Ensia

Human Activities Are Beginning to Take Their Toll in the Depths of the Oceans

Once seen as too remote to harm, the deep sea is facing new pressures from mining, pollution, overfishing and more.

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These Dogs Live to Work - and Threatened Animals Live Because They Do

It is still cool in the morning as Spots gets ready to start work. Calm and confident, the imposing 10-year-old light brown Kangal is leading a herd of goats into a pasture. “He is always excited to go out with the goats,” says Tyapa Toivo, small livestock manager at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF).

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How Some Montana Ranchers Are Helping Grizzlies, Wolves and Cattle Coexist

Editor’s note: This story was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, a non-profit investigative news organization.

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A Renowned Scientist Calls Hardcore Climate Deniers 'Dismissives' Whose Minds Can't Be Changed

Katharine Hayhoe is a leading climate scientist at Texas Tech University and has been featured in documentaries such as “Years of Living Dangerously,” but she’s probably best known for engaging diverse communities—including Evangelicals—in an ongoing discussion about the impacts of climate change. Hayhoe stopped by Ensia’s offices to talk about her experiences bridging the climate change divide.

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What We Need Are Farms That Support Farmers, Consumers and the Environment

Editor’s note: This Voices contribution is published in collaboration with the academic journal Elementa. It is based on “Leveraging agroecology for solutions in food, energy and water, a peer-reviewed article published March 2, 2017, as part of Elementa’s Food-Energy-Water Systems: Opportunities at the Nexus forum.

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Ecologists Aren't Paying Enough Attention to Synthetic Chemicals - to the Detriment of Public Health

Manmade chemicals may alter ecological processes, yet few scientists are studying the role of these chemicals in global environmental change, say a group of researchers from the U.S. and Germany in a scientific paper recently published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

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What Does the Environment Have to Do With Diseases That Affect the Immune System?

In 1932, New York gastroenterologist Burrill Crohn described an unusual disease in 14 adults. The patients had bouts of abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and lesions and scars on the bowel wall. Doctors in other parts of North America and Europe were seeing it in their patients, too. They called the rare condition Crohn’s disease. After World War II, the number of new people getting inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and a related condition called ulcerative colitis) skyrocketed across the West in countries such as the U.S., Canada and the UK. In the last three decades, IBD has begun to crop up in newly industrialized parts of the world like Hong Kong and China’s big cities.

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How 'Open Source' Seed Producers From the U.S. to India Are Changing Global Food Production

Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space. For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many different kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on. But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more and more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding.

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If Natural Ecosystems Aren't Better Protected, Deadly Diseases Like Ebola Will Spread

What if we could reduce diseases and discover life-saving drugs by conserving natural habitat? Would saving ecosystems become more appealing if human health were on the line?

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Can Upscale Chocolate Turn the Tide on Haiti's Devastating Deforestation?

When a tiny Quebec chocolate maker won a gold prize at this year’s premier International Chocolate Awards for a bar made with Haitian cocoa beans, it rocked the specialty chocolate world. The cocoa beans had been on the market for less than a year, and a Haitian chocolate bar had never before received the award.

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