Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Industrial agriculture (41)

Methane emissions surge threatens climate change goals

CBC News / 12 December 2016

Robert Jackson, a co-author of the paper and professor in Earth system science at Stanford University, said methane can come from many different sources, including natural sources such as marshes and other wetlands, but about 60 percent comes from human activities, notably agriculture.

A smaller portion of the human contribution, about a third, comes from fossil fuel exploration, where methane can leak from oil and gas wells during drilling.

“When it comes to methane, there has been a lot of focus on the fossil fuel industry, but we need to look just as hard, if not harder, at agriculture,” Jackson said.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Why a new national strategy on food can’t satisfy all

Globe and Mail / Ann Hui / 24 October 2016

national-food-policy-objectivesMs. Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada, rattled off a long list of issues: poverty and social injustice, climate change and the environment, obesity and diet-related disease. “Food policy can help us solve some of the most intractable problems we are facing as a country, and as a planet,” she said.

After that, it was time for Greg Meredith, the man whose job it will be to put together the long-awaited policy, to take the stage.

Mr. Meredith, an assistant deputy minister at Agriculture Canada who will chair the committee that works on the policy, approached the mic. “Thank you,” he said, gesturing at Ms. Bronson, “for raising expectations so high that it’s impossible for me to do my job.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Why the food movement is unstoppable

Independent Science News / Jonathan Latham / 20 September 2016

jose-bove-farmer-activistNot long ago, the New York Times asserted that the centre aisles of US supermarkets are being called “the morgue” because sales of junk food are crashing; meanwhile, an international consultant told Bloomberg magazine that “there’s complete paranoia“, at major food companies where the food movement is being taken very seriously.

The context of that paranoia is that food movements are rapidly growing social and political phenomena almost all over the world. In the US alone, there have been surges of interest in heirloom seeds, in craft beers, in traditional bread and baking, in the demand for city garden plots, in organic food, and in opposition to GMOs. Simultaneously, there has been a massive growth of interest in food on social media and the initiation or renewal of institutions such as SlowFood USA and the Grange movement, to name just a few.

Even at the normally much quieter farming end of the food value chain, agribusiness has had to resort to buying up “independent” academics and social media supporters to boost the case for GMOs and pesticides.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Vanishing act: Why insects are declining and why it matters

Yale E360 / Christian Schwägerl / 06 July 2016

invertebrate populationsA 2014 study in Science documented a steep drop in insect and invertebrate populations worldwide. By combining data from the few comprehensive studies that exist, lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, an ecologist at Stanford University, developed a global index for invertebrate abundance that showed a 45 percent decline over the last four decades. Dirzo points out that out of 3,623 terrestrial invertebrate species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN] Red List, 42 percent are classified as threatened with extinction.

“Although invertebrates are the least well-evaluated faunal groups within the IUCN database, the available information suggests a dire situation in many parts of the world,” says Dirzo.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Understanding glyphosate toxicity: An interview

Mother Earth News / Hannah Kincaid, Thierry Vrain / June/July 2016

Glyphosate-ToxicityVrain: Recent scientific studies clearly show that glyphosate doesn’t degrade easily in soil or in humans and animals. A German study suggests that glyphosate accumulates in all organs (liver, kidneys, intestines, heart, lungs, bones, and so on) of animals and people eating food products made from Roundup Ready crops.

Monsanto and the North American government regulatory agencies have promoted glyphosate as the safest herbicide for 40 years. It was assumed at the time of its registration that it couldn’t affect animals because the Shikimate Pathway (where it impairs protein synthesis) is present in plants and bacteria but not in animals. However, the past 10 years have brought enormous progress in our understanding of the pre-eminent role of the microbiome in animal physiology. In humans, it turns out that the 100 trillion bacterial cells that live in our intestines — and that do contain the Shikimate Pathway — play an absolutely essential role in the health of most of our organs.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Organic farmers are not anti-science – that’s genetic engineers

The Ecologist / Elizabeth Henderson / 24 May 2016

red clover cover cropThose opposed to the mass release of GM crops and foods inadequately tested for health and ecological safety are routinely accused of being anti-science, writes Elizabeth Henderson. But it’s the GM corporations and their academic allies that are suppressing scientific research, and organic farmers that are building alliances with independent scientists for a future of safe, healthy food.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

 

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