In which John discusses the absolute insanity of front yards. Turf grass is the biggest irrigated crop in the US; we irrigate grass almost exclusively with drinkable water; also, you will be surprised to learn that grass is INEDIBLE. Plus, I dislike mowing the lawn when it is 115 outside.
Lots of people (particularly people who work in the lawn business) will note that turf grass is a carbon sink (particularly if you mow the lawn frequently). This is true, but there are far more efficient carbon sinks that don’t require so much water. ”
Above: China’s Growing Sands. A beautiful and frustrating short documentary on China’s environmental destruction, especially water usage.
20% of China’s land area is desert, and spreading.
There’s an interesting part about farmers switching to night grazing. Some regional governments have passed laws against cattle and other herd animal grazing on the plains in order to protect the grasslands from overgrazing and increased desertification and degradation. The law also bans certain farmers from buying new cattle, essentially regulating herd counts.
At risk of prosecution, the farmers are turning out their herds at dusk, and retrieve them before sunrise. In other words, they’re raising cattle and sheeps during the night. A crazy human adaptation.
UPDATE: Sorry the video is displaying weird. Click here.
“Drawing Water [sansumbrella.com] looks like a generative painting, but in fact illustrates the relationship between where water falls and where it is consumed within the United States. It shows how water is channeled, pumped, and siphoned to locations far from where it fell to the ground, based on real water consumption and rainfall data.
Each blue line corresponds to a daily rainfall measurement, of which the length and location are determined by the amount of rainfall measured and where it fell, respectively. The end location and color of each line are determined by the influence of water consumption: the more water a city uses, the stronger its pull on the rainfall.”
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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