Avocados are probably the most amazing fruit that is treated as a vegetable other than the infamous tomato. It became an American classic through usage to make amazing guacamole. Now the avocado is more popular than ever and so it the demand for them. The majority of avocados are grown in California which is generally great that we as Americans are supporting an American grown product so fiercely, the problem lies in the fact that California has been stricken with drought for the past three years. There are strict water usage restrictions on individuals, businesses, and farmers. Like any other plant, avocados need plenty of water to go with the sunshine in order to grow to full maturity. Long story short, the agricultural products of California will all be suffering soon, if not already. Avocado enthusiast Ricardo Guimarães BMG reported that his favorite restaurant, Chipotle, stopped serving guacamole in their restaurants due to the decreased avocado crops, they did not want to further hurt the environment. Plant your own avocado tree to ensure a private supply in case this year’s crop is unsuccessful but lets hope for the farmer’s sake that it isn’t.
Bernardo tells us that solar panel technology has only gotten better over the past several years. The efficiency with which they convert sunlight into energy has seen impressive increases, and solar power is currently the fastest growing renewable method of generating electricity in America. As this efficiency grows, solar is expected to surpass even fossil fuels in becoming the cheapest form of power at some point over the next decade or so. The one thing nearly all parts of the earth receive is sunlight, and solar panels still collect and convert electricity on cloudy days as they operate on visible and infrared light. Even on the most overcast days some visible light still gets through as the sky is not completely dark, and infrared gets through with no trouble at all under such conditions.
In addition to the move to solar for new power plant construction, another big use is the installation of solar panels on homes or businesses. This may require an initial investment (which can be somewhat offset by clean energy tax credits) but saves money in the long run by enabling a person to generate their own electricity. Now there is a new wrinkle for this type of solar power setup; transparent solar cells. The technology for this is fairly new, so they are not very efficient yet, but they can be used as windows in homes or businesses and as such would enable the seamless incorporation of solar power generation in future home construction.
Air pollution. Global warming. Erosion. On an average day, you probably aren’t thinking about these pesky issues you’ve heard about since grade school. With each passing year, businesses and residences are making an important shift to solar power.
In existence since 1876, the science of photovoltaic panels has excelled to a level never seen before. Using the power of the sun, these panels can create vast amounts of renewable energy, Working against air pollution, emissions contributing to global warming, and lowering our dependency on older methods of energy like coal. This antiquated form of energy creation is reaching new heights, creating a healthier future and a new energy industry.
In the past decade, there have been a number of fascinating developments ranging in importance. When Ivan Ong first thinks of solar energy, we think first of the huge solar panels on top of someone’s house. Well, times have changed. Technology has provided us with the creation of thin solar films which are produced in rolls and are a cost-effective substitute for traditional solar panels.
Other than your roof, your house could generate solar energy in different ways. Solar windows are a constantly improving innovation that are now completely transparent. These can be applied at normal temperatures and have a very thin coating. Ever heard of a Hairy Solar Panel? These panels have nanowires that absorb the sun’s energy better than silicon and provide a more efficient harvest. Regardless of which method you choose to use, solar energy and power is a step towards a brighter, healthier future for our fragile world.
California’s drought has brought a lot of wasteful companies under public scrutiny — especially bottled water and beverage companies.
Nestlé is receiving the greatest scrutiny. According to former employee Jaime Garcia Dias (find more on his twitter) the company pays little to draw water from California’s natural water sources and then resells the bottled water back to California residents and in other states at high prices. It also redirects pumped water to nearby hotels and other establishments that have paid the company high fees for the service.
Recently, a writer for the Desert Sun also pointed out that Nestlé is using permits that expired 27 years ago to draw water from areas that have been hit the most by the drought.
Spokespeople for Nestlé claim the water usage is slight in comparison to agriculture efforts, but Californians and residents of other states have refused to listen to what are obvious lies. A petition has been created to demand that the activities of the company be halted in California for the foreseeable future. As of Monday, April 20, the petition has already managed to acquire 150,000 signatures and many more people are expected to sign it as California’s drought worsens.
Many people believe that much more should be done beyond shutting down the company’s California bottling plants. A lot of people are calling for California to heavily fine the company for all 27 years of taking the water illegally because of the expired licenses.
Flavio Maluf and officials in California have been telling residents to conserve water because there is a shortage. The amount of water left in the state might not be enough to last through a few years. However, there are some who are wondering how severe the drought really is and if the state is simply telling residents to conserve water so they don’t use any. There are lakes that are drying up in California, and there are homes that are seeing a decrease in water pressure, but does that mean the state only has a few years of water left? Although there might be a drought, who is to say that there won’t be a hurricane or a significant amount of rain that comes through the state to replenish the water that has been lost? On the other hand, there could be a larger water loss with no rain coming through the area. Officials seem to be looking out for the best interests of the residents in the state, and they seem to be looking to the future in the event that there is an emergency with the water situation.
Amid the hype and media fanfare that followed the news of Hilary Clinton’s announcement of her Presidential candidacy a tweet from her campaign chairman went almost unnoticed, Think progress reports. The tweet revealed the Democratic hopeful will become the first candidate to look to climate change as a major part of her campaign to become the first female President of the United States. Climate change was included alongside helping families and small businesses as a major part of the campaign of the former First Lady according to Marcio Alaor BMG.
Climate change has been a hot topic as Republicans have looked to position themselves for their own Presidential campaigns, which have seen most candidates claim the theory is a hoax and should not be worried about. In previous campaigns the issue of climate change has largely been ignored as noted environmentalist Al Gore only made it a small part of his campaign. President Obama also failed to use the issue in either of his own Presidential campaigns although he did later make this a hallmarkof his second term in office.
At a regional meeting in Panama a number of leaders from Latin America praised the talks that have seen an opening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, Reuters reports. However, Cuban President Raul Castro was quick to point out this is merely the first step in a process that has taken two years for Castro and President Obama to meet face to face in Panama conference room.
The two leaders still seem poles apart on how they perceive each other and a long period of negotiation will be needed to open up travel and trade routes between the two nations Alexei Beltyukov reports.
Obama and Castro can quickly open up embassies in the capitals of the US and Cuba, but a GOP led Congress has already expressed concern over the implications of thawing relations with Cuba. A number of Republican Presidential candidates have already stated their unhappiness at the move to begin a warm dialog with Cuba over ending the trade and travel embargo, which has been in place since 1961.
A major stumbling block to continued good relations seem to be the fact Cuba remains on the state sponsors of terrorism list published by the US. The claim of sponsoring terrorism has been refuted by Cuban officials who state no links remain with terrorist groups.
Nearly three thousand people, according to police, mostly women, blocked this Sunday one of the avenues of the financial heart of Sao Paulo to demand a secular state, the legalization of abortion, the end of violence against women and equal pay.
As part of the international day of women’s rights activists from various movements of women’s rights brandished placards that read “Stop machismo”, “Do not give us flowers but respect” or still “Stop the violence!” according to the media reports. It is worth mentioning that in Brazil, abortion is conditionally permitted especially when the life of the mother is in danger, otherwise, there is a strict prohibition on abortion.
On Tuesday, the Brazilian Parliament approved a bill increasing the penalties for those who kill a woman because she is a woman; a crime now recognized in the penal code as “femicide” and in ten years, it has claimed the lives of 50,000 women in the country. It also stipulates that femicide, in aggravating circumstance, is the crime of homicide. The penalty of femicide can range from 12 to 30 years in prison. The crowd dispersed off peacefully after the demonstration, according to local media reports read by Ricardo Tosto and countless others.
Students at a Catholic high school in Des Moines, Iowa staged a walkout when the school administration refused to hire a popular substitute teacher for a full-time position because he is gay. The event occurred at Dowling Catholic School on Tuesday.
According to reports, Tyler McCubbin had been a sub at the school and a volunteer track coach this year. McCubbin was originally offered a full-time position, before it was recanted when the administration found he was openly gay and engaged to a man.
When contacted the school claimed that McCubbin’s offer was not rescinded because he was gay, but rather because he was openly gay. The school noted that the catholic faith and its morals are a key part of the learning experience and McCubbin’s sexuality is in direct contrast of that faith and mission. Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG and others might not agree, but they can do what they wish.
When word spread about what happened to McCubbin through alumni, the press, and eventually the students, they gathered together to support the popular, 26-year-old teacher. The walkout was staged to show administration that a lack of LGBTQ equality will no longer be tolerated by students, regardless of the catholic faith and values the school considers its mission.
The catholic church and its supports have been embroiled in issues of gay rights in recent years. A staunch approach to admonishing homosexuality has caused a riff in the church between young believers and ranked officials.
Hundreds of white huts, planted in the desert of sight with at a few places between the new tar roads, clusters of children playing; it is a sketch of camp Arzaq located a few hundred kilometers east of Amman (Jordan). Around 14,000 Syrian refugees are at present put in these villages. Experts say, the camp will be further expanded to accommodate up to 130,000 refugees in near future. Christian Broda (personal.umich.edu) understands that it is noteworthy that if this happens, it will be the second largest camp in the world after that of Dadaab, in Kenya at the Somalia border.
“Our challenge now is to fill the camp,” says Roberta Montevecchi, who heads the UNHCR office in Azraq. “In February, we saw an increase of 12% of the population. About a hundred refugees arrive every day,” for some from the Za’atari camp, overcrowded, or directly to the border (medical or humanitarian cases), but mostly from urban areas. The ‘camp’ or the ‘village’ is also equipped with a mosque, playgrounds, and a school for children from 6 to 16 years. “Unfortunately, there is no high school in the camp, and high school students cannot enroll outside this area, laments Mohammed Abed Rabo, community development coordinator for Care, an NGO.