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The Insanity of Our Food Policy

The Insanity of Our Food Policy | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
How America’s agricultural programs increase inequality at home and abroad.

 

American food policy has long been rife with head-scratching illogic. We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices, harming farmers in developing countries. Meanwhile, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger, which is barely kept at bay by a food stamp program that gives most beneficiaries just a little more than $4 a day.

So it’s almost too absurd to believe that House Republicans are asking for a farm bill that would make all of these problems worse. For the putative purpose of balancing the country’s books, the measures that the House Republican caucus is pushing for in negotiations with the Senate, as Congress attempts to pass a long-stalled extension of the farm bill, would cut back the meager aid to our country’s most vulnerable and use the proceeds to continue fattening up a small number of wealthy American farmers.


Via Cathryn Wellner
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Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added)
If no farmland and no forests and no water and no fish - then what?
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River health revealed in 'shocking' figures

River health revealed in 'shocking' figures | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Just 17% of England's rivers are judged to be in good health, according to Environment Agency figures.
This is down from 29% with a good ecological status in 2014. The analysis is shocking, say environmentalists.
Problems are caused by over-abstraction and pollution from farms, run-off from roads and effluent from sewage works - as well as invasive species.
The Environment Agency says the figures look bad because the EU's assessment criteria have been tightened.
"Threatens wildlife"
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The Hudson river is full of tiny plastics

The Hudson river is full of tiny plastics | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Every hour, hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic pieces — each one roughly the size of fine glitter — pour out of the Hudson River and into the ocean. Scientists fear that the particles, and the t...

Via AimForGood
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Michigan awards $350000 in grants for dam removal, fixes - Escanaba Daily Press

Michigan awards $350000 in grants for dam removal, fixes
Escanaba Daily Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has awarded $350,000 to four projects that will remove obsolete dams or fix those needing repairs.

Via Ryan Roberts
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Corporations vs. communities: a tale of two meetings

Corporations vs. communities: a tale of two meetings | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Corporations vs. communities: a tale of two meetings, March 2015 blog_post -- New Internationalist

Via Cathryn Wellner
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Cathryn Wellner's curator insight, March 29, 11:17 AM

Paternalism vs local sovereignty - a contrast in world views

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Lake Powell is dead! Long live Glen Canyon!

Lake Powell is dead! Long live Glen Canyon! | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Drought is returning Lake Powell, impounded behind the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado river, back to desert, writes Grant A. Mincy - and a fine thing too! As nature turns billions of dollars of infrastructural abomination to junk, this creates the chance to reclaim our commons and recreate ravaged ecosystems.

Via Sylvain Rotillon
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The Real Cost of Fracking

The Real Cost of Fracking | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Pramilla Malick was reading in bed last summer when suddenly she had to struggle to breathe. Gasping, she went outside and then back inside, getting no relief from the country air around her home in Minisink, New York. Her symptoms began at a time when her children and some of their Minisink neighbors were also experiencing new ailments, such as nausea, nosebleeds, rashes, sore throats, asthma and dizziness. Their symptoms would erupt during or after an “odor event,” a period of malodorous emissions at the new Millennium Pipeline gas compressor station nearby that began functioning in June of 2013. Malick’s asthmatic symptoms, which she never had before, surface only on weekends in Minisink, she says; they live in New York City, 95 miles away, on weekdays.
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4,000 Fishermen Stranded On Indonesian Islands

4,000 Fishermen Stranded On Indonesian Islands | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The number of foreign fishermen stranded on several remote eastern Indonesian islands has spiraled to 4,000, including some revealed in an Associated Press investigation to have been enslaved.

Many are migrant workers abandoned by their boat captains after the government passed a moratorium on foreign fishing five months ago, according to the International Organization for Migration, which released the figure Friday. However, others have been trapped on the islands for years, after being dumped by fishing boats or escaping into the jungle.
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Raising the green roof in America

Raising the green roof in America | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
You may have read the same headlines I did earlier this month about new laws passed in France now requiring solar panels or vegetation sections on the roofs of all new commercial construction. French activists were pushing for 100 percent roof coverage but had to settle for Parliament requiring a minimum of coverage. Interest in this story in United States is surprising. With few exceptions, green roofs get treated as little more than a curiosity rather than a viable solution to so many of the urban planning problems we are confronted with today.

Via Toitsverts Biodivers / Livingroofs, Jocelyn Stoller
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Rescooped by pdeppisch from forests
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Tasmania's swift parrot set to follow the dodo

Tasmania's swift parrot set to follow the dodo | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The iconic Tasmanian swift parrot is facing population collapse and could become extinct within 16 years, new research has found. Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the forestry industry, which controversially continues to log swift parrot habitat.

Via Wildforests
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B.C. pedal power helps African farmers

B.C. pedal power helps African farmers | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Two B.C brothers invented a bicycle powered grain mill that is now changing the lives of impoverished farmers in Africa

Via Cathryn Wellner
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pdeppisch's comment, March 26, 12:01 PM
Beautiful! We need more stuff like this! Thanks for posting this,
Rescooped by pdeppisch from Inequality, Poverty, and Corruption: Effects and Solutions
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Simple method of binding pollutants in water

Simple method of binding pollutants in water | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Deep Freeze on Great Lakes Halts Cargo Shipments

Deep Freeze on Great Lakes Halts Cargo Shipments | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
THUNDER BAY, Ontario — The trip to pick up a load of iron ore powder in Conneaut, Ohio, was supposed to take four days by way of the Great Lakes.

But within sight of its destination, the cargo ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, got trapped in ice. Two heavy icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard eventually broke the vessel free.

It was a 24-day ordeal, and the ship returned to its home port in Wisconsin without picking up the cargo.

A deep freeze this winter left much of the Great Lakes blanketed in thick ice, sidelining the ship lines and companies that move vast amounts of grain, cement and other commodities through this system of waterways. And now the spring thaw, which creates piles of impassable ice, will most likely create more delays.
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Endangered Bighorn Sheep Moved to Yosemite, Sequoia Parks

Endangered Bighorn Sheep Moved to Yosemite, Sequoia Parks | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
For the first time in a century, endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are back on their ancestral range and headed toward recovery, wildlife officials said Monday. During an ongoing relocation effort, dozens of bighorns have been captured with nets dropped from helicopters then moved to...

Via TheNaturalist
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During Fracking Hearing, Nebraskan Challenges Oil And Gas Commission To Drink Wastewater

During Fracking Hearing, Nebraskan Challenges Oil And Gas Commission To Drink Wastewater | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
An application to truck thousands of gallons of wastewater into Nebraska riled the community.

Via Sylvain Rotillon
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Widely Used Herbicide Linked to Cancer

Widely Used Herbicide Linked to Cancer | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization last week announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. But the assessment, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, has been followed by an immediate backlash from industry groups.

On March 23, Robb Fraley, chief technology officer at the agrochemical company Monsanto in St Louis, Missouri, which sells much of the world’s glyphosate, accused the IARC of “cherry picking” data. “We are outraged with this assessment,” he said in a statement. Nature explains the controversy.
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How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth’s Excess Heat? by Cheryl Katz: Yale Environment 360

How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth’s Excess Heat? by Cheryl Katz: Yale Environment 360 | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The main reason soaring greenhouse gas emissions have not caused air temperatures to rise more rapidly is that oceans have soaked up much of the heat. But new evidence suggests the oceans’ heat-buffering ability may be weakening.
by cheryl katz

For decades, the earth’s oceans have soaked up more than nine-tenths of the atmosphere’s excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. By stowing that extra energy in their depths, oceans have spared the planet from feeling the full effects of humanity’s carbon overindulgence.
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Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet

Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
News that a Texas city is to be powered by 100% renewable energy sparked surprise in an oil-obsessed, Republican-dominated state where fossil fuels are king and climate change activists were described as “the equivalent of the flat-earthers” by US senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.

“I was called an Al Gore clone, a tree-hugger,” says Jim Briggs, interim city manager of Georgetown, a community of about 50,000 people some 25 miles north of Austin.
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Florida's unspeakable issue leaves climate change official tongue-tied

Florida's unspeakable issue leaves climate change official tongue-tied | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The latest victim of Florida governor Rick Scott’s unwritten ban on state officials using the words “climate change” is his own disaster preparedness lieutenant, who stumbled through verbal gymnastics to avoid using the scientific term in a newly surfaced video.


The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming
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Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management chief, was testifying before the state senate’s budget subcommittee on Thursday, answering questions about the news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) will pull federal funding from states that refuse to directly address climate change.

In the video, uploaded by the advocacy group Forecast The Facts, Senator Jeff Clemens asks Koon whether he is aware of the updated Fema guidelines, which would block 2016 funding in states whose governors refuse to implement so-called hazard mitigation plans for global warming.

Koon affirmed that the state’s next plan would be required to include “language to that effect”.
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Science vs Spin: Dilbit Sinks in the Real World, But Not in Studies Funded by Oil Industry

Science vs Spin: Dilbit Sinks in the Real World, But Not in Studies Funded by Oil Industry | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
“Once the oil started to sink, it made things a lot more difficult on our recovery.”

Those were the words of Greg Powell of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during his presentation on March 10th at the National Academy of Sciences conference on the Effects of Diluted Bitumen on the Environment. Powell was one of the people involved in the response and clean up of the Kalamazoo River tar sands dilbit spill in 2010 where an Enbridge pipeline cracked and spilled approximately one million gallons of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.

Powell presented a disturbing account of what happened at Kalamazoo with pictures showing a river with “bank to bank” oil and contamination for almost 40 miles. This damage took over four years and more than a billion dollars to clean up. And Powell explained the main reason was that diluted bitumen isn’t like other oil.
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It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution

It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
Nonprofits are using the state’s new stormwater requirements to sue plastic manufacturers for polluting waterways — and they’re winning

Via Sylvain Rotillon
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Here's What Could Happen If Antarctica's Ice Is Melting From Below

Here's What Could Happen If Antarctica's Ice Is Melting From Below | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
File this under, "Welp, this is worse than we thought." A study published in Nature Geoscience finds that warm seawater is likely getting under an East Antarctica glacier and melting it from below.

Via Mariaschnee
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UK drew wrong conclusion from its neonicotinoids study, scientist says

UK drew wrong conclusion from its neonicotinoids study, scientist says | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
A study on which the UK government bases its position that neonicotinoid pesticides do not threaten bees may actually be the first conclusive evidence that they do, according to a leading bee scientist.

Dave Goulson, a professor of biology at the University of Sussex, reanalysed a 2013 study on the effect of the world’s most heavily used pesticides on bumblebees by the UK’s Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera).
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With Chuitna, Alaska faces a historic decision for wild salmon habitat protection - Alaska Dispatch News

With Chuitna, Alaska faces a historic decision for wild salmon habitat protection - Alaska Dispatch News | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
OPINION: The proposal to remove the Middle Fork of the Chuitna River for 25 years and then put it back together as a wild salmon stream is a pipe dream; it will not work. And that risk to salmon is unacceptable.

Via Ryan Roberts
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How Corporate Agribusiness Is Quietly Gutting Local Environmental Protections

How Corporate Agribusiness Is Quietly Gutting Local Environmental Protections | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson Corporate agribusinesses have managed to convince voters across the Midwest to approve vaguely-worded measures that could have wide ranging impacts, from preventing environmental legislation against factory farms to...

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Half-Shell Hero: Humble Beginnings

Half-Shell Hero: Humble Beginnings | Farming, Forests, Water & Fishing (No Petroleum Added) | Scoop.it
The future of Maryland seafood was born aground, in a hand-made aquarium rigged with a couple of five-gallon buckets from Lowe’s.
The experiment seems simple enough now: A tank full of miniscule, darting oyster larvae, plus algae for them to eat, and ground-up oyster shell on which they could attach and grow. But for Johnny Shockley, a dyed-in-the-wool fisherman born and raised on Maryland’s Hoopers Island – a jagged stretch of land on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay – those tanks full of baby oysters were totally uncharted territory.
It was spring of 2010, and Shockley was at a crossroads. He had harvested oysters in the waters surrounding his hometown since early childhood, but years of overfishing and disease had decimated the wild stock. Any waterman would tell you that that’s just the way of the Chesapeake: Sometimes her splendors are ripe for the taking, other times a watermen is lucky to rub two oyster shells together. But Shockley had had enough of the ups and downs.
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