The End of Food?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

The 18th century British author Jonathan Swift wrote that under the enclosure movement in Britain, “sheep eat men”. That’s because large landowners threw thousands of tenant farmers off their land to make way for raising sheep on an industrialized scale, in order to feed the textile mills of the new industrial age. Something of the same could be said of our current system of producing food. It was supposed to solve the problem of hunger in the world. The so-called “green revolution”, with its massive use of herbicides and pesticides, did usher in the era of cheap, abundant food. But Paul Roberts says that era is coming to an end. In his book, The End Of Food, Roberts says the technologies meant to end hunger don’t fit the conditions in the very countries they were supposed to feed. Small farmers are squeezed off the land, their families go hungry, and suicide sweeps their ranks. Rich countries are vulnerable, too. In a globalized food system, plant diseases could wipe out major food crops like wheat, fish stocks are crashing, and antibiotic resistance threatens both our meat animals–and ourselves. Roberts says the global industrialized food system is overextended, under threat of disruptions and unsustainable.

CWR News Analysis — The 24th Anniversary of Bhopal:

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
EarthRights International: Bano v. Union Carbide Case History
Press Release: “Victory Against Union Carbide Corp.: Court Reverses Dismissal of Pollution Claims”
Second Circuit Appeals Court Decision in Bano v. Union Carbide
Press Release: “Chevron Found Not Liable for Killings, Shootings, and Torture of Nigerian Peaceful Protesters”
FindLaw: “Chevron Wins an Alien Tort Statute Case – But the Victory May Be Less Important than It Might Seem”

CWR ViewPoint — Are NGOs and Corporations Too Cozy?

Marc Gunther
Marc Gunther

On Monday, the Washington DC offices of the NGO Environmental Defense were “invaded” by grassroots climate activists from Rising Tide North America. Dr. Rachel Smolker, daughter of a co-founder of Environmental Defense, protested ED’s collaboration with corporations, particularly its involvement in the US Climate Action Partnership, an alliance of NGOs and big companies that advocates for carbon cap-and-trade. The activists label this a “false” solution to the climate crisis, and lampooned the NGO with “Mr. Green” and “Mr. Wash” scrubbing the ED offices clean.

Last month, Fortune magazine’s Sustainability Columnist Marc Gunther blogged and wrote an article on the “cozy” relationships between NGOs and corporations. For the Corporate Watchdog Radio ViewPoint, we caught up with Marc from his home office in Bethesda for his take on this issue.