Heat-tolerant Beans in the Face of Global-Warming

March 29, 2015


CGIAR global agriculture research has save the bean, an important global food staple, from the threat of a global-warming death. Thirty new varieties have been developed with breeding and gene splicing to withstand higher temperatures for when greenhouse gases begin raising global temperatures.

“As a result of this breakthrough, beans need not be the casualty of global warming that they seemed destined to be, but rather can offer a climate-friendly option for farmers struggling to cope with rising temperatures,” said Andy Jarvis, a CGIAR climate change expert.

This breakthrough has been a global effort with the following countries donating to CGIAR for this project: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India,

Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

United Kingdom, United States. Still, since the bean is the “poor” food of the world, many countries that grow and use this product most could not donate. Hopefully these varieties will be cheap enough for farmers to afford it where it’s really needed.

Current Event: Climate change ‘biggest threat’ to National Trust land

March 27, 2015

A woman with a clipboard counting snowdrops

  • `The National Trust is a charity located in Swindon, England
  • The National trust is unveiling a 10-year plan to “nurse the natural environment back to health”
  • The trust has more than 4.2 million members
  • The trust looks after about 600,00 acres of countryside
  • They noticed there had been an alarming decline in wildlife
  • Time is running out to avoid more harm
  • According to a RSPB study over the past 50 years, 60% of UK wildlife had declined
  • The trust plans to spend 1 billion pounds over the next decade on conserving its houses, gardens and countryside
  • The money includes 300 million pounds for clearing a “backlog of repairs”

Week 11: News Update/ Project Update

March 25, 2015


Cell phones may invade the wilderness more than they already do. If nobody speaks up, then $34 million fiber optic network could run through Yellowstone National Park. As a big advocate of solitude in the outdoors, I would NOT agree with this. What is the purpose? To be more connected with nature buy disconnecting ourselves? Or how about not missing out on that funny cat video huh? It will not only ruin their experience, it will ruin mine! If the purpose of this is to attract more people to the wilderness, I don’t want to go. That is the whole reason for it in my opinion. To live and feel the connectedness with nature rather than the hum and bussle of the city and most importantly, people. Of course at the end of the day, the purpose is all about the money and the benefit of the producer. Gross. The main driving factors are the young staff that work at the snack booth and the lodges and the interactive camp centers. So much for solitude.



Waiting for money situation. Or at least a suggestion of where to get it! I don’t need 5 million dollars cash up front- I just want to know a possible funding source.

Project Update: Pee Cycling

March 25, 2015

– Jeffrey Rothenberg and Dan Roher, who attempted to conduct this project last semester are helping us set up the experiment.

– Were going to get in contact with a professor in the Botany department to us as a source.

– We have purchased 2 baby tomato plants this weekend in addition to using samples of grass from Blue Lime Stone. Hopefully the tomatoes will be edible, Kevin plans to put them in his salads.

– We’ll be using male, female, and canine urine samples. We have obtained a 3 week supply of urine from our female subject.

– The experiment period will last from March 30th to April 17th.

Week 11: Placing animals

March 25, 2015

In placing animals, Julie Urbanik introduces her book with why animals and human animal relations are a growing topic today. She mentions three main reasons. One being human contribution to environmental problems and in turn effect animals. I don’t think this is new news to anyone. It seems to be a normal thing to hear on the news about recent beached…whales.. or hundreds of fish dying out of nowhere, or massive populations of other marine life dying or washing up dead on shore. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary. And that’s the sad thing. The number one drive in increasing green house gas emissions is from factory farms and cattle/meat ranches. Urbanik says there are about fifty billion livestock animals on the planet per year and that the methane gas from the cattle alone impacts our atmosphere in a such a negative way. Not to mention all the waste that turns into runoff and goes into local rivers and huge water sources! Another one of her points is the increased look at human-animal relationships in the social, rather than science aspect. The important thing to remember here is to figure out where people draw the line for the definition animal. I know I have mentioned that a lot, but it’s true! There are multiple definitions for the word “evolution” and sometimes in different fields they refer it to different components. It amazed me of how many legal definitions of “animal” were in the United States alone. From the definitions provided in the book you can kind of notice the correlation between the geography of the states and what animals are considered animals. Most of the time fish are left out of definitions (like Delaware), or insects are excluded in New Mexico. Who comes up with these? Do we vote on them? I found an article that discusses if animals have human rights or not. http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-non-human-animals-have-rights. Somebody said “Animals have no rights, until they say so. Until animals enunciate their rights, they have none.” There were also lots of comments how God gave humans the right to dominate. Interesting in my opinion.The last reason has to do with politics of animal issues and the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Here they are talking about animals having rights (funny that I thought about that before it came up here). I think there is a blurred line. I agree that animals should have some sort of respect given, but I’m not on any radical side regarding the matter.

Project Update

March 25, 2015

Continued writing. My brother played through what I had over spring break and helped me iron out some mistakes. That’s about it . . .

All About the Energy

March 25, 2015

Researchers at the Michigan State University discovered a way to make clear colorless solar panels. Traditional solar panels use visible light however these new solar panels would use organics salts to capture non-visible light such as ultra violet. The panels would then transfer the energy to the edges of the panels which would still contain the more traditional solar panels and convert it into useable energy. They predict that these solar panels could be used on building windows and other areas with high light that require a transparent surface. Maybe car windshields? What would you like to see these used for? I would also like to know more about the cost efficiency.