Tag Archives: agriculture

Karla Mendes on Brazil’s For-Profit Fire Disaster

The Amazon is burning. And we’re not talking about the ubiquitous online store, although profit and commerce are just as involved. According to preliminary data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE),  deforestation of the Amazon rose 92 percent in the past year to 2,472 square miles – an area larger than the state of Delaware. And these fires, while posing a grave risk for wildfires, are not naturally-occurring. These are for-profit fires, intentionally set and on the rise, fueled by a right-wing government hostile to environmental interests. This week on Sea Change Radio, we get an inside glimpse into this environmental disaster with Brazilian environmental journalist, Karla Mendes. A Contributing Editor to Mongabay, Mendes explains how the new right-wing government in Brazil has paved the way for deforestation and exploitation by big business in some of the world’s most pristine rain forests. Then, we cast our net to the archives and hear from sea forager extraordinaire, Kirk Lombard.

Agreeable Agriculture With Eric Toensmeier

erictoensmeierCan simply changing how and what we grow really make a difference to a changing climate? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, author and agricultural expert, Eric Toensmeier, is quite certain it can. We discuss smarter agricultural methods like using trees and grazing animals. And we talk about what might turn an enormous, slow-moving industry like agriculture onto a more sustainable path.

Gary Nabhan: Seeds of Change

NabhanThe next time you are putting a slice of tomato on your sandwich, ask yourself where it came from. Not which area of the country, but which seed stock. One of the often overlooked aspects of food insecurity amid climate uncertainty is the push by big agricultural interests to get us to buy their seeds and their seeds only. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio, Gary Nabhan, has taken the fight to the corporate seed merchants through the local food movement and seed saving community. The Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona, Nabhan believes that a healthy food system is a biodiverse food system. We discuss community-based seed banks, look at the role that Big Ag will continue to play in our food system, and examine how climate change and a lack of biodiverse seed stocks affect people in war zones.

Parched: California Drought Update

Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif.As Californians continue to look beseechingly to the skies for signs of any kind of rainfall, the effects of this drought are indeed far-reaching. The policies that emerge from this disastrously dry year may ultimately alter what foods we eat, where we build new homes and even what sports we play. Earlier this year, we heard from the President of the Pacific Institute, Peter Gleick, as he told us of the critical nature of this drought, even in its early stages. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks again to Dr. Gleick for an update and to get a glimpse into the future of what a permanently drier California might mean for us all.

Courtney White: Grass, Soil, Hope

CourtneyWhiteGrass-Soil-Hope-jpgWhat if the solution for reducing our collective carbon footprint were right under our feet? Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio believes it is – soil is a natural and planet-healthy repository for CO2. A slight rise in carbon dioxide levels in the soil could help fend off the encroaching warming of the climate. Author Courtney White talks about this as well as the environmental problems caused by today’s common farming practices.

Peter Gleick on the California Drought

Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif.Drought2013 was the driest year on record in California, and the state’s snowpack is at 12% of what it should be. Considering that this state alone houses an eighth of the US population, maintains over 25 million acres of farmland with a GDP larger than that of Canada, the current California drought reaches well beyond the borders of the golden state. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with Peter Gleick, President and Co-founder of the Pacific Institute. They discuss the realities and implications of the current water crisis, how better agricultural policy may help lessen its impact, and look at some of the innovations that have been developed in other arid geographies.

Rhett Butler on the Palm Oil Industry (re-broadcast)

RhettButlerpalmoilThe global expansion of the palm oil industry is one of the largest upheavals in modern agricultural history – and one that many Americans know nothing about. And yet palm oil is now everywhere in this country – in our food, our cosmetics and someday soon maybe even in our gas tanks.

This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn about the palm oil explosion over the past two decades from Rhett A. Butler, the founder of the popular environmental news website, Mongabay. Butler talks with host Alex Wise about the social, economic and environmental impact of this rapidly expanding crop in the tropical countries where it’s grown – and what measures are being taken to mitigate the damage that a monoculture like palm oil can inflict.

Rhett Butler on the Palm Oil Industry

RhettButlerpalmoilThe global expansion of the palm oil industry is one of the largest upheavals in modern agricultural history – and one that many Americans know nothing about. And yet palm oil is now everywhere in this country – in our food, our cosmetics and someday soon maybe even in our gas tanks.

This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn about the palm oil explosion over the past two decades from Rhett A. Butler, the founder of the popular environmental news website, Mongabay. Butler talks with host Alex Wise about the social, economic and environmental impact of this rapidly expanding crop in the tropical countries where it’s grown – and what measures are being taken to mitigate the damage that a monoculture like palm oil can inflict.

Securing The Foodshed: Philip Ackerman-Leist

PhilipAckerman[amazon-product align=”right”]1603584234[/amazon-product]There is little disagreement that urban farming translates into increased access to local, sustainable, and healthy food, and that this is a very good thing. But how is it done? What are the success stories of urban farming? And what exactly is a “foodshed?” Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Philip Ackerman-Leist, an author, educator and farmer. We learn about foodsheds and discuss how urban farming has proliferated in cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Oakland. He also tells host Alex Wise about how today’s global menu and palate are creating a carbon-intensive food transport problem, and shares some of his best thinking on the ways to get a new generation of Americans engaged in helping ensure our food security future.