Alarmed by a substantial oversight in the global climate talks leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next month, more than 60 of the world's most prominent agricultural scientists and leaders underscored how the almost total absence of agriculture in the agreement could lead to widespread famine and food shortages in the years ahead. [...more]
When a meat-based entrée is being served, and people are offered a vegetarian alternative, about 5 to 10 percent will request it.
But what if the choices were reversed? Organizers of the 2009 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference, which began Monday in Washington, tried an experiment: They made a vegetarian lunch the default option, and gave meat eaters the choice of opting out.
Some 80 percent went for the veggies, not because there were lots of vegetarians in the crowd of about 700 people but because the choice was framed differently.
I don't know when global oil supplies will start to decline. I do know that another resource has already peaked and gone into free fall: the credibility of the body that's meant to assess them. Last week two whistleblowers from the International Energy Agency alleged that it has deliberately upgraded its estimate of the world's oil supplies in order not to frighten the markets. [...more]
First, eating red meat is likely to kill you. Large studies have shown that the daily consumption of red meat increases the risk that you will die prematurely of heart disease or bowel cancer. This is now beyond serious scientific dispute. When the beef industry tries to deny the evidence, it is just repeating what the tobacco industry did 30 years ago. [...more]
I gave a talk in South Texas recently on the environmental virtues of a vegetarian diet. As you might imagine, the reception was chilly. In fact, the only applause came during the Q&A period when a member of the audience said that my lecture made him want to go out and eat even more meat. "Plus," he added, "what I eat is my business -- it's personal." [...more]
With the publication of Jonathan Safran Foer's captivating and powerful book, Eating Animals, much has been said and written about his undercover investigative work, which gives America a view inside the hidden world of factory farms.
What has not been commented on, however, is the disquieting fact that under existing federal and state laws, Mr. Foer's undercover actions -- while clearly an important public service -- are actually illegal, and what's more, they constitute acts of domestic terrorism.
I don't know when global oil supplies will start to decline. I do know that another resource has already peaked and gone into freefall: the credibility of the body that's meant to assess them. Last week two whistleblowers from the International Energy Agency alleged that it has deliberately upgraded its estimate of the world's oil supplies in order not to frighten the markets. Three days later, a paper published by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden showed that the IEA's forecasts must be wrong, because it assumes a rate of extraction that appears to be impossible. [...more]
There is certainly a Seattle quality to the Copenhagen mobilization: the huge range of groups that will be there; the diverse tactics that will be on display; and the developing-country governments ready to bring activist demands into the summit. But Copenhagen is not merely a Seattle do-over. It feels, instead, as though the progressive tectonic plates are shifting, creating a movement that builds on the strengths of an earlier era but also learns from its mistakes. [...more]
The fraudulent "Smart Choices" food labeling gimmick that sought to push sugary cereals as "healthy foods" is crumbling amid the pullout of Kellogg, Unilever and PepsiCo. These companies have been distancing themselves from the fraudulent labeling scam ever since the FDA announced the labeling might be "misleading" and said it intended to investigate. [...more]
"To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous," said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford. [...more]