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{Wednesday Roundup} This Week’s Top Eco Stories

February 29, 2012

by Lindsay E. Brown

Occupy Our Food Supply!
On February 27th, thousands converged for Occupy Our Food Supply day of action to creatively confront corporate control of our food supply and take action to build a healthy food system. The global event brought together the Occupy, sustainable farming, food justice, buy local, slow food and environmental movements. Said Dr. Vandana Shiva: “ The biggest corporate takeover on the planet is the hijacking of the food system, the cost of which has had huge and irreversible consequences for the Earth and people everywhere.”

Livia Firth Turned the Red Carpet Green with Meryl Streep’s Help
Livia Firth talks to Lindsay Brown about the eco Valentino number she wore to the Oscars, how she recruited Meryl Streep to her Green Carpet Challenge, and how she defines sustainable fashion in this exclusive post-Oscars interview.

TransCanada Begins Construction on Keystone XL
Since we shared Ted Tuner’s eloquent op-ed condemning the Keystone Pipeline, TransCanada has decided to begin construction on the part of the pipeline that doesn’t cross international borders, from Oklahoma to Texas. Not surprisingly, the corporation also announced that they will re-apply for a presidential permit allowing them to build the pipe across the US-Canadian border. said it well in an email sent out yesterday: “This is an important, iconic fight—big oil knows that, which is why they are pushing so hard. And you know it, which is why so far, for once, they haven’t gotten their way.”

Battery Breakthrough Could Bring Electric Cars to All
Most people love the concept of an electric car, but will then say that they just don’t think it’s practical or affordable. Well, a new start-up might just have the answer. At the ARPA-E summit, Envia Systems announced it had achieved an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram in electric car batteries. In other words: an electric car that could have a 300-mile range and cost around $25,000.

Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers’ Case Against Monsanto
A New York federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit against Monsanto by 83 plaintiffs representing more than 300,000 organic farmers. The farmers sought protection from potential lawsuits by the agribusiness giant for patent infringement. Most of the soy, canola, corn and cotton grown in the United States is genetically modified, and corn happens to be the most likely to cross-pollinate with plants in nearby fields. Genes from genetically modified crops can drift into organic fields which concerns organic farmers, since GMO contamination can damage the value of their crop.

Alliance Seeks Vast Marine Reserves in the Antarctic
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance, a coalition of high-profile individuals like Richard Branson and leading environmental groups, proposed that 19 areas be set aside as marine protected reserves. This would be considered the world’s largest network of marine reserves in the Southern Ocean. Many fisheries scientists believe that reserves offer the best hope for restoring ecosystems taxed by pollution, overfishing and global warming.

Bill Gates Calls for More Accountability on Food Programs
In a recent speech in Rome, Bill gates called on the United Nations agencies that deal with world food supply to set a global target for the productivity growth of agriculture.  “The world’s agriculture and food system is now outdated and inefficient,” Mr. Gates said in the speech. “Countries, food agencies and donors aren’t working together in a focused and coordinated way to provide the help small farmers need, when they need it.”


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