Archive for the ‘agriculture’ Category
Guest post by Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
The United States is one of the world’s biggest users of water: many Americans use as much water as about 900 Kenyans. Water resources in the U.S. are shrinking. In the last five years, water shortages have occurred in almost every part of the country, including the worst drought in at least 25 years that hit 80 percent of the country’s farmland in 2012. Even worse, the damaged land won’t fully recover this year and at least 36 states are expecting local, regional, or statewide water shortages, even without the impact of drought.
The Natural Resources Defense Council expects water scarcity to affect the American South, West, and Midwest the most. Fourteen states in these regions already have “extreme” or “high” risk of water scarcity. Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, and Texas face the most danger because they are expected to see some of the largest population increases by 2030. Read the rest of this entry »
While urbanization and returning to nature may seem incompatible, there’s a body of evidence that says increasing migration to cities has definite environmental benefits.
One obvious benefit is that living close to or even where you work takes cars off the road and reduces CO2 emissions.
Also, as people increasingly move to urban centers, pressure on global forests eases. Because forests double as the planet’s lungs, they are a natural and effective answer to sequestering carbon emissions, so the more these particular lungs can hold the better. Read the rest of this entry »
While the Copenhagen climate change summit appears destined to dissolve in about the disheartening but expected way that usually occurs when nations, diplomats, scientists and special interests start talking about serious and expensive change, there is some hope coming from another UN body.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is moving on a couple of climate change and food security fronts, including the launch of a multi-donor program to support sustainable, low-emission agriculture practices in developing nations.
FAO announced that Finland, the first country to participate in this program, will kick-in $3.9 million over the 2010-2011 period. A paltry sum indeed but it’s a start and the agency intends to approach other potential donors for further funding under the five-year initiative.
On a separate track, FAO is hooking up with Brazil on a large-scale project to collect data on emissions and deforestation.