Daily Archives: December 30, 2013

Monsanto’s scary new scheme: Why does it really want all this data?

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/29/monsantos_scary_new_scheme_why_does_it_really_want_all_this_data/

As biotech giant pays huge sums for data analysis about farms, many are terrified about how it might be harnessed

Lina Khan

(Credit: Nejron Photo, Fotokostic via Shutterstock/Salon)

Imagine cows fed and milked entirely by robots. Or tomatoes that send an e-mail when they need more water. Or a farm where all the decisions about where to plant seeds, spray fertilizer and steer tractors are made by software on servers on the other side of the sea.

This is what more and more of our agriculture may come to look like in the years ahead, as farming meets Big Data. There’s no shortage of farmers and industry gurus who think this kind of “smart” farming could bring many benefits. Pushing these tools onto fields, the idea goes, will boost our ability to control this fiendishly unpredictable activity and help farmers increase yields even while using fewer resources.

The big question is who exactly will end up owning all this data, and who gets to determine how it is used. On one side stand some of the largest corporations in agriculture, who are racing to gather and put their stamp on as much of this information as they can. Opposing them are farmers’ groups and small open-source technology start-ups, which want to ensure a farm’s data stays in the farmer’s control and serves the farmer’s interests.

Who wins will determine not just who profits from the information, but who, at the end of the day, directs life and business on the farm.

One recent round in this battle took place in October, when Monsanto spent close to $1 billion to buy the Climate Corporation, a data analytics firm. Last year the chemical and seed company also bought Precision Planting, another high-tech firm, and also launched a venture capital arm geared to fund tech start-ups.

In November, John Deere and DuPont Pioneer announced plans to partner to provide farmers information and prescriptions in near-real time. Deere has pioneered “precision farming” equipment in recent years, equipping tractors and combines to automatically transmit data collected from particular farms to company databases. DuPont, meanwhile, has rolled out a service that analyzes data into “actionable management strategies.”

….(read more).

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Transition United States

http://transitionus.org/home

Our Story

Our vision is that every community in the United States has engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present.

Mission

Transition US is a resource and catalyst for building resilient communities across the United States that are able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. We will accomplish our mission by inspiring, encouraging, supporting, networking and training individuals and their communities as they consider, adopt, adapt, and implement the Transition approach to community empowerment and change.

The Transition approach is based on four key assumptions:

  1. That life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
  2. That our communities currently lack resilience.
  3. That we have to act collectively, and we have to act now to build community resilience and prepare for life without fossil fuels.
  4. That by unleashing the collective genius of our communities it is possible to design new ways of living that are more nourishing, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Transition Towns Network

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_Towns_(network)

Transition Towns is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.[1]

Transition Towns is a brand for these environmental and social movements “founded (in part) upon the principles of permaculture”, based originally on Bill Mollison’s influential Permaculture, a Designers Manual published in 1988.[2] The Transition Towns brand of permaculture uses David Holmgren’s 2003 book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. [3] These techniques were included in a student project overseen by permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins at the Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Food Production – A Model For The Future


foodmatterstv

Uploaded on Dec 1, 2009

http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp/One…

This is not your usual doom and gloom experience it gives great optimism for the world and what ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN DO -Michael Burton, New Zealand

Modern agriculture causes topsoil to be eroded at 3 million tons per hour (thats 26 billion tons a year!). Human mass (waste) is replacing biomass and other species. The carrying capacity of the earth is almost spent. To maintain our comfort zone lifestyles we will soon need five earths to sustain us in the style to which we have become accustomed. The mantra of free trade has failed the worlds poor. There is a better way. Biodynamic agriculture may be the only answer we have left.

See, particularly
http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/food-production-a-model-for-the-future
Modern agriculture is causing topsoil to be eroded at 3 million tons per hour (that’s 26 billion tons a year!). The carrying capacity of the earth is almost spent. To maintain our comfort zone consumerist lifestyles we will soon need five earths to sustain us in the style to which we have become accustomed. The mantra of free trade has failed the world’s poor but there is a better way and Biodynamic agriculture may be the only answer we have left.

What is Biodynamic Agriculture?

‘Bio’ comes from the Greek word which means life, and ‘dynamic’ means a moving force. Hence biodynamics is life as a moving force.

Biodynamic farming principles and methods are based on the teachings of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner who in 1924 outlined a method of agriculture that seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature. He developed the technique in response to the degradation and nutrient depletion of European soils at the time.

…(read more).

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV
EE Film Festival
EJ Film Festival
Food Film Festival

 

5MIN News December 29, 2013: Solar Wind Affects Weather

E120, e130

Americans see dirty truth of energy addiction thru oil boom

E120, e130,

Assange: Surveillance is new strategic weapon owned by single power (EXCLUSIVE)

E120, e145,