April 2016

April 19th, 2016

"The Dallas Morning News says its investigation found that many of the agricultural supply and feed stores that used to stock a lot of ammonium nitrate have stopped selling it and others have implemented safeguards like moving the chemical out of dilapidated buildings and into fire-resistant concrete structures. But it reports many recommendations by safety investigators have gone unheeded.

None of the sites that responded to newspaper inquiries reported installing sprinkler systems. The state does not require them, but the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has said such a system could have stopped the West accident before it became a fatal explosion.

And despite calls for keeping stockpiles of ammonium nitrate away from populated areas, in up to eight communities tons of the chemical still sit near schools, houses, nursing homes and even a hospital, according to the newspaper's analysis of state data."

Read more from Houston Chronicle

April 11th, 2016

"Reducing food waste around the world would help curb emissions of planet-warming gases, lessening some of the impacts of climate change such as more extreme weather and rising seas, scientists said on Thursday.

Up to 14% of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

'Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20% of overall global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010,' said co-author Prajal Pradhan.

'Avoiding food loss and waste would therefore avoid unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.'

Between 30 and 40% of food produced around the world is never eaten, because it is spoiled after harvest and during transportation, or thrown away by shops and consumers.

The share of food wasted is expected to increase drastically if emerging economies like China and India adopt western food habits, including a shift to eating more meat, the researchers warned.

Richer countries tend to consume more food than is healthy or simply waste it, they noted."

Read more from The Guardian.