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agriculture

Native animals have intrinsic value Minister Walsh - Maryland Wilson

As human overpopulation in Victoria Australia fuels new sprawling suburbs, kangaroos are being continually deprived of habitat and pushed out into roads. There is an ongoing pantomime to pretend that it is not the human population, but the kangaroo population that is making new impositions on the environment. Culls are called for and, not unexpectedly, country MPs are trying to win votes from the fringes by calling for a commercial kangaroo meat processing industry. Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Counsel, has leapt into the breach to defend kangaroos. Among other things she has said that it is inappropriate for the Minister for Agriculture to make decisions affecting wildlife. She has also repeated her call for wildlife corridors.

Farmers and Seed Sellers sue Monsanto to protect themselves from patents on genetically modified seed

Feed the world with Genetically Modified foods? The French Minister for Agriculture is preparing a new law to prevent GM crops in France as the European Court of Justice has questioned the health-risk basis of current French laws against GM. It probably suits GM patenters to keep the battle on this footing as a decoy because the major danger lies elsewhere - in loss of productive land tenure. In the US, meanwhile, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) has filed suit against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past. See film on-line inside.

Australia protests Gas-Fracking and Water - Brisbane Sunday October 16, 2011

Aussies take action! Lock the gate!" Australians to gather in Brisbane to defend water and land from coal and coal-seam gas fracking, which has already been totally banned in France. (See comments.) On Sunday October 16, 11a.m. Queens Park Cnr George & Elizabeth Sts. Brisbane City. lockthegateqld[AT]gmail.com Facebook: Defend Our Water Qld Tel. 0404 677 781 www.lockthegate.org.au

Prof Robin Batterham - Australia should buy farms in Mozambique


Is there really any social justice or ethics that we continue to grow our own population and consumption levels if it means we parasitically must acquire valuable arable land from a country already being preyed upon by developed nations?

Cost of Queensland floods made worse by government policy on land-use planning and population

This year many Australians may wish they had a backyard to grow food in. Already impoverished by rising costs for rent, land and power, this year we will see food go through the roof as the impact of the floods in Queensland and Northern New South Wales carries through to the supermarkets and then to interest rates on mortgages and other loans. And, since so many of us rely on jobs in the cities originally generated by the production, transport and packaging of food from the country, unemployment will make things worse. When Australians find that their wages no longer cover the cost of food this year, perhaps more will understand why there are so many articles on this website protesting about the loss of backyard and the rise of Food Inc.

Agriculture: Ending the World As We Know It

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a paradigm-shift. In this article, John Feeney manages to be both concise and comprehensive. So many shrill voices locate our problem in the capitalist economic system, in the paradigm of economic growth, in obsolete technology, in greed or selfishness, in irresponsible living habits, in organized religion and so forth. But it goes much deeper than that. Not only is industrial civilization unsustainable, but so is civilization itself. "Civilization is made possible by agriculture. Agriculture is unsustainable."

Lester Brown's Box

The food race is a race that humanity cannot afford to win. We must restore the balance between birth and death by shifting our efforts from preventing death toward preventing births. To reach that conclusion, we must think outside the box.

Solar panels in France and elsewhere: comparing techology uptake, prices, policies and subsidies

This story is based on a report on France2 television news about growth in public and private stock of photovoltaic panels in France, payments by Electricite de France (EDF)for contributions to the electricity grid, tax rebates available, income from providing electricity to the grid and prospect of funding retirement through this for farmers and others with roof and other space. The bottom part of the article contains comments about the situation of rebates etc in other countries. Readers are asked to add comments about their own experiences. We can build up an international policy data base here.

On behalf of Animals Australia - help to fight for better rights for farm animals

Help End Factory-Farming at AnimalsAustralia.org
See also hereUPDATE 23 Nov 2009: The two biggest financial supporters of factory farming in Australia are Coles and Woolworths. They have the buying power to influence change by demanding ethically produced products and by not supporting producers that use cruel practices such as sow crates and battery cages. Animals Australia are suggesting that people ask Woolworths and Coles to use their purchasing power to improve the lives of animals. Your message need only be a few lines but it will provide an important call for change. Customers' views are considered important by Coles and Woolworths. Ed. Have you noticed that societies that treat domestic animals badly also treat their people badly. Standing up for other species is a way of standing up for yourself.

The Vanishing of Bees - film

Among many frightening problems posed by the scale of industrialisation and mass production in the world is "bee colony collapse" syndrome (BCC). This condition where bee populations suddenly die off in massive numbers, endangers a large part of world food production, both large and small-scale. As such it literally threatens 'life as we know it'. A bee-less planet would be nearly unrecognisable, with the disappearance from the earth of many familiar kinds of trees, fruits, flowers and vegetables and the birds and other animals that depend on them. Now there is a new film out, made by apiarists, the humans first in line to suffer when bees do. The syndrome has been linked to particular pesticides. There is a comprehensive trailer available here.

See also :
"Trouble with bees", ABC Radio National's Background Briefing of 29 Jul 07, including transcript and link to 22Mb MP3 file.

Brumby's wet dream interrupted in Parliament - (North-South Pipeline Victoria)

“Today’s successful disallowance motion in Parliament highlights the overwhelming opposition to the Government’s attempts to loot water from food producers and the environment because it has failed to plan for Melbourne’s future water needs,” Mr Ryan, Liberal Nationals Coalition.

Secretive Private water increase MAIN cause of Darling R. crisis - NOT drought - UN supports Emergency Enquiry

Listen to interview.
New data shows that the effect of the rapid increase in privately-held water in the Darling Basin on the volumes of water available for essential public and environmental use is the main cause of the water crisis, not the drought. The Senior water advisor to the United Nations supports a call for declaration of a State of Emergency and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the management of the water of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Government interference in Wimmera Mallee Water - some recent history

This document is republished to give background dating from 2003 as the Victorian government began to take control away from citizens and locals over water, land and government, and to assume more and more control, in public-private associations. It was the beginning of overt attempts to promote private profit from induced scarcity. The induced scarcity was created by the government policy to grow Victoria's population and economic activities. At the time few Victorians had the faintest idea of what was going on. I was one of few environmentalists to question the authority of the government's actions.

Senate inquiry Water Amendment (Murray and Goulburn Rivers) Bill 2008 in Shepparton Tues April 14th

Yes, most of these farmers are irrigators, whereas environmentalists prefer dryland farming to irrigation, and permaculture and relocalisation to broadacre. Some environmentalists consider that cropping is better than grazing for water use, value and animal rights. Others consider that cropping is intolerant of any wildlife, whereas grazing can co-exist with wildlife. These differences withstanding, the political reality we all face is that the private/public group the Plug the Pipe people are fighting proposes far worse than what we have now, with massive intensification of irrigation for crops and feedlot farms, total intolerance of wildlife, and no democratic input at all. Comments welcome.
See Orwellian Waterworksfor an explanation of what is at stake here.

Organic White House garden gets Big Ag's knickers in a knot

After breaking ground on the new, 1100 square foot White House garden, Michelle Obama named chef Sam Kass to head the White House Food Initiative. And Kass isn't a fan of big agriculture and mass fertilisers. All of this positive PR for organics feels very threatening to Big Ag. So one group, the Mid America CropLife Association, has sent an email defending chemical ag to Mrs. Obama. See the letter inside.
See also, Christopher Cook's classic book, Diet for a dead planet and a fascinating interview with the author, which will make you want the book.

See also: discussion on the Life After the Oil Crash Forum

Simple natural solutions to fire and flood

"If you purchase two copies of The Age this Saturday, soak one in the bath overnight and read the other. Think of the copy coming out of the bath, as the landscape prior [to the impact of repeated fires] and the dry paper, as the landscape is today." (Article by Duane Norris for Natural Sequence Farming)

Book Review: Peter Andrews - Back from the brink - agriculture for Australians

This book paints a picture of the ecological mechanics of this continent, using clear, concise prose. It is a painlessly educative book. The bold claim of its subtitle, "How Australia's landscape can be saved," stands up to scrutiny.

Take a new look at thistles, dock plants and other hardy weeds. Enjoy trialling the author's theories in your neglected front garden or replot your broadacre farm. Re-examine the cause of total re-nativisation in the light of galloping desertification. Peter maintains that his simple hydrological theory holds true for the entire continent. He re-interprets the history of this land; he may well be right.

The dairy industry is cruel and unsustainable.

Mother cows are known to have highly developed maternal instincts and can bellow for days for their stolen babies! We kill over one million new-born calves each year. the dairy industry accounted for 39% of the total irrigated area of pasture in the Murray Darling Basin.

Tony Boys's picture

Photo essay of a rural Japanese city

What do rural areas in Japan 'look like'? What are the main features of Japanese agriculture that make it different from agriculture in other countries? This article includes photographs of a rural city in Japan as well as a "food and energy crisis survival guide" survey for the city.

Bloomington USA - An oasis of sanity in a sea of growthist madness?

Could this be happening in the Land of MORE, MORE, MORE? Bloomington, Indiana supports a steady-state economy! You heard it right….

Oz Wildlife sacrificed as political and economic palliative

The Victorian Government report, "Land and Biodiversity at a time of climate change," was widely seen by Victorian wildlife organisations as a shocker. Here is an excerpt from AWPC Maryland Wilson's searing response.

Biofuels threaten to turn Kenya's Tana Delta into ecological wasteland

The recently approved plans to transform globally important and ecologically sensitive Tana Delta wetlands into vast fields of toxic, monoculture sugar cane and biofuel mill threatens the livelihoods of local farmers as well as 350 species including birds, lions, hippos, nesting turtles, elephants, sharks, reptiles and the Tana red colobus, one of 25 primates facing extinction globally.

What you can do: Visit www.climateark.org in order to ask the Kenyan Government to cancel the project in accord with its own environmental laws.

See also: Agrofuel company violently represses communities in Guatemala of 12 Jul 08, Public Hearing against Agrofuels in Valle del Cauca, Colombia of 25 Jun 08, Evo Morales re-nationalises energy and telecommunications companies, denounces biofuel-driven starvation of 12 May 08.

mike's picture

Are we Future Ready?

In the early 1970's, a book titled "The Limits to Growth" was published, a report by the Club of Rome on the predicaments of mankind. Ultimately translated in 30 languages, it caused a furore, predicting that should civilisation continue on its present path, it would run out of every resource under the sun, causing a collapse of society and a major dieoff of human population.

Using the Internet to get yourself up to speed on the half-truths of the GM crop and food lobby

The Internet enables consumers and farmers to sort through the claims and counter-claims about Genetically Modified (GM) foods in order to understand the threat they pose to our health and our control of our food supply.

Last gasp for single desk marketing of Australian wheat

Over 500 farmers have turned out in force to protest at Parliament in Canberra in a last ditch attempt to persuade the Government not to ditch the single desk marketing of Australian wheat.

Peak oil prices cause South Australian Farmers to call for 'fair market forces'

South Australian Farmers call urgently for fair market forces so that producers can earn a fair return for their effort and ensure their future viability in face of "peak oil prices".

See also French Farmer Youth fight petroleum hikes: riot police and Orwellian Waterworks: big-agribusiness and Victorian Gov

French Farmer Youth fight petroleum hikes: riot police

In Lille, France, about 40 youths calling themselves "Jeunes agriculteurs" (Young Farmers), pulled a tractor through the town on a rope to educate the public on the impact that petroleum hikes are having on food production and farmers. More robust simultaneous actions in other French towns came into conflict with police...also in Bulgaria. And all-night gas queues in Taiwan. See also Peak oil hits French fishing industry

Orwellian Waterworks: big-agribusiness and Victorian Gov

The Foodbowl group describes among its aims "To support the transition of small farming enterprises to world-competitive, sustainable agribusiness enterprises with a variety of models that maintain and enhance community cohesion." But were they invited? Were they asked? Apparently not.

Update, 2 June: Country Womens Association (CWA) Reject the North South Pipeline

What you can do: visit plugthepipe.com and join their mailing list.

Why R&D alone cannot solve the food crisis

In a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, in response to Achim Steiner's article "For future peace, step forward for the great agricultural challenge" Dr. Jane O'Sullivan of the University of Queensland's School of Land Crop and Food Sciences, questions whether "sustainable and profitable farming that generates food security" for 9 billion people is physically possible.

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