The Next Breadbasket
Could the fields of Sub-Saharan Africa feed the world? Foreign investors think so, and the land grab is already on. But according to Joel K. Bourne, Jr., bringing a green revolution to Africa is a double-edged spade for the people who live there. For some, sustainable agriculture means new technology and more food. For others, it means surrendering family farms and working under deplorable conditions. National Geographic
Engineering the Ocean
Feeding plankton iron as a means to fight climate change is an idea that's been around for a while. The thinking goes that as plankton flourish on the added nutrient, they suck up billions of tons of carbon dioxide, and when they eventually die, they sink to the seafloor, taking their carbon loads with them. Some have already tried the scheme—most notoriously, off the coast of British Columbia in 2012—and many environmentalists are critical of efforts to geoengineer our environment. But as David Biello explains, if done responsibly, this type of carbon sequestration just might be crazy enough to work. Aeon
When the Well Runs Dry, Try Dry Farming
Never heard of dry farming? Yeah, me neither. But some farmers in California are turning to this old agricultural technique as a way to weather one of the worst droughts in decades. Brian Barth reports on how farming without water can cut down on costs, improve sustainability, and produce the best damn tomato you’ve ever tasted. Modern Farmer
Question: The last time you were in an airplane, did you stare down at the majesty of the Earth below? Or did you fling cartoon birds at digital pigs on your pocket computer? Bruce Stutz channels his inner Louis CK in this rumination on the sort of baffling blasé-ness with which we now experience the miracle of flight. OnEarth
On the (Very Smelly) Trail of the Skunk Takeover
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports of rabid skunks peak approximately every five years. The last skunk surge happened around 2009 to 2010, which means America is due for another. Christopher Kemp steps into the spray path of the smelliest denizen of the woods to report on the all-out skunk invasion taking place across the nation. Suburbanites, you might want to lock up your pets, close your windows, and breathe easy. Outside
Tired of reading yet? Watch this.
Buffalo soldiering on: The heavy movements and foraging behavior of bison help sculpt our prairies. That’s why the American Prairie Reserve is breeding and releasing bison calves in an attempt to re-populate 300,000 acres of a habitat that's under attack. National Geographic
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