Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Convenient Truth

The danger with critiques such as The Weather Makers and An Inconvenient Truth is that readers are so overwhelmed with the enormity of the climate change challenge that their reaction is to say "the problem is so enormous....I'm opting out." To-day I listened to Chris Turner, author of The Geography of Hope being interviewed. He has documented good news from around the world where sustainable practices have already been applied and are working e.g. wind farms in Denmark where the villages have attained negative carbon emissions, eco villages in Ithaca, New York which take Findhorn, Scotland and push the envelope etc. etc. I have not yet read this book but it sounds promising.
Source: CBC, Quirks and Quarks, June 21st, 2008 (enjoy the summer everyone).

The Geography of Hope

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chinese Lantern Festival, Toronto

When in Rome

When in Rome don't do as the delegates to the World Food Summit do. Major protests and riots around across the globe indicate a notable food crisis is looming. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently convoked in Italy to address the issue. No coherent policy emerged. So to use another cliche "while Nero fiddles Rome burns." For a number of years I have advocated biofuels as a major alternative fuel. Informed opinion now suggests, however, they are not a panacea and the use of corn, for example, takes a staple food out of the world food supply. The inputs of energy from corn to make ethanol do not lead to a net gain for the environment. Meanwhile, in the first 3 months of this year, commodity pricing for staples such as wheat and rice have skyrocketed, the FAO food price index rising 53% in that alarmingly short period. World food reserves have fallen to the point where we are only two months production away from running out.
Source: Eric Reguly, Globe and Mail, June 2nd, 2008.