EcoUniv Weekend Reads : April 2020

EcoUniv Weekend Reads # 8

5 Apr 2020

Hominins:  Multiple new studies have been reported about our ancestors in the past few days. The Homo Erectus is now thought to have existed 150K-200K years earlier than previously thought. It also co-existed with the Austraolpithecus and Paranthropus. New studies done on fossils of what could be children of Australopithecus afarensis and Homo Naladi tell us they were somewhat similar to us. This, and more.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/02/world/ancient-humans-skull-evolution-fossils-scn-trnd/index.html

Environmental Education: A new article by me to start filling in the details of EcoUniv’s environmental education framework. We start by understanding the learners at various ages and this week we start with kindergarten kids.

EcoUniv Weekend Reads # 9

11 Apr 2020

Coronavirus and Inequality: In the face of the pandemic, nations are collaborating. But they are also competing. In this article, read how poor nations have to fight with rich nations for scarce medical resources like masks and test reagents.

Coronavirus and animal farming: A majority of the meat that is eaten by Homo Sapiens now comes from animal farms. What is the likelihood of these animals catching viruses like Covid-19 and what does it mean for animal farming practices?

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/covid-19-calls-for-renewed-look-at-livestock-farming-70324

Amazon Fires: The topic of fires in the Amazon basin has gone in the background due to other headlines. This in-depth article talks about how this problem was in making over a long term, including complex issues like broken deals, livelihood from cattle ranching, and ‘cattle laundering’. “The Takeaway: A supply chain can only be as green as its least eco-friendly link.”

Economics: Due to the pandemic-caused recession, unemployment threatens to reach double digits in many developed economies. Ideas like Social Security and Minimum Monthly Income for all, are sure to get revisited. They will also make the global economy more humane and less cut-throat. Read this profile of the architect of US social security, Frances Perkins, the first female member of a presidential cabinet.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/business/unemployment-benefits-frances-perkins/index.html

Environmental Education: A new article by me to fill in the details of EcoUniv’s Environmental Education Framework. We are looking at learners of various ages and this week we focus on six-year olds (first grade).

EcoUniv Weekend Reads # 10

18 Apr 2020

Botany: Sometimes, a single study can start a new field of scientific research: in this case, phytoacoustics. Plants can ‘hear’ and respond. “Within three minutes of exposure to these [bee] recordings, sugar concentration in the plants increased from between 12 and 17 percent to 20 percent.”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/01/flowers-can-hear-bees-and-make-their-nectar-sweeter/

Coronavirus and Poaching: Ever since a lockdown was announced in S. Africa, poaching is on the rise, as game reserves are empty. A report from the field.

Environmental Education: A new article by me to fill in the details of EcoUniv’s Environmental Education Framework. We are looking at learners of various ages and this week we focus on seven-year olds (second grade).

EcoUniv Weekend Reads # 11

26 Apr 2020

Coronavirus and plastic pollution: There’s a deluge of discarded masks and gloves into our oceans, and it is adding to the already serious plastic pollution.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/coronavirus-masks-gloves-oceans-pollution-waste-a9469471.html

Photos: This time, photos from space: NO2 tropospheric column density in major European cities, March/April 2020, compared with the year-ago period. Due to the lockdowns, air pollution is down significantly. We should use this time to reflect on our needs vs. wants in ‘normal’ times, which are a source of pollution.

https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-5P/Air_pollution_remains_low_as_Europeans_stay_at_home

Pollution: Can we use Coronavirus lockdowns as an opportunity to “reset” our emissions? Can we declare “Peak Carbon”?

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/20/the-coronavirus-crisis-means-we-may-have-already-reached-peak-carbon.html

Environmental Education: A Basic Ornithology course is available online from the experts at IISER, SACON, NCBS, and NCF.

https://www.ornithology.in/

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