Group to Create Rating System for Landscapes
November 5, 2007 12:22 PM - Allyson Wendt, ENN
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has been working with the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas–Austin since 2005 to research environmentally friendly landscapes for building sites, parks, and public areas.
In 2006, the U.S. Botanic Garden joined the effort, and now the group is going public with its Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), a project to develop guidelines by 2009 and a rating system for landscapes by 2012.
Monsanto’s rBGH Profits Down; More Dairies Go rBGH-Free
November 3, 2007 11:23 PM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report
Monsanto Company recently announced that profits from its genetically modified bovine growth hormone, Posilac, also known as rBGH, will fall 16% in 2007 due to “pressure in the dairy business,” according to chief financial officer, Terry Crews.
Tens of thousands trapped in Mexico floods
November 2, 2007 11:37 AM - Luis Manuel Lopez, Reuters
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Mexicans were trapped on rooftops and others clung to lampposts on Thursday after heavy rains flooded nearly the entire southern state of Tabasco.
At least 500,000 people were made homeless and one person was killed in the worst flooding the swampy state has seen in more than 50 years.
President Felipe Calderon said it was one of the worst natural disasters in Mexico's history.
Television images showed rescue workers hauling people out turbulent, brown waters that rose as high as the roofs of houses. Children floated down a street in a plastic tub.
Ol' McDonald had a Farm (Bill)
November 2, 2007 09:59 AM - , Triple Pundit
For most of this year, Congress has been debating what to include in the 2007 Farm Bill, but there is still time for you to contact your legislators and have an influence. This opportunity to shape what food is grown, how it is grown, who grows it, and who can afford to eat it only comes around once every 5 years! Farm Bill policy is controversial and it helps to understand why. Food & Water Watch’s Farm Bill 101 provides an easy-to-read 1-page history of the development of farm bill policy.
Organic gardens take root in Canada
November 1, 2007 08:58 PM - Julie Gordon, Reuters
TORONTO (Reuters) - As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada.
In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes.
"Irrigation is a huge issue as water is such a valuable resource," said Claire Suo-Cockerton of landscaping company Aesthetic Earthworks. "We are trying to plant material that is more appropriate today in our climate."
Organic GardensTake Root in Canada
November 1, 2007 12:14 PM - Reuters
TORONTO - As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada. In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes.
Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects
October 31, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa.
Southeast drought leads to spat over lake
October 30, 2007 02:33 PM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters
LAKE LANIER, Georgia (Reuters) - A large, man-made lake in north Georgia is at the center of a political storm over how to distribute water resources between three states in the face of the region's worst drought in decades. Lake Lanier stands near the head of a watershed that feeds the booming city of Atlanta about 45 miles to the south, leading to accusations that the city is consuming more than its fair share of water.
African Expert: Wary Farmers, Not climate Change Is Problem
October 29, 2007 02:02 PM - Henry Neondo, SciDevNet
Low crop yields in Africa is not due to climate change but rather farmers failing to exploit opportunities in wetter years, says a Kenya-based scientist. Peter Cooper, principal scientist for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Nairobi, argues that much of African society, particularly politicians and policy-makers, wrongly blames climate change for harvest irregularities.
U.N. Food Expert Seeks Moratorium on Biofuels
October 26, 2007 04:09 PM - Claudia Parsons, Reuters
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food called on Friday for a five-year moratorium on biofuels, saying it was a "crime against humanity" to convert food crops to fuel.
Biofuels are driving up food prices at a time when there are 854 million hungry people in the world and every five seconds a child under 10 dies from hunger or disease related to malnutrition, Jean Ziegler said.
Fears over climate change have boosted the demand for alternative fuels, but the rise of biofuel has been criticized by some who say it squeezes land needed for food.