Greenery and foliage on the shore of a body of water. | Featured image for "Earth Focus"

Neonics: Driving Declines in Biodiversity

British bumblebee ecologist Dr. David Goulson, professor of biology at U.K.'s University of Sussex, discusses the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on biodiversity declines in farmlands. His pioneering research on the impact of neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees shows that treated nests produce 85 percent less new queens than control nests.

"We essentially have somehow been railroaded by agrochemical companies into relying entirely on their products," he says. "We depend on bees to pollinate our crops and worms and other organisms that live in the soil to keep the soil healthy. If we wipe them all out, then ultimately we will wipe ourselves out."

 

 

 

 

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Adaptation to Global Water Shortages

Anticipating future water needs, two regions on opposite sides of the world turn to technology for answers. Western Morocco, near the Sahara Desert, is currently facing unprecedented drought and groundwater mismanagement. But an ancient method of gathering moisture from fog is being taught to 13 villages, allowing people to have a level of local control over their most basic need. In Central Valley, California, the food basket of the world uses nearly 80 percent of the entire state's water supply.

Future of Food

Communities and innovators all over the world are creating new sustainable food sources that are resilient to climate change and growing populations. In Madagascar, we see how villagers are closing off marine areas to allow the fish supply to replenish at a natural pace. In San Diego, California, aquaculturists are exploring open ocean farming as a more sustainable model for the fishing industry.

Urban Habitat

Los Angeles is one of the biggest biodiversity hotspots in the world, despite its smog, urban sprawl and snarling freeways. At least 20,000 native and non-native plant and animal species are thriving despite human interference, and in some cases because of it. How can people help make urban habitats more welcoming to non-human urban dwellers?

Fueling Change: Oil Extraction in Alaska and California

The global demand for oil and gas has long-lasting impacts on the communities that supply it. In Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, powerful native communities are at odds over an oil exploration and drilling plan that will boost their economy but have long-term consequences on native species and their environment. In California’s Kern County, the mayors of two neighboring towns face off on the economic benefits and health risks of oil production and their vastly different visions for the most sustainable path to the future.