3 Stories about Plants You Probably Missed This Week

  • Hemlock trees in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Photo: Kara Holsopple

July 25, 2014

Here's a quick roundup of three news stories about plants that made it into our inboxes this week.

1. When it come to plants, climate change can get in line

From the school that was just in the news for firing a prominent researcher looking into how marijuana could help post traumatic stress disorder victims comes another bit of plant news. University of Arizona researchers found that a warming climate has a relatively minor effect on plant productivity, compared to the size and age of plants. They said they used a new mathematical theory with data from a thousand forests to make their conclusions.

2. Burning biomass isn't squeaky clean

A policy organization is trying to do a kind of big reveal on biomass. The Partnership for Policy Integrity is reporting to the Federal Trade Commission that 17 companies are greenwashing. That is, the partnership says these companies claim that biomass power—specifically burning wood for electricity—is “clean” and “carbon neutral.” The companies accused include Dominion Resources, which operates in West Virginia. 

3. Roundup redux?

And let’s get back to weed, shall we? Weed killer anyway. The Environmental Working Group is calling out Dow Chemical for seeking federal approval to market the new herbicide Enlist Duo.The EWG is the same chemical used in the controversial Roundup spray and says the mixture has been shown to increase the risk of endocrine and reproductive system disruption, Parkinson’s disease and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.