Food news: Christie Wilcox covers in more depth what I wrote about briefly, how concerned should we be about pesticide residue on food? “To date, there is no scientific evidence that eating an organic diet leads to better health.” Two interesting graphics-how the world wastes food and a fun set of glimpses of what a … Read more…
- Climate change news:
- Study out of MIT suggests that cutting carbon emissions will virtually pay for itself with health savings…
- Which is good because the World Bank is more forcefully concerned about how climate change will impact agriculture, particularly in Africa…
- And yet even clearly communicating the issues is probably not enough to motivate the public to the necessary change.
- Interesting discussion (if somewhat academic in tone) of how individuals responses to a changing climate needs to be taken into account when modeling the future.
- Dr. Shiva’s response to last week’s New Yorker piece. While correcting some errors and oversights, she does not make a very convincing case for her all-out war against GMOs (and her belief in a conspiracy against her shines through).
- Even massive reforestation efforts in China are falling short. Fixing our mistakes is much harder and more expensive than avoiding them.
- Quick review of the startling high extinction rate humans are driving (ignore the silly title and questions about how this links to human extinction-seems to have been thrown in to generate clicks). An issue worth reflecting about on the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
- Great visual with which you can explore Louisiana’s disappearing coast.
I must admit that I generally greet the regular semi-sensational internet titles about how China is Achieving Sustainability such as “China has just built 20 million miles of high speed rail when the USA can’t build any” with a large degree of skepticism. For this I have three main justifications: Authoritarian governments can make absolute … Read more…
In his 2011 book Conundrum, David Owen asks a fundamental question–can we commit to doing what is necessary to really Achieving Sustainability? Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices, to reduce our consumption as both individuals and societies on a massive scale? As his subtitle points out Owen is really asking these questions about … Read more…
- On our global food system:
- “Just 55% of the world’s crop calories are consumed directly by humans”, sounds like some room for improvement.
- “The biggest problem facing modern day manure management: farmers and stockmen often work in separate geographic areas.” Sustainability will require bringing them back together.
- In depth, well-informed and critical look at Vandana Shiva’s knee-jerk and extreme anti-GMO stance.
- Glad to hear that this project has only grown since I got a chance to check it out some years ago. Inspiration!
- Good news in continuing setbacks for coal in the Midwest and their aspirations to export it out of Oregon.
- Stephen Bocking contends that universities divesting from fossil fuels is mostly window dressing–divest from parking lots instead!
- A long, wandering account of a voyage to sample plastic pollution in the South Atlantic, interspersed with somewhat sensational claims about it’s impact.
- Feeling disillusioned about hopes for conservation? Joern Fischer suggests that connecting to colleagues and focusing inwards can help propel you forward.
- “Giving people an opportunity to have fun while doing “good” is far more effective than asking people to make a sacrifice for an abstract notion of the common good. If water agencies throughout the state could come up with a water conservation equivalent of the Ice Bucket Challenge the results could be pretty powerful.” and more good stuff like that.
- The incentives to produce and publicize “surprising” study results (regardless of their validity, robustness or repeatability) are powerful. All consumers of news must be more aware and those knowledgeable enough must publicly provide critique and counterpoint.
When I wrote about the two competing words for Sustainability in Spanish, I focused my discussion on using some of Google’s tools to analyze usage in the hopes of providing a new perspective on the issue. I have neither standing nor the ability to comment personally on the linguistic appropriateness of the two sustainabilitys. Fortunately, … Read more…
- Stimulus money spent on rail has gotten nearly as much scorn as Sloyndra but Michael Grunwald1)Who wrote a whole book defending of the impact of the stimulus. that this is completely undeserved.
- Buying bottled water from drought stricken California. Crazier than buying water from Fiji?
- “For more Americans to choose healthier food they must have a basic sense of security about their future.”
- A decade and a half after Bowling Alone (which I reviewed here), our un-neighborliness continues to increase–with consequences for our health and our politics.
- If you have tried to walk anywhere on windy, overly wide suburban roads with no services for miles, you know the frustration that would make anyone give up walking-and active lifestyles overall.
- The small minority of scientists who maintain contrarian views on climate change are asked far more frequently to pontificate to the media than their peers, which feeds the continuing unbalanced coverage in the media of climate change–see John Oliver for a more balanced approach.
- Meanwhile, the worst case scenarios for climate change are looking worse as Antarctic ice has the potential to cause more sea rise and faster than previously thought.
- Is air-conditioning Sustainable (in the multi-faceted capital-S sense)? Well we can certainly agree that it has remade us.
- Title says it all: “Not a single person has died using bike share in the US.”
The school year is starting up again and if you are interested in gaining an academic perspective on Achieving Sustainability, there is no better place to do that than at Arizona State University’s (ASU) School of Sustainability (SOS). Disclosure: I got my master’s degree there from 2008-2010. The current dean, Dr. Christopher Boone is laying … Read more…
Seems to be a lot of discussion about food system sustainability recently:
- The “evidence” which shows the harmfulness of GMOs to human health doesn’t stand up well to critique.
- Irradiation of seeds is one method used in traditional crop breeding. Not so traditional? “Traditions” usually are not.
- It is not surprising that the number of farmer’s markets are no longer increasing so fast, but the more interesting information would be whether the number of vendors and shoppers per market is increasing.
- The author of this post asks: why do most people (including conservationists) persist with diets that are so clearly damaging to the environment? This is a question we all need to be asking.
- A non-food article! Ontario has made incredible progress on eliminating the use of coal, some reasons are unique to it’s situation, but there are many lessons to learn.
- Bets on new technologies are risky and don’t payout right away but its looking like another one of those infamous Department of Energy loans is going to work out pretty well. We need more of this!!
One thing you will notice on this website, and certainly something that the spell checkers do, is that I capitalize the S in Sustainability. The reason is simple. Sustainability in the sense that I mean it- “Achieving the highest quality of life possible for the most people at the most times and places within the … Read more…