the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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pick for chief scientist of the usda…is not a scientist

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photo credit: Alex Hanson 

Sam Clovis, Trumps nominee for chief scientist of the USDA, is not a scientist, he does however, question the scientific consensus that climate change is a result of human activity.

“I have looked at the science,” Clovis said, “and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed. And a lot of what we see is junk science.”

So, there we have it, the guy who will be responsible for the USDA’s $3 billion budget, which, among other things, funds research to assist in mitigating the effects of climate change on farmers and ranchers, doesn’t believe in climate change. What we see here is the epitome of fake news in the Trump era, when a man, who is not a scientist can be elevated to the position of chief scientist of a department, which relies on scientific data for much of its operations, you have to admit that reality is finally stranger than fiction. Clovis is utterly unqualified for this position, a common theme in the Trump administration, which may pose some barriers to his confirmation in the senate. The senate hearing has not yet been scheduled yet, but if Clovis is successful, it could have devastating and long-term effects on the sector.

Click HERE to read the full article.

carbon farming workshop: sequestering carbon for climate change mitigation

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Carbon Poster 2.jpgBelieve it or not, there is some good news about climate change; agriculture, if done correctly can play a powerful role in removing carbon from the atmosphere where it is wreaking havoc. This can be done by taking carbon from the atmosphere and putting it into the soil where it has the power to increase fertility, hold water, and improve crop yields. Learn more at the one-day Carbon Farming workshop in October as part of the Marin Carbon Project.


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solar cookers, the simple solution to a host of complex challenges?

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Solar cookers could not be more simple in many ways, their basic means of operation catches the suns rays and uses this heat to cook food. Some use aluminium coated plastic to do this while others other means to achieve the same effect. Either way, the opportunities afforded by solar cookers go far beyond household cooking, particularly in parts of the world experiencing a multitude of complex social, economic and environmental issues. Continue reading


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biochar, worth all the hype?

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I first heard about biochar from a gentle and unassuming older lady who was making biochar at home in her kiln. She explained the role that biochar could play in both the fight against climate change and the improvement of soil quality, before gifting me a small bag of it to try out in my own small vegetable garden. I decided to carry out some citizens science in my back yard and put biochar to the test. I planted 5 squash plants and added biochar to the soil for two of the five. To be frank, I didn’t really know what to expect but I will happily test anything that will  organically allow me to fight climate change and grow better vegetables at the same time.

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crops of the future.

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When portrayed by the film and TV media, the one thing that all fictional futures seem to have in common is a coffee shortage. Only the elite and the lucky manage to get their hands on a coveted cup of joe. In the dystopian fictional future, coffee is a black market product and in the wake of climate change, future coffee shortages may not be such a far-fetched concept after all. In 2016, Climate Institute, an Australian non-profit released a report that stated that in the next number of decades, the area of land suitable for growing coffee will decrease by about 50%. In addition to this, increased temperatures in the southern hemisphere, where much of our coffee comes from, encourages the spread of diseases and pests that affect the coffee plant, which can only grow well in a stable climate with steady levels of both heat and water.  If you are anything like me, the thought of having to start your day without a cup of freshly brewed coffee may strike fear in your heartbut fear not!

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the future of farming in new england

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After a year that put large swaths of New England in prolonged severe to extreme drought, reporter Kori Feener devoted episode two of her new podcast series to ask: what is the future of farming in New England in an increasingly erratic climate? Feener speaks to our  a small farmer, the head of environmental studies at Brandies University, and our own Severine. The experts agree, the challenges are daunting but hardly insurmountable. Realistic and yet incredibly hopeful, this is great listening for long days of seeding in the greenhouse.

To that point, the new series, Under Reported, is sleek, smart, and incredibly engaging. Based out of Boston, Feener goes beneath the headlines to give voice to the personal narratives of today’s news cycle and draw attention to what the mainstream media often ignores. “Through in-depth interviews, and audio storytelling Under Reported connects with those on the front lines of change in America.”

We also highly recommend episode one, on Standing Rock, Sovereignty, and Erasure.


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call for film submissions for change making tool-kits

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Real Food Films is calling for filmmakers to submit projects by April 1st that correspond to the themes of:

  • Crafting Public Policies for Public Health: Taking on Big Soda
  • Building Power with Food Workers
  • Tackling Climate Change Through Food

Selected films will be included in their 2017 Organizing Toolkits, which will be jam-packed with educational materials for groups and individuals interested in working in food system reform.