Dan Straub

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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
I agree that it probably won't be a solution. However thats very interesting they could be so profitable, I had no idea. Completely agree that westerners will have a hard time getting used to the idea of eating bugs. I think if the demand does become present Americans will definitely become interested, especially if there is a lot of money to be made. At least in the production of insects. Possibly through that the stigma surrounding them would lessen.
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
We already cant feed the population as it is. 1 billion people are chronically hungry and by 2050 the populations is expected to gain another 2 billion, almost certainly adding to the list of those hungry. According to a report “Edible Insects” put out by the U.N., expanding land to use for farming is scarce, the oceans are over fished and climate change will affect many aspects of food production. These facts, along with the expanding population lead the U.N. to the conclusion that “we need to find new ways of growing food.” Which I agree with. In the U.N.’s very long and detailed report about eating insects they outline ways to process food (insects) for feed and consumption, farming insects, the nutritional value of insects, food safety and preservation, the economics of farming and eating insets, among other aspects of the issue. This seems to be very thought out and undoubtedly more should be done to look into it, as well as other ideas. As far as fixing the problem that is at hand and that will only become more blaring as time comes, I do not think it is a fix but more a step in the right direction. Link to the U.N. report is below. Sites good research articles. http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e00.htm
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Dont know if anyone has posted this yet. National Geographic did an article about about a recent study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. In the study the researchers showed that an exposure to certain pesticides inhibited the bees memory and communication skills (waggle dance). Both memory and communication are crucial for pollination and the bees survival. If either is affected than pollination rates and bees ability to survive could be effected. Interesting read. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130213-honeybee-pesticide-insect-behavior-science/ http://jeb.biologists.org/content/early/2013/02/04/jeb.083931.abstract.html?papetoc
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Yup. I'm on board with the Idea of preserving the colonies we have and agree that we need to find what is causing the CCD. I think its best to try and figure out what happening with the bees we do have left, like you said, before moving on to things like the urban farms. Granted I think that there will most likely be a need for them down the road. I think it is vital to help the ones we do have now and figure out what is destroying them now. I just think that if we put all efforts into into the urban farms will the CCD just move to those farms from the hives we have now if they aren't taken care of?
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I think the idea the of discovering a new energy source would greatly beneficial. But I don't think that Brazil has the time to develop a whole new energy sources altogether. To meet the demand they are facing in the near feature it seems they are going to have to go with sources that are already reliable. Which is why it seems they chose to go forward with hydropower.
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I completely agree about using wind and solar as a better alternative. And agree it probably isn't enough to power all of their needs. A compromise would be nice to see maybe using wind, solar and hydropower all together. Using a different dam not nearly as massive and where it would not cause as much damage as the purposed dam would at the big bend. That to me might be ideal.
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
Brazils need for power is predicted to go up by 6000MW a year for the next ten years. With the energy sources it has in place it will not be able to meet this need. So it is going to have to do something to get this energy. Brazil has many choices, offshore oil and gas, hydropower, soar and wind, sugarcane bagasses as well as shale gas. All of which have pros and cons. Because of Brazils vast diversity it has many choices in which way it would like to go to harness energy. It is interesting that they seem to have chosen hydropower. With any choice they make biodiversity will be lost but are they making the best choice? Seems they are going forward with this regardless. Not scientific but really good a recent article from The Economist below which goes into depth about the impact on the native people in which Brazil plans to pay people for migration and compensation. However is that right? http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21577073-having-spent-heavily-make-worlds-third-biggest-hydroelectric-project-greener-brazil
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Dan Straub
Posted about 1 year ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
Absolutely people are going to resist an idea like this, people love their pets. I think that he is on the right track; some kind of regulation with these cats needs to be done. I agree with targeting stray and feral cats and an increasing owner accountability. Total elimination of the cat however I do not think is likely. An attempt to regulate stray and feral cats would be an easier task to tackle. On average they kill more birds than pet cats and will probably be met with less resistance than attempting to regulate peoples pets. Places where feral cat eradication has been successful have been islands (see link). Feral cats are particularly damaging to islands, especially seabirds which form tightly packed nesting groups that can be easily destroyed. An example of a successful eradication happened on the island Marion. Marion is an uninhabited island and the eradication process took 15 years to complete. The review attached, from Conservation Biology, shows that this can be done on the small scale, but transferring it to the US or trying to just eradicate the feral cats and not pet cats will undoubtedly prove to be a very difficult undertaking. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00442.x/full
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Dan Straub
Posted over 1 year ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Taking away some of the bad microbes might be an easier way to do things then trying to add the mass amounts of healthy ones