South Korea’s tremendous success reducing food waste through composting

composting decaying vegetables

Throughout the world, the problem of food waste keeps growing, compounding the larger problem of waste and garbage.

There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. One involves wasting less food.

Another involves better management of food waste through composting, and the incredible success of this approach in South Korea can be a model for the entire world. South Korea has managed to increase food waste recycling levels from 2 percent to a staggering 95 percent according to the linked article.

South Korea has embraced composting and linked it to urban farming, with training programs that teach people how to compost food waste.

More importantly, sending food waste to landfills is now banned, and South Koreans are required to discard food waste in yellow biodegradable bags. The cost is typically around $6 per month, which is very reasonable but also puts on cost on throwing out food. This provides an incentive to be more careful about wasting food and also encourages composting.

This is one of those ideas that should be embraced around the world. Perhaps California can start?

  

GOP offers ridiculous response to Green New Deal

There’s plenty to debate regarding the Green New Deal, including the botched roll-out and its lack of specificity.

But the response from the GOP, particularly in the Senate, has been embarrassing.

The Republicans have never taken climate change seriously, and most Senators in the GOP just wanted to try to score political points leading up to a vote on the Green New Deal orchestrated by Mitch McConnell as a political stunt.

But it backfired, as the GOP Senators came across as clueless buffoons trying to stop progress. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) stole the show with a ridiculous floor speech talking about dinosaurs and having more babies.

The general outline of a Green New Deal as proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has many flaws, but the GOP’s response has been to demonize AOC as opposed to offering any real counter-proposals.

  

Nancy Pelosi is lukewarm on the “Green Dream”

The rocky roll-out of the Green New Deal has made some Democrats less enthusiastic. Nancy Pelosi called the broad proposal a “Green Dream,” which seems like a fair name given the Utopian nature of the proposal.

While the roll-out may have been problematic, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handled Speaker Pelosi’s comments well as you can see in the video above. This is where Ocasio-Cortez shines, as she has excellent political instincts. She avoided any controversy and embraced the “dream” language.

The specifics, however, are another matter. If you argue that climate is a life or death issue, it seems strange to include every other progressive wish-list item in a proposal that will already scare off many centrists and conservatives. Also, broad goals aren’t enough. Ocasio-Cortez and her allies need to start rolling out specifics.

  

Xyleco invents new process to extract sugars from biomass using electron accelerators

biomass

Biomass offers so much promise for cleaner burning fuel because it’s renewable and plentiful. But thus far, the established chemical processes used to extract the sugars from biomass have been very expensive and required considerable energy.

In this report from 60 Minutes, we learn that an eccentric inventor named Marshall Medoff may have come up with a groundbreaking process to solve this problem:

What Masterman helped implement was Medoff’s novel idea of using these large blue machines called electron accelerators to break apart nature’s chokehold on the valuable sugars inside plant life – or biomass. Machines like these are typically used to strengthen materials such as wiring and cable. Medoff’s invention was to use the accelerator the opposite way – to break biomass apart.

The result isn’t just cleaner fuel, but they’ve also unlocked a sugar with fewer calories that won’t harm your teeth, along with plastics that are biodegradable.

Watch the report, and you may witness a glimpse into a brighter future for clean energy.

  

Poll: Americans support action on climate change

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A recent NBC News poll shows that most Americans want action on climate change. This will be critical as Democrats are poised to take over the House of Representatives.

That figure incorporates 85 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of independents, 71 percent of women, 61 percent of men and strong majorities of all racial groups. At least 55 percent agree on the need for action in all regions of the country, and at all age, education and income levels.

Resistance comes only from the one-third of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans. A 56 percent majority of the GOP says either that concern about climate change is unwarranted or that more research is necessary before taking action.

Democrats would be wise to focus immediately on popular legislation that can pass quickly and put pressure on Republicans and the President to go along, such as extending subsidies for green energy that are scheduled to expire.