What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.
Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
Join the Harvard Environmental Action Committee and the Harvard Extension Environmental Club for a screening of this incredible film.
Free and open to the public! Snacks will be served.
Bad Weather Date: Sunday, February 21st ~ 2 PM ~ Emerson 210
When Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST) – Add to Calendar Where Harvard University Campus – Emerson 210 Cambridge, MA 02138
With the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence a whole new concept of food may soon radically change what we eat. And at the same time, some experts believe, it could reduce global warming.
No longer based on animal ingredients, this is a food entirely based on plants – although it looks and tastes like the classic food based on ingredients derived from animals.
This is not a new idea, it has been around for about 10 years.
But the breakthrough has been delayed, perhaps one of the reasons is that many consumers still prefer locally produced food, they want to trust the supply chain, and not simply depend on big manufacturers.
However, a group of young scientists in Chile are working on alternatives for a sustainable and meatless future.
Commercial engineer Matias Muchnick and Harvard research associate Karim Pichara are two of the founders of the Not Company.Together with biochemist Isidora Silva they are developing new plant-based food and are determined to bring it to people in their local market.
Part of what motivates them is what they consider to be the biggest drawback of classic animal farming: It requires massive amounts of land and it affects global warming.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock contributes both directly and indirectly to climate change through the emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
Livestock is also a major driver of deforestation, desertification, as well as the release of carbon from cultivated soils. Overall the livestock sector is contributing 2.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emission according to the UN.
“When you get behind the scenes of the food industry, you don’t like what you see. There is a lot of things that we should be knowing… but we are blindsided by a whole industry that is making it really hard for us to see what we are really eating,” says Matias Muchnick.
The main scientist of the Not Company team is a computer, an artificial intelligence algorithm programmed to become the smartest food scientist in the world.
It uses deep learning parameters to understand food at a molecular level, helping the team to deliver tasty and affordable nutrition while using less water, less land, less energy, and without the need to cultivate harmful bio systems like animals.
It’s a complicated process but it’s designed to understand human perception of taste and texture which allows it to suggest clever recipes for sustainable and tasty plant-based foods. And it even understands the availability and use of resources for every single plant in the company’s database.
“We want people to eat better, but without even knowing, that’s the main objective of the Not Company,” Muchnick says.
But does the new model of food production really work? Will it be popular among consumers? What does it mean for the future of food? Are we at the tipping point of a food revolution?
The team behind the Not Company talks to Al Jazeera to discuss their work, their goals and their vision for the future of the food industry.
“It’s not just a matter of producing enough, but making agriculture environmentally friendly and making sure that food gets to those who need it,” said study lead author John Reganold. (Photo: CinCool/flickr/cc)
A new review of four decades of science has come to this conclusion: organic agriculture has a key role to play in feeding the world.
To analyze the body of research, author John Reganold, Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology at Washington State University, and doctoral candidate Jonathan Wachter compared conventional and organic farming using the metrics of productivity, environmental impact, economic viability, and social well-being.
“Thirty years ago, there were just a couple handfuls of studies comparing organic agriculture with conventional. In the last 15 years, these kinds of studies have skyrocketed,” Reganold said.
In terms of productivity, they found that organic yields averaged 10 to 20 percent less than conventional—but that’s not always the case.
With 12 nations expected to sign the corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand on Thursday, opponents in the U.S. and beyond are renewing their criticisms of the deal’s worst provisions, which they warn pose serious dangers to the climate, working families, and democracy.
The signatures mark the end of the negotiating process, with a broad agreement on the deal having been reached in October. Now, all 12 Pacific Rim countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes, which in the U.S. means passage by Congress.
“The TPP is a giveaway to big corporations, special interests and all those who want economic rules that benefit the wealthy few. It is no wonder the presidential front-runners from both political parties oppose it.”
—Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
Recent reporting suggests Congress won’t take up the issue until after the November elections—which gives opponents time to hone their arguments against the toxic deal.
“I urge my colleagues to reject the TPP and stop an agreement that would tilt the playing field even more in favor of big multinational corporations and against working families,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on the U.S. Senate floor on Tuesday. Noting that “most of the TPP’s 30 chapters don’t even deal with traditional trade issues,” she argued, “most of TPP is about letting multinational corporations rig the rules on everything from patent protection to food safety standards—all to benefit themselves.”
Warren was one of 38 senators who voted against a bill last year allowing the president to “Fast Track” trade agreements like the TPP through Congress on a simple majority vote, with senators unable to amend the deals or challenge specific provisions.
“A rigged process produces a rigged outcome,” she continued, blasting the composition of advisory committees that were made up of industry executives and the cloak of secrecy that surrounded the negotiations.
Tens of thousands of people marched across 14 European countries in protest against the influx of Muslim migrants into the continent. In several migrant flashpoints, clashes broke out between demonstrators and police. Read More: http://on.rt.com/73uq
The first phase of what is to become the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world has being opened in the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate. At completion, the 580 MW complex will provide clean electricity for more than one million people, helping Morocco reach its goal of generating 42% of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and 52% by 2030.
Mauritania has launched a global fisheries transparency initiative that is expected to unlock a major obstacle to sustainable fishing – the secretive nature of fishing contracts. Overfishing and other threats have been blamed for a 50 percent drop in fish stocks around the world.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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