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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

I’ve always liked the Buy Nothing Day campaign that adbuster’s started.  Instead of going out and celebrating black Friday in the traditional way, spend that time with your family and friends.  It’s probably a good idea with the way the economy is turning anyways.  Simplify the holidays.  Cut up your credit cards.  Instead, cook a good meal with people you enjoy being around.

I found a couple good articles.  One was on adbusters about the credit crisis.  We need to be focusing on “real wealth,” or wealth in education, health, food, shelter, etc. not investing in bad debt. These investments are not real.  I think we do need to start redefining wealth, and not until we figure that out will we be able to deal with the “triple crisis.”

Another article I found was on zmag by Vandana Shiva.  I really like her critiques on biofuel.  I think we need to start realizing that biofuel is not as economical or environmentally-friendly as we’d like to believe.  We are deforesting land to grow crops to feed the same unhealthy addiction to cars.  The crises of food, climate, and finances are all very closely linked and hopefully this is better understand with the current financial crisis.

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Michael Pollan (who if you don’t know him you must check out) wrote this great letter titled Farmer in Chief to the New York Times in October to whomever the president-elect would be.

I believe that our agriculture deserves more attention than it is receiving.  The way we shape our agricultural sector is a matter of national security, as Pollan writes.  In fact, many of our global economic, social, and political problems all relate to the food industry.  Supporting local organic farming is not only preferable, it is essential if we want to end the global food crisis, end our dependence on oil, protect the environment, protect workers worldwide, create jobs, help our healthcare systems, and create a more equal and just world.  Yeh, it’s quite a mouthful for just one sector of our societies, but food is a necessity.  We depend on nothing more than food.  So why has it become a mere commodity, a resource, that is grown in non-biodiversified, land-intensive agriculture only to let many of these grains and foods go to waste?

This obviously is linked to a history of colonialism and the conquering of people’s lands and resources to modern economic practices and institutions.  The US agriculture system has been built off of the chemical agents of WWII as Pollan points out, and with the addition of deregulation, subsidies, and the green “revolution” large export, monoculture agriculture has been pushed beyond its threshhold.

This is the time to deal with these problems.  I love Pollan’s idea of the president setting the example for the American public: having dinner as a family cooked from only local in season foods, gardening and growing food on the White House lawn, posting recipes on the White House website.  It does involve changing our lifestyles and the ways we view food and view ourselves.  But this is the reality that we must face.  Our conusmer, production-driven society is unsustainable, not only environmentally, but socially and economically.  We need Change!  I have hope that Obama will be more open to truly dealing with these issues.

(Secretary of Agriculture: Michael Pollan!)

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