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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 11:29:33 AM EST
SOS: Plants in danger - FRANCE 24
Across the world, plants and flowers are increasingly reaching the brink of extinction. We get the chance the hold one of the rarest plants in the world, find out how invasive species are killing precious forests in New Caledonia, and check out a controversial scheme to keep back the encroaching sands of the Sahara desert.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Caroline Lucas: 'Green issues captured the public's imagination' - video interview | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The Green party leader Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, talks to John Vidal about the evolution of the environmental movement: how Margaret Thatcher helped put the environment on the political map; the effect of the Rio Earth summit of 1992; and the rise of popular radical environmental movements in the UK
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:11:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazon deforestation at record low, data shows | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Deforestation of the Amazon has fallen to its lowest levels since records began, according to data recently released by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research.

The boost for the environment comes a week after president Dilma Rousseff was criticised for weakening the forest protection measures widely credited for the improvement, and two weeks before Brazil hosts the Rio+20 Earth summit.

Using satellite imagery, the institute said 6,418 sq km of Amazon forest was stripped in the 12 months before 31 July 2011 - the smallest area since annual measurements started in 1988.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:12:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A boost for the environment is not that it is being destroyed at a slightly reduced rate, probably resulting from the fact that theres not that much left.

A boost for the environment is when forestation increases

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 03:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are 'super farms' good for the environment? Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Peter Kendall, the president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), has argued this week that the UK needs to consider building "super farms":

The challenge of feeding everybody with the constraints of climate change and weather shocks is so great we'll need a complete rethink.

Kendall believes that the acute shortage of farmland in the UK means that the largescale livestock farms seen in countries such as the US and Saudi Arabia - where one super dairy has a herd of 37,000 cows - should now be approved by planners.

This is about a few experimental versions, so we can see whether it lowers greenhouse gas emissions, see whether it's welfare friendly, see what the impacts are on the environment.

But, as Juliette Jowit's news story points out, "super farms" have their critics:

Concerns about large-scale animal farming fall into four categories: of animal welfare; of super units destroying small farms and rural communities; of farms straining soil and water resources and requiring mass transport of chemicals, generating more greenhouse gas pollution; and of such units being unsightly and emitting foul smells.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Super farms represent 20th century agro-chemical paradigms.

We're already seeing real problems due to the overuse of antibiotics rendering them ineffective, super farms will make that happen far more rapidly. And when the antibiotics don't work, neither do the super farms.

So obsolescence is built into the current paradigm and it would make far more sense to work out a better way of feeding everybody than chase chimeras

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 03:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a bunch of relatives who work as farmers, some on industrial farms and some still running family farms. It's interesting to talk with them about their views.

The basic issue with the family farms is that your daily life is tied to the land--just like it was for centuries of peasants. On the average, you work a fairly relaxed schedule--nothing happens in the winter, so you can go golfing in Arizona for months at a time. But in the summer you can't go anywhere for months because you have to keep the irrigation system running, and in harvest season you work 20 hour days for about a month getting the crops in.

So in that environment, if you start talking about electric tractors or non-GM seeds, they roll their eyes. Their family finances are very carefully tuned to optimize their income, and if everybody else is growing GM plants, it would be a major, major disruption to change over to organic farming, for example. They DO make a big effort to minimize damage to their land, and to minimize the use of water, etc., but they do it from an economic viewpoint, not a societal awareness viewpoint.

The only way to change this behavior is to make it economically (or legally) attractive to change. Government intervention--"telling people how to live their lives"--is required.

by asdf on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 01:01:54 PM EST
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