the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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audio from the techno utopia conference is now available online

45 LEADING SCHOLARS, AUTHORS AND ACTIVISTS (including our own Severine von Tscharner-Fleming) convened at The Great Hall of Cooper Union, New York City, for a public “TEACH-IN” on the profound impacts—environmental, economic and social—of runaway technological expansionism and cyber immersion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. A change of direction is required, returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision making.

Click here to listen to the amazing panel discussions by this event.


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interview with claire hope cummings, seed advocate extraordinaire!

Interview can be found on ethicalfoods.com!

Seeds live at the heart of our food system. Seeded plants provide us with just about everything we need to live, from most of our foods, clothing, shelter, and even the air we breathe! Seeds are living organisms and part of the great web of life. So to have a private company buy up valuable seed collections, own them, and patent the genetic basis for our most vital food crops is a real threat to our food security. Seeds are a gift of creation, and the natural world belongs to all humanity, it is our common wealth. Now, a handful of companies decide what plants are useful to them for profit and discard the rest. This is an ignorant approach to life on earth.

Very few people know that agro-chemical companies privately own almost of all useful seeds and they do not have the public interest in mind. They decide what seeds are available. In some areas farmers can’t get any seeds other than what Monsanto makes available. And Monsanto, for instance, forbids farmers and researchers to study and improve basic food and fiber plants. This threat is largely invisible but it will become an issue for everyone the next time we need ways to cope with droughts or diseases, because public access to the greatest amount of genetic diversity is the key to both our abundance and survival. When people still had the means to grow food and save seeds locally, that dispersed food system was far more resilient than what we have now. Even if certain crops don’t get grown, we will regret allowing the privatization of our seed supply.

Click HERE to read her answers to the following questions:

What threat does genetic engineering pose to human and environmental health?

How has genetic seed engineering impacted small-scale and subsistence farmers in particular?

Why do you think America in particular has charged headlong into genetic modification while other countries have largely banned or strictly regulated GMO foods?

What is your take on Synthetic Biology, or synbio, and its agricultural applications? Could synbio have potential benefits as the world population grows, or will it further endanger our food systems?

Is there any hope of saving traditional farming methods and biodiversity?

How can backyard farmers and gardening enthusiasts ensure their seeds have not been genetically altered?


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rice growing regions in china are more cooperative, interdependent

This story is part of National Geographic‘s special eight-month Future of Food series.

Rice and wheat do more than feed the world. They have also affected the way we think—in dramatically different ways.

That is the result of a study published Thursday in Science comparing people from different parts of China. Researchers led by Thomas Talhelm of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, found that people from rice-growing regions think in more interdependent and holistic ways than do those from wheat-growing areas.

Talhelm thinks these differences arose because it takes much more cooperation and overall effort to grow rice than wheat. To successfully plant and harvest rice, farmers must work together to build complex irrigation systems and set up labor exchanges. Over time, this need for teamwork fosters an interdependent and collectivist psychology. To read more, click HERE!


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china refuses gmo corn from USA, cargill loses 90 million dollars

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc has suffered more than $90 million in damages from China’s rejections of U.S. corn containing a genetically modified trait developed by Syngenta AG, the grain trader said in a lawsuit on Friday.

The damages are a “direct and proximate result” of Syngenta’s decision to sell its Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, before China approved the variety for import, according to the lawsuit.

Cargill sued a unit of Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemicals company, in Louisiana state court for damages stemming from the rejections. To read more about this AGRIBUSINESS DRAMA, CLICK HERE!


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for boat lovers and climate noticers: hudson river activities

Seachange

Float on New York: A Waterborne People’s Climate Convergence

August 31 – September 13, 2014

  •  160 Miles in Human Powered Vessels in 2 Weeks
  • A Climate Justice Flotilla

 

A fleet of full-scale paper boats is going afloat on the Hudson River, charting a course from upstate New York to New York City in a convergence of art and activism to coincide with the meeting of world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit. To learn more, click—>HERE


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video on agroforestry fundamentals: a must watch for all

A Swiss-born man named Ernst Gotsch has spent the past 30 years developing an agroforestry system based on the natural succession of species and soil improvement in Brazil. He has developed and refined a technique of planting which can be applied to different ecosystems, but his actions in Bahia, Brazil have lead to the complete restoration of nearly 1200 acres of degraded Atlantic rainforests (from logging, pig farming, monocultures, etc). To see more of his videos, click HERE.  <—And we really do hope you check out more of his videos, this guy is amazing.

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