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Category Archive: Environment

Feb 22 2012

Heartland Institute exposed as a propaganda outfit

On February 14, news broke about a leak of documents from an organization known as the Heartland Institute that detailed how they are funded by the billionaire Charles Koch and other global warming opponents and

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Feb 04 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Last week I attended a conference in San Francisco and over the weekend visited Monterey and went to the aquarium. It is well worth a visit. There were many interesting things to see but what really caught my imagination were the sea dragons and the jellies (watch the videos), they were so delicate and beautiful. …

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Jul 18 2008

The propaganda machine and climate change

Some time ago, in one of my posts in my series on climate change, I pondered on why there seemed to be such a vehement opposition to the idea that human actions might be causing an irreversible and disastrous change to our planet. After all, this seems like largely a scientific question that, unlike (say) …

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Dec 15 2006

The impact of modern agriculture on land use

Agriculture has only been around for about 10,000 years and the reasons for its success are not clear since the archeological evidence suggests that early farmers were, nutritionally speaking, not as well off as their contemporary hunter-gatherers. It may have been that since grains can be stored over years of bounty and used in lean …

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Dec 14 2006

The food-energy equation

In his February 2004 Harper’s essay The oil we eat, Richard Manning lays out the basic energy equation that underlies food. All animals eat plants or eat animals that eat plants. This is the food chain, and pulling it is the unique ability of plants to turn sunlight into stored energy in the form of …

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Dec 13 2006

Saving resources

One of the things that appall me is the waste of food. Whenever I have to throw away food that has been uneaten, I take that as a personal defeat. As a result, the refrigerator in our home is relatively bare since it tends to have things that are likely to be used soon. Even …

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Dec 12 2006

Reduce, reduce, reduce

Environmentalists use the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” to indicate the different ways that we can lower our consumption of resources in order to save the world. It is true that recycling has become more popular now, which is a good thing. But we must remember that recycle is merely the third item on the descending …

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Dec 11 2006

Are we owners or custodians?

In the previous post, when I said that my generation had been poor custodians of the world, I used the word ‘custodians’ deliberately. I think there is a big difference between those who see their relationship to things in terms of ownership and those who see it in terms of custodianship. The ownership mentality sees …

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Dec 08 2006

The age of consumption

Some time ago I was having breakfast with a few friends and during the casual conversation I said that I felt that our children and grandchildren would judge our generation harshly for what we have done to the world. One of my companions was surprised and after a moment’s thought told me why she disagreed. …

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Aug 02 2006

Global warming-7: The current status of the scientific consensus

So what is the scientific consensus about the answers to the key questions concerning global warming? The British magazine New Scientist gives a review of the state of affairs concerning climate change, along with a handy summary sheet of the main points, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (thanks to Brian Gray …

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