Category Archives: Environment

More like a lifestyle…

Save Land. Save It Now – The Open Space Institute

I’m lucky, because I have the best of both worlds. I live in an area which feels like it’s in the heart of the country, but I can be in Manhattan, NYC in less than 1 hour. I reside right next to Glenclyffe, a 93-acre parcel of land on the Hudson River in the Highlands, in the Hudson Section of land preserved through the efforts of OSI and its partners.

The OSI gives me daily inspiration for my pursuits of advocating Free Open Source software, especially free software developed by volunteers collaborating as a community for the benefit of freedom and open standards. Open Standards gives the ability for anyone to implement easily, innovate on and expand on with no restrictions. The OSI, FOSS and open standards have parallel philosophies and a similar mission. they both about humanity, all allow freedom.
Here is more on the OSI taken from thier Mission Page:

The Open Space Institute (OSI) protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and sustain community character. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, regional loan programs, fiscal sponsorship, creative partnerships, and analytical research. OSI has protected more than 100,000 acres through the New York Land Program, through direct acquisition and conservation easements in the State of New York. Through the Conservation Finance Program, which provides low-cost bridge loans, OSI has assisted in the protection of an additional 1.7 million acres across the East Coast. The Conservation Institute influences land use policy and practice through research, communication and training.

All of OSI’s work is directed by a consistent overall conservation strategy that emphasizes permanent protection on a landscape-level scale. Each discrete transaction, whether buying a conservation easement on a small family farm in the Hudson River Valley or helping fund the purchase of 100,000 acres in Maine, represents an effort to align the pieces of the landscape puzzle, and prevents fragmentation, which disrupts key wildlife corridors, impairs water and air quality, and diminishes the beauty and scenery of natural areas. Visit the Open Space Institute.

Endangered Species Listings Reversed

White-tailed Prairie DogOnce more, this presidential administration has proven itself inept, pompous, and contentious. According to CNN, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday reversed seven rulings that denied endangered species increased protection, after an investigation found the actions were tainted by political pressure from Julie MacDonald, a former senior Interior Department official.

MacDonald resigned in May after the Interior Department’s inspector general “rebuked her for pressuring wildfire agency scientists to alter their findings about endangered species and for leaking information about species decisions to industry officials.” She also was involved in delisting the Sacramento splittail, a fish found only in California’s Central Valley where MacDonald owned an 80-acre farm on which the fish live. In that link, you’ll learn that the fish was on the ‘threatened’ list in 1999, was removed from that list in 2000, and was moved to a species of concern list after it was found that the species currently is declining.

Hawaiian Picture-Wing FlyFrancesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists said the acknowledgment of seven instances of wrongdoing “does not begin to plumb the depths of what’s wrong” at the wildlife agency and its implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

Problems were found in seven of the eight cases, taken up for review after MacDonald’s resignation, although there are at least 30 cases where there’s evidence of tampering over the last seven years. Some animals that will receive more attention are the white-tailed prairie dog (pictured above), the Canada lynx, Hawaiian picture-wing fly (pictured here), and Arroyo toad.

Earth of Emergency

Lake Chad Disappearing

Above: Images of disappearing Lake Chad from Earth Observatory.

Today October 21, 2007 the State of Georgia declared a water supply emergency. And then there is Lake Chad in Africa where over 20 million people rely on the lake for water – it is almost on the verge of dissapearing. Finally, “Atlanta Shudders at Prospect of Empty Faucets” while California burns.

There has been a lot of news relating to water drying up in certain areas and flooding in others. Time for action is long overdue, we have to start mobilizing. We should use Iceland’s example of phasing out fossil fuels as an example. New York Times’s magazine article “The Future Is Drying Up” goes into great details.

Farming in Downtown Manhattan, Tokyo, London???

Vertical Farm

Fruits and Vegetables farming near you, right off Wall Street! What fanatics! The Vertical Farm (VF) is serious about it. Year round crops, no weather related crop failures, saving huge on transporting cost and lots of other interesting benefits. Advantages, listed from the site:

  • Vertical FarmYear-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
  • No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
  • All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
  • VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
  • VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
  • VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
  • VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of evapotranspiration
  • VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible parts of plants and animals
  • VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping)
  • VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
  • VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
  • VF creates new employment opportunities
  • We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on earth
  • VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
  • VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production
  • VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water and land for agriculture

What more could we ask for?