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Worldwatch Perspective: With the 2007 Farm Bill, the Local Goes Global
September 24, 2007 08:34 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
The 2007 Farm Bill, a critical piece of legislation that highlights America’s agricultural priorities, has been on lawmakers’ agendas this fall. With the authority of the 2002 Bill due to run out by the end of the year, more than 65 proposals put forward by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are in need of extension or reauthorization. The Farm Bill is also seen as evidence of the U.S. government’s commitment to rural areas, and is recognized for its investments in alternative energy sources and food production.
10 Easy Pieces
September 23, 2007 11:03 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
The most inspiring thing I’ve read lately about the oceans is “10 Solutions to Save the Ocean,” a series of short, upbeat, and to-the-point essays in the latest issue of Conservation magazine.
Worldwatch Perspective: The Meaning of $80 Oil
September 21, 2007 07:35 AM - Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute
The price of oil hit its highest level in a quarter-century this week—and is now closing in on the inflation-adjusted record set in 1981. What’s so surprising, though, is not the high price of oil—at over $80 a barrel—but the timing of this price increase. Most economists predict that the world economy will soon cool, and autumn is usually the season when oil prices fall.
China’s Policy of Returning Farmland to Forests Must Be Upheld
September 20, 2007 07:40 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
China is witnessing a dangerous trend. The country’s policy of returning farmland to forests is faltering, and many areas are opting out of this activity in a push to protect local farmers. They are recklessly expanding farmlands that should have been replaced with forests under the policy, or they have simply allowed farmers to continue cultivating steep hillsides.
SOS for Fading Ocean Life
September 19, 2007 11:23 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Creating “national parks of the sea” may be the only effective way to reverse trends that have left 76 percent of world fish stocks fully- or over-exploited and marine biodiversity at severe risk, according to the new report, Oceans in Peril: Protecting Marine Biodiversity, released today by the Worldwatch Institute.
Can Corporations Help Chinese Nonprofits Overcome Funding Barriers?
September 19, 2007 08:04 AM - Lila Buckley, Worldwatch Institute
One of the major barriers to the growth of civil society in China is the lack of funding to support a wide diversity of organizations and projects. There are no Chinese foundations to which groups can apply for grants, there is no established culture of public or corporate philanthropy, and there are no tax incentives to encourage donations. This means that most Chinese non-profits are forced to seek funding from foundations and governments outside the country, a process that often requires international philanthropy savvy and language skills that not all groups have.
Pesticides Pose Risk in Rural and Urban Communities Alike
September 19, 2007 08:01 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
n a recent study of 60 children of Latino farmworkers in the U.S. state of North Carolina, nearly 90 percent of those tested were found to have pesticide metabolites in their urine, according to a report in Environmental Health Perspectives. On average, the children had four different pesticides present in their urine, posing a potential long-term health risk. “Because children are so much smaller than adults and because they are developing rapidly, the effects of pesticides on their neurological systems can be devastating,” says Danielle Nierenberg, a food and agriculture researcher at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C.
Gas Flaring Wastes Resources, Pollutes Atmosphere
September 17, 2007 07:12 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
Every year, the oil industry burns off up to 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas released in the oil extraction process, according to a new report commissioned by the World Bank. The practice, known as gas flaring, not only harms the environment by emitting some 400 million tons of carbon dioxide globally, but is also wasteful of a cleaner energy source, the gas itself, notes Bent Svensson, manager of the Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership.
Window to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change Closing.
September 14, 2007 07:06 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
Consumption of energy and many other critical resources is consistently breaking records, disrupting the climate and undermining life on the planet, according to the latest Worldwatch Institute report, Vital Signs 2007-2008. The 44 trends tracked in Vital Signs illustrate the urgent need to check consumption of energy and other resources that are contributing to the climate crisis, starting with the largest polluter, the United States, which accounted for over 21 percent of global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning in 2005
Farm animal diversity: Forgotten in Interlaken?
September 11, 2007 10:55 AM - Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute
The first international technical conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held last week in Interlaken, Switzerland, didn’t get much coverage from mainstream media—unfortunately. Despite the fact that, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, at least one breed of livestock has become extinct every month for the last seven years, most burger-eating, milk-drinking consumers in the U.S. and Europe haven’t taken notice.