Archives for posts with tag: Climate Change

We need to keep informed about agriculture oriented towards energy production. In the case of maize in Britain, there’s also a terrible association with soil runoff during excessive rain events that contributes to flooding, as in this piece by George Monbiot with it’s quite shocking video component.  A responsible climate change policy would take into account both the importance of good land management (as nudged or not by subsidies) and actual carbon figures, which Miles King, in the post shared below, discusses so clearly.

a new nature blog

p1040939 Biogas Maize is now grown widely in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty © Miles King

Maize grown specifically for Anaerobic Digesters to produce “biogas” is an increasingly common crop in England, especially in the South West. The area under Biogas Maize increased by 55% in 2016 compared to 2015, to 52000ha. The National Farmers Union set a target of 200,000ha of land under biogas Maize back in 2011, so they are 25% of the way to their target.

Maize is a very environmentally damaging crop, probably the most environmentally damaging crop grown in the UK. Why then is so much of it being grown? Because the Government pays not one, but two subsidies for it to be grown – the generous single payment (now over £200 per hectare annually) for anyone who owns farmland; and on top of this there are a range of payments including the Renewable…

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Chills of love and respect kept going down my spine reading this account of the kitchens at Standing Rock, from activist-anthropologist-writer Liz Hoover, on an ever interesting and insightful blog.

From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds: Indigenizing the Local Food Movement

img_3950 Meal line up outside the mess hall of the Main Kitchen. Photo by Elizabeth Hoover

Since April, thousands of Indigenous people and their allies have converged on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and treaty lands, to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), slated to cross under the Missouri River directly upstream from the reservation. People have come from around the world to pray; to stand in opposition to Energy Transfer Partners and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department as well as 71 other law enforcement agencies; and to form community. Some people come for the weekend, others have quit their jobs and made resisting this pipeline their full time work. They spend their days building infrastructure at the camp, chopping wood, sorting donations, praying and singing at the main fire, and putting their bodies on the line between the land and an…

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Supply Drives for the Red Warrior and Sacred Stone Camps in US Cities on Monday 19 September… am sure you can search for updates and addresses after this date– if you have good info, please leave it in the comments…

“We all love the waters. Water is precious.”

Petition to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Ten Ways to Help the Standing Rock Sioux in their work to protect their waters.

Nessie Reid is a creative food activist working on issues of waste, access to land, and as the film above shows, on the political ecology of the dairy industry through a project called The Milking Parlour.

Recently she arrived in a public space in the city of Bristol with two cows.  We can read about her mission, and the agricultural and environmental issues she raised, here.

This is a very informative and sobering video discussing the pitfalls of the potential trade agreement TTIP– the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  TTIP would represent huge benefit for gigantic agribusiness players, and severely undermine local, ecological and democratic approaches to food and growing.

PLEASE educate yourself and others and keep making a stink in the realms you have any influence– with your representatives, your politicians, your social media, your streets.  Use your voice.

By the way, I found this SHOCKING: Read the rest of this entry »

Drought in El Salvador. Photo ©Sean Hawkey

I’m linking to an important response to some of the greenwash that takes place around the discussion of agriculture and climate change. The big United Nation Conference of Parties on climate change is about to take place in Paris, yet extremely significant greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are not even on the agenda (!!!). (And this.)  Nonetheless there will certainly be a lot of conversation and media attention to issues of food and climate, and “Climate Smart Agriculture” with all its public-relations backing might get lots of airplay in the discussions that surround the central negotiations.

So many of us hope against cynicism that the urgency of the climate crisis can see a joining together of people and concerns.  When you scroll down to the list of signatories to this letter, you get an idea how vast our social movements can be.  We need people, not corporations, at the centre of decision making, envisioning and enacting a better future.  Our messages must be powerful for our language to be so coopted and coveted by them.  Please share this letter in response to agribusiness rhetoric, and as foodies concerned with climate justice.

DON’T BE FOOLED! 
CIVIL SOCIETY SAYS NO TO “CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE” AND URGES DECISION-MAKERS TO SUPPORT AGROECOLOGY
SEPTEMBER 2015 Read the rest of this entry »

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“Mum, I’m not very excited about this meal,” my 11 year old son confided, when I told him I was making a WWII ration recipe for Lentil Sausages. I mustered a tone of enthusiasm to explain that today is the 100th birthday of the great food educator and cookery writer Marguerite Patten, and that people all over the world are cooking from her great oeuvre.  And because it’s also British Sausage Week (to coincide with Bonfire Night tomorrow) and there’s a climate crisis in which meat plays a not insignificant role, I find myself especially interested in mock-meat kinds of meals.

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So it was that earlier in the day I’d set out to join in on #Marguerite100, an international cook-along networked through social media and documented in this Storify. Read the rest of this entry »

Found this trailer here.  Looking forward to the film.

The organisation GRAIN has put together some resources around the politics of industrial food production and its contribution to climate change.  GRAIN is “a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems” — an agroecology point of view.

In the run-up to the Paris conference on Climate Change in December, they’ve written this report on the central role fertiliser companies play in the discussions concerning agriculture and climate change.  “Climate Smart Agriculture” has become a key phrase and concept that is about the appropriation of some of the language of Agroecology — many facets of CSA are expressed in Orwellian DoubleSpeak and we all need to educate and organise around this– the greenwashing is chilling.

So many small environment and agriculture organisations around the world are working to fight the dominance of the Climate Smart Agriculture discourse in UN forums.  This is an important letter hundreds of such groups have signed.

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The Zero-Waste Chef

IMG_20150715_072741 First flower on my cucumbers

This past week, I was pretty excited when I spied the first flower on my cucumbers and a little bud behind it. Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed any bees.

According to a new report co-authored by researchers at Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, Earth has entered its sixth period of mass extinction. Within just three generations, pollination by bees could be something kids only read about in textbooks (unless they live in Texas). You can read the full report here or an overview of it here.

While some people may not mind living in a world free of broccoli, cauliflower and lima beans, they will probably miss hazelnuts, melons, squash, cucumbers, lemons, limes, strawberries, persimmons, apples, avocados, apricots, cherries, almonds, cocoa, grapes and on and on. We’ll still have corn and wheat though, which do not require pollinators, until blight tears through these non-diverse and thus vulnerable…

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