Agriculture

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.

Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against Aurora Organic Dairy Alleging Deceptive Practices
October 26, 2007 03:17 PM -

St. Louis, MO, Denver, CO - Class action lawsuits were filed in US district courts in St. Louis and Denver this week alleging that Aurora Dairy Corporation, doing business as Aurora Organic Dairy, committed "unfair and deceptive practices" and was unjustly enriched by marketing and selling milk alleged to be organic, at prices "much higher" than non-organic milk, when the company knew or should have known that its milk did not meet the standards of organic certification.

 

 

Aurora Dairy said it will defend itself vigorously against the fraud claims and against any other such suits that may be brought. The company expressed confidence it will prevail, should any of the cases go to trial.

Doing it Green
October 25, 2007 07:11 PM - Anne Keefe, Owner, EclipseSpa

EclipseSpa was created by me, Danville, California resident Anne Keefe. My comapny makes a collection of fine organic bath and beauty products that include bath salts, shower gels, lotions, soaps and tea baths in a variety of scents and a line of soy candles and spa music. EclipseSpa products are formulated with organic ingredients. They do not contain any agents known to be harmful to the body. I am committed to sustainable practices and providing the most outstanding organic bath & body essentials. 

As a business owner I had to decide philosophically how to run my business, making choices not only about what is important to me, but also to what my customers, and prospective customers, need and expect from a company. With the heightened media coverage on Global Warming, the Live Earth Day Concert, and everyone making adjustments, on both a corporate level as well as individuals committing to sustainable practices everyday at home, we can no longer deny that there is a long-term problem. 

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