Growing up, Fred Yoder always wanted to be a school teacher, but when his father fell ill during Yoder’s early twenties, Yoder set aside his dream of lesson plans and chalkboards to take up the family business - a 1,500-acre farm that grows corn, wheat and soybeans. A fourth-generation farmer, Yoder knew his way around a tractor but still asked his dad for advice when he first took over the daily crop duties.
“He told me, ‘The only thing I ask for from you, son, is that you leave the land in better shape than you found it,'” Yoder said.
Now, after nearly 40 years tilling the earth near Plain City, Ohio, 58-year-old Yoder has made good on his promise – so much so that he was honored this week by the White House as one of its Champions for Change, a weekly honor given out to 12 citizens for their contributions to the community.
According to the White House press release, this week’s honorees were brought to Washington D.C. because of their work in preparing their respective communities for the consequences of climate change.
"As we take action to reduce carbon pollution and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy, we must also take action to prepare for the impacts of climate change we are already seeing, including more frequent and severe extreme weather," said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Editor's note: Kim Flottum is the editor of Bee Culture magazine.
That honeybees die is not new. And that beekeepers accept that on average 30% or more of their livestock will vanish each spring isn't new either. But when more than half of all the honeybees in this country die almost at once - that is new. And that's what happened this spring.
Scientists have given this disaster the catchy, all-inclusive name Colony Collapse Disorder. It describes symptoms, but not cause.
The past year saw a mild winter give way to a balmier-than-normal spring, followed by a sweltering summer and high temperatures that lingered into the fall, all punctuated by extreme drought and intense storms.
Now 2012 is officially in the books as the hottest year on record for the continental United States and the second-worst for "extreme" weather such as hurricanes, droughts or floods, the U.S. government announced Tuesday.
A severe drought is spreading across the Midwest this summer, resulting in some of the worst conditions in decades and leaving more than a thousand counties designated as natural disaster areas, authorities said.
Farmers in the region are suffering, with pastures for livestock and fields of crops becoming increasingly parched during June, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Many areas in the southern Midwest are reporting the poorest conditions for June since 1988.
Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It’s the one day of the year that’s off-limits on my calendar for anything other than family, dear friends and my complete and total domination of the kitchen. No work, no crazy international travel schedule; it’s all about bringing loved ones together to share an amazing traditional holiday meal complete with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, the works.
This year, however, work and my favorite holiday collided. My team and I at EarthEcho International, the environmental education nonprofit I co-founded with my mother and sister, had just taken the wraps off of a new tool for educators and students to help them explore the environmental and health impact of daily food choices called What’s On Your Fork?
In fact, the main element of this resource is a guide created in collaboration with the Meatless Monday campaign to help students start each week with options for healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. You can see where I might be feeling a little conflicted about my poultry-centered food extravaganza.
Should the bird stay on the menu?
Coke cans are getting a whitewash.
From November 1st through the end of February, Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) will release 1.4 billion white Coke cans in the U.S. and Canada, each showing polar bears against a field of white. The temporary redesign is part of a joint campaign the company is undertaking with the World Wildlife Fund to protect the Arctic habitat of its wintertime mascot, the polar bear.
"We're using one of our greatest assets - our flagship brand, Coca-Cola - to raise awareness for this important cause," Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, said.
Previously - How I kicked my Coke habit
And you thought you had a rough time getting to the grocery store through a few inches of snow. CNN International reports that the traditional Inuit diet is being replaced by junk food because of climate change.
Barry Smit, a professor at the University of Guelph, Canada has spent five years researching how melting ice is making it difficult for Inuits to maintain their diet of seal, walrus, whale and polar bear, and causing many young people to turn to processed food. That's leading to levels of obesity and dental problems previously unseen when the native diet was centered around raw meat.
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