In 2006, The UN’s Food and Agriculture organization published “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” a much-criticized report suggesting that livestock accounted for more greenhouse gases than the planet’s entire motor fleet.
Now, a University of California professor has published a study suggesting the FAO overstated the impact of meat and dairy production on Climate Change. Dr. Frank Mitloehner says more efficient production methods — i.e. factory farming and feedlots — will reduce greenhouse gases from livestock.
He adds that less industrialised countries should be helped to satisfy their populations’ growing demand for meat and dairy by adopting western-style factory farming.
“My concern is not to feed more meat to people in the developed world but to make nutrition available to people who are undernourished,” he said. “The current systems in Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are very land-hungry because they are so extensive. We have the tools to show them how to do it using less resources.”
The FAO is doing a “Son of Livestock’s Long Shadow” report that should be completed next year.
Read more in The Ecologist.
Posted in Agriculture, Climate Change, Community, Culture, Environment, Hunger, Poverty, sustainable development
Tagged Agriculture, Climate Change, Community, Culture, hunger and poverty, sustainable development
Since 1966 – and as a consequence of the introduction of the Green Revolution model of water-intensive, chemical farming – India has over-exploited her groundwater, creating a water famine, Vandana Shiva writes.
Intensification of drought, floods and cyclones is one of the predictable impacts of climate change and climate instability. The failure of monsoon in India, and the consequent drought, has impacted two-thirds of the country, especially the breadbasket of India’s fertile Gangetic plains. Bihar, for example, has had a 43 percent rainfall deficit, and the story is the same in many other parts of India.
In the final analysis, India’s food security rests on the monsoon. Monsoon failure and widespread drought imply a deepening of the already severe food crisis triggered by trade-liberalisation policies, which have made India the capital of hunger. Read more in Resurgence.
Posted in Agriculture, Community, Environment, Hunger, Poverty, sustainable development
Tagged Agriculture, Community, Environment, global sustainable development, hunger and poverty, political economy, sustainable development
If you listen to climate scientists — and despite the relentless campaign to discredit their work, you should — it is long past time to do something about emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, economist Paul Krugman writes. If we continue with business as usual, they say, we are facing a rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic. And to avoid that apocalypse, we have to wean our economy from the use of fossil fuels, coal above all.
But is it possible to make drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions without destroying our economy?
In what follows, Nobel Prize-winner Krugman will offer a brief survey of the economics of climate change or, more precisely, the economics of lessening climate change. I’ll try to lay out the areas of broad agreement as well as those that remain in major dispute. Read more in The New York Times.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. government has approved clean air permits for Shell Oil to drill exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich made the announcement Thursday.
Shell wants to drill three exploratory wells on the Arctic Ocean acreage leased offshore in a 2008 sale.
The clean air permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency clears a regulatory hurdle for Shell. But the company faces others before drilling can begin off Alaska’s northwest coast.
The announcement came one day after President Barack Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a revised outer continental shelf leasing program that affects four areas off Alaska.
Earth Hour comes tonight from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time wherever your are. Your hour in the dark acknowledges Climate Change and shows support for Sustainable development.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Organizers are hoping more than 1 billion people in at least 125 countries will take part this year. That would be the largest mass statement about climate change and sustainability in human history.
“Earth Hour is meant to unite the world,” says Dan Forman, manager of Earth Hour sponsor World Wildlife Fund (WWF.) “A lot of people find the issue of climate change a priority, and on Saturday we’re going to make that statement to the world.”
Read more in The Christian Science Monitor