Transnational Corporations, Factory Farms and the Economic Colonization of Rural America

By JOHN IKERD, In These Times, August 2017 (Image: farmaid.org) In 2011, Margaret Wheatley, a widely respected scholar and one of the leading thinkers in the United States on matters of institutional and cultural change, identified three major trends shaping U.S. society: 1) “A growing sense of impotence and dread about the state of the nation,” 2) “The realization that information …

Improving Africa’s soils to cut emissions and boost food security

On Carbon Brief, 2 August 2017 Dr Keith Shepherd is a principal soil scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Dr Rolf Sommer is a principal soil and climate change scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Together they lead the Restoring Degraded Landscapesresearch theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). How we manage soils is crucial to tackling climate change. …

Increasing droughts, lower crop yields (just 40% already in Utah and forecast to go to 10%), and increased stress and conflict

A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change’s impact on irrigation. The most adversely affected region, according to the researchers, will be the Southwest. Already a water-stressed part of the country, this region is projected to experience …

The founding myth of the United States

By Benjamin Naimark-Rowse, 3 July 2017, This article was originally published on Political Violence @ a Glance. The Boston Tea Party (Wikimedia Commons) Tomorrow, cities and towns from coast-to-coast will host fireworks, concerts and parades to celebrate our independence from Britain. Those celebrations will invariably highlight the soldiers who pushed the British from our shores. But the lesson we learn of …

When the trees disappear from the outskirts of the forest, it creates significant local warming and changes air circulation patterns throughout the Amazon area during the dry season leading to more loss

The ongoing deforestation around the fringes of the Amazon may have serious consequences for the untouched deeper parts of the rainforest. A new research study shows that it is not only the climate that is adversely affected by deforestation. In fact, the very stability of the ecosystem in the entire Amazon region is altered when deforestation takes place in the …

Freshwater & renewable energy storage for drought striken regions? Areas for integrated pumped hydro reverse osmosis (IPHRO) system identified

Combined energy and water system could provide for millions: Analysis shows system could economically bring fresh water and renewable energy storage to drought-stricken coastal regions worldwide. Introduction by Kelley Travers | MIT Energy Initiative, 18 April 2017.  Full copy of the article is available at the link and below the overview. The team’s analysis determined that in Southern California, all power …

In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Agriculture begins to tackle its role in climate change

After years of being off the table in climate talks, agriculture is now being considered widely by countries trying to reach their Paris emissions cuts pledges. By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News 4 Jan 2017 Farming in places like drought-plagued California is clearly impacted by climate change, but it can also play a role in slowing global warming, many countries …