The Buffelgrass infestation has been a topic on the Weekly Green several times. This clever weed, as the Weekly Green found out, loves to grow around prickly pear for added security. It actually likes to burn, because its seeds are impervious to the heat that kills its competitors. During a recent tour of the Los Reales landfill, the Weekly Green observed that it seems to be particularly lush there and in the surrounding areas, assumedly because a lot of the grass removed from other parts end up there.
The Australian town of Wangaratta has a similar problem with the Australian Tumbleweed (Panicum effusum, or ‘hairy panic’). Drought conditions there are extremely favorable to this prolific weed and it is spreading so quickly, that the townspeople have to spend several hours daily battling it, just to get in or out of their houses.
One big difference with Buffelgrass, however, is that it does not burn. That is good thing for obvious reasons, but a bad thing too, because it is the reason the authorities refuse to assist in the efforts to control it.
The ICC conference last December resolved to keep global temperature rise below 2ºC by the end of the century.
A study from an international research group published in Nature Climate Change magazine, sets the amount of CO2 that can still be emitted if we want to attain that goal at 1000 billion tonnes. As the total of global emissions is 40 billion tonnes a year, that limit will be reached in 1000/40 = 25 years. After that: no more emissions.
Conversely, if emissions continue to increase as they are doing now, total emissions by the end of the century will be between 4,000 and 5,000 billion tonnes, which will produce 4ºC of warming.
The Netherlands is in grave danger of failure to comply with the ICC targets; to remedy this, it will build one of the largest, if not the largest, windmill parks in the world. The Gemini park will be 85 km offshore and not visible from the coast. It will consist of three fields of 34 sqkm each, containing a total of 150 windmills, which will generate power for 785,000 homes.
Meanwhile a Supreme Court decision has suspended President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in mid-air. The case was brought before the Court by 27 states and a number of corporations, arguing that CO2 reduction equates to loss of competitiveness and jobs. The vote was 5-4 along party lines.
In the Netherlands, loss of habitat is causing inbreeding among the squirrel population, squirrels being notoriously bad at crossing highways. So, at a cost of $200K, the City of the Hague has built a squirrel bridge across a highway separating two populations.
Regrettably, the squirrels don’t seem to get the concept. This year, only two squirrels were recorded crossing the bridge, down from 3 the year before. Even the Party of the Animals, a political party advocating animal rights with seats in the Dutch as well as the European parliament, has called it a fiasco. A motion has been submitted to stop all construction of squirrel bridges, badger tunnels and game overpasses. The construction of this bridge, incidentally, was paid for from a nature restoration fund created in connection with the move of the American Embassy from the center of the Hague to one of its suburbs.
While the Dutch worry about squirrels, concerns in India regard wild elephants. Elephants to not respond to loss of habitat the same way squirrels do. They wander into villages, often understandably angry and vent that by crushing things. The village of Ektiasal in Siliguri district , in West Bengal was by and large annihilated by just such an elephant a couple of weeks ago. See for yourself!
The change in weather patterns allegedly arising from global warming may be to thank for the wonderful early spring we’re having. The birds are a-calling and the bees are a-buzzing. And the weeds are popping out all over the place. Thinking some weeds should not be disturbed because their flowers provide the first food for the honeybees when they come out of hibernation, The Weekly Green favors the flathoe over herbicides, because it is more selective. We want to be nice to honey bees, if we want to keep enjoying our daily apple. Only – the Weekly Green does not know which specific species of weed the bees prefer. For the moment, weeds with yellow flowers get a reprieve, until such time that somebody leaves a better suggestion on the Weekly Green Facebook page, where you can also leave other comments.