Agriculture

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Long-term thinking? As bees die, US is more worried about corporate profits

By Jennifer Sass, Senior Scientist, NRDC The scientific evidence against the neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) is stacking up like so many dead and dying bees. And, not just bees – turns out that our little aquaticinvertebrate buddies are also harmed, other beneficial insects are harmed, and birds that eat insects are harmed.(see MotherJones story here and American Bird Conservancy report here) […]

May 29th

Europe moves to save the bees – will US follow?

It’s been pretty definitively proven that particular pesticides are decimating the world’s bees – threatening farmers and our food supply as well as wildflowers and wildlife. Definitively enough that the European Union has just moved to ban them. So the question remains – when will the US act? Neonicotinoid pesticides are a new class of […]

April 30th

David Brin: Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream-fuel

The Situation in 2013 As I updated this article (see part 1, here), studies have revealed that much of the shine is coming off of America’s love affair with ethanol.  (Well, the GOP’s love affair, as ethanol allowed the party to offer an “alternative” that both sounded plausible and poured billions toward their friends.) Now, […]

March 20th

David Brin: The Pharoahs of fuel (and corn)

By David Brin Amid all the talk of budget balancing and sequesters, I’d like to shift attention to a topic that may – at first sight – seem a bit wonkish and detached: farm subsidies.  In fact, they are an area where Blue America remains frightfully ignorant and where the flood of entitlement spending merits closer […]

March 19th

How the admin chickened out on protecting farmers

I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about the abusive way this country raises its chickens, cows, and pigs. But I’ll bet you didn’t realize there’s another species that’s victimized almost as much as the animals: The humans who raise them, who are caged and penned in by huge agribusiness almost as badly as the animals. […]

December 4th

Californians have no idea what they’re getting themselves into

Will Southern Californians learn from the costly mistakes of their neighbors, or will they be pushed into a massive, costly water project that will do more harm than any possible good? An LA Times editorial, Give the Bay Delta Conservation Plan a chance, uses a typical straw-man argument, accusing critics of the proposed tunnel of over-the-top […]

August 14th

How big a boondoggle is California’s Delta Pipeline?

The California Legislature recently failed to pass legislation requiring a cost-benefit analysis before the peripheral canal or tunnel is built – and it is no surprise why the bill garnered so much opposition from corporate agribusiness and southern California water agencies. But an academic study says the pipeline would costs would be two and a […]

June 18th

California coalition tells feds: Peripheral canal is an enormous mistake

Restore the Delta today released a powerfully-worded letter from 38 environmental, fishing, consumer, Native American and other groups alerting U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of the enormous environmental and economic perils posed by the Obama administration’s support of the peripheral canal or tunnel. The groups said the administration is “poised to make an enormous mistake…and […]

June 14th

Kick Out The Corn – The End of Ethanol Subsidies?

Ethanol has been a disaster. Once pushed as an alternative fuel that could help the planet, corn-based ethanol was done all wrong – and ends up costing more in greenhouse gas emissions than regular gas. By Jeremy Bloom It never made economic sense without taxpayer handouts – but it made political sense thanks to the […]

December 1st