Environmental Innovations to Give You Hope
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Return of the Bees
Whatever is causing honeybees to disappear—pesticides, cell phones, impending armageddon—isn’t hitting the 4,000 bee species native to various parts of the United States, according to Audubon (May-June 2008). More farmers are discovering that long-horned bees, sweat bees, and other native varieties can pollinate certain crops (such as cherry tomatoes, almonds, peppers, and squash) just as efficiently as their better-known brethren.
Native bees don’t require hives or honey to do their work, but they don’t show up uninvited. They need a bit of natural habitat: native plants, a patch of weeds, a pile of twigs, maybe a few trees here or there. Polyculture helps too; with a variety of crops, flowers bloom throughout the season, giving the bees plenty to eat.
Suing the Spin Doctors
Carbon dioxide is good for us. Global warming is a conspiracy of mad scientists. Everything’s going to be just dandy. So go the slick ad campaigns and shoddy science of think tanks doing damage control for their fossil fuel–industry funders. Finally, a team of lawyers has decided the time has come to calculate the damages of this misinformation. The Atlantic (June 2008) reports that a federal suit filed in February targets 24 oil, coal, and electric companies not only for contributing to the climate changes that are making the Alaskan Eskimo village of Kivalina uninhabitable, but also for conspiring to deceive the public about global warming. Sound like a Hail Mary pass? It did 10 years ago, too, when the strategy bested Big Tobacco for covering up the health effects of smoking.
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