Dead Zones: Industrial Agriculture versus Ocean Life

12 August, 2020 Climate & Capitalism
Metabolic Rifts

Worldwide, there are now over a thousand coastal areas where fish can’t breathe. The nitrogen that makes crops grow is also destroying offshore ecosystems.

“Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first.” —Frederick Engels

Continuing our series on metabolic rifts in the 21st century. As always, comments, questions and corrections are welcome.


by Ian Angus

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Global Fever

1 August, 2020 — Spectre Journal

A Review of Andreas Malm’s “Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century”

Gareth Dale

9781839762154
Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century
by Andreas Malm
Verso
2020

What can a virus tell us about climate breakdown, in its causation and in humanity’s response? And what can both tell us about capitalism and communism? These are the questions that Andreas Malm addresses in his new book forthcoming next month. It is a remarkable work, a tour de force. It portrays capitalism not simply in metaphorical colors as a meta-virus run by parasites, but as the godfather of actual viruses, the patron of parasites. Written at whirlwind pace, one of its leitmotifs is tempo: the varying velocities of climate collapse, locust swarms, zoonotic pathogenic leaps, and the dynamics and gear changes of political response and strategy. While others were hesitantly piecing together analyses of COVID-19 and its links to climate change and the capitalist system, as the familiar coordinates heaved all around in April 2020, Malm seems to have summoned the energies of the crisis and guided them onto the page. The prose crackles—this is an urgent book.

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Global Breaking News on GMOs and Pesticides 3 August 2020

3 August 2020 — Sustainable Pulse

Editors’ picks

New Report Shows Africa’s Green Revolution is “Failing On Its Own Terms”

Fourteen years ago, the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller foundations launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with the goal of bringing Africa its own Green Revolution in agricultural productivity. Armed with high-yield commercial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, AGRA eventually set the goal to double productivity and incomes by 2020 for 30 million small-scale farming households while reducing food insecurity by half in 20 countries.

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Global Breaking News on GMOs and Pesticides 20 July 2020

20 July 2020 — Sustainable Pulse

Editors’ picks

Pesticides Increase Transmission of Debilitating Snail Fever Affecting Hundreds of Millions of People

Widespread use of pesticides, including the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate, can speed the transmission of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis (snail fever), while also upsetting the ecological balances in aquatic environments that prevent infections, a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley has found. Source: news.berkeley.edu

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Is lab-grown meat the future of food?

18 July, 2020 — Climate & Capitalism

Film review

Documentary on ‘clean meat’  fails to question the technology’s rationale and blindly accepts dubious claims made by its promoters


Australian ecosocialist Alan Broughton is is a member of the Organic Agriculture Association and co-author of Sustainable Agriculture vs Corporate Greed.


MEAT THE FUTURE
Directed by Liz Marshall

reviewed by Alan Broughton
Green Left, July 6, 2020

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Global Breaking News on GMOs and Pesticides 13 July 2020

13 July 2020 — Sustainable Pulse

Editors’ picks

India Set to Restrict Who Can Spray Glyphosate Herbicides in Big Blow for Bayer

Glyphosate is the most used weedkiller in India with over 675,000 Kg of it spread on Indian farmland in 2018-2019, however a new change on who is allowed to spray glyphosate, which is set to be introduced by the Indian government, will immediately massively reduce sales of the chemical across the country. The draft notification […]

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Tonnes of ‘recycled’ European plastic pollute the oceans

1 July 2020 — Climate & Capitalism

Capitalism fouls things up

Researchers from National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Limerick have concluded that “Recycling of European plastic is a pathway for plastic debris in the ocean.” That’s the title of a study published this week in the journal Environment International, showing that much of the plastic supposedly recycled by the EU, UK, Switzerland and Norway actually ends up in the ocean.

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GM groups call on the public: Ask Ministers to reject plans to de-regulate gene editing

2 July 2020 — GMWatch

UK: PLEASE TAKE ACTION

Three of the UK’s largest GM campaigns – GM Freeze, Beyond GM and GMWatch – have joined together to oppose an amendment to the Agriculture Bill that would give the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice, the power to change the definition of a GMO and re-classify many forms of gene editing as non-GM.

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Gene Editing: Scientifically indefensible, anti-democratic, and harmful to trade

2 July 2020 — GMWatch

The amendment to the Agriculture Bill seeking to de-regulate gene-edited foods and crops should be discarded

An amendment has been tabled[1] in the UK House of Lords to the Agriculture Bill, seeking to change the definition of a genetically modified organism (GMO) in the UK’s Environmental Protection Act (1990) in order to exempt certain types of new genetic modification techniques, such as gene editing, from GMO regulations, within the context of “Agriculture Research”. This would mean that certain types of genetically modified organisms, including gene-edited ones, would escape safety checks and labelling. The Agriculture Bill will go to the committee stage in the House of Lords on 7 July.

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UK confirms it will not align with EU chemicals agency

26 June 2020 — The Chemical Engineer

by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

THE UK Government has said that it will not align with EU chemicals policy, instead bringing in its own controversial system.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that the UK will implement its own version of the EU chemical regulatory system, REACH, at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December. The UK is still operating under EU REACH until then, but has no say on the regulations. Despite calls from industry to align with the European regulatory system, the UK Government will implement a UK REACH run by Defra and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), replacing the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The plans for UK REACH have previously been called “vague and insufficient”.

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