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His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

 

 

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Coffee growers in Laos are turning to organic farming
19 September 2017 - Rural coffee farmers across southern Laos are sharing sustainable agricultural practices to protect both their land and health from chemical farming methods. Families from the Lao Tribe in the south are leading the way by turning away from a number of non-organic fertilisers that are used widely in the coffee industry to boost crop yields. (more)

Germany's transition from coal to renewable energy offers lessons for the rest of the world
18 September 2017 - In 1961, German politician Willy Brandt called for making the skies over the industrial coal belt of Ruhr blue again. It was a prospect that people in the Ruhr found unbelievable at the time, so accustomed were they to the gray-tinted, coal-polluted air. But Brandt's demand has since been realized: The skies over the Ruhr are now clear. (more)

After the hurricane, solar kept Florida homes and a city's traffic lights running
17 September 2017 - By using energy storage with solar panels, some homeowners were able to go off-grid, showing how distributed power could speed future storm recovery. (more)

After 30 years, the Montreal Protocol is paying ozone dividends
15 September 2017 - Three decades ago this month, the world came together in the ozone layer's defense and formed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Today, the true benefit of that agreement is just starting to make itself known, thanks to a process that was set in motion by a bold and disruptive theory. (more)

Norway's Scatec Solar in talks to boost Iran's solar power
15 September 2017 - Norway's Scatec Solar is in talks to build its first solar power plants in Iran, its chief executive told Reuters, joining a wave of foreign energy firms looking to invest in the oil major. The Oslo-listed firm, which builds and operates solar power plants worldwide ... Iran's firms and 80 million inhabitants are heavily reliant on natural gas and oil to generate power. However, air pollution is helping drive Iranian interest in expanding renewable energy capacity. (more)

US: In Amish country, the future is calling
15 September 2017 - A young woman, wearing a traditional full-length Amish dress and white bonnet, stepped away from a farmer's market, opened her palm and revealed a smartphone. She began to scroll through screens, seemingly oblivious to the activity around her. Not far away, a man in his late 60s with a silvery beard, wide-brimmed straw hat and suspenders adjusted the settings on a computer-driven crosscut saw. He was soon cutting pieces for gazebos that are sold online and delivered around the country. The Amish have not given up on horse-drawn buggies. Their rigid abstinence from many kinds of technology has left parts of their lifestyle frozen since the 19th century ... But computers and cellphones are making their way into some Amish communities ... New technology has created fresh opportunities for prosperity among the Amish, just as it has for people in the rest of the world. (more)

US: Now-famous Florida nun used Google to figure out chain saw (+ AP video)
14 September 2017 - The Florida nun who became an internet sensation when video emerged of her -- dressed in full habit -- wielding a chain saw to clear downed trees after Hurricane Irma says she had to look up instructions on how to start the tool. The nun, principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami, said her mechanical education didn't stop with the Google search. 'Some people have sent me videos on how to use a chain saw because apparently I wasn't using it correctly or as safe as I should've been, so I'm learning, too,' she told The Associated Press in a Skype interview. An off-duty Miami-Dade police officer posted the video of Sister Margaret Ann on social media Monday. The video was picked up by media outlets, including the AP, and quickly became a global sensation. She also said she was glad the video gave the public a different view of nuns. (more)

US: Study finds organic farming better at sequestering carbon
13 September 2017 - A new study shows organic farms store more carbon in the soil and keep it out of the atmosphere longer than conventional farms. The findings of the study by Northeastern University's National Soil Project [Boston, Massachusetts] and The Organic Center suggest organic farming could help reduce one of the causes of climate change. (more)

Electric cars dominate the buzz at Frankfurt auto show
12 September 2017 - Carmakers at the Frankfurt auto show are unveiling the low-emissions vehicles and technology strategies they hope will let them profit from the sweeping changes expected to hit the auto industry in the next few years. Carmakers are spending heavily to develop and improve electric cars to meet increasingly tough government regulations limiting air pollution. (more)

US: Number of organic farms increases in Iowa
12 September 2017 - The number of organic farms in Iowa is growing rapidly . . . Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that Iowa has seen a 42 percent increase in organic farms from 2008 to 2015. The state had more than 670 organic farms in 2015, which was less than 1 percent of the farms in the state. (more)

US: Nebraska sees spike in butterfly population
12 September 2017 - Several Nebraska cities are seeing an abundance of butterflies. Nebraska Extension, a branch of the University of Nebraska, received reports last week of at least 100 painted lady butterflies in some Omaha flower gardens. The gardens usually draw only a few dozen. Painted ladies' migrations could be 9,000 miles and span six generations, said Jody Green, entomologist with Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. (more)

The monster surge that wasn't: Why Irma caused less flooding than expected
11 September 2017 - Across coastal Florida, the dreaded storm surge from Hurricane Irma -- caused when ferocious winds pile up ocean water and push it onshore -- was not as bad as forecast. While some areas were hard hit, notably the Florida Keys and Marco Island, residents of neighborhoods north to Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Tampa Bay were expressing relief. That bit of good fortune was the product of some meteorological luck. (more)

US: West Virginia city charges ahead with electric vehicle chargers
11 September 2017 - A West Virginia city has installed two new electric chargers to get increased spending from interstate travelers. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the city of South Charleston recently installed two Level 2 electric vehicle chargers, which are believed to be the first in the state to have been installed by a municipality. The stations are free of charge and opened to the public. (more)

Ireland: Cork organic farmer on slow farming and a strong market
10 September 2017 - A County Cork organic farmer whose apple juice is enjoying the taste of success, has been awarded funding from the Heritage Council's Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme for conservation work on a walled 4ac orchard. The 145ac farm converted to organic in 2002. 'We farm using traditional methods, but can also achieve intensive production, especially in the 4ac vegetable plot. Using green manures and animal manure, we have highly fertile and workable soil and can intensively space crops and still get great results with little pest or disease problem,' said award-winning farmer, Patrick Frankel. (more)

US: Irma evacuees find full hotels but a warm welcome in Georgia
9 September 2017 - As hundreds of thousands of Floridians flee Hurricane Irma, people in the state of Georgia have opened their homes to strangers who emerged from hours-long traffic jams to find hotels and campgrounds booked solid. The Airbnb website listed 85 homes in Georgia and Florida on Saturday evening that had been made available for free to Irma evacuees by the properties' owners, said Airbnb spokeswoman Crystal Davis. 'I can't believe how nice everyone is here,' said Cindy Voelz. (more)

US: Washington state to spend $1M on electric-vehicle charging stations
8 September 2017 - The state of Washington will spend $1 million to help construct 15 new charging stations for electric vehicles on some of the busiest highways. The $150 annual registration fees on electric cars will fund the project. The money will be matched by about $1.5 million in private spending to build the charging stations. The charging stations are expected to be completed by June 2019. (more)

UK: Jaguar Land Rover to make only electric or hybrid cars from 2020
7 September 2017 - Jaguar Land Rover has become the latest large carmaker to say it will stop launching new models solely powered by internal combustion engines, two months after Volvo pledged to do so. The UK-based manufacturer promised that all new models from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid, a year later than Volvo's target, but a big step beyond its unveiling last November of a single electric concept car. (more)

France plans to end oil and gas production by 2040
6 September 2017 - France plans to pass legislation this year to phase out all oil and gas exploration and production on its mainland and overseas territories by 2040, becoming the first country to do so, according to a draft bill presented on Wednesday. President Emmanuel Macron wants to make France carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions by leaving fossil fuels, blamed for contributing to global warming, in the ground. (more)

Netherlands: If you build it, the Dutch will pedal
6 September 2017 - Utrecht, with 330,000 residents, is the Netherlands' fourth-largest and fastest-growing city. It is also one of the most bike-friendly places in one of the world's most bike-friendly countries. Elsewhere in the Netherlands, more than a quarter of all trips are made by bicycle, and the federal government has been building up the country's bike infrastructure over the last decade, despite cuts in other sectors. (more)

Sweden: Scientists jam with musicians, artists to stir public passion for nature
5 September 2017 - Swedish soprano saxophonist and composer Anders Paulsson believes that music can build bridges between people -- from children to a former U.N. secretary-general -- and inspire them to care for the planet and its natural resources. After working as a volunteer diver counting invertebrates on Danjugan, a once-endangered coral reef in the Philippines, he co-founded an organisation called Coral Guardians. It organises events combining science and music, where individuals meet to discuss the threats to coral reefs and ways to protect them. (more)

Pollution levels in Bolivia plummet on nationwide car-free day
4 September 2017 - Air pollution levels have plunged in cities across Bolivia as the country marked a nationwide car-free day in which all non-emergency vehicles were banned from city streets. The car-free event started 18 years ago in Cochabamba, one of Latin America's five most polluted cities, and has gradually taken root across the country. By 2011, it had become so popular that Bolivia's legislature declared a yearly 'Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist in Defence of Mother Earth.' (more)

US: After its dams came down, a river is reborn
4 September 2017 - Downstream, where the Elwha Dam once formed Lake Aldwell, the forest that marked the reservoir's edge is creeping back over its now-dry bed. While the river is reshaping the landscape, people are working to restore an intact ecosystem on the lakebeds. Researchers from the tribe and park botanists have seeded over 400,000 native plants in the footprints of Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell, from Douglas fir to crabapple and dogwood. Plants have started to come back on their own, too, carried by the critters reoccupying this spot. (more)

Record-breaking Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth
3 September 2017 - Astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to Earth late Saturday, wrapping up a record-breaking flight that catapulted her to first place for U.S. space endurance. Whitson's 665 days off the planet -- 288 days on this mission alone -- exceeds that of any other American and any other woman worldwide. Besides duration, Whitson set multiple other records while in orbit: world's oldest spacewoman, at age 57, and most experienced female spacewalker, with 10. She also became the first woman to command the space station twice following her launch last November. (more)

US: Ships slowing in busy channel to protect endangered orcas
3 September 2017 - Ships moving through a busy channel off Washington state's San Juan Island are slowing down this summer as part of a study to determine whether that can reduce noise and benefit a small, endangered population of killer whales. The trial, led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, is trying to understand whether reducing commercial vessel speeds can reduce underwater noise. Orcas use clicks, calls, and other sounds to navigate, communicate, and forage mainly for salmon. (more)

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