The decline of insects has been well established now. It concerns both their abundance and their diversity, and spans all continents. If they decline even more, we will run into unknown risks, because we depend on them in many ways, partly unknown. We know enough to act now. Let’s build environments in which our little
A publication in Science last year triggered a debate: can we stop climate change by planting billions of trees? These trees would capture CO2 and in so doing, save the earth from overheating. Indeed: trees planted in sufficient numbers could stop global heating. But wouldn’t such a scheme of reforestation end up in a technical
Figures on global 2019 climate have come in and global warming does not seem to slow down. Many new records were set, like that on ocean water temperatures. That 2019 is not the hottest year on record is only due to a very slight El Niño effect in 2019 (as opposed to the hottest year
By the end of last year, Dutch Rathenau Institute produced a thought-provoking report on the energy transition (in Dutch). We need artificial intelligence, sensors and other data applications in the energy transition, according to the report. Because we need to switch from a top-down electricity grid to a grid that will primarily be fed from
The Conversation, that invaluable source of balanced information, ran an article on carbon storage in the soil. Potentially, one of our main instruments for controlling the rise of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. But present developments point the other way: carbon emissions and soil depletion, at a pace that might even harm the world’s agricultural
When researchers discovered the CRISPR-Cas mechanism, it was looked upon as the perfect instrument for genetic modification (GM). But it appears to have its flaws. Flaws that might be inherent to life and to nature as such. This is a shortened passage from the book ‘Naturally! Of course. How nature never stops surprising us’ (in
When talking of technology, many people nowadays have ICT in mind. But then they neglect the major steps forward taken by the life sciences: all chemical and biological knowledge of living organisms. We keep discovering new phenomena. Naturally! Of course. Nature will surprise us again and again. This is a preview of the book Naturally!
Last month, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation completed a series of reports on climate change with a strong message. Don’t just reduce emissions; restructure the economy as well, from a once-through wasteful economy to a circular economy. Or else, industry and agriculture will continue to emit a lot of greenhouse gases, because of their sheer size