Human Activties and Greenhouse Gases
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
Making our own compost is not only a way to meet our need of fertilizer, it's also a way to redirect the garden scraps, chicken manure, leaves and grass cuttings from the waste stream to the resource river. Another area where this applies around our homestead, is our use of a composting toilet. For us, the difference between what goes down a flushing toilet and what accumulates in the buckets in the outhouse is the difference between waste and resource.
This week is the 12th annual National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Human hair contains significant amounts of nitrogen and makes a great replacement for traditional fertilizers.
TrikE, an electric-assisted human powered vehicle (HVP), provides weather protection and storage while maintaining all the benefits of a bicycle.
How to safely dispose of or make use of human waste is becoming a hot topic.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
The third and last of a three part blog on chemical herbicides.
The role of natural cycles and anthropogenic forces on the climate are explained. We also demonstrate that the current global warming trend is happening at a faster rate than earlier periods and humans are responsible for the current warming trend.
These two structures for creating a sustainable homestead are not often associated, but with the right planning they can be integrated into a single multi-use structure that enhances both environments. A greenhouse/chicken coop becomes a year-round food-producing machine, giving you a bounty of fruits, vegetables and protein all in one.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
Absolute Bird Control offers a few easy to implement tips for deterring swallows from nesting on, or near, your home.
While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
But it’s not our nature to sit around complacently waiting for the asteroid, not while we have this miraculous opportunity to preserve and enhance our planet. Just as we once visualized the first irrigated field, invented the first wheel and dreamed of machines that fly, we can visualize the earth as a beautiful and productive garden where millions of species thrive. Then we can build it.
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
Environmentalists are better leaders when we can better love human ingenuity. We will need to form partnerships with the natural world, to ingeniously utilize its resources in ways that preserve its natural productivity.
Many farms of the 21st Century are, comparatively speaking, biological wastelands. Plowed, fertilized and cultivated from property-line to property-line, much of the world’s most productive land has been stripped of its wildlife.
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
Environmentalists should strive to understand the joy experienced by the race fan, the motorcyclist and the snowmobiler, and we should use that understanding to stimulate the human imagination in ways that benefit the planet.
Human history gives us plenty of evidence to support a pessimistic outlook, but history also gives us plenty of reason for optimism. On the humble foundation of skin clothing and bone jewelry we have built a wondrous technological superstructure.
An alien biologist visiting from a distant planet might look at the remarkable similarities in our physiology and conclude that chimps would live pretty much as humans do, only more simply. But there’s something definitively, well, human about us.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
We are unique and brilliant creatures. Humanity has expanded into every corner of the planet. With our extraordinary tools, we are stronger and faster than any other species. And we are improving.
Humanity has the technological and intellectual capacities to preserve for our great-grandchildren a world teeming with life and human prosperity. Why would we plan for anything less?
Food is the most universal symbol of America’s age of excess. The average American’s dinner comes from five different countries, with a combined airfreight and ocean freight mileage tab that often exceeds 10,000 miles. At least three-fourths of that meal is processed and packaged, its nutrients stripped away and replaced by texturizers, sweeteners, and flavor “enhancers.”
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
We don’t have a positive vision for our future, but we can picture a lot of different ways in which things may go badly for us. This lack of a positive vision seems dangerous to me because we so often realize what what we visualize.
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.
Bird-X, Inc., a leader in producing humane pest and bird repellent products since 1964, is raising the bar even higher for the pest control industry, offering ‘green’ solutions for every pest and bird problem.
Simran Sethi balances her love of nature with her fear of mice in her home.
Simran Sethi comes to terms with getting rid of the mouse in her home.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Using garden space to the maximum.
The United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, leading to poor cardiovascular health and other diseases.
A look back at how we’ve become addicted to electricity and its conveniences since the Great Depression.
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
The Center to Expose and Close Animal Factories employs a strong legal background to take on industrial agriculture. Learn about their plan to clean up the business for good.
Human-powered generators cleverly derive electricity from something we already use in abundance — human movement — offering an easy way to tap renewable energy for anyone interested in a low-impact lifestyle. Two creative generators caught our attention: a merry-go-round that supplies light for poor Ghanaian schools and a revolving door that lights up a train station.
With the inventiveness of visionaries like Elon Musk, technological advances can help create a better world, while remaining useful and cool.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
“Do you sometimes feel like your life is a microfield for everything that’s going on today?” scholar, philosopher and researcher Dr. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and a founder of the Human Potential Movement, asked the crowd gathered this morning for the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado. That got my attention, especially when she went on to say that humans now face “the most profound task in human history—choosing whether we grow or whether we die.”
At this moment, Houston says, many of us are “encapsulated bags of skin carrying around dreary little egos,” caught up in “lives of serial monotony.” Still, she has hope. Humans, she said, have an opportunity to play a role in “the greatest transition the world has ever seen, the most far-reaching and rapid change in our history.”
“We are coded with potentials, few of which we ever learn to use,” Houston said. “We can no longer be half-life versions of ourselves, and something huge is beginning to happen as the world’s mind is discovering itself.”
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk leaves little doubt about how far vision and imagination can take us in addressing ecological challenges.
Humanity needs a new spiritual vision to cope with its shrinking habitat.
We have three big challenges confronting us: preserving our habitat, controlling our population and reforming our economic systems.
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Not all green building materials are fancy, engineered products. One couple explores the saved-from-the-landfill options at local Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Hard to beat preventing waste, supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and finding great deals on materials for a new-home construction in one fell swoop.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.