Smarter Farming

monomaniaI was delighted recently to get a note from a University of Michigan student who had read my article on monoculture, reposted from here, at the United Nations University website, Our World.  The student, Nils Johnson, and his three colleagues put together a clever and very useful series of interviews, and even took my theme for their title.  (I wrote “Monomania is a serious disorder, characterized by, according to my dictionary, ‘excessive concentration on a single object or idea.’ In the case of much of American farming, that single object is the production of as much corn as possible at the greatest possible return on investment.”) Continue reading

“Climate-Change Counter Movement”

climate policy doonesburyGary Trudeau nailed it a few years back in this strip.  (Click on it to see the whole thing.)  There was a study out that flags the nearly one billion dollars that goes to fund the climate denialism movement each year.  The excellent Suzanne Goldenberg got the whole story in The Guardian in December.  (One of the many things, I’m sure, that I missed as I cast my radar across the horizon.)   In any event, social scientist Robert Brulle conducted the study, published in Climatic Change, one of the key peer-reviewed journals covering climate.  He’s quoted in the article:  “It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this. This is a large-scale political effort.” Continue reading

Big Events, On the Near Horizon

kxl rallyThe Cowboy Indian Alliance is riding into Washington on April 22nd and setting up camp to make a statement:  Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and Protect the Earth.  They will be joined on April 26 by thousands of people who share that message.  It’s a critical message, and I personally think that John Kerry understands it.  I think that Barack Obama understands it.  It’s our job to give them the political cover to do the right thing.  It’s as simple as that.  It’s our job to refute the lies from the special interests and to overwhelm the forces of reaction with reason, our voices, our votes and our support for organizations and candidates that know the hour is late. Continue reading


cga logoI had the distinct pleasure this past Tuesday of moderating a panel of top experts on clean tech and the state of its global development:  Clean Energy For All was a part of the “Fueling Our Future” series at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs where I teach.  Our guests were Travis Bradford, from SIPA and the Prometheus Institute; Vignesh Gowrishankar, from NRDC; and Minoru Takada from the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.  CGA’s Dean, Vera Jelinek, welcomed our guests and the full house of audience members. Continue reading