ClimateWire on climate change and food production in China Chinese crop production is being threatened by changing weather patterns. "That raises the question of whether 1.34 billion Chinese -- accounting for almost one-fifth of the world's population -- would be able to feed themselves. Currently, China produces slightly less grains than its people consume." Among the climate-change alignments beginning to afflict Chinese growers are water scarcity, altered growing seasons, and more frequent outbreaks of crop-eating insects.
Le Monde on China's sinking cities Turning from environmental problems in China's farmland to those in its cities, an investigative piece from Le Monde republished in The Guardian, looks into the problem of subsidence in the country's growing cities. With rising populations, some Chinese cities are depleting their groundwater supply at such a fast rate that the ground is sinking. According to Le Monde, Shanghai, which has had to manage its groundwater carefully over the decades, is "doomed, according to some observers, to suffer a similar fate to Atlantis."
CNN on ensuring the tsunami cleanup is eco-friendly In the ongoing cleanup to the tsunami-damaged areas of Japan, members of one organization, the "Green Renaissance Project," are trying to ensure that the restoration is done in an environmentally sustainable way. Their efforts include collecting debris by hand rather than by soil-destroying heavy machinery and using fresh water rather than chemicals to desalinate rice paddies. Through the initiative has gotten the backing of some businesses, "Large scale clearance and reconstruction has often focused on expedience rather than environmentalism to repair the estimated $300 billion damage across the country," writes CNN.
Van Jones on the good of green jobs In an excerpt from his new book published in Grist, former Obama administration green jobs head Van Jones makes the case that economic growth and environmental security are not mutually exclusive. "We seem to forget that everything that is good for the environment is a job," he writes."Solar panels don’t put themselves up. Wind turbines don’t manufacture themselves." He makes the two-birds-with-one-stone argument that funding, both public and private, for clean-energy projects and energy-conservation initiatives like installing insulation or replacing inefficient heating systems are also dollars spent on reducing unemployment.
Climate Central on how rising seas will flood cities Curious whether your city is doomed to be taken by the ocean if global warming continues unabated? Well, wonder no more. This interactive map from Climate Central, an environmental advocacy organization, lets users of its interactive map choose any of more than 3,000 coastal American cities and toggle between a 1-foot and 10-foot surge sea levels to see which urban areas get flooded. Here, for example, is New York City when the ocean level is up 8 feet, projected to occur in 2100.