Happy March everyone! Let’s start the month off right with some green news, shall we?
Royal Dutch Shell announced today that it was setting “pause” on its exploratory drilling activities in the Arctic for 2013. Sometimes, there really is some good environmental news.
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade. During a seven-year period beginning in 2003 that parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of total stored freshwater. That is almost the amount of water in the Dead Sea. The researchers attribute about 60 percent of the loss to pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a seed patent infringement case that pits a small farmer from Indiana, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman, against biotech goliath Monsanto. Reporters from the New York Times to the Sacramento Bee dissected the legal arguments. They speculated on the odds. They opined on the impact a Monsanto loss might have, not only on genetically modified crops, but on medical research and software. Let’s hope the farmers start winning cases against Monsanto before the bio-giant puts them all out of business, leaving us only Frankenfood to eat.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is an author and was trained as a physicist. As such, she is a systems thinker. In her recent talk, she described the commodification of life as an affront to all of mankind, and described the system-level view that confronts us as we grapple with the GMO challenge. The Economic Argument Against GMOs: a Top Ten List
Next time you walk up to the seafood counter, look for products labeled with a blue fish, a check mark, and the words “Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC.” Then ask yourself, “What does this label mean?” Better yet, buy a rod and get a fishing license!
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