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by Gregor Macdonald

Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers for a decade. But as so often is the case, a dramatic event like superstorm Sandy – the largest storm to hit New York since the colonial era – has punctured the psyche of the densely populated East Coast, including the New York-Washington, DC axis where U.S. policy is made.

Not surprisingly, in the weeks since the historical hurricane made landfall, new attention is being paid to the mounting costs that coastal world megacities may face.

Intriguingly, however, this new conversation about climate, energy policy, and America’s reliance on fossil fuels comes after a five-year period in which the U.S. has dramatically lowered its consumption of oil and seen an equally dramatic upturn in the growth of renewable energy.

The New Future of Energy Policy
by Gregor Macdonald

Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers for a decade. But as so often is the case, a dramatic event like superstorm Sandy – the largest storm to hit New York since the colonial era – has punctured the psyche of the densely populated East Coast, including the New York-Washington, DC axis where U.S. policy is made.

Not surprisingly, in the weeks since the historical hurricane made landfall, new attention is being paid to the mounting costs that coastal world megacities may face.

Intriguingly, however, this new conversation about climate, energy policy, and America’s reliance on fossil fuels comes after a five-year period in which the U.S. has dramatically lowered its consumption of oil and seen an equally dramatic upturn in the growth of renewable energy.

by Adam Taggart

There is nothing inherently environmentally damaging about human participation. Yes, I admit it and repent in sackcloth and ashes for all of the human devastation that has been caused throughout history. It has been caused long before the USDA, long before America, long before a lot of things.

It does not have to be so. In fact, we are not only the most efficient at destroying it; we are also the most efficient at healing it.

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So states Joel Salatin, one of the most visible and influential leaders in the organic food and sustainable farming movement. Joel returns as a guest to discuss "ecological participation" – methods by which humans can create a much more resilient landscape than current mass agricultural practices allow for.

Among other topics covered in this podcast, Joel and Chris focus the current drought gripping much of the US (and other countries). How unusual is it in its severity? What's causing it? What can be done to reduce our vulnerability in the future?

Joel's basic point is that there is a wide set of solutions that are possible to implement today, at scale, that can have an enormously restorative impact on our ecology without sacrificing crop production yields. Some of these involve returning to practices common in past generations before modern factory farming, others arise from new innovative thinking and technologies.

The only obstacle to implementing these solutions is our own intransigence. Our politics and economy are deeply wed to the heavily depleting and input-dependent practices of modern mega-farms. So there are big interests concerned with protecting the status quo, even though it is simply not sustainable in the long term. 

Which is why Joel is a big believer in action at the individual level. The more households and local communities begin implementing these sustainable solutions, more momentum will build to change perception and thinking at the state and national level. Plus, our local foodsheds and watersheds will be better off from these efforts – so why not get started now?

Joel Salatin: We Are the Solution, as Well as the Problem
by Adam Taggart

There is nothing inherently environmentally damaging about human participation. Yes, I admit it and repent in sackcloth and ashes for all of the human devastation that has been caused throughout history. It has been caused long before the USDA, long before America, long before a lot of things.

It does not have to be so. In fact, we are not only the most efficient at destroying it; we are also the most efficient at healing it.

 src=

So states Joel Salatin, one of the most visible and influential leaders in the organic food and sustainable farming movement. Joel returns as a guest to discuss "ecological participation" – methods by which humans can create a much more resilient landscape than current mass agricultural practices allow for.

Among other topics covered in this podcast, Joel and Chris focus the current drought gripping much of the US (and other countries). How unusual is it in its severity? What's causing it? What can be done to reduce our vulnerability in the future?

Joel's basic point is that there is a wide set of solutions that are possible to implement today, at scale, that can have an enormously restorative impact on our ecology without sacrificing crop production yields. Some of these involve returning to practices common in past generations before modern factory farming, others arise from new innovative thinking and technologies.

The only obstacle to implementing these solutions is our own intransigence. Our politics and economy are deeply wed to the heavily depleting and input-dependent practices of modern mega-farms. So there are big interests concerned with protecting the status quo, even though it is simply not sustainable in the long term. 

Which is why Joel is a big believer in action at the individual level. The more households and local communities begin implementing these sustainable solutions, more momentum will build to change perception and thinking at the state and national level. Plus, our local foodsheds and watersheds will be better off from these efforts – so why not get started now?

by Chris Martenson

Joel Salatin, proprietor of Polyface Farms and highly-visible champion of sustainable farming, thinks modern humans have become so far removed from a natural connection to the food they eat that we no longer have a true understanding of what "normal" food is.

The rise of Big Ag and factory farming over the past century has conditioned us to treat food mechanically (as something to be recoded and retooled) vs. biologically. And we don't realize that for all our industrialization and optimization, we're actually getting less yield and less nutrition than natural-based processes can offer.

Whether we like it or not, the arrival of Peak Oil is going to force us to realize that our heavily-energy intensive practices can't continue at their current scale. And with world population still increasing exponentially, we'll need to find other, more sustainable ways of growing our food.

 

Joel Salatin: How to Prepare for A Future Increasingly Defined By Localized Food & Energy
by Chris Martenson

Joel Salatin, proprietor of Polyface Farms and highly-visible champion of sustainable farming, thinks modern humans have become so far removed from a natural connection to the food they eat that we no longer have a true understanding of what "normal" food is.

The rise of Big Ag and factory farming over the past century has conditioned us to treat food mechanically (as something to be recoded and retooled) vs. biologically. And we don't realize that for all our industrialization and optimization, we're actually getting less yield and less nutrition than natural-based processes can offer.

Whether we like it or not, the arrival of Peak Oil is going to force us to realize that our heavily-energy intensive practices can't continue at their current scale. And with world population still increasing exponentially, we'll need to find other, more sustainable ways of growing our food.

 

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