Agriculture

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Hungry? Climate change will put a choke-hold on the food supply

Roughly 25% of all of the food currently eaten in the world is traded on international markets. Owing to this reality, and the accompanying reliance on a relatively small number of important deep-water seaports, roads, and straits — so-called “choke points” — climate change threatens to greatly disrupt international food supply chains in coming years, […]

Jerry Brown calls for fast-tracking of river flow agreements to build his Delta Tunnels

By Dan Bacher As The Winnemem Wintu Tribe proceed on their historic 300-mile long Run4Salmon from Vallejo to the McCloud River, Governor Jerry  Brown is calling for the expediting of river flow agreements in order to fill his $60 billion Delta Tunnels for exporting more water to corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies. “State Water Board staff recently released a […]

September 21st

Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels would need $6.5 billion taxpayer subsidy

By Dan Bacher Proponents of the giant Delta Tunnels claim that the project’s cost will be covered by the beneficiaries, but new documents reveal that project proponents could put the federal and state taxpayers on the hook for $6.5 billion in subsidies for the controversial water diversion proposal. Documents unveiled in a recent Public Records Act request from the California Department of Water Resources […]

September 16th

DEA poised to end decades of stupid marijuana law

By Meteor Blades For more than four decades, the U.S. government has malignly and stupidly and outrageously labeled marijuana to be as dangerous as heroin, the drug that killed 11,000 people in 2015. As my colleague Jen Hayden noted Wednesday, this may be about to change: In a memo to lawmakers this week, the DEA [Drug […]

April 7th

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