Category: Biofuels

inDUSTrial agriculture

inDUSTrial agriculture is a parody commercial about sustainable farming. Chemical agriculture bears an uncanny resemblance to the pharmaceutical industry. Both produce patented drugs that are meant to eventually fail so new ones need to be invented.

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Island Earth: Documentary

A documentary exploring the GMO controversy in Hawaii and those determined to create more local and sustainable food systems.

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Creating the Alternative: Journey to The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Geoff Lawton, Rumi, poisonous berries, student activists, NASA lunar/Martian construction and breaking a vow…. The next leg of the Creating the Alternative Tour (see more here) is pretty legendary. Part of the reason we started this tour was because one of our team members, Mo Lohre, was speaking on student leadership at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) National […]

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Democracy and Diversity Can Mend Broken Food Systems – Final Diagnosis from UN Right to Food Expert

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, today called for the world’s food systems to be radically and democratically redesigned to ensure the human right to adequate food and freedom from hunger. “The eradication of hunger and malnutrition is an achievable goal. However, it will not be enough to refine the logic of our food systems – it must instead be reversed,” […]

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The Biogas Disaster

How the perverse consequences of a great idea are destroying the natural world. In principle it’s a brilliant solution. Instead of leaving food waste and sewage and animal manure to decay in the open air, releasing methane which contributes to global warming, you can contain it, use micro-organisms to digest it, and capture the gas. Biogas from anaerobic digestion could solve several problems at once. As well as a couple […]

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The Benefits Claimants the Government Loves

Corrupt, irrational, destructive, counter-productive: this scarcely begins to describe our farming policy. Soil erosion in a maize field. Photo: Defra Just as mad cow disease exposed us to horrors – feeding cattle on the carcasses of infected cattle – previously hidden in plain sight, so the recent floods have lifted the lid on the equally irrational treatment of the land. Just as BSE exposed dangerous levels of collusion between government […]

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Wake up Before it is Too Late – Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate

Click to download (5mb PDF) In late September of last year (2013) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) put out the latest in their Trade and Environment Review series — titled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate. Alert readers may already be aware of this document — as it was the springboard for a […]

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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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Food or Fuel?

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute At the time of the Arab oil export embargo in the 1970s, the importing countries were beginning to ask themselves if there were alternatives to oil. In a number of countries, particularly the United States, several in Europe, and Brazil, the idea of growing crops to produce fuel for cars was appealing. The modern biofuels industry was launched. This was the beginning of […]

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Corporate Carve-Up

Under the pretext of preventing hunger, the rich nations are engineering a new scramble for Africa. by George Monbiot One of the stated purposes of the Conference of Berlin in 1884 was to save the people of Africa from the slave trade. To discharge this grave responsibility, the European powers discovered, to their undoubted distress, that they would have to extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa. […]

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Genetically Modified Crops and Hunger – Another Look at the Evidence

Genetically modified crops are hailed by their proponents as the basis for a “new green revolution”, and as the key solution to feeding the world in the face of population growth and the exhaustion of new sources of agricultural land. There is a massive volume of research and research literature around genetically modified crops, but how much of it is really of value in assessing this often heard hypothesis about […]

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Carbon-Sequestering Perennial Industrial Crops

This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) is a common perennial industrial crop, though typically grown in problematic monocultures. Photo Wikimedia Commons. Industrial crops produce materials, chemicals, and energy. Some, […]

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