Continuing Neglect of Soil Threatens Productive Agriculture Lands in Hawai`i

Continuing Neglect of Soil Threatens Productive Agriculture Lands in Hawai`i

“In most of the sugar lands the topsoil is gone, the nutrients are gone, and the soil life is gone,” says Burt Smith, a soil scientist based in Waimea, Hawai`i, who has studied the impacts of Hawai`i agriculture on soils for some 20 years. “In some areas below the fields, there are rich accumulations of soil, but in most areas, it is on the ocean bottom.”

The degree of loss “borders on the criminal,” Smith said in a recent interview with Environment Hawai`i.

Glyphosate Herbicide Found in Many Midwestern Streams

Glyphosate Herbicide Found in Many Midwestern Streams, Antibiotics Not Common

A view of a farm fields in Iowa
Glyphosate is frequently applied to corn and soybeans growing areas like these in Iowa. Photo Credit: William A. Battaglin, USGS.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently investigated 51 streams in nine Midwestern States to determine the presence of a wide range of herbicides, their degradation byproducts and antibiotics. Herbicides were detected in most water samples, which were collected to coincide with runoff events following herbicide application, but antibiotics were detected in only 1 percent of the samples.

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EPA highlights fracking contamination of drinking water

EPA reverses course, highlights fracking contamination of drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a final report on the connection between hydraulic fracturing and contamination in drinking water. After stressing in June 2015 that there was no “widespread, systematic impact” on water, the agency now is emphasizing that fracking can affect drinking water under some circumstances.

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Genetically modified foods

Genetically modified foods or GM foods, also known as genetically engineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering techniques allow for the introduction of new traits as well as greater control over traits than previous methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.

Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its unsuccessful Flavr Savr delayed-ripening tomato. Most food modifications have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton. Genetically modified crops have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and for better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have been developed, although as of November 2013 none were on the market.


Public water supply is unsafe for millions of Americans

(CNN)Millions of Americans may be drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. These chemicals, known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs, have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression — and even cancer.

Introduced more than 60 years ago, PFASs are a category of man-made chemicals that degrade very slowly, if at all, in the environment.
“I do think that Americans should be concerned about these chemicals,” said Susan M. Pinney, a professor in the department of environmental health at University of Cincinnati. Pinney, who did not participate in the new research, explained that not enough time has elapsed to understand all the long-term health effects of these toxins.

Sea Level Rise

Sea Level 101

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. A Climate Central analysis finds that sea level rise from warming has already doubled the odds of “century” or worse floods over widespread areas of the U.S., and the problem is growing by the decade.These increases threaten an enormous amount of damage. Across the country, nearly 5 million people live in 2.6 million homes at less than 4 feet above high tide — a level lower than the century flood line for most locations analyzed. And compounding this risk, scientists expect roughly 2 to 5 more feet of sea level rise this century — a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky.


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Global Warming

Global Warming: News, Facts, Causes & Effects

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. There is great debate among many people, and sometimes in the news, on whether global warming is real (some call it a hoax). But climate scientists looking at the data and facts agree the planet is warming. While many view the effects of global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past 100 years.

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Welcome to

Welcome to

As we look back at earth from the moon we can see that every living thing we know is there. Life on earth is delicate, fragile, and finite. As earth dwellers we are all connected to every other life form, and share the same atmosphere to breathe, and drink the same water. We need to realize that every action has a consequence for ourselves and our environment. We are not only hurting ourselves with poor environmental choices, but we also harm every living being who shares the planet with us. However, every positive choice we make benefits not only ourselves but all of our living brothers and sisters, present and future. The actions of every individual affect the whole planet. There is no place for war, pollution, and selfish use of resources in a sustainable future. We all make a difference that may seem seem small initially, but will have profound effects over time.

Awareness is the Key; And it is as simple as making informed choices.