Concrete

If there’s a “they” in the distant geological future, they’re sure going to wonder about the layer of concrete surrounding the world. Maybe they’ll think we worshipped it.

They’d be right, wouldn’t they?

Check out this hypothesis on the locking-in of atmospheric carbon in equatorial mountain building/limestone production, which these authors suggest led to the last three great ice ages. Limestone is used in concrete production, so we’re reversing the process, and releasing the carbon.

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When beekeeping was illegal in NYC, I was a big advocate of overturning the rule. What could be bad about honeybees, right? Well, considering that the average hive may have 60,000 bees and that the flora and fauna of North America did not evolve with them, maybe something…? It takes a lot of nectar- and pollen- harvesting for these domesticated animals to survive. What’s their effect on solitary bee species? Could it somehow be beneficial? Come on, really? What’s the effect of 60,000 cows on a grasslands?

As I’ve been exploring the bumblebee and other species of native bees, I’ve been having qualms for a while now on the agricultural, even industrial, use of honeybees. And now the science is starting to come in. Here’s a new paper: “Our results show that beekeeping reduces the diversity of wild pollinators and interaction links in the pollination networks. It disrupts their hierarchical structural organization causing the loss of interactions by generalist species, and also impairs pollination services by wild pollinators through reducing the reproductive success of those plant species highly visited by honeybees. High-density beekeeping in natural areas appears to have lasting, more serious negative impacts on biodiversity than was previously assumed.”

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An excellent article on birding — or photographing wildflowers — while black.

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