- 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.
2 thoughts on “SustainabLINKS August 26, 2014”
The article on Vandana Shiva is a little hard for me because as a young student, I really admired her. However she seems to be incapable of recognizing trade-offs and the nuances of a complex system. For example, with bt cotton, scientists were able to protect the plants from destruction without the use of the tons of chemicals that were previously used (without chemicals the farmers would loose everything so that isn’t a great option either). What would she have–farmers loose their livelihoods or use tons of carcinogenic chemicals? Similarly, the Green Revolution had trade-offs but it did enable an increase in productivity (e.g., feed more people).
While I think more transparency & research is needed, I believe that any ‘all or none strategy’ is destined for failure.
Yes, the answer will not be absolute traditional agriculture or 100% transgenic agriculture but some synergy of science, tradition and ecology along with better diet and eating patterns.