This article which first appeared at Common Dreams takes up the argument against biomass as a solution to climate change and explains why trees are more valuable alive than dead both for climate and for biodiversity.
“Companies are shifting fossil energy use to wood, which increases warming, as a substitute for shifting to solar and wind, which would truly decrease warming.”
EON’s biofuel power station in Lockerbie, Scotland with timber supplies. The power station is fueled 100% by wood sourced from local woodlands. (Photo: Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)
A group of over 500 international scientists on Thursday urged world leaders to end policies that prop up the burning of trees for energy because it poses “a double climate problem” that threatens forests’ biodiversity and efforts to stem the planet’s ecological emergency.
Indigenous farming perspectives, land ownership, agroecological farming and how to enact change were some of the key themes from the seven-day Oxford Real Farming Conference, which took place between 8-13 January.The alternative farming event, which this year went global and virtual for the first time, was attended by thousands of visitors from 75 countries, and was described as a “melting pot” of thinkers and change-makers.
This fascinating article in The Guardian points to a burgeoning movement of seed-sharing and exchanging and makes the case for public ownership of seed. Certainly something which should be discussed widely in the Labour and environmental movement.
Covid has made people see how the food system is dominated by large corporations, say campaigners
The pandemic encouraged an interest in allotments and seed saving. Photograph: Bill Allsopp/Alamy Stock Photo
Seeds need to be brought back into public ownership, rather than belonging to a small group of agrochemical companies, say campaigners, after a year in which seed-swapping and saving has reached new heights of popularity.
There was much post-Referendum talk about the opportunity to green our farming. There would be ‘public money for public goods’ and we thought that meant improving the earth. There would be a new ‘Environmental Land Management Scheme’ (ELMS) that would replace the old EU system of paying subsidies by land area.
False promises. The real news is not good. Our author raises the alarm at the way some environmentalists are still seduced by the notion that ‘public money will go to public goods’. He also stresses how supine Labour and the unions have been in general and calls for make food and farming central to our political agenda from now on.
Ben Lilliston argues that the new Biden-Harris administration needs to go much further than its predecessors to build a climate resilient farming system and puts forward a series of policies which have a wider application than just the US.
Re-posted from the Institute Of Agriculture and Trade Policy blog:
As the Biden-Harris transition team rapidly fills key cabinet positions and senior leadership, it also is setting priorities for the first 100 days. If the “Build Back Better” mantra is to become reality, particularly in advancing equitable solutions to the climate crisis, the transition team will have to think systemically — not just agency by agency. Systems thinking is especially critical to create a just transition for farming. Our current policy framework supports an industrial system of production that is pushing out farmers while increasing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate risk to the food supply. We need a coordinated approach across multiple agencies to support a more resilient farming system.
Reposted from Labour Hub this article by the South East Asia Solidarity Group explains the significance and importance of the ongoing protests by farmers in India and why ecosocialists in the West should stand in solidarity.
In India, in the middle of the pandemic, a unique struggle is taking place. Hundreds of thousands of farmers from across the country are occupying the borders of Delhi in a protest against the combined forces of corporate power and an ultra-right wing government. On the whole an estimated 2 million people are said to be involved.
It is, however, not only its magnitude, which make it significant. The farmers’ protest represents a potentially transformative moment in the struggle against fascism which has been sweeping India over the last year – fuelled by growing anger against the Modi regime.
Alex Lee argues that a programme of rewilding is vital for a future ecosocialist strategy to restore the natural world and halt catastrophic biodiversity loss, and humans should be at the centre of this.
If you look in any popular bookstore these days, you’ll find books on rewilding…. There are books about rewilding your garden, rewilding your mind, rewilding your life. The word entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010 (1) and has seen a stratospheric increase in use (2). In 2019 it was even a contender for the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year (3). But is it just another capitalist marketing ploy?
Well, yes and no. The origins of the word are in ecology, but in capitalism’s drive to market new products, companies have latched onto the word “rewilding” as the latest desirable thing. In recent years there has been a plethora of products that are “fair-trade”, “natural”, “low-carbon”, “sustainable” and “organic”, trends that have a component of a critique.