Bees, Neonics and the future of food

The crisis of the disappearing bees is one that people at large remain largely oblivious to or unconcerned about. Since the early observations of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) around the world, bee keepers and scientists have been trying their hardest to find a reasoning behind the phenomenon. However, as with any environmental issue the issue … Continue reading Bees, Neonics and the future of food

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The Skeptical Environmentalist view on Biodiversity Loss

Sifting through the shelves of the university library I came across the book that I have been meaning to read for a few years. Bjorn Lomborg's 'The Skeptical Environmentalist', first published in Danish in 1998 as Verdens Sande Tilstand and in English in 2001 by Cambridge University Press, sets out a counter argument to practically … Continue reading The Skeptical Environmentalist view on Biodiversity Loss

Why Soils Matter in the Global Food Security Debate

Some of you may know (although I have to confess that I was personally unaware until yesterday) that last week was ‘Global Soil Week’ when more than 450 scientists, policy makers and practitioners from 71 countries gathered together in Berlin to discuss the role of soils in society. The theme of the week was ‘Losing … Continue reading Why Soils Matter in the Global Food Security Debate

Biodiversity Offsetting – biophilia or biophobia (love nature or loathe it)?

Another look at biodiversity offsetting, this time from John Clarkson, lecturer in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University. He effectively mixes scientific and humanist arguments for opposing biodiversity offsetting. Trees are indeed individuals whose lifespans cover many human lifetimes. If you want to tell Mr Paterson what he needs to believe about stepping down such a slippery path as this please fill in one of the surveys that DEFRA will (hopefully) take in to account – available at http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/campaigning/our-campaigns/Pages/bio-offsetting.aspx#.Uneb3fk7128

Woodland Matters

With a scathing view of the Government’s proposals, John Clarkson provides our final guest post in this series about plans for a Biodiversity Offsetting scheme. Having spent twenty years working for conservation NGOs, John has been a lecturer in Wildlife Conservation for the last 5 years at Nottingham Trent University specialising in the understanding of natural processes and human/wildlife interactions.  

” ‘Offsetting is an exciting opportunity to look at how we can improve the environment as well as grow the economy. There is no reason why wildlife and development can’t flourish side-by-side.’

And with this statement the Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, appears to suggest that the process of ‘offsetting’ is one which has nature in mind; that it is a ‘we-care-for-the-environment’, biophiliac approach.

Which got me thinking…is this a biophiliac ‘wolf’ in a biophobic ‘sheep’s’ clothing? Because what he then didn’t go on to say…

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Climate Change and the Future of Food

Yet more thoughts regarding a bleak future for food production against population rise. At some point policy makers will have to be radical and make some real decisions as to how we are going to cope with this problem (and it is a problem) in the long term.

Global Food Politics

agriculture-impact-climate-change-photoA draft Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report leaked last week concludes that climate change poses dramatic risks for the global food supply. Unlike previous reports, the draft report concludes that while rising mean global temperatures could have some beneficial effects on crops, overall global production will likely decline by as much as 2 percent per decade for the rest of the century as a result of climate change. Meanwhile, global demand is expected to increase by as much as 14 percent per decade over the same period as global population grows to an estimated 9.6 billion people by 2050.

The draft report is not expected to be published until March, and IPCC spokesperson Jonathan Lynn told the New York Times  that the report is “a work in progress” and declined further comment, noting that “We don’t have anything to say about the contents. It’s likely to change.”

Regardless…

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