tobacco industry, in order to reduce the number of people smoking. It appears that the effort is gaining momentum, with cities in several other countries following suit, and another going above and beyond. New York City is actually suing several oil companies for false advertising! Read more.....




New Zealand is have its first significant solar power generation based in some of the North Island's sunniest centers. Lodestone Energy is planning five solar power stations in the upper North Island, generating enough power for about 55,000 households - the equivalent of Hamilton. The firm says well-located solar arrays are now the most economic form of generation. Read more.....





However, no energy source is without trade-offs. Recently, there has been a lot of hype about the potential for hydrogen fuels to replace hydrocarbons but now researchers are warning that using hydrogen-based fuels for cars and home heating risks locking in a dependency on fossil fuels. Although, the researchers also point out, that hydrogen fuels will likely be necessary to decarbonize aviation, shipping, steel and some chemical manufacturing. Read more.....






Advocates say that regenerative agriculture practices have the power to restore the balance between humans and nature. But regenerative agriculture is one of those terms that is easily hijacked for greenwashing, and it needs to be better defined. Done well it can include improved soil, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and general community wellbeing.This in depth article looks to separate the wheat from the chaff, and is a very interesting read! Read more.....





David Brandt is a soil whisperer. His soil health pioneering techniques, and his willingness to share his farming methods are legendary in regenerative agricultural circles, and he is making converts. However, one major challenge exists in redefining success as profit per acre instead of pure yield. After a 3 year study has proven better profits using his techniques, it certainly looks like regenerative farming is the way to go. Read more.....






Corn and soybean monocultures carpet the U.S. Midwest, leading to soil erosion, water pollution and increased green house gase emissions. Monocultures also carry a higher risk of being wiped out due to weather events, pests and diseases. Due to their perennial nature and substantial root systems, trees stabilize soils, help retain moisture and bring biodiversity along with other benefits. So why not diversify and intersperce tree crops and potentially have something to full back on if the primary crop fails? Sounds like a sensible approach to farming. Read more.....





Looking for a bargain? ‘Wasteless’ has machine learning technology that can be integrated into point-of-sale, inventory systems and electronic price tags. Wasteless uses artificial intelligence to continuously adjust prices throughout the day depending on sales and 42 other parameters. As a product nears its best by date the price of the product reduces. Buyers get a bargain, sellers increase profit, there is less waste going to the landfill and a reduction in GHGs, for a win win win win! Read more.....



In our innovation section this week, we have an interesting variety of recent ideas:












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