the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

the year that ended dangerously: the ETC’s ireverant, snarky, and spot-on end of year review

etc_kitty_kitty_cartoon

The ETC’s Report also contains this fabulous comic.

Every year, our friends at the ETC (stands for Action Group on Erosion, Technology, and Concentration) puts out an, as they say, “irreverent,” year-end recap– and this year’s is out now! We’ve compiled a brief list of the highlights from the 2015 edition of the ETC’s yearly End of Year Review:

  • Comparing itself to the Grinch that Stole Christmas when complaining about the Paris attacks, the ETC explains how in the proceedings the Climate Activists “lost time and ground that we can’t recover.”
  • Turns out phytoplankton are carbon sequesters.
  • The Good and the Bad news coming out of the tech sphere (gene drives, AI, Ben and Jerry’s, Technology Bank…)
  • Whimsical historical anecdotes from the year (good moral boosters)
  • And this favorite quote: ““Let’s be clear about this, our company was dishonest. And in my German words, we have totally screwed up.”
  • A not-to-be-missed reading list!
  • Clairvoyant prophecies regarding 2016.

Read it here!


Leave a comment

for your pod bud ears

CREAR1985

“And one of those farmer’s said, ‘you know we can do this work. This is our lives. We have pride in what we do, this is hard work: building these terraces year after year for a thousand years. This is a part of our culture and that’s why we can do it.’ Now, the whole world is going to have to do that pretty soon. Where are we going to  build these resources? So those resources are only going to come out of people who are accustomed, only going to come from farmers, farming families, people accustomed, campesinos, people who work, the small farmers, the millions and millions of small farmers all over the work. The farmers are going to have to reshape the earth and we are going to have to support those farmers to do that.”

-Mark Freeeman, found of CREAR on the Agricultural Innovations podcast. A fascinating conversation about climate change, rural infrastructure in the Dominican Republic and New Mexico, skepticism of new technology, distrust of institutions, and the difficulty of finding hope.


Leave a comment

developing the grape cultivars of the future

With a focus on disease resistance and hardiness, researchers are hard at work developing the grape cultivars of the future.

Through a multidisciplinary collaborative project called VitisGen, researchers are are working to decrease the time, effort, and cost of developing these new grapes.

According to the VitisGen website, the project “incorporates cutting-edge genomics technology and socioeconomic research into the traditional grape breeding and evaluation process, which will speed up the ability to identify important genes related consumer-valued traits like disease resistance, low temperature tolerance and enhanced fruit quality.”

To learn more about VitisGen, click HERE!

vitis-gen-web-banner-4


Leave a comment

global action plan for agricultural diversification

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 3.59.24 PM
From over half a million plant species on the planet, we currently rely on just four crops (wheat, rice, maize and soybean) for more than three-quarters of our food supply. These `major’ crops are grown in a limited number of exporting countries, usually as monocultures, and are
highly dependent on inputs such as fertiliser and irrigation. Over 7 billion people depend on the productivity of these major crops not just for their direct food needs but increasingly as raw materials for livestock and aquaculture feeds and bioenergy systems.
A global population approaching 9 billion people, living in a hotter world with scarce water and energy resources represent a `Perfect Storm’ for humanity. In these circumstances, the major crops alone may not be able to meet the world’s food and nutritional requirements. Even if crop yields can meet the food demands of a growing population, they may not provide
adequate nutrition. The double-burden of over and under-nutrition (Hidden Hunger) is a major concern. Nutrient-poor and energy-rich diets are linked with lack of dietary diversity


Leave a comment

protect our babies

Glyphosate_USA_2011

We’re reposting this message from Michelle in California, as sent by Mom’s Across America. It’s powerful and important. Please take the time to visit, read, and consider signing and sharing the petition at the bottom.

Trigger warning: content about birth defects, miscarriage, and infant death.

“I lost my baby due to anencephaly.  I was exposed to Roundup (glyphosate) when a family member sprayed our yard early in my pregnancy. My baby was born without a brain, took a few breaths, and died. When I heard about the increased birth defects in HawaiiWashington State, and now the UK, and learned that glyphosate and atrazine have been linked to these birth defects, I knew I had to speak up.  People don’t know that these toxic chemicals we are spraying in our yards, on farms and orchards, city parks, county roads, and water ways could be killing our babies.

This has to stop.

I am starting this petition to raise awareness and to ask the EPA to do 3 things:

  1. Test the affected area resident’s water, urine and breast milk for glyphosate, atrazine, lead and other toxins to prevent further deaths.
  2. Require proof of safety via tests of the COMBINATIONS, all the ingredients in the products together, not just one “active chemical ingredient”. If the entire product is not proven safe it should not be permitted anywhere.
  3. Ban toxic chemicals from products that can be used in gardens, school yards, trees, public spaces on feed and food crops.

I am asking moms in America to speak up too, go to www.momsacrossamerica.com/action and apply for free glyphosate and pesticide water and urine testing if you have had multiple miscarriages or a baby with anencephalygastrochisis or other birth defects. If you know of a childhood cancer cluster, please also ask those parents to come forward and also apply to get their children tested.

When we know better, we do better. It is time to face the fear of knowing so we can take action and save lives.

Please sign and share this petition!
Thank you.”


Leave a comment

global agribusiness mergers not a done deal

Agribusiness Merger

The $130 billion Dow-DuPont merger announced last week has rekindled ChemChina’s $44.6 billion bid for Syngenta which, in turn, may provoke a fourth takeover try by Monsanto. If ChemChina prevails, Monsanto is likely to look for a deal with either BASF or Bayer. If they get their way, the world’s Big Six agricultural input companies controlling 75% of global agricultural R&D may be reduced to three or four. Even if only the Dow-DuPont deal gets past competition regulators, the new enterprise will control 25% of global commercial seed sales and 16% of world pesticide sales, meaning that, together with Monsanto, just two companies would control 51% of seed sales and one quarter of the pesticide market.

But regulatory acceptance is far from a done deal according to a new 20-page report issued today by ETC Group.[1] Continue reading


1 Comment

among other failures paris deal mentions agriculture a whopping zero times

CWCo_cCWcAIX9ew

15,000 Parisians protesting the Climate Deal. photo by the New Internationalist

Maybe you heard that the Climate Summit in Paris had lead to an “landmark deal,” and you were as skeptical as we were. Maybe you also wondered how often the word “agriculture” appeared in the climate deal or how indigenous groups were responding to the agreement.

Feed your skepticism! Danny Chivers and Jess Worth of The New Internationalist provide a well-reasoned, data-driven, alternative perspective on the deal as a whole, that is a must read for anyone concerned about climate chance.

In order to have a decent chance of reaching that 1.5° target, we need to keep at least 80 percent of known fossil fuels in the ground, and urgently halt the exploration and extraction of new sources. We need to stop deforestation and reduce other greenhouse gases such as methane, by tackling major drivers such as the growth of animal agriculture. But the Paris agreement contains no mention of the words ‘fossil fuel’ – no coal, no oil, no gas – and not a whisper about the livestock, palm oil and other industries driving deforestation either. (Read more here!)

For Greenhorns, the absence of agriculture from the agreement is deeply troubling, as we agree with Slow Food, who released this press release over a month ago arguing that “only through a radical paradigm shift in the current system of food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste can we hope to mitigate climate change.”

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 714 other followers