by Neil Stalter | Zoom Out Mycology
We here at Zoom Out Mycology are celebrating soil awareness month! With that in mind, we’re spending our Thanksgiving holidays giving thanks for everything that soil does for us. Soil is incredibly important to ecosystems around the world, but it is also fundamental to many industries that support our modern lifestyles. I certainly don’t often think about how turning on the lights in my apartment will affect soil. However- New York City, where I live, gets the vast majority of its energy (roughly 50%) from natural gas.(1)
by Alyssa Leavy | Zoom Out Mycology
An introductory guide to an environmental hazard buried in mystery.
1. What is soil and what do we use it for?
Let’s start with the basics. Soil is a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases and organic matter (humus, not hummus) that supports biodiversity. (Extension) These components provide a universal foundation with infinite uses.
A few of these uses are growing crops, filtering rainwater for underground aquifers, and landscaping, but soil weaves its way into all five sectors of the economy. We’ll dive into that concept more at the end of the month! This post will cover what soil pollution is, how it affects us, and how we can potentially counter that pollution with more sustainable practices.
by Luisa Black | Zoom Out Mycology
Virginia Beach, VA
On May 10th, 2017, a sailor on the Oceana Navy base of Virginia Beach, VA left a switch in the wrong position, and 94,000 gallons of JP-5 jet fuel spilled into the surrounding waterways, saltwater marshes, and ditches (Vergakis). Within days, dozens of animals in and around the affected waterways were found dead (Parker, “Jet fuel vapors”). Residents of the surrounding neighborhood of London Bridge reported sore throats, coughing, dizziness, headaches, and, perhaps most worrisomely, their children’s repeated nosebleeds in the immediate aftermath. The stench of burning gas hung heavy in the air for weeks afterward, choking the breath of those even briefly passing through (Parker, “Residents return”).
Our Environmental Science blog strives to explain and expose environmental topics and concerns to a wide audience. We hope that this knowledge will help all of our readers embrace a healthy and sustainable lifestyle!