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A Paris Climate COP21 Slideshow

COP21 Paris was a very hopeful event. I was at Kyoto in 1997 and this was so much bigger and more optimistic. The whole city became a giant climate learning laboratory — there were so many events it was impossible to even know about them all. Here are some photographs for a flavor of COP21 Paris. Imagine, every nation in the world had to agree, and they did. While the agreement doesn’t do enough, the requirement to come back every 5 years and do more is so important. We Can Change Climate Change. Let’s do it. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Keeping The Numbers Down in Shelters

Keeping dogs from being surrendered to shelters to start with is one way to keep numbers down. Not only is training important but one that’s not talked about as much is socialization. Training (meaning a sit, down, stay type or operant conditioning) is great. But, what if you your dog has a hard time being around people, other dogs or strange places? Then operant conditioning will only go so far. Socialization works best when it’s used as a preventative rather than a cure. Not that socialization doesn’t help older dogs, it does. But, it’s best when behaviors are prevented, then less dogs are surrendered to shelters due to behavior issues. Note that all dogs are individuals in how they respond to the environment, training, socialization and management. Here’s a pdf link to this handout seen here. Great for young pups. Marthina McClay is a professional dog trainer, behavior specialist for all breeds of dogs and the director of Our Pack, Inc. a non-profit education, training and rescue organization for pit bulls and Chihuahuas. Some of their work includes the Michael Vick case and other high profile dog fighting cases. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Opens on the South Side of Chicago

Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens has announced the opening of their fourth greenhouse: a new facility located on Chicago’s South Side in the historic Pullman neighborhood. The rooftop of the Method Products manufacturing facility is the site of the new 75,000 square foot Chicago greenhouse, powered by 100% renewable energy. The greenhouse employs over 50 workers, including many from the Pullman community. Gotham Greens, is a producer of pesticide-free produce grown through urban agriculture. The company’s growing method is said to yield up to 30 times more crop per acre than field production, enabling the Pullman greenhouse to produce yields equivalent to over 50 acres of conventional field production. The company also recycles 100% of its irrigation water, and aims for a lighter environmental footprint by growing locally. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Guilty Verdict Sends Message to Big Coal: Don’t Endanger Workers

The coal baron, Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, has been found guilty of conspiring to violate mine safety laws — a conspiracy that meant putting his company’s workers’ lives at risk. For far too long in this nation’s history, coal operators have recklessly endangered their workers’ lives, with thousands of workers dying in accidents and many hundreds of thousands more dying and suffering from black lung and associated diseases. Today’s guilty verdict should send the message to coal company executives that society will no longer tolerate this trade of miners’ lives for coal and profit. Indeed, it should send a message to CEOs across the country: No more recklessly endangering workers’ lives, and you will be held criminally liable if your actions — and inaction — cost lives. The prosecutors who brought this case deserve immense credit, for it is no small thing to go after a coal executive in coal country, and prosecutions of corporate executives remain far too rare. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

An Inconvenient Truth About Clean Diesel

The recent Volskwagen emissions scandal is not only about how emissions testing can be avoided by computer programs instead of physical technology that prevents emission. It brings into question the very core of climate policy on light duty vehicles. Around the world we developed emission standards for CO2 emissions, typically in grams of CO2/km, we developed labeling systems, and even emission taxes based on those emissions. Our wishful thinking made us think that the more efficient diesel cycle could be a solution for more climate-friendly cars, as these emitted 20 to 30 percent less CO2/km than gasoline cars. It also made us ignore those spurts of blackish exhaust coming out of these climate cars. Maybe we thought it was our imagination. What we didn’t tell consumers that real-world emissions of Euro 4 diesels were 18 times higher than gasoline. Or that even those brand new Euro 5 or 6 diesels were three to six times dirtier than gasoline. Indeed, mean emissions CO2 from car fleets decreased in European cities. But we were looking past the fact that these cities weren’t getting any cleaner in terms of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides — dangerous components of air pollution, which cause thousands of cases of mortality, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory ailments such as asthma. And now we see how cities have reacted strongly against diesel emissions. Policy makers face a new challenge now. A year ago policies pointed to promoting “clean diesel.” Labelling systems focused only on climate pollutants, and now we face an inconvenient truth. We had been promoting technologies, which may be incompatible with clean air. It’s not the first time we’ve made this mistake. Biofuels were promoted widely a decade ago. Now we see that corn ethanol is far from being carbon neutral if coal fuels its manufacturing processes. We now know that sugarcane ethanol is not so environmentally friendly if we burn the agricultural waste it produces. We have learned that palm oil biodiesel is not friendly to ecological conservation if deforestation is part of its production. And we know that climate and environmentally friendly wood is the always a main culprit of air pollution when it is used for heating. Our concerns on diesel emissions were addressed in Chile with an integrated green tax, which balances NOx emissions and efficiency in its calculation. The result is that new diesel SUV’s must pay a tax between 2000 to 5000 dollars upon purchase. And gasoline cars pay a tax much under 1000 dollars. And when diesel cars are proven to be truly clean they will pay less tax. This scandal also reminds us that policy makers must be more open to scientific research and the precautionary principal. There are dozens of papers focusing on real-world diesel emissions. Scientists were making testimony on what all cyclists know when waiting in traffic behind a diesel vehicle: that diesel at its current state is far from being deemed clean. And it also reminds us that if we don’t integrate our climate and air pollution policies, it will inevitably come at the cost of clean air, human health and livable cities. And we can’t afford that cost. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Why Dog Owners Have an Advantage

Pack leaders, mastering the walk is a must! Walking your dog daily is a great way to fulfill Fido’s physical and mental health needs, and it’s also good for your own health. In fact, a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that dog owners who walk their dogs are 34 percent more likely than others to be physically fit. And we all want to look and feel good, right? I exercise every morning in addition to walking the pack, and I need that activity to get my blood flowing. It makes me feel alive and ready to take on the day ahead. I learn more and more from dogs every day. In the simplest of times or the most complex, the fulfillment I get from my own exercise brings me fulfillment. I see how that fulfillment transforms dogs, and I work hard on bringing that into my life; constantly evolving, growing, and taking strides to be better. I hope that all people take that approach to life — setting goals but never feeling finished. Sadly, the JPAH study also found that not everyone who owned dogs walked them, only two-thirds do, and even many dog walkers are not sufficiently exercising the dogs or themselves — about half of the walkers didn’t walk frequently enough or long enough to accumulate at least 150 minutes of walking per week, which is the minimum recommendation to be moderately active. Disappointingly, some people didn’t walk their dogs at all, mostly because they had a yard and felt that was enough. So this tells me a simple fact — I need to be doing more to educate dog owners and make them aware of how important exercise is for their dog to be fulfilled and live happy, harmonious lives! Plus, the humans will benefit from it too, in more ways than one. So, my mission continues. Fall is almost here, the trees are looking beautiful, so set some goals and get out there walking. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

How to Befriend a Strange Dog Like a Dog Whisperer

This question originally appeared on Quora, the best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Answer by John Buginas, SF/SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, instructor, 2006-2009, CTC 2005: All dogs are different. ;Like people, most dogs will “tell you” if they don’t like what you are doing. They can’t talk, so they will tell you by flinching or moving away, punching you with their noses, or growling. ;As with people, your relationship will go best if you respect their boundaries and respect their personal space. ;And, as with people, once a dog is familiar with you, the two of you will learn how you can interact and have fun together. Take your cues from what dogs do when they meet and play. Try not to get caught up in speculation about dominance or pack leader or try to be the alpha dog. Keep your eyes and ears open and watch what the dog is doing. If the dog freezes, stops breathing, starts to move stiffly, stares at you with dilated pupils (“hard eye”), or the hair on their back stands up, slow down! Your attentions are not wanted. A happy dog will approach you, move fluidly, wiggle, and avoid direct eye contact. If you watch dogs greet, they rarely approach face to face. They usually approach in an arc and allow each other to sniff the other’s butt, then decide if they want to play. During the greeting, many dogs will go stiff, and their tails will wag stiffly, until they’ve made their introduction and finished sniffing each other. Initial greetings for dogs are tense until they figure out if they want to play, avoid each other, or fight. Dogs who violate the initial greeting ritual by approaching face to face; refusing the sniffing ritual; or starting to play, mouth, or jump up on another dog are acting rudely. A botched greeting can escalate into snaps and growls. Don’t be that dog. A wagging tail is not always an OK thing with a dog. If the dog is moving stiffly and the tail is held stiffly upright, this is a sign the dog is tense. If the tail is wagging in huge circles, like a helicopter in big, loose motions, and the entire back end of the dog is wiggling, the dog is likely relaxed. It’s best to crouch to get down to the dog’s level (if that’s easy for you), turned slightly to the side. Don’t approach head-on; let the dog approach you. When you reach your hand out, do so slowly, palm up, from a low position. Don’t move your hand high, in a big arc, or approach their head. Let the dog sniff you–it’s part of the ritual. (You don’t have to reciprocate). Most dogs don’t like to have you pat the top of their heads or to have hands approach their heads from on high. Most will like to have hands placed on their sides or backs. Pay attention to what the dog in front of you does. It doesn’t matter what your last dog-friend let you do to it; it’s the dog in front of you that matters. Every dog is different. Some have parts of their bodies that they don’t want touched. Stop what you are doing if the dog stiffens or rapidly pokes you with its nose. A nose-poke is a warning and is the closest thing a dog can do to politely saying “NO!” Think of a nose-poke as saying, ;Hey, stop that. Look, I can reach your hand with my mouth full of teeth. I’m giving you a warning. Many dogs will maneuver themselves to a position so your hand is where they want to be petted. Listen. What’s the best way to pet someone else’s dog? originally appeared on Quora. More questions on Quora: Pets: What are some lesser known animals that make great pets? Animals: What are some really cool ways animals defend themselves? Dogs: Does my dog really love me or is she simply acting on survival instinct (food, water, shelter)? — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]