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EcoUniv Weekend Reads: Nov 2020

EcoUniv Weekend Reads #38

1 November 2020

Research – Evolution – Large Birds: Very large (wingspan 6 m+), boney-toothed birds once roamed the oceans, including Antarctica. The largest specimen so far, dating 50 mya, has been documented.

Research – Evolution – Whales: Palaeontological missions in the Indian subcontinent show that predecessors of whales were mammals on land, who made a transition to sea.

Ants and Sapiens: Both these species have evolved to domesticate certain foods. What are the similarities and differences?

Environmental Education: We resume the “Understanding the Learner” series and this week we focus on eight-year olds (third grade).

EcoUniv Weekend Reads #39

8 November 2020

Climate Change: Joe Biden’s win in US increases hope that USA will re-join the Paris Climate Accord. This may also trigger positive policy changes in countries like Australia, who are behind the curve.

Birds: Brain structure research in birds shows why they are as smart as mammals

Prehistoric humans: Detective work on 10,000 year-old fossilized human footprints

EcoUniv Weekend Reads #40

15 November 2020

Wetlands: The world’s largest wetland, Pantanal, straddles Brazil and it’s neighbouring countries. It’s unique habitats rely on flood pulse and support thousands of species. They are now threatened as the ecosystem is suffering from the worst wildfire crisis since records started in 2002.

Food: 40% of Russia’s food still comes from small family gardens (this was 90% during the days of communism).

Conservation: The path we have walked with leopards over the recent years, and the way forward.

EcoUniv Weekend Reads #41

22 November 2020

This is a “market-friendly environmentalism” special. We bring to your attention some unconventional perspectives.

Environmental Reporting by companies: “Environmental-Social-Governance” reporting by companies is projected by them as an indication of sensitivity to environmental issues. But how accurate is it? And is it possible, that it is just plain bullshit?

Related paper 1: “Reforming global climate governance in an age of bullshit”

Related paper 2: Do the Socially Responsible Walk the Talk?

Agriculture: Vertical farming is being projected as a solution to environmental problems, because it will need less land. Netherlands’ lead in food production, partly driven by vertical farming was acknowledged in a recent environmental documentary. But a Dutch ecologist points out the fallacies.

Economics: Prof. Mazzucato’s approach to re-inventing capitalism, where the state is an equal player in funding, risk, and reward in problem-solving innovations.

EcoUniv Weekend Reads #42

29 November 2020

Conservation: The distribution of all 20,000 species of bees has been mapped for the first time.

Leadership: The US may get its first Native American cabinet secretary, for the department of interiors.

Land: The bottom 50% of landholders globally own only 3% of land, says a report on land inequality.

Environmental Education: In the “Understanding the Learner” series, this week we focus on nine-year olds (fourth grade).

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