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Friday, July 13,2012

Insult to injury: How the House snuck protection for GMOs into their farm bill

Apparently it wasn’t quite enough for the House Agriculture Committee to pass a version of the farm bill that made over $16 billion in cuts to food stamps and allowed for an open-ended expansion of crop insurance for Big Ag.
Tuesday, July 10,2012

Rising Shale Water Complicates Fracking Debate

The nation's boom in natural gas production has come with a cost: The technique used to get much of the gas out of the ground, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has contaminated drinking water. But how often and where this contamination is taking place is a matter of much debate and litigation.
Tuesday, July 10,2012

Tar Sands Pipeline Proposal Has Canadians Scared after Disastrous Michigan Spill

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation blasted Enbridge for “too little focus on safety” that led to a disastrous tar sands oil spill in Michigan two years ago, and compared the company’s response to the “Keystone cops.” It could be a taste of things to come for Ontario, since the pipeline company wants to ship tar sands oil through the province.
Tuesday, July 10,2012

5 Simple Ways To Drastically Reduce Our Plastic Consumption

We’re not going to stop making plastic any time soon. But to prevent that plastic from spreading everywhere, we need to do a better job managing it. A recent conference brought together experts to think of some easy ways to do just that.
Monday, July 9,2012

'Doomsday' Seed Vault Safeguards Our Food Supply

A conservationist cradles two vials of peas destined for deposit in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The remarkable facility set on a rugged Arctic island off Norway is the ultimate global safety net for food security. It's able to protect up to 2.25 billion seeds from even "doomsday" scenarios like asteroid impacts and nuclear war.
Monday, July 9,2012

Top U.S. science official: ‘Climate change is having consequences in real time’

One of America’s top science officials says the current onslaught of extreme weather in the U.S. is raising awareness of climate change among Americans.
Friday, July 6,2012

Farmers Continue to Fight Monsanto’s ‘Seed Police’

Seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses and agricultural organizations representing more than 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms filed a brief on July 5 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s decision from February dismissing their protective legal action against agricultural giant Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed.
Friday, July 6,2012

Colorado Wildfires Threaten Water Supplies

Last week, aerial views of Rampart Reservoir, a critical water-storage facility for Colorado Springs, Colorado, showed spot fires billowing tentacles of smoke over the lake’s forested shores.
Friday, July 6,2012

What can our protected places teach us about saving the Arctic?

Our national parks have been called “America’s best idea,” and Americans are proud of the special places we have protected for the inspiration and enjoyment of current and future generations. But protected areas from Florida to Alaska face new challenges on a warming planet, and melting sea ice means that a newly vulnerable area — the Arctic — is increasingly threatened by offshore oil drilling and industrial fishing. Protecting the Arctic is emerging as one of the great environmental challenges of our age — so what lessons can we learn from earlier generations who came together and won protection for the parks, sanctuaries, and wildlife refuges that we enjoy today?
Tuesday, July 3,2012

Local haterade: Authors say locavores do more harm than good

Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu say they know what’s wrong with the food system: local food purists. In their new book, The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet, the husband-and-wife team (a University of Toronto geography professor and an economist) argue that the excitement over this movement is misguided to the point of having “utterly disastrous” effects. “If widely adopted,” they write, “either voluntarily or through political mandates, locavorism can only result in higher costs and increased poverty, greater food insecurity, less food safety and much more significant environmental damage than is presently the case” [emphasis theirs].