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Boulderganic

Acid attack

Antarctic Ocean acidification is slowing the growth of an important food source for marine life

By Tim Radford

As the planet’s oceans become more acidic, the diatoms — a major group of alga — in the Antarctic Ocean could grow more slowly. And since tiny, single-celled algae are a primary food source for an entire ocean ecosystem, the discovery seems ominous. Bioscientist Clara Hoppe and colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, report in the journal New Phytologist that they tested the growth of the Antarctic diatom Chaetoceros debilis under laboratory conditions.

Boulderganic

From the cove to the globe

Boulder’s Oceanic Preservation Society broadens its call to action with ‘Racing Extinction’

By Caitlin Rockett

Hidden cameras, undercover reconnaissance, international travel — the folks at the Boulder-based Oceanic Preservation Society are at it again, following up their 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove with more high-risk, covert campaigns, stunning camerawork and an even bigger call to action in Racing Extinction. In this new, ambitious endeavor, director Louie Psihoyos tackles the role humans play in advancing what is shaping up to be the world’s sixth mass extinction — an annihilation scientists say could lead to the loss of 50 percent of the world’s species in the next 100 years.

Boulderganic

Whose lands should those be?

Proposed bill presses for increased state control over public lands; opponents express concerns over expense and access

By Elizabeth Miller

Among the bevy of bills introduced at the start of the Colorado legislative session in January was Senate Bill 15-039, which takes a complex spin on a question that’s increasingly coming up in western states’ legislatures: Who should hold jurisdiction over public lands?.

Boulderganic

Climate data gives mixed message on storm forecasts

New research suggests that climate change won’t lead to more storms, but the bad ones could be even more devastating

By Tim Radford

Keep calm and hold on to your hat. The atmosphere will not become increasingly stormy as the planet warms and the climate changes. The downside is that while the number of storms will probably remain unchanged, and weak storms could even become weaker, new research warns that the strongest storms could become significantly stronger. For at least three decades, researchers have worked on the assumption that as the average energy of the atmosphere increased with warming, so would the potential for extremes of heat and drought, flood and cyclone, typhoon or hurricane.

Boulderganic

Banking on the environment

A growing movement in Boulder sees public banking as the answer to a greener future

By Caitlin Rockett

Banking might not seem like the answer to a healthier environment, but there’s a growing movement in Boulder that believes public banking could fund environmental projects from solar development to local organic farms… even a municipalized electric grid.

Boulderganic

Fire mitigation tangles with marketplace

Homeowners needing work done to keep insurance struggle to find willing contractors

By Caitlin Rockett

So in January of last year, the county rolled out a program called Wildfire Partners, a group of specialists tasked with helping these residents assess vulnerabilities in their property and do work — from large jobs like cutting trees and replacing...

Boulderganic

Climate’s threat to wheat is rising by degrees

One degree of warming could cause devestating shortages of this staple

By Paul Brown

An international consortium of scientists have been testing wheat crops in laboratory and field trials in many areas of the world in changing climate condition and discovered that yields drop on average by 6 percent for every one degree Celsius rise in temperature.

Boulderganic

Tiny homes and tiny roadblocks

How small can you live in Boulder County?

By Christi Turner

An entrepreneur and construction expert, Fears says he thinks the Aspen has used its square footage optimally. The 24 feet by 7 feet of space occupied by this “Tiny,” as Fears affectionately refers to all super-small dwellings — otherwise known as tiny homes, tiny houses or micro-homes — is permanently mounted to a specially designed steel trailer.

Boulderganic

Fracking’s future is in doubt as oil price plummets

There are warnings that the industry faces a crisis

By Kieran Cooke

Fracking has become a victim of its own success. The industry in the U.S. has grown very fast. In 2008, U.S. oil production was running at five million barrels a day. Thanks to fracking, that figure has nearly doubled, with talk of U.S.

Boulderganic

Conserving water, energy and food on campus

A CU Boulder student pushes to examine the effects of trayless dining in campus cafeterias

By April Nowicki

“It’s supposed to save water and save energy, and people also take less food when they don’t have a tray, because they can’t stack it up as much. So you don’t have as much food waste,” says Courtlyn Carpenter, a sophomore who researched trayless dining during her freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Steven Grossman

Funded by the Gates Foundation and developed by Peter Janicki, the machine operates by boiling “sewer sludge,” causing water to exit as steam that is filtered in its vapor phase and subsequently condensed before going through water treatment.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

The awards come from the Resource Conservation Division’s zero waste funding initiatives, established in 1997 to provide an opportunity for businesses, organizations and individuals in the community to contribute to Boulder County’s move toward zero waste.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

In 2008, the Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project embarked on a $13 million endeavor to study snowfall created from cloud seeding over the course of six winters in southern Wyoming.

Eco-Briefs

ECO-BRIEFS

The list includes poachers, smugglers, traffickers and polluters that contribute to what Interpol says is a $70-$213 billion dollar industry annually. According to Interpol, one East African terror group makes up to $56 million a year in illegal coal trade.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Joel Dyer

The outcome was not a surprise to most observers who knew that Monsanto and the industrial food complex would stop at nothing to defeat the measure. Meetings had been held by industry insiders several months ago at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs to create a strategy for defeating this Colorado citizens’ proposition.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Elizabeth Miller

The first ever Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival will be showcasing films that recognize those long-forgotten inalienable rights for ecosystems, wildlife and traditional cultures.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

CLIMATE CHANGE EVANGELIST TO SPEAK AT CHAUTAUQUA AUDITORIUM

By Cassie Moore

She is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and its effect on humans and the natural environment, and she is also a conservative Christian. Hayhoe is coming to Boulder on a campaign to bridge the gap between those who believe in climate change and those who believe it is incompatible with their faith-based be.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Cassie Moore

In 1939, Rossby waves were discovered in jet streams and were linked to high and low pressure systems at ground level, which form Earth’s daily weather. The weather on Earth’s surface is controlled by jet streams, which are high winds in the atmosphere.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Scott Fromberg

Center. As a consequence, serious flooding occurred, leaving thousands of people displaced, hundreds of homes destroyed and eight people dead, according to a FEMA disaster report. While memories of these tragic events may be all too fresh at this point, that will not always be the case.

Eco-Briefs

Eco-briefs

By Scott Fromberg

“From our perspective, we are looking forward to working with the county and state to promote extra tourism and recreation in the area,” says Megan Crandell, a Bureau of Land Management representative. But, she adds, “There’s no official proposal yet.”.

Special Editions

The plentiful bounty of fall

We go beyond food to look at how Colorado hemp farmers struggle to grow this newly regulated (and highly useful) crop, the difficulties the marijuana industry confronts in producing a truly organic product and how one century-old building is leading the way in sustainable architecture.

Special Editions

Fish food

A local business looks to help schools across America learn about sustainable food production through grants for aquaponic systems

By Mallane Dressel

The Aquaponic Source, a company based out of Longmont, hopes to increase the number of aquaponic systems being used in classrooms across that nation with their new Grants for Plants Foundation, but some Boulder County students are already reaping the benefits.

Special Editions

Processed food nation

Boulder author Melanie Warner discusses the dangers of processed foods

By Andrea Neville

“I first started writing about the food industry about 10 years ago,” Warner continues. “When I started talking to people in the field of food science, they started telling me all these crazy things about the incredible technical complexity that goes into making our food.

Special Editions

Full backpacks, full stomachs

Colorado Friendship improves food security for Longmont students

By Mallane Dressel

As the temperature drops and the leaves change color, kids around the nation get back into the swing of school. For some students it means little more than early mornings and evenings lost to homework, but for others, it means knowing they won’t go home hungry — at least during the week.

Special Editions

The dirt on reusing soil

Save money and up your gardening IQ by reconditioning and reusing this year’s potting soil for next season

By Caitlin Rockett

In places where winters can get harsh — and there will be at least a couple of harsh winter weeks here on the Front Range — soil will expand and contract, so a mindful gardener will want to empty plastic, ceramic or clay containers to prevent them from cracking.

Special Editions

Soot on snow

A Colorado native researches how ‘black carbon’ from increased wildfire is changing snowmelt, and consequently water supplies, in the West

By Christi Turner

The duo of snowmobiles has climbed to over 6,000 feet elevation, halfway to the study site where researcher Susan Kaspari and her small team will dig into six feet of snow and sample for soot, more accurately known as black carbon.

Special Editions

The pros and cons of industrial-scale solar

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant is intended to lessen reliance on traditional forms of energy, but some question whether the environmental impacts outweigh the benefits

By Christi Turner

It’s an undeniably gruesome image: A bird soars over the Mojave desert, and suddenly, revoltingly, catches fire, streaks momentarily like a small meteor, and then seems to disappear, leaving only smoke. Seen from afar, some are calling them “streamers.

Special Editions

Profile of a sustainability hub

The century-old Alliance Center in Denver emerges from a renovation more sustainable than ever

By Christi Turner

It’s been 10 years since the Alliance Center took up residence as a multitenant co-working space on Wynkoop Street in Denver; grassroots powerhouses like Conservation Colorado have anchored the center since it opened its doors in 2004. But this August, it emerged from eight months of multimillion-dollar renovation as a true bastion of sustainability.

Special Editions

Marijuana Growing Practices

So, what exactly are you smoking?

By Melissa Schaaf

The passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 years of age or older, and House Bill 1317 initiated mandatory potency testing — but only for the recreational stuff.

Special Editions

Zero waste heroes

One sustainably minded couple’s quest to open a zero-waste grocery store

By Gloria Dickie

Such plastic purging is slowly catching on in North America as awareness about plastic pollution and negative health effects grows. But for many practitioners, divesting their lifestyles of plastic waste can be challenging — and inconvenient. The Mandersons hope to change that.

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