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September 9, 2020

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SnippETS for 26 April 2019

April 25, 2019





Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.


This week we start by taking a look at the state of NZ's environment and have a frank discussion regarding water use. Next we look at how 'electrifying everything' could starve off the worst impacts of climate change, how electric vehicles do more than reduce GHG emissions and why fleet vehicles will electrify much quicker than passenger vehicles. 



We open with a harsh reality check. The Environment Aotearoa 2019 Report was recently released and it is not happy, or pleasant reading. Forest & Bird's chief executive, Kevin Hague summed it up that when it came to the environment's overall health, "things are very bad". "We've spent too many years in denial about how our actions – from rampant dairy conversions to destructive sea bed trawling – are irreversibly harming our natural world". Let’s use this as a wake-up call for all New Zealanders. Read more.....



 Perhaps so much damage has been done to our waterways due to the lack of value placed on water. As this article discusses, water traditionally has been undervalued for some time and does not accurately represent its true cost. As such projects aimed at improving water efficiency and water reuse have not attracted sufficient attention and investment. This could all change, if the full external costs, such as treatment, pumping and disposing were all measured and internalised. Read more.....



 We need to limit global warming, and quickly. One of the best ways of doing this is to electrify everything. Replacing fossil fuels with electricity produced by renewable energy particularly solar, which is seen as one of the key way to do this. But when we say electrification of everything we need to also look at vehicle fleets!  Read more.....








Adoption of electric vehicles have positive outcomes in two ways, by improving air quality and climate outlook. This is backed up by a new study which quantified the differences in air pollution generated from battery-powered electric vehicles versus internal combustion engines, EV’s have a net positive impact on both air quality and climate change.  Read more.....





On the topic of electrification, electric buses and trucks are charging ahead. By 2040, there are predictions that 80% of the world’s city bus fleets will be electric. Why will electricity become the primary power source for fleet vehicles? Because they’ll be able to save cities, transit agencies and companies considerable money on fuel costs and will be simultaneously cleaner and cheaper to operate. Major manufacturers are moving ahead in the development of heavy vehicle fleets. Read more.....



 Global demand for meat is expected to double between 2000-2050. In NZ our meat (and dairy) industry is polluting our waterways and threatening our native species. So will it be possible for us to continue farming the way we do? Some scientists believe lab grown burgers and sausages are the solution. Cultured meat, as it’s known, is indistinguishable from tissue from cows or pigs under a microscope. The researchers say it could be on supermarket shelves within five years. Read more.....







Food refrigeration and cold storage equipment are finding their way into rural areas of the world that need them the most. From India to Africa, new partnerships, solar technologies and government efforts are improving people’s lives by keeping fruits and vegetables from rotting through refrigeration. Rural farmers are using these emerging cold chains — temperature-controlled supply chains — to grow high-value produce and access lucrative markets. Read more.....



Chemical pesticide use in Southeast Asia has increased 10x in the last decade and the human cost of this situation is immense. Repeated pesticide exposure has been linked to increased risk of cancer, asthma, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, leukaemia and other diseases. When the health costs are factored in, pesticide overuse yields very little or even no profit for farmers. Now plant-based biopesticides have been developed which are much safer for growers and consumers.  Read more.....




Dr Joanne Chory hopes that genetic modifications to enhance plants’ natural carbon-fixing traits could play a key role in curbing climate change. Chory says these new plants will have deeper and stronger root systems that will also stop erosion, another by-product of warming temperatures, which will make soil more healthy and boost production. Right now, the institute is negotiating with seed companies and prepping tests on nine agricultural crops to introduce the super plants on farms around the world.   Read more....



This week in Innovation, genetic breakthrough on tropical grass could help develop climate-friendly cattle farms

Read more....













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