Green-News: Thursday 12.18.08

  • This year the Vatican will recycle its Christmas tree. At 33 meters, it’s the tallest tree ever displayed in St. Peter's Square in Rome. And instead of just chucking it into the wood chipper, the Vatican will use the wood from 120-year-old tree to make toys for poor children; Reuters reports.
  • The U.S. is now growing a lot of maize for biofuels. But experts insist the lack of crop-diversity is messing with bug populations. Meaning there are less insects to eat pests that harm crops. Maize fields attract fewer ladybugs to eat the aphids that damage soybeans; NewScientist explains.
  • We all assume temperatures are constantly on the rise, but according to a new report, 2008 was actually the 10th warmest year since 1850. But, without humans mucking up the climate we would have been 50% less likely to see a year as warm as 2008; The New York Times investigates.
  • Despite their bad reputation, Cuba is a leader in the “eat local” movement. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of local gardens to make up for the lack of imported food, setting up urban gardens next to parking lots and even on city rooftops; via ENN.
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