A world of unique, foraged foods is at the heart of a new book, “Eating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, With a Guide to Plants and Recipes,” that also delves into what is being lost with large-scale farming. Our BookShelf reviewer Melody Kemp shares the joys and the worries recounted by the author, long-time SEJer Winifred Bird.
The path of our planetary climate may depend largely on our transition away from energy sources that cause global warming. And that, in turn, may rely on one thing: improved batteries. The new Backgrounder explores the future of energy storage — how batteries work, the progress the technology has made and the brutal battery competition ahead between the United States and China.
"If America is dominated by car culture and the call of the open road, there is a big reason for that: Over the past 65 years, the United States has spent nearly $10 trillion in public funds on highways and roads, and just a quarter of that on subways, buses and passenger rail."
"California’s hopes for a wet “March miracle” did not materialize and a dousing of April showers may as well be a mirage at this point. The state appears in the midst of another drought only a few years after a punishing 5-year dry spell dried up rural wells, killed endangered salmon, idled farm fields and helped fuel the most deadly and destructive wildfires in modern state history."
"The Biden administration wants to take a huge swing at the problem of lead water pipes, proposing to replace 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines."
"Google’s Maps app will start directing drivers along routes estimated to generate the lowest carbon emissions based on traffic, slopes and other factors, the company announced on Tuesday."
"President Biden's scheduled appearance in Pittsburgh tomorrow to unveil a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan could have a direct bearing on the city's ongoing efforts to combat contaminated drinking water."
"Consumers trying to avoid toxic chemicals in their nonstick cookware face convoluted advertising claims that can confuse even the most well-informed buyers."
A much-anticipated infrastructure bill in Congress could help address the United States’ poorly rated roads, pipes and powerlines. But could the massive measure also do the heavy lifting for much-needed climate policy? The latest Backgrounder takes a deep dive into the context around climate-friendly infrastructure legislation, and looks ahead on what’s expected and how to report it.
"Data shows that American exporters continue to ship plastic waste overseas, often to poorer countries, even though most of the world has agreed to not accept it."
"When more than 180 nations agreed last year to place strict limits on exports of plastic waste from richer countries to poorer ones, the move was seen as a major victory in the fight against plastic pollution.