Category: Biodiversity

Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing

Back in 2007, when the words ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ first hit the media spotlight, I wrote an article that sought to steer through all the reductionist scientific responses — where scientists and the public sought silver bullet solutions by trying to pinpoint a single cause for the mysterious and globally widespread disappearance of millions of bees — to share my thoughts that CCD was not caused by just a single […]

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The Global Land Rush

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Between 2007 and mid-2008, world grain and soybean prices more than doubled. As food prices climbed everywhere, some exporting countries began to restrict grain shipments in an effort to limit food price inflation at home. Importing countries panicked. Some tried to negotiate long-term grain supply agreements with exporting countries, but in a seller’s market, few were successful. Seemingly overnight, importing countries realized that […]

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Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture – UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System

A rising chorus from UN agencies on how food security, poverty, gender inequality and climate change can all be addressed by a radical transformation of our agriculture and food system. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website and is otherwise available for download here. Agriculture the problem and the solution to climate change Record breaking heat waves sweeping over both […]

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Draw the Line Against Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline on September 21st, 2013

Last week Canadian Prime Minister Harper reportedly offered to make a deal with President Obama to get approval from the President for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. (Wait for it…) Apparently, Harper offered unspecified "joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector" in exchange for a pipeline that will carry and emit the equivalent of 37 million cars worth of carbon pollution each year. […]

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For More Wonder, Rewild the World (TED video)

Wolves were once native to the US’ Yellowstone National Park — until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food […]

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Abbottalypse Now

Tony Abbott intends to trash Australia on behalf of the super-rich. by George Monbiot His views have changed, but don’t expect Tony Abbott to acknowledge this, let alone apologise to Australians for misleading them. In 2009 he maintained that manmade climate change is “absolute crap”. Now he says “I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution.” But he has merely switched from denying global warming to denying […]

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Obstinate Questionings

The Lake District’s bid for World Heritage status shows just what a mess conservation is in. by George Monbiot But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realised…. — William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality. It’s the most celebrated landscape in Britain. It’s the spiritual home of the Romantic movement. It’s the birthplace of […]

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A Computer Geek Starts a Garden, Part II – We Are Chlorophyll Managers

Last night I ate a couple of dozen cherry tomatoes from my just-getting-started garden. A little pepper and salt and I was in tomato heaven. I was expecting them to taste a whole lot better than the supermarket ‘tomatoes‘ I’m otherwise forced to consume, and I was not at all disappointed. Indeed, every cell of my body almost seemed to shout "thank you!" The difference was like night and day. […]

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GMO Potato: Cisgenesis is still Genetic Modification with All the Attendant Risks

The new trial on GM blight-resistant potato is being sold as cisgenic technology to confuse the public, but it is still genetic modification with all the attendant risks — most of which are not addressed. by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji A new genetically modified (GM) ‘blight-resistant’ potato is currently being tested in a three year large-scale field trial in Carlow, Ireland conducted by the Irish government in collaboration with the Dutch […]

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Return of the Native (UK)

Why are almost all the trees that councils plant exotic species? by George Monbiot The differences can be stark and remarkable: native trees tend to harbour far more wildlife than exotic species. Indigenous oak species, for example – according to the table extracted from scientific papers by the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust – harbour 284 insect species in the UK. Birch supports 266. But horse chestnut, introduced from the […]

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DDT 2.0

We’re just beginning to understand the wider impacts of neonicotinoids. by George Monbiot A dead pike on the River Kennet. Photograph: Adrian Arbib/Alamy It’s the new DDT: a class of poisons licensed for widespread use before they had been properly tested, which are now ripping the natural world apart. And it’s another demonstration of the old truth that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. […]

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Open Pollinated Seeds of Value

An open pollinated (OP) seed is a seed of value; it can be saved and re-grow the plant true-to-type. OP seeds are fertilized naturally by insects, birds, wind or their structure. Many of our seeds are called heirlooms who can trace their linage back before 1951 when hybrid and chemical sprays became widely adopted. Open pollinated seeds are your food security and freedom. Without the ability to save seed, your […]

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