Archives for posts with tag: George Monbiot

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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Hello George Monbiot, here talking about roadkill as ethical meat, and I’m with him on this one, for all the reasons he dislikes most farm-bred meat, mentioned in the video above and discussed here and here.

And I have friends who, as foresters and re-wilders, deeply hate the grey squirrels of Britain for the damage these invasive creatures do to (re)foresting efforts; these activists see eating squirrel as a vote for a wider notion of Ecology.  Here’s a blog from a journalist in Scotland who writes about eating squirrel from this point of view.

When I wrote about rabbit over a year ago, I catalogued recipes in my cookbooks to give readers a sense of culinary possibility, and myself a future reference.  I’m reposting this list for everyone who might be inspired to try something new.  Squirrels are meant to cook very similar to rabbit, hence the recipes can be transposed.

For me eating squirrel is hypothetical so far, I should add– though there’s a dead one, courtesy of our cat, in front of our house, and I’m talking to kids about the succession of creatures that eat and rot the dead, especially the gorgeous bottle flies with their metallic blue-green jewel bodies.

Rabbit/ Squirrel Recipes Read the rest of this entry »

Here is George Monbiot at his insightful and impassioned best, speaking about agricultural subsidies at the Oxford Farming Conference in January.

This is really worth a half hour of your time to understand how things could begin to be different if we are concerned to integrate: biodiversity, social justice, food security, soil protection, sound energy policy, flood and drought management, and more.

He is calling the National Farmers Union to task for what he sees as profound hypocrisy, and suggesting ways that working together, “forming alliances” across assumed loyalties, might benefit most of us.

Of everything that this talk opened in my mind, I was especially shocked to learn about the growing dominance of biofuel maize on prime agricultural land, to be burned in schemes meant for methane capture of crop waste and slurry.

Please share this talk widely, or “reblog.”You might not agree with everything, but Monbiot weaves together many issues crucial to agricultural, ecology, social equality and the future of food justice in the broadest sense.  Wow.

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