Global Briefs Archive

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Bee Killers

As use of controversial neonicotinoid pesticides on plants grew from 1994 onward, extinction rates of bees grew by a parallel amount.

Last Call

Endangered species may lose their federal protection if some Republican senators from western states succeed in taking the teeth out of the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973.

Astonishing Agriculture

A greenhouse in the South Australia desert uses coconut husks, solar power and desalinated seawater to grow 17,000 tons of non-GMO food every year.

Species Die-Off

Species of rhinoceros, tortoise, treefrog and leopard are among those verified as having disappeared forever as of 2016.

Robot Janitors

Solar- and hydro-powered trash robots are sucking up plastic, Styrofoam and other debris from Baltimore’s harbor, and the waste is used to generate electricity.

Healthy Holdover

Michelle Obama’s White House kitchen garden that promotes healthy eating will continue for 17 years.

Rigged Research

French researchers have concluded that 40 percent of 579 GMO (genetically modified food) studies are tainted by conflicts of interest, such as a study author being employed by a company that profits from genetically engineered crops.

Floral Throughways

If you’re awed by the mass of blooms decorating highway meridians and embankments, you often have local garden clubs to thank, along with partnering state highway departments.

Beverage Battle

Bottled water has now surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S.

Safe and Smart

Two food-industry trade groups have settled on just two phrases to communicate food safety: ‘Use By’ to indicate perishability and ‘Best if Used By” to indicate peak flavor.

Autonomous Autos

Within seven years, driverless cars will be hitting the market, and studies project they will eventually slash driving-related deaths by two-thirds and lower fuel use by 20 percent.

Mock Meats

Companies worldwide are racing to produce juicy plant-based protein alternatives that have the taste and feel of meat.

Pesticide Peril

An astonishing 97 percent of the 1,800-plus animals and plants protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are likely to be harmed by the widespread use of malathion and chlopyrifos on farm crops, yet the new Environmental Protection Agency administration just declined to ban chlopyrifos.

Prohibiting Plastic

From Tasmania to San Francisco to Morocco, governments are moving against pollution and trash by banning plastic shopping bags, water bottles and even microbeads.

Hair-Raising Talk

Cosmetologists in Illinois are now trained to recognize signs of domestic abuse in clients so they can pass on helpful information such as safe houses and hotlines.

Big Squeeze

A laser-guided vehicle in use in China slides under a vehicle, lifts it up and squeezes it into the tightest of parking spaces in about two minutes.

Itchy Ivy

Lurking almost anywhere, poison ivy can cause nasty reactions if we come into contact with it—but natural treatments can soothe the itching and blistering.

Safe Harbor

Fish, seabirds, penguins, and seals have a new safe haven in the southern Indian Ocean with the French expansion of its protected reserve from 8,000 to 46,000 square miles.

Turtle Turnaround

A drive to increase public awareness of turtle-friendly practices seems to be paying off with record numbers of successful hatchlings on beaches in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Cycling Chicago

With 100 miles of new bike lanes already, Chicago is now moving to build floating, solar-powered paths along the Chicago River to create an auto-free commute.

Balloon Doom

The helium balloons released into the sky at special events often come down in ocean waters, where they damage the digestive tracts of fish, dolphins, whales and sea turtles.

Eco IKEA

Ikea’s new line of “no waste” products includes cabinet doors made partly of recycled plastic bottles, a chair made of recycled plastic and wood, and vases made of recycled glass.

Choo Choo Breakthrough

All of the electric trains in the Netherlands are now running on energy generated by wind turbines, transmitted via high-voltage power lines.

Airbnb Battle

Airbnb, an economic lifeline for many of its hosts, is encountering legal pushbacks from hotels concerned about the competition and from cities concerned that it removes affordable housing from the market.
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