His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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Seeing 1,000 glorious fin whales back from near extinction is a glimmer of hope
19 January 2022 - One thousand fin whales, one of the world's biggest animals, were seen last week swimming in the same seas in which they were driven to near-extinction last century due to whaling. This vast assembly was spread over a five-mile-wide area between the South Orkney islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. (more)

Small gardens as vital as big ones for conserving bees, says study
19 January 2022 - Small gardens are as important as big gardens for conserving bees and other pollinators in UK cities, a study has found. Researchers found that small urban gardens are some of the most pollinator-friendly places. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, found that the size of gardens in Bristol had little relationship to the amount of nectar produced. (more)

On Jewish Earth Day, more Jewish groups take climate action
18 January 2022 - Tu BiShvat, the Jewish new year of the trees, barely registers on most Jewish calendars, except as an occasion to plant trees or eat fruit and nuts. But the one-day holiday, which begins Sunday (Jan. 16), has gotten a boost these past few years as environmentalists have reimagined it as the Jewish Earth Day. This year, Tu Bishvat started early with the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest, a five-day online event (Jan. 10 -14) that has drawn hundreds of Jews to reexamine ways to make climate action a central priority of the Jewish community. (more)

Turkish, Armenian envoys meet in bid to end chilly relations
18 January 2022 - Special envoys from Turkey and Armenia met in Moscow on Friday [14 January] for a first round of meetings aimed at ending decades of bitterness between their countries and establishing diplomatic ties. Both countries said the meeting was conducted in a 'positive and constructive atmosphere.' (more)

Big brands call for global pact to cut plastic production
17 January 2022 - International brands including Coca Cola and PepsiCo called on Monday [17 January] for a global pact to combat plastic pollution that includes cuts in plastic production, a key growth area for the oil industry. World officials will meet at a United Nations Environment Assembly conference (UNEA 5.2) later this year to start negotiations on a treaty to tackle a plastic waste crisis that is choking landfills, despoiling oceans, and killing wildlife. (more)

Coal-dependent Indonesia starts tapping huge solar power potential
16 January 2022 - Despite being a tropical archipelago of 17,000 islands blessed with year-round sunshine, Indonesia ranks last for solar power capacity among the G20 nations. But demand is starting to pick up in the world's fourth-most populous country, driven by policy changes, a steep fall in the prices of Chinese-made photovoltaic cells (PV), and environmentally conscious middle-class consumers. From the end of 2018 to November 2021, the number of private rooftop solar panel users has risen more than sevenfold. (more)

IKEA buys land damaged by hurricane in Florida to plant forests
16 January 2022 - Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA furniture stores worldwide, has bought more land in the United States as part of a long-term commitment to responsible forest management, it said on Thursday [13 January]. IKEA aims to be climate positive ... by 2030. Ingka Group will plant seedlings of mainly longleaf pine. Longleaf pine, Ingka Group said, is relatively resilient to the effects of climate change including resistance to forest fires, and supports habitat for endangered plants and animals. (more)

Starbucks to nearly double spending with diverse suppliers by 2030
16 January 2022 - Starbucks Corp will nearly double its spending with suppliers and vendors from underrepresented groups in North America by 2030 to $1.5 billion, it said on Tuesday [11 January]. Dennis Brockman, Starbucks' chief global inclusion and diversity officer, said the company believes it can use the COVID-19-related global supply chain disruption to increase diversity. (more)

Arif Khan aims to put Indian winter sports on the map at the Beijing Olympics
15 January 2022 - India isn't famous for snow sports. Kashmiri ski racer Arif Khan hopes to change that. The first and so far only Indian to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, he crowdfunded trips to Europe to qualify. (more)

Tulips for Amsterdam: Growers hand out free flowers
15 January 2022 - As stores in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands cautiously reopened after weeks of being under a coronavirus lockdown, the Dutch capital's mood was lightened further Saturday [15 January] by dashes of color from thousands of free bunches of tulips being handed out. National Tulip Day is held each year to celebrate the start of the growing season for the iconic flowers. Organizers this year took to Amsterdam's World Heritage-listed canals to hand out their flowers. (more)

India's richest man is pouring more than $80 billion into green energy
14 January 2022 - Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani is going big on green energy. His conglomerate, Reliance Industries, announced Thursday that it would allocate a whopping 6 trillion rupees (approximately $80.6 billion) to renewable power projects in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where it hopes to help generate a million new jobs. (more)

India's Reliance intensifies green push with $80 bln investment in Gujarat
14 January 2022 - India's Reliance Industries said it would invest 5.95 trillion rupees ($80.49 billion) to set up green energy projects and bolster its retail and telecom arms in the western state of Gujarat, as it targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. Owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the conglomerate has in the past year unveiled plans to reduce its dependence on its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business and invested in clean energy projects. (more)

New devices that eat river plastic before it reaches the ocean
13 January 2022 - From 'bubble barriers' to floating drones, a host of new projects aim to stop plastic pollution before it ever reaches the ocean. Plastic can be spread by natural disasters, such as a tsunami, which can push invasive species and debris halfway across the world. But rivers carry a much more regular supply of plastic to the oceans. That is why some scientists are calling for greater efforts to stop plastic going into rivers in the first place. Cue inventors, who have developed an array of river barriers and collection devices to catch and remove riverine plastic -- from simple nets and booms to conveyor belts and robots. (more)

After earning a 'dream' qualification, the tiny island nation of Comoros is ready to take on a continent at the Africa Cup of Nations
13 January 2022 - Away from questions about whether the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) would take place amid the pandemic, the tiny archipelago nation of Comoros has been preparing for its debut on the continent's biggest stage. The achievement of qualifying for Africa's biennial football tournament is difficult to overstate given the size and footballing history of Comoros. Located just off the east coast of Africa, it is the continent's fourth-smallest country [and] the team was only admitted as a member of FIFA, football's global governing body, in 2005. (more)

Growing shade: An epic quest to plant a tree for every home in Senegal
12 January 2022 - Tree-planting projects have gained new currency around the world in recent years. Once prized as either ornamentation or commodity, trees are now sought for their environmental and social benefits as well. Environmental activist Modou Fall and his army of volunteers aim to plant one tree for every home in Senegal, using recycled tires as planters to help deter rooting animals. It's a lofty goal, but the resources are abundant. (more)

Community project helps Kenya aim for climate goals one mangrove tree at a time
11 January 2022 - Along Kenya's southeastern coast, three communities are restoring 460 hectares (1,137 acres) of the Vanga mangrove forest to meet the country's emission reduction targets. The Vanga Blue Forest project has planted more than 1,000 native mangrove trees since it started in 2019, and aims to work with neighboring communities in Tanzania to restore mangrove forests along 140 kilometers (87 miles) of the East African coastline. (more)

Exercise alters brain chemistry to protect aging synapses
10 January 2022 - When elderly people stay active, their brains have more of a class of proteins that enhances the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition, a UC San Francisco study has found. ''It may be that physical activity exerts a global sustaining effect, supporting and stimulating healthy function of proteins that facilitate synaptic transmission throughout the brain,'' William Honer, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia and senior author of the study, said. (more)

100-year-old Maurine 'Mighty Mo' Kornfeld keeps breaking swimming records
10 January 2022 - There's no stopping Maurine 'Mighty Mo' Kornfeld. A retired social worker, she got serious about swimming in her early 60s, becoming part of U.S. Masters Swimming. In the 40 years since, she has won 14 world championships, set 28 records, and been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. At 100, Kornfeld is one of the oldest registered masters swimmers in the United States, and competing in the 100-to-104 age bracket this summer, she earned six world records in the freestyle and backstroke (more)

This pilot fled Afghanistan as a child. Now he's bringing Afghan refugees hope on their journey to America
9 January 2022 - When the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August, the Pentagon called on the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to help supply commercial planes for the emergency evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies. Zak Khogyani [a United Airlines pilot] wrote the CEO of United Airlines and volunteered to help. For him, it was personal. ... He surprised Afghan evacuees by greeting them in their language. Many Afghans looked at him with surprise, and then confusion. Then relief. They started bombarding him with questions. (more)

Dank, ancient, and quite fantastic: Scotland's peat bogs breathe again
8 January 2022 - Researchers are using satellite technology to monitor the health of these vital carbon sinks and help restore them. Flanders Moss bog is slumped on the flat, farmed landscape of the Carse of Stirling in Scotland like a jelly fungi. This lowland-raised bog is a dome of peat fed mainly by rainfall and it acts like a single organism -- the whole thing has to be looked after for any part to be in really good shape. For much of human history peat bogs have been thought of as wastelands. It is now recognized that peat bogs are among the greatest stores of carbon. (more)

England's farmers to be paid to rewild land
8 January 2022 - Farmers in England will be given taxpayers' cash to rewild their land, under plans for large-scale nature recovery projects announced by the government. These will lead to vast tracts of land being newly managed to conserve species, provide habitats for wildlife, and restore health to rivers and streams. Rare fauna ... will be targeted, with the aim of improving the status of about half of the most threatened species in England. (more)

In the Brazilian Amazon, solar energy brings light -- and new opportunities
7 January 2022 - Even though Brazil is one of the sunniest countries in the world, solar energy accounts for only 2 percent of its energy mix, according to government data. The Amazon, bathed in intense sunlight almost year-round, is seen by experts as especially promising ground for harnessing solar power. A village on the banks of Brazil's Negro River is running 132 solar panels as part of a pilot project aimed at bringing clean energy and economic opportunity to remote communities in the Amazon. (more)

US: New York governor signs first-in-nation restrictions on toxic flame retardants
7 January 2022 - On December 31, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a groundbreaking bipartisan bill restricting the use of flame retardants in furniture, mattresses, and electronic displays. While several states have passed similar legislation, New York is now the first in the U.S. to also include a prohibition on organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in electronic enclosures, such as televisions. This new law mirrors a similar prohibition adopted by the European Union. Health advocates nationwide applaud the move and anticipate more government and corporate policies to follow (more)

Mercedes revealed a concept electric car with sustainable materials interior
6 January 2022 - During the US Consumer Electronics Show, Mercedes-Benz revealed its concept electric car Vision EQXX. The car can drive over 620 miles on a single charge. The Vision EQXX uses solar panels, sustainable materials for its interior and a lightweight battery. Mercedes says that the Vision EQXX is, 'the most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built.' That includes from the materials the car is made up of, with the interior of the car using mushroom fibers, cactus-based biomaterial and 100 percent bamboo fiber. (more)

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