It's been said in recent years that when China sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. That inescapable influence extends to environmental matters—and China isn't the only country big enough to be a global sneezer. As mentioned in my recent post about the rapid growth of the world's population (it has increased by almost 60 million this year, to 6.875 billion), India will overtake China in the next few decades and become the most populous nation. This past week the BBC reported on a worrisome sign for a country with so many mouths to feed: a decline in bees and other pollinators. You can check out the story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11418033
If you're wondering, India currently scores far better than the U.S. in measures of environmental impact—in part because so many of its people are poor. They can't afford to drive big cars (or in some cases any cars) or to otherwise consume as much energy and create as much trash as we do. The same has been true of the Chinese...but that's changing. Ah-chooo! Did somebody just sneeze?
A few more news items that caught my eye this week:
Will Mushrooms be the Next Packing Popcorn?
I know I keep coming back to the subject of mushrooms, but check out this interesting talk on Ted.com by Eben Bayer, who's developing a low-impact, fungus-based packaging material :
10-10-10, the Eco Day
This Sunday the calendar hits the date 10-10-10, and environmental groups are building events and a global documentary around the occasion: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/10-10-10-numerology-meets-environmentalism-.html
An Earth-like Planet?
This news came out a week ago but the discovery of a potentially inhabitable planet remains intriguing. If anyone's going to move there, of course, the place is going to need a catchier name than Gliese 581g. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/real-habitable-exoplanet/
Goodbye, Compostable Sun Chips Bags
Alas, the loud crinkling noise the bags made discouraged snackers from buying the chips. And so my summer-long composting experiment (see a pair of previous posts) is now moot. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/10/noise-really-why-sunchips-should-ditch-bioplastic-packaging.php
New Environmentally Friendly Hood Ornament?
You might not like a car that's a turkey, but this morning we found a wild turkey that likes our car. He pecked it a lot, apparently eager to see what it had under the hood. Like maybe a cache of bird seed put there by one of the chipmunks that likes to sneak up through the chassis.