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Urban Transportation – Is A Big Change Looming?

Positive Future #320 (Feature photo – The Electric Car SIN – Courtesy of Biomega) The major components of a transportation vehicle are becoming more simple – electric motors and new high-tech batteries. Going away are the more complicated gas engines, heavy transmissions and the like. Currently, cars have an average of 28,000 to 30,000 parts – many of which are moving and need lubrication. The simplification of the car means that even small nations can now get involved in re-inventing cars and transportation. The bicycle company called Biomega, from the small nation of Denmark (less than 6 million people), is actually taking a run at re-inventing urban vehicles. Its new…

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Cowboy Robot

Touch the Soil News #1166 (Feature photo – Large Feedlot – Public Domian) Cargill just announced the offering of its “Cowboy Robot”. Colored green and weighing in at 1,500 pounds, the robot can help large feedlots move animals safely. Livestock are unpredictable and can turn on an employee unexpectedly. Cargill’s cowboy robot is remotely controlled by employees standing on the sidelines and moving livestock through chutes: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Education on Growing Food – A Good Way to Improve the World

Touch the Soil News #1164 (Feature photo – Aquaponics System – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) When we think about our education, very rarely – if ever – do we recount growing grapes and potatoes in high school. We know nothing about aquaponics or how to bake bread from scratch using an outdoor wood-fired oven. Dan Kunanec, from the Don Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada is setting a new global standard on what should be in public education. In short, students should be conversant in a broad range of urban food-growing skills. You can read the full story on the following link: http://www.agri-tecture.com/ Want More? – Sign up below Special…

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Have an Acre of Ground? Turn it into A Farm

Touch the Soil News #1163 (Feature photo – Chickens – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) AZCentral News just covered a story about an average family whose home was located on a 1-acre parcel. The family decided to milk goats, feed chickens and grow vegetables in their own backyard. You can read the full story here: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/gilbert/2018/10/26/gilbert-family-becomes-youtube-stars-suburban-farm/1447678002/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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CP Rail Destroys Homeless Man’s Garden

Touch the Soil News #1155 (Feature photo – CP Rail – CCA 2.0 Generic) For three years, homeless 70-year old Joe Krupa tended a small food and flower garden along railroad tracks in the town of Mississauga, Canada. Krupa cleaned up an area strewn with junk to start the garden – a project that drew neighbors together in support of the effort and as a point of social interaction. Calling it a safety hazard, CP rail had it demolished. You can read the full story here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/cp-rail-razes-homeless-man-s-garden-due-to-safety-concerns-1.4142911 Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Solar Flow Battery – A New Energy Future

Positive Future #269 (Feature photo – The Sun – photo courtesy of NASA) Efficiencies in energy storage – given the popularity of Tesla Power Walls and larger grid storage systems – is at the root of the disappearance of coal and natural gas from our electricity grids. CleanTechnica journalist Tina Casey provides some greater insights into a new energy future that is unfolding: You can read the full story here: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/01/more-bad-news-for-coal-gas-solar-flow-battery-edition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29 Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Ireland to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Positive Future #205 (Feature photo – Coat of Arms of Ireland – CCA 3.0 Unported) Ireland, a modest-sized nation of 6.5 million people, is the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. Called the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, all public monies that have been invested in fossil fuel companies will be sold and pulled out. The sell-off is estimated to be around $500 million across some 150 different companies. Passed by Ireland’s Lower House, the bill still needs to be passed by its Upper House. Broad political support for the divestment from Ireland’s political parties means that the bill is expected to pass and become law by…

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Americans Spend More Eating Out Than Eating at Home

Touch the Soil News #1065 (Feature photo – Chipotle, Part of the Eating-Out Scene – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Total U.S. Food Expenditures are pushing past $1.5 trillion a year. Recent USDA reports reveal that over half of this total is now spent on eating out. The food chain is changing and Phil Lempert explains some of the major trends unfolding in the following video clip: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Farming the Desert Sands

Touch the Soil News #1064 (Feature photo – Desert sands on the outskirts of Abu Dubai, the largest city in the UAE – CCA SA 2.5 Generic) Technologies are emerging which allows sand to hold water and for microbes to flourish that maintain the soil and bring nutrients to plant roots. At the forefront of these technologies is China, which has demonstrated successes in turning deserts into farmable areas that can produce over 40 different kinds of crop. The United Arab Emirates is a desert nation that must import up to 90 percent of its food. The UAE, in cooperation with Chinese firms, is planning to start testing/developing desert soilisation…

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Soybeans in the Crosshairs

Touch the Soil News #1059 (Feature photo – Soybean Field – GNU Free Doc License) America is farming 322 million acres of cropland in 2018. Of those acres, almost 90 million (28%) are planted to soybeans. Last year China purchased $14 billion of U.S. Soybeans – a market that underpins a significant share of farm income. The problem is that South America is also a large soybean producer. This means the U.S. is not the only farmer in the world. At the crux of the matter is that trade wars could hurt the most vulnerable – farmers and poor people with insufficient purchasing power. One must ask, why is the…

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