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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .


CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest


IAEA Expert Remediation Mission to Japan Issues Preliminary Report


21 October 2013 | Tokyo -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s international expert mission to review remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident concluded today with the presentation of a Preliminary Summary Report to Japan's Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment, Shinji Inoue.

The Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-site the Fukushima Daiichi NPS recognised the huge effort and enormous resources that Japan is devoting to its remediation strategies and activities, with the aim of improving living conditions for people affected by the nuclear accident and enabling evacuees to return home.

The Mission Team highlighted important progress since the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, noted that Japan had made good use of advice from that earlier Mission, and offered fresh advice in a number of areas where it is still possible to further improve current practices, taking into account both international standards and the experience of remediation programmes in other countries.

In Mexico City, Planners Turn Vacant Space Under Freeways Into Places to Work, Dine, Play


Dominic Bracco II / Prime - A man rests on one of the new park benches in one of Mexico City overpass developments on May 27. Urban planners are converting vacant lots beneath Mexico City's overpasses and freeways into shopping plazas, public playground and outdoor cafes.

submitted by Samuel Bendett - by Nick Miroff - May 29, 2013

Mexico City — You can’t get something out of nothing. This is common sense, not to mention a principle of physics and mathematics.

Yet the amazing science of Mexico City’s real estate development obeys no such laws.

Urban planners here, in one of the world’s most populous and crowded cities, have found a way to add thousands of square feet of new commercial and recreational space.


Peak Phosphorus

A dead agricultural field.

Image: A dead agricultural field. - April 20th, 2010 - James Elser and Stuart White

From Kansas to China's Sichuan province, farmers treat their fields with phosphorus-rich fertilizer to increase the yield of their crops. What happens next, however, receives relatively little attention. Large amounts of this resource are lost from farm fields, through soil erosion and runoff, and down swirling toilets, through our urine and feces. Although seemingly mundane, this process cannot continue indefinitely.


Video - TIME, GOOGLE AND NASA: Timelapse of the Earth Over the Last 30 Years - by Jeffrey Kluger

Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Great City: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Unveil Plans For China's First Self-Sufficient, Carless City

Design mock-up of the self-sufficient carless city.

Image: Design mock-up of the self-sufficient carless city.

submitted by Samuel Bendett - October 25th, 2012 - Beth Buczynski

Many may perceive China as a crowded, polluted country, but that legacy is changing. Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture just unveiled its master plan for Chengdu Tianfu District Great City, a self-sustaining satellite city that offers a solution to the problems of overburdened infrastructure and high pollution levels that assail many of China’s major urban centers.

The project envisions a city that avoids the high energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with suburban sprawl. According to the architects, Great City will be developed by Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co., Ltd. over the next eight years. When completed, it will be home to about 30,000 families totaling 80,000 people.


Food Scarcity: The Timebomb Setting Nation Against Nation

submitted by Paul G.Kaplan


A drying corn field in southern Minnesota. Bad weather has resulted in a poor harvest this year. Photograph: David I. Gross/ Corbis

As the UN and Oxfam warn of the dangers ahead, expert analyst Lester Brown says time to solve the problem is running out - by John Vidal - October 13, 2012

Brandon Hunnicutt has had a year to remember. The young Nebraskan from Hamilton County farms 2,600 acres of the High Plains with his father and brother. What looked certain in an almost perfect May to be a "phenomenal" harvest of maize and soy beans has turned into a near disaster.


Book - Full Planet, Empty Plates

Oxfam Report - 'Our Land, Our Lives': Time Out on the Global Land Rush

Japan's Omotenashi House to Promote a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle at 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe

A render of the low-carbon Omotenashi House.

Image: A render of the low-carbon Omotenashi House.

submitted by Samuel Bendett - September 5th, 2012 - Peter Leah

Later this month the Madrid Solar Decathlon will welcome the only Japanese entrant, the Omotenashi House designed by students from Chiba University. The house has been designed for two people to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle, incorporating modern technology with inspiration from—and respect for—traditional Japanese architectural practices. Following the earthquake and subsequent Fukushima disaster, Japan has been looking for inspiration to create a low-carbon future.


No Base in Paradise

Actor, filmmaker and environmental advocate Robert Redford. (photo: Contour/Getty Images)  go to original article

Image: Actor, filmmaker and environmental advocate Robert Redford. (photo: Contour/Getty Images) - Robert Redford - September 3rd, 2012

From September 6-15, some 10,000 environmentalists will converge on Jeju Island to attend the World Conservation Congress (WCC), organized by the oldest environmental organization, the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN's slogan is that it promotes "a just world that values and conserves nature." If recent actions are any indication, nothing could be further from the truth.

The WCC will take place only a few minutes away from Gangjeong, where the construction of a naval base is threatening one of the planet's most spectacular soft coral forests and other coastal treasures, assaulting numerous endangered species and destroying a 400-year-old sustainable community of local farmers and fishers.


Agri-Cube grows mass quantities of vegetables in a one-car parking spot

External view of the 11.7 square meter Agri-Cube E garden factory

Image: External view of the 11.7 square meter Agri-Cube E garden factory

submitted by Samuel Bendett - Brian Dodson - August 14th, 2012

Daiwa House, Japan's largest homebuilder, has introduced a line of prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factories, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. Called the Agri-Cube, these units are touted by Daiwa as the first step in the industrialization of agriculture, to be located in and amongst the places where people live, work, and play.

More and more people desire sustainable, organic produce for their own use, and are turning to urban farming in an effort to insure the highest degree of freshness.



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