Climate Change

Increased competition over land for growing biofuels, coupled with climate change and poor farming practices risks ability to feed growing population, UN warns

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2011-11-28

Haiti, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe most vulnerable to extreme weather of climate change and lack social, financial ability to cope; areas of north America, northern Europe protected

By Damian Carrington

The Guardian (UK) 2011-10-26

Global Adaption Index tracks nations' food capacity, import dependency, malnutrition, rural population, other indicators to forecast resilience in face of climate change

By Morgan Clendaniel

Fast Company 2011-09-19

As climate change takes hold, sections of Rio Grande, Yellow, Colorado and Tigris rivers are now drying out each summer; geographers fear disappearance of such landmarks

By John Vidal

The Guardian (UK) 2011-09-15

No. 1 issue is sustainable development - linking climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, energy shortages, global health issues, women's empowerment, UN head says

Agence France-Presse 2011-09-08

Opinion: As social unrest continues, initial troubles can be traced, in part, to price of bread, signalling informal resource conflicts

By Christian Parenti

CBS News 2011-07-20

Opinion: Cutting harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants requires technology, ambition, but industry unlikely to invest unless Congress provides strong incentive

The editors

The New York Times 2011-07-20

Fuel refinery in Washington is one of world's leading providers of tarry residue used in making aluminum soda cans, suggesting that weaning from fossil fuels is complicated

By Geoff Dembicki

CorpWatch; The Tyee 2011-07-11

Opinion: Global security challenges - food, water, energy - are inextricably linked, so need for systemic thinking and action is inescapable

By John Elkington

The Guardian (UK) 2011-06-29

Opinion: As commodity prices show, it will be economic impact of climate change and resource limits that will motivate sweeping changes necessary to avert catastrophe

By Paul Gilding

CNN 2011-06-21

As rapid growth in food production slows and global appetite for meat, dairy increases demand, researchers point to climate change and sound alarm over adequate food supply

By Justin Gillis

The New York Times 2011-06-05

In what some see as ominous sign of warming, botanists on both continents find earlier and earlier blooming - from grapevines in Europe to wild spring onion leaves along Potomac

By Brigid Schulte

The Washington Post 2011-04-08

Cholera shaped just as much by sea surface temperature, ocean currents, and weather changes as by poor sanitation; with warming, outbreaks may become more common

By Sonia Shah

Le Monde 2011-03-08

Disappearing ice pushes bloom of phytoplankton - Arctic food web anchor - earlier, and could disrupt ecosystem of fish, shellfish, birds, marine mammals there

By Brian Vastag

The Washington Post 2011-03-06

Rising CO2 causing plants to have fewer pores, releasing less water to atmosphere; transpiration helps drive absorption of water at roots, cools plants in manner similar to sweating

Indiana University; Science Daily 2011-03-04

Opinion: The very politicians who are so worried about public debt -- and who want deep spending cuts now to save our future - dismiss climate, resource crisis and natural debt

By Bryan Walsh

Time magazine 2011-02-22

India struggles to feed its 1.1 billion people; it needs to hike investment in irrigation, spur competition in wholesale and retail markets, provide targeted food subsidies to poor

By Vikas Bajaj

The New York Times 2011-02-12

As food prices surge upward, ranks of poor swell; UN food-relief agency bought 22 percent more food last year than in 2009, but spent 30 percent more - $1.25 billion

By Caroline Henshaw

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-02-08

Opinion: For food security, we must raise water productivity; cut emissions; shift to solar, wind, geothermal; urge smaller families, make all-out effort to eradicate poverty

By Lester R. Brown

The Christian Science Monitor 2011-02-08

Books: In the heartbreaking "Hot," Mark Hertsgaard contributes ground-level reporting on climate adaptation efforts around world, lists reasons to act rather than despair

By Wen Stephenson

The New York Times 2011-02-04

Opinion: Key factor in soaring food prices is severe weather, expected as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate; this surge may be just the start

By Paul Krugman

The New York Times 2011-02-06

Books: In "Hot," author Mark Hertsgaard presents strong case that there is still time to keep planet livable despite climate change; technology exists, but we must act now

By Wen Stephenson

The New York Times 2011-02-04

Rising food prices pit traditional doomsayer/hopeful combatants against each other aspopulations, appetites for meat grow and climate changes

By Andrew C. Revkin

The New York Times 2011-01-10

Mechanization, infrastructure and federal investment in plant breeding helped farmers counteract effects of harsh climate and harvest record crops of wheat in early 1900s, study indicates

By Bryan Walsh

Time 2010-12-27

Externalities - uncounted byproducts of activity - of climate change could aid Africa by counting public goods (clean air and seas) and natural capital (trees, wind, sunshine, water, soil)

By Alex Perry / Archer's Post And Kareygorou

Time 2010-12-12

Fertilizer use, fossil fuel use, sewage push nitrogen into waterways, where it becomes nitrous oxide and contributes 10 percent of such human-caused greenhouse emissions, study shows

LiveScience 2010-12-21

Oceans' acidification could profoundly disrupt nitrogen cycles, altering basic structure of Earth's food webs, according to experimental simulation; mollusks, crustaceans also at risk

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2010-12-21

As India's climate turns drier, emerald fields of water-thirsty rice give way to fields of fruits, vegetables, grown organically and with drip irrigation - and stubby palms for oil

By Akash Kapur

The New York Times 2010-12-16

Desertification, land degradation from overuse, global warming are greatest environmental challenges and present threat of hunger around globe, UN expert says

By Damian Carrington

The Guardian (UK) 2010-12-16

Food security, marine diversity at stake as rapidly increasing acidification of oceans shrinks minerals needed for skeletons of shellfish, coral; 1 billion humas rely on fish as protein source

By Matthew Knight

CNN 2010-12-02

Analysis: Voters stay course on California's nation-leading green-economy march; law will engage businesses, government and individuals with rules that will touch everyday life

By Joel Makower

Greener World Media; Reuters 2010-11-03

Opinion: With concerns about rising food prices and rumors of hoarding, UN group could help protect food security by brokering agreement not to impose export controls

The editors

The New York Times 2010-09-12

Russians respond to slashed harvest forecasts by stocking up on staples; president says there are no grounds for rising food prices, orders agencies to monitor for gouging

By Lyubov Pronina and Ilya Arkhipov 2010-09-02

Exports of grain, meats lead agriculture sector in otherwise lingering recession; US farmers to ship $107.5 billion in products as other countries struggle with drought, heat

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-09-01

Opinion: Volatility in grain prices caused by drought, flood plus population growth and emerging grain diseases - if this is pattern, or glimpse of future, it's worrying

The editors

The New York Times 2010-08-27

Rising temperatures projected to slow production of rice, world's most important crop for ensuring food security for 3 billion people, addressing poverty, study says

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2010-08-09

Drought in Russia, extra rain in Canada, locusts in Australia fuel worries of global wheat shortage; prices now match those of 2008, when low supplies fueled food crisis, riots

By Liam Pleven and Tom Polansek

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-08-03

Researchers warn that global decline in phytoplankton, a carbon sink and first part of marine food chain, will further reduce depleted fish stocks, could speed warming

By Markus Becker

Der Spiegel 2010-07-29

Climate changes poses threat of heart disease, contamination of water, seafood tainting, bug-borne sickness, federal agencies report

By Randolph E. Schmid

The Associated Press; The Guardian 2010-04-24

Opinion: For a real difference in country's health, we need a Green Tea Party, modeled after the beverage and full of antioxidants, to cut carbon

By Thomas L. Friedman

The New York Times 2010-04-24

Rotting corn, alfalfa, almond shells - cow feed - not manure or cow emissions, may be to blame for high ozone levels in largest dairy production region in U.S., study indicates

By Tracie Cone

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2010-04-22

Dairy industry, globally, produces 4 percent of greenhouse emissions, UN report says

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2010-04-20

UN specialists will re-examine contribution of meat production to climate change after researcher says 2006 report exaggerated link

By Richard Black

BBC News 2010-03-24

Opinion: Ethically compromised big green groups offer placebos when they should be conducting and amplifying our anger at betrayal of our environmental safety

By Johann Hari

The Nation. 2010-03-04

Opinion: In biofuels computations, EPA wisely includes calculations of land-clearing for food crops elsewhere when fuel crops displace those for food in U.S.

The editors

The New York Times 2010-02-10

21-part package in Science probes obstacles to achieving global food security, causes and effects of hunger, and promising solutions

Science Magazine 2010-02-12

New U.S. climate service will provide information to farmers on when to increase irrigation, others affected by warming planet

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-02-09

Public companies should warn investors of serious risks - storms, emissions, rising seas, legislation - that global warming might pose to businesses, SEC says

By John Broder

The New York Times 2010-01-27

Suggestions of weekly meat-free day for environment prompts robust defense from livestock industry

By James Kanter

The New York Times 2010-01-24

As hunger climbs, car biofuels using quarter of grain supplies, analysis suggests

By John Vidal

The Guardian (UK) 2010-01-22

Researchers, awash in data, don't have enough information to predict net effects of climate change on food plants

By Michael D. Lemonick

Time magazine 2010-01-15

Opinion: Capturing methane is fastest, most effective way to cool Earth's temperature

By Robert Watson and Mohamed El-Ashry

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-12-28

Researchers predict velocity of climatic zone changes that plants, animals must match to survive warming

By Michael D. Lemonick

Time magazine 2009-12-24

Vilsack questions USDA's estimate of foresting 20 million acres of cropland for climate

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-12-18

Opinion: Until restrainers beat expanders, climate crises - water, soil - will continue

By George Monbiot

The Guardian (UK) 2009-12-14

Opinion: Agricultural ecosystems change as planet signals peril

By Thomas Lovejoy

The New York TImes 2009-12-08

Farming sector doomed Copenhagen deadline for emissions bill

American farmers' dependence on cheap fossil fuels for fertilizer, fuel, pesticides doomed chance to pass cap-and-trade emissions bill before Copenhagen climate summit. Climate change debate prods sore spots: liberal versus conservative, urban versus rural, coasts against heartland. Rural Americans are on average poorer than urban compatriots, and rely more on fossil fuel; poor, conservative areas emit more carbon dioxide per head than rich, liberal ones, and politicians from such areas are less likely to support carbon curbs. That was why House cap-and-trade bill had to be sweetened - and made less effective - with hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of giveaways.

The Economist 2009-11-12

Farming sector doomed Copenhagen deadline for emissions bill

American farmers' dependence on cheap fossil fuels for fertilizer, fuel, pesticides doomed chance to pass cap-and-trade emissions bill before Copenhagen climate summit. Climate change debate prods sore spots: liberal versus conservative, urban versus rural, coasts against heartland. Rural Americans are on average poorer than urban compatriots, and rely more on fossil fuel; poor, conservative areas emit more carbon dioxide per head than rich, liberal ones, and politicians from such areas are less likely to support carbon curbs. That was why House cap-and-trade bill had to be sweetened - and made less effective - with hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of giveaways.


EPA sends CO2 danger finding to White House

EPA sends to White House its final proposal on whether carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gas emissions pose danger to human health and welfare, agency head says. And: Step could trigger regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act; environmentalists embrace move in advance of Copenhagen climate talks while manufacturers worry (click 'See also').

By Tom Doggett

Reuters 2009-11-09

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Palm oil group rebuked for failing to include GHG standards in criteria

Palm oil group, at meeting, chooses not to include greenhouse gas emissions standards in criteria for 'sustainable' palm oil, but agrees on emissions from fertilizer use, fuel use, mill wastes, maintenance of water level in plantations on peat. Among 389 members are Unilever, Nestle, Conservation International, WWF. Environmental group publishes list of loopholes in accord; another calls it 'greenwash.' And: Palm oil, used in margarine, shortening, baked goods, candies, is high in saturated fat and promotes heart disease, research shows (click 'See also).

By Pete Browne

The New York Times 2009-11-06

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Opinion: Avoid processed foods, factory-farmed meat to cut warming

Twenty percent of food system's energy use is farm-related; half of food's greenhouse impact linked to farms. The rest comes from processing, transportation, storage, retailing, food preparation. Prevailing method of producing meat - crowding animals in factory farms, storing their waste in giant lagoons, cutting down forests to grow crops to feed them - cause substantial greenhouse emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides. Eaters can lower their global warming contribution by avoiding processed foods and those from industrialized farms; reducing food waste; and buying local and in season. And: Livestock's long shadow (click 'See also' for UN report).

By Nicolette Hahn Niman

The New York Times 2009-10-31

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Change in behavior key to addressing climate change

We don't understand how to change human behavior in face of climate change. Fear is motivator but only when people feel personally vulnerable - when actors delivered speeches about climate change, 'air pollution,' with connotation of dirtiness, poor health, got strongest response. Human behavior underpins politics, technology, individuals; political parties will not pass legislation unpopular with electorate. And: Integrated problems - climate change, energy, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, poverty reduction, feeding a hungry and growing population- require integrated solution (click 'See also').

By Adam Corner

The Guardian (UK) 2009-10-26

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Sweden targets food in CO2 cutback plan; burger cravers cringe

In Sweden, new labels listing CO2 emissions associated with production of foods appearing on some grocery items and restaurant menus - and inducing guilt in customers craving burgers. About 25 percent of emissions produced by people in industrialized nations can be traced to food they eat, research shows. Among recommendations, which give equal weight to health, environment: Eat carrots because they don't need heated greenhouses to grow; reduce fish consumption since stocks are depleted.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2009-10-23

Climate change already affecting farmers on U.S. coast

In harbinger of climate change, fewer 'winter chill' days already reducing yields of almonds in California, cranberries in New Jersey, Massachusetts. Higher CO2 levels, longer growing seasons will bring increased fruit yields in Great Lakes region, plus droughts, bugs, big storms everywhere. That means lower crop yields, more pesticide use or forced switch to hardier crops, more crop insurance claims. Farm equipment emits large quantities of CO2 by burning fossil fuels; this was main reason agricultural states opposed Waxman-Markey bill (a.k.a. American Clean Energy and Security Act).

By Jeneen Interlandi 2009-09-25

Firms begin disclosing emissions, business protection plans

As climate change begins to materialize and regulation seems likely, companies take steps toward disclosing extent to which they're contributing to global warming and how they're protecting their business. At Starbucks, customers and workers are eyeing its practices and policy from environmental perspective, which sensitizes company. Investor group wants companies' climate-change risks required as part of regular financial disclosures. And: Most food system power sources mum on climate change costs (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-09-21

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Farming emerges as chief threat to ozone layer

Nitrous oxide (N2O, 'laughing gas') is biggest threat to ozone layer. Emissions come mostly from farming practices, including use of synthetic and organic fertilizers, production of nitrogen-fixing crops, cultivation of high organic content soils, adding livestock manure to fields, runoff leaching into groundwater (click 'See also'). Gas isn't regulated by Montreal Protocol, so there's no global effort to cut emissions. How non-farmers can help: Eat less meat, reduce driving, use fuel-efficient vehicle.

By Bryan Walsh

Time magazine 2009-08-28

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OId farming method cuts methane from rice paddies

Return to old rice farming method cut methane emissions from Chinese paddies by 70 percent since 1980. Rice growing causes 20 percent of global production of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Draining paddies between harvests cuts rot and methane, but somewhat increases nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Also: In U.S., main man-made sources of methane are landfills and livestock (Click 'See also').

By Jane Qiu

Nature 2009-08-18

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Opinion: Solving myriad problems requires integrated solutions

Speed at which humans have improved technology has obscured our hard-wired abilities to make natural connections - that plants clean the air and water, that termites initiated mounds in which palm trees now grow in Botswana, to sense meanings in the sand, breeze and thickness of air. To solve array of integrated problems - climate change, energy, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, poverty reduction, feeding a hungry, growing population - we must deal with them in integrated way, the way they occur on the ground, says Glenn Prickett, conservation expert.

By Thomas L. Friedman

The New York Times 2009-08-23

As planet warms, two approaches to feeding growing population

How do we feed burgeoning population in face of climate change? Classical economists failed to forecast transformation from industrial revolution. Cheap fossil fuels unleashed greatest increase in food, personal wealth, and people ever, enabling population to increase sevenfold since days of T.R. Malthus, who noted that population increases geometrically, while agricultural production increases more slowly. Reprise of Norman Borlaug's green revolution - with synthetic fertilizers, biotech seeds, pesticides, irrigation, monoculture, is backed by big foundations, but its flaws are reliance on fossil fuels, legacy of tainted soil, depleted aquifers. Agroecology means halting sole focus on maximizing grain yields at any cost and considering environmental, social impacts of food production. Research on small-scale diverse farming methods shows ability to sequester carbon, hold moisture--two key advantages for farmers facing climate change.

By Joel K. Bourne Jr.

National Geographic Magazine 2009-06-01

Climate change bill would return farms, ranches to forest

Critics worry that climate-protecting reforestation plan could push food prices up, since financial incentives would encourage farmers, ranchers to plant trees. But growing food in 'climate change' areas would be costlier, says former Agriculture secretary. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the key global-warming gas. More trees also would improve water quality, because lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers are used on them. And: 3,500 trees planted on BP refinery property to clean up pollution in soils, groundwater (click 'See also').

By Traci Watson

USA Today 2009-08-20

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Solving U.S. food crisis begins with awakening the public

Industrial food system is based on selective forgetting and hidden costs: erosion of farmland, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, cages for egg-laying chickens so packed that birds can't raise their wings, rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among farm animals, acceleration of global warming, lapses in food safety, obesity epidemic that cost us extra $147 billion in doctor bills last year, the $50 billion-plus of taxpayer money poured into corn industry in last 10 years that makes fatty, sugary foods cheap and funds factory-farming of meat. With those price supports, a dollar buys 875 calories of soda, 250 calories of vegetables or 170 calories of fresh fruit. Consequences of food choices can no longer be ignored.

By Bryan Walsh

Time magazine 2009-08-20

Pollution hampers light rain formation, hindering crops, study shows

Air pollution in eastern China reduces light rainfall patterns critical to country's agriculture, may be contributing to drought, study shows. While China's population rose two and a half times in size in last half of 20th century, emissions of sulfur from fossil fuel burning rose nine times. And: Scientists in China want government to supply coal briquettes, improved stoves to millions of rural households to cut country's high air pollution levels. Traditional cooking/heating fuel is coal chunks (click 'See also').

Science Daily 2009-08-17

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Opinion: Growing, eating less meat benefits us, planet

Breaking meat addiction is important for our survival as individuals, and for our planet. Reduce the excess meat in your diet and you'll reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Producing one kilogram of beef produces 15-25kg of greenhouse gas emissions. If a steak became a treat and not every pot had a chicken in it every night, the food system could produce less and farmers still receive fair returns.

By Jess Halliday News Media 2009-07-27

Indigenous group in Brazil struggles as fish population plunges

Deforestation, warming climate turn Amazon region drier and hotter, decimating fish stocks and imperiling way of life for Kamayurás. Nearly a third of animals and plants face increased risk of extinction if global temperatures rise 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit in coming decades; anthropologists fear wave of cultural extinction for dozens of small indigenous groups across globe -- the loss of their traditions, arts and languages.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2009-07-24

Opinion: Taking steps to end chronic hunger

Opinion: Taking steps to end chronic hunger

Sustainable agriculture key to ending chronic hunger, Hillary Clinton tells World Food Prize audience. Obama administration will lead effort and seek to increase agricultural productivity; improve infrastructure of developing countries; maintain natural resources; help developing communities adapt to climate change; support R&D and education of plant scientists; seek to increase trade for small-scale farmers; support policy reform, good governance and the 70 percent of farmers who are women - and the children.

By Hillary Clinton

The Huffington Post 2009-06-11

Soot from primitive cooking stoves heating planet

Soot from primitive cooking stoves heating planet

Green Launches

Solar-powered oven called 'Kyoto Box' won its creator, Jon Bøhner, $75,000; a more durable version is in production in Nairobi (click 'See also').

Black carbon - soot from cooking with wood, dung or crop residues and from burning diesel, coal - found to be responsible for 18 percent of global warming. Replacing primitive cooking stoves could be stopgap, could avert worst projected consequences of global warming. Some villagers resist because food tastes different. Bill in Congress would require aid for black carbon reduction projects abroad, including introducing $20 solar-powered cookstoves in 20 million homes. And: $7 solar cooker wins $75,000 prize (click 'See also').

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2009-04-16

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Switching a refrigerator coolant to rescue tiny islands

In effort to stop rising sea levels, tiny island nations of Micronesia, Mauritius want 90 percent cut in use of greenhouse gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners. Scientists say eliminating use of hydrofluorocarbons would spare the world an amount of greenhouse gases up to about a third of all CO2 emissions about 20 to 40 years from now. And: Ozone treaty could regulate HFCs and become strong tool for fighting global warming (click 'See also').

By John Heilprin

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2009-04-30

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For Earth Day, a ban on high-emissions beef, cheese

For Earth Day, a ban on high-emissions beef, cheese

Steven Schultz/thefoodtimes

For Earth Day, one-day ban of meat, cheese in college, corporate cafeterias raises awareness about effect of food choices on environment. There's a growing movement to cut carbon emissions by cutting back on certain foods; significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions are created by food industry. And: Meat production alone accounts for 18 percent of global emissions, UN says (click 'See also').

By David Gorn

National Public Radio/All Things Considered 2009-04-22

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Mapping plant hardiness as climate warms

Mapping plant hardiness as climate warms


An updated version of this 1990 version of the plant hardiness map is expected from the USDA sometime in 2009.

New gardening zone map expected from USDA this year; new map likely will extend plants' northern ranges, show continent's warming. It draws on 30 years of data, including local temperatures, altitude and presence of water bodies. USDA commissioned map after American Horticultural Society released draft update that showed significant warming over 1990 version, with many parts of nation shifted to warmer climate zones.

By Jennifer Weeks

The Daily Climate/Environmental Health Sciences 2009-03-23

Solve food, water, energy woes together, UK scientist says

By 2030 UK will need 50 percent more food, energy and 30 percent more water, but all must be considered simultaneously, says UK scientist. Otherwise, shortages could unleash rioting, border conflicts, mass migration as people flee from worst-affected regions. Looming water shortages in China have prompted construction of 59 reservoirs to water from melting glaciers.

By Ian Sample

The Guardian (UK) 2009-03-18

Global warming dangerous to people, EPA says

Global warming endangers public health, welfare, EPA tells White House Finding was in response to Supreme Court ordering agency to consider whether CO2, other greenhouse gases should be limited under Clean Air Act. EPA had found move would cost utilities, automakers, others billions while benefits to others. And: Companies discover they can lower costs, go green at same time (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-03-23

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China sets tough bargaining position on emissions

China, world's top CO2 emitter, says consumers should be responsible for carbon emissions. The rub: Western countries outsource production, temper own emissions; developing countries benefit from job creation. Common ground needed before December. And: U.S. imports of food from China nearly $5 billion in 2007; food exports to China, $8.8 billion (click 'See also').

By Jonathan Watts

The Guardian (UK) 2009-03-17

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Report: Unite policy to fight food, water, climate woes

Women, children more affected by food, water, climate crises, new report says. Recommendations for governments: Global rights-based approach to water for ecosystems, people; investments in climate-change mitigating potential of agriculture; blending policy approaches to water, agriculture and climate; recognition of women's involvement in farming, food production, water management; inclusion of small-scale farmers in reforming policy.

By Shiney Varghese

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 2009-03-01

Obama, deep carbon cuts and court-ordered CO2 decision

UN climate head questions value of new global climate deal without U.S. pledge of ambitious, short-term carbon cuts similar to those of Europe. Such cuts, he concedes, would cause 'revolution.' And: Obama so far is ignoring Supreme Court decision that ordered EPA to decide whether CO2 is pollutant under Clean Air Act and, if so, begin to regulate emissions for farms, coal-fired power plants, cars, editors say (click 'See also').

By David Adam

The Guardian (UK) 2009-03-11

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Fighting environment, economic woes in gardens, kitchens

Fighting environment, economic woes in gardens, kitchens

Seeking solution to problems of climate change, fossil fuels depletion, food safety lapses, economic crisis, health and national security, writers issue call to arms in 'A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil.' In their vision (click 'See also'), grassroots-led agricultural revolution would result in produce 100 million people becoming farmers and millions more becoming home cooks.

By Morgan Josey Glover

News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) 2009-03-09

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Opinion: Cut hunger risk with more farmers, home gardens, awareness

Jews farm because Judaism is an agrarian religion, but thousands of years have taught Jewish farmers that solution to hard times was passport. World climate, energy crisis can't be escaped by moving, and one in nine people in U.S. need food stamps. Best way to reduce hunger is more farmers, victory gardens everywhere, heightened awareness of importance of food. And: Farming, cooking aren't such radical ideas, says columnist (click 'See also').

By Sharon Astyk

The Dallas Morning News 2009-02-06

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Activists lobby Congress on climate emissions, green jobs

About 12,000 activists gather in D.C. to urge change on strip mining, mountaintop removal coal mining, coal-burning power plants, other green goals. Group wants dramatically reduced emissions, creation of millions of green jobs. And: Warming will be worse than thought says scientist; coal, beef blamed (click 'See also').

By Jonathan Mummolo

The Washington Post 2009-03-01

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Cadbury wants dairy cows on low-emission diet

Candy maker looks to reduce cow belching through diet; milk production blamed for 60 percent of chocolate's carbon emissions. Average cow emits (through mostly belching) between 80-120 kilograms methane annually, equivalent to carbon emissions of family car. And: Improving grassland diversity can provide better bovine diet (click 'See also').

By David Adam

The Guardian (UK) 2009-02-17

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Beef, whether grass-fed or grain-fed, burdens climate

Beef, whether grass-fed or grain-fed, burdens climate

Eat less grain-fed and grass-fed beef to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scientists say. Grass-fed cattle have 50 percent higher carbon footprint than grain-fed counterparts, says researcher. Causes: Higher volumes of feed; highly managed, fertilized pastures; high grass-trampling rate. But another expert (click 'See also') says feedlot beef requires twice as much fossil fuel energy to produce as grass-fed beef.

By Janet Raloff

Science News 2009-02-15

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Warming will be worse than thought; coal, beef are two culprits

Warming will be faster, more damaging than previously thought, says scientist. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) increased far faster than expected between 2000-2007, mainly by burning of coal for electricity in India, China. And: 30 percent of human-generated global warming potential caused by foods, beverage production; about half of those come from meat; beef accounts for 30 percent of world's meat consumption, but contributes 78 percent of meat's GHG emissions (click 'See also').

BBC 2009-02-15

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Joblessness, rising prices and backdrop of 'resource war'

Iraq war will be seen as first 'resource war,' where country used force to secure natural resources, predicts former UK scientific adviser. Same strategy could be used to find and keep fresh water, crop lands, minerals, in light of population growth, dwindling natural resources, rising sea levels. And: Swelling ranks of joblessness, rising prices threaten global stability (click 'See also').

By James Randerson

The Guardian (UK) 2009-02-13

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Amazon's vastness makes protecting resources difficult

In Brazil's 700,000 acre Bom Futuro National Forest, farming, ranching, hunting threaten land's role in staving off global warming. As federally protected forest is illegally clear cut for pasture, biological diversity and freshwater resources juxtaposed with charred stumps and rows of corn and coffee. As things stand, trees will be gone by 2021.

By Joshua Partlow

The Washington Post 2009-02-06

Some Arctic waters off-limits to commercial fishing

Rapid climate changes cited in new ban of commercial fishing in parts of Arctic waters. Restrictions endorsed by fishermen/processing trade group. Concerns include unregulated fishing, warming, effect of commercial fishing on region's resources, subsistence fishing, ecosystem.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-02-05

Book review: Tending our bodies, wallets and the planet, recipe by recipe

Book review: Tending our bodies, wallets and the planet, recipe by recipe

In practical, revolutionary new book, Mark Bittman offers simple prescription for weight loss, environmentalism and penny-pinching: Eat less meat, less junk food and more plants. Unlike Michael Pollan, he offers can-do recipes. The hitch: So many Americans lack life skill of basic cooking - a repertoire of quick and uncomplicated recipes, understanding of improvisation, the ability to stock a pantry, planning menus to limit food shopping trips.

By Laura Miller 2009-01-05

Sea's CO2 absorption falls; tougher emissions limits may be required

Suddenly, Sea of Japan absorbing much less carbon dioxide than before, scientists find; other oceans likely affected. Weakening of absorption would require countries to adopt stricter emissions limits to prevent dangerous rises in temperature. And: It's the tiny ocean plants - phytoplankton - that absorb CO2 (click 'See also') to build cells during photosynthesis, then, upon death, carry carbon in their cells to deep ocean, sequestering them. They're also base of marine food web. Zooplankton - tiny animals - eat phytoplankton and are in turn eaten. If phytoplankton don't get enough nutrients, surface waters become "marine deserts," so fish can't survive in surface water, and seabirds can't eat.

By David Adam

The Guardian (UK) 2009-01-12

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Global warming means hunger, scientists say

Hunger likely as planet warms, researchers warn. Europe's 20003 heat wave is prediction: Grain yields fell by 20 to 36 percent; fruit harvests fell by 25 percent; crop ripening was hastened by 10 to 20 days; more water was used in agriculture. With older models, there were alternative foods, but in future there won't be, unless we rethink food supplies, says scientist. And: Expect civil unrest as masses leave uninhabitable areas (click 'See also').

By Maggie Fox

Reuters 2009-01-09

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Food system unspoken in Obama's USDA pick

Tom Vilsack's selection as Obama's USDA secretary may be 'agribusiness as usual,' since words 'food' or 'eaters' unspoken in news conference, says Michael Pollan, author. Food system responsible for one-third greenhouse gases, 'catastrophic' diet that causes chronic disease in half the U.S. population and drives up health care costs (click 'See also'). Food must be included in plan to address climate change, energy independence, health care.

By Renee Montagne

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2008-12-18

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Newspaper reporting lags on food system-climate change links

Media coverage of food system effects on climate change is improving slowly, study reports. Changes needed on individual, business, government levels, but actions unlikely without public support that begins with knowledge as 'floor.' Obstacles: Experts' lag on highlighting problems; lack of reportable data; framing food, nutrition as 'lifestyle' story; lag in advocacy interest; under-the-radar industry approach.

By Karla Cook

The Food Times 2008-07-07

Ancient burning technique may help crops, stave off climate change

Biochar - created by heating crop waste in airtight conditions - can store carbon dioxide, enrich soil, raise crop yields. Plowed into ground, it may forestall global warming, scientist and supporters (click 'See also') say, pointing to ancient Amazon examples. Ambitious goal would sequester 10 percent annual emissions.

By Gerard Wynn

Reuters; NewsDaily 2008-12-05

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Brazil will curb deforestation with farmers' help

Brazil vows to reduce deforestation 70 percent in 10 years, will create environmental police force and pay farmers - who cut forests for cattle, soybean ranches (click 'See also) - for conservancy. Target would prevent 4.8 billion tons carbon dioxide, more than combined commitment of industrialized countries under Kyoto Protocol. Now, it's Obama's turn, says advocacy group.

By Joshua Partlow

The Washington Post 2008-12-06

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As meat consumption rises, scrutiny grows over production emissions

Large-scale agriculture, meat production coming under scrutiny as policy makers, farmers, scientists seek solutions. Trillions of farm animals generate 18 percent of emissions that raise global temperatures, UN says; meat eating expected to double between 2000 and 2050. Only 98 of 2,000-plus UN-backed emission-curbing projects are in agriculture. And: greenhouse gases by the numbers (click 'See also').

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

International Herald Tribune 2008-12-04

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Restoring priorities of clean water, air in January

Radical transformation expected at EPA, which holds sway over water, air pollution, and Department of Interior, which administers Endangered Species Act, federal land holdings. Interior will cope with climate change already happening - droughts, wildfires; EPA will lead regulatory response. And: Leading candidates for environmental jobs (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-11-28

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Changes to Endangered Species Act could affect salmon

In move that could impede investigation of snowpack loss and its impact on salmon, proposed changes to Endangered Species Act would exclude climate change from triggers for review of federal projects. Bush administration argues language eliminates 'back door to climate-change policy' (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-11-21

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Opinion: Obama gets bill for 200 years of burning fossil fuel

Obama must grasp that food, climate, energy, economy are globally linked and must be solved together, and that atmospheric CO2 must be cut from 385 to 350 parts per million. Fossil-fuel use must cease by 2030; we must make massive investment in green energy; we need a Marshall Plan for carbon. And: Food/agriculture sector of economy produces more than one third of greenhouse gas emissions, says UN agency (click 'See also).

By Bill McKibben

The Guardian (UK) 2008-11-06

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In Italy, an investment in green future

Umbrian vineyard, olive community reduces carbon footprint with cars, golf carts, bikes using batteries powered by center that stores solar-sourced electricity for up to three days. Farm owners also have invested in fleet of mini-tractors that use non-food biofuels and planted 10,000 trees as carbon sink.

By Duncan Kennedy

BBC News 2008-10-18

Missing links in ocean's food chain leave whales thin

West Coast's chinook salmon shortage leaves killer whales hungry and losing blubber; Canadian environmental groups blame government, propose strategy. U.S. expert recommends linking orca recovery to that of salmon and the removal of dams on Elwha River, Snake River in Washington state. And: Emaciated gray whales (click 'See also').

By Judith Lavoie

Times Colonist (Victoria, Ca) 2008-10-08

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Forecasting hunger, thirst, unrest amidst dwindling U.S. influence

As planet faces droughts, food shortages and water shortages, with subsequent mass migrations and social unrest from climate change, U.S. influence will diminish because that of other countries will grow, 2025 intelligence analysis predicts. Intelligence agencies accept scientific view of global warming, and that it's too late to avoid consequences over the next 20 years. Barack Obama has been briefed; John McCain is next.

By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus

The Washington Post 2008-09-10

Food industry challenged to reduce meat in processed foods

As climate expert urges less meat consumption at home to reduce global warming, animal welfare group in UK challenges food industry to reduce meat in packaged items and to replace it with more vegetables, 'other more benign materials.' Group also urges using meat from animals raised more humanely. And: It takes seven pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef (click 'See also').

By Jess Halliday 2008-09-08

Eating less meat best choice for planet, expert says

Eat less meat to make personal difference in climate change, says authority on global warming. Diet change will have impact because of greenhouse gas emissions, habitat destruction linked to rearing cattle and other animals. And: Food emissions occur mostly during production (83 percent), with transportation contributing 11 percent (click 'See also').

By Juliette Jowit

The Observer (UK) 2008-09-07

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Slow Food for fast progress, organizers say

To make progress on energy, health care and climate change, food must be addressed, says Michael Pollan, author and an organizer of four-day Slow Food Nation event. Co-organizer Alice Waters advocates persuasion via the palate. The group hopes to convince Americans to reject fast, cheap food and choose organic, local agriculture and to return to the kitchen.

By J.M. Hirsch

The Associated Press; Austin American-Statesman 2008-08-29

Rejected EPA report says greenhouse gases put public at risk

Democratic senators say administration-rejected EPA report declares that greenhouse gases endanger public welfare. It forecasts worse heat waves, more strain on scarce water sources, worse flooding and erosion, more stress on damaged ecosystems. And: EPA administrator refuses to grant Dems' request to appear at hearing on climate change inaction (click 'See also).

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-07-25

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As ocean warms, catch of the day changes in Scottish waters

As ocean warms, octopus appear in Scottish seas lobster traps and might be eating the more lucrative catch; their price drops to that of cod. Squid, deep-sea John Dory fish, red blenny and Japanese skeleton shrimp among those invading - others have hitched rides on ship hulls.

By Paul Kelbie

The Observer (UK) 2008-07-20

EPA sees possible water shortages, more food-, water-borne disease

Climate change may bring water shortages in West and increased spread of diseases contracted through food and water, as well as heat waves, hurricanes and increased death rates in inner city, EPA says. And: Oil industry arguments helped block regulations on greenhouse gases (click 'See also').

By David A. Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-07-18

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Warming climate, lower yields and less water

As water rationing takes hold in California and food price crisis deepens, government forecasts water shortages and reduced food crop yields in next 25 to 50 years. The forecast, a synthesis of 1,000-plus reports, also predicts spread of weeds and insects and decline of native species. For report click 'See also.'

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2008-05-28

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Personal food choices and climate

Switching from red meat and dairy to vegetables, chicken, eggs or fish one day a week reduces emissions more than buying all locally-sourced foods, researchers learn. Food emissions occur mostly during production (83 percent), with transportation contributing 11 percent, despite increased imports. Food choice is unique opportunity to lower personal climate impact, scientists say.

By Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews

Carnegie Mellon University; Environmental Science & Technology 2008-04-16

Rice shortages and climate change

Many scientists believe that Australia's six-year drought, which has reduced rice crop by 98 percent, is sign that warming planet is affecting food production. Some farmers are switching from thirsty rice to wheat or to more lucrative wine grapes. Experts worry that rainfall patterns and crop choice shifts threaten poor countries that import rice as a dietary staple. Global rice reserves have dropped by half since 2000.

By Keith Bradsher

The New York Times 2008-04-17

Politics of hunger

Climate change will exacerbate hunger, poverty, disease with its unusual, unexpected climate patterns and changing rainfall patterns, World Health Organization says. Too much rain or too little will reduce food production and can cause unemployment, economic upheavals and political unrest. At highest risk: children and the elderly.

By Hrvoje Hranjski

The Associated Press; The Inquirer (PA) 2008-04-07

Opinion: Worth of a child

The grinding work of fighting climate change is expensive and a distraction from needs of today, and children usually get stiffed (they are poorer than the elderly). But it is insurance against the chance of an unfathomable future of environmental disruption, species extinction and hunger.

By Eduardo Porter

The New York Times 2008-03-14

Not so green

Biofuels, already blamed for high food prices and water supply problems, create more greenhouse gases than conventional fuels when land-use change is added, scientists say. Converting a forest to agriculture releases a large, quick burst of carbon as plant life dies and soil is tilled. Even if biofuels are grown on cropland previously used to grow food, farmers tend to then clear other virgin land for food crops.

By Gautam Naik

The Wall Street Journal 2008-02-08

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Opinion: Fish vulnerable

Fish supplies relied upon by a billion people could be endangered by global warming. A new study found that deep-sea crustacean populations, an important part of the ocean ecosystem, are particularly vulnerable to climate change, having collapsed during previous warming and cooling episodes.

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2008-01-30

Meat-grain-energy link

Like oil, production of meat, which involves 30 percent of all ice-free land, contributes to global warming, deforestation, water pollution and possibly antibiotic resistance, as well as hunger in poor regions. With U.S. protein consumption well above dietary guidelines, switching to mostly plants would benefit the Earth, our waistlines and animals involved.

By Mark Bittman

The New York Times 2008-01-27

Opinion: No lie

Farmers, who know their turnips and tend their olives or harvest their wheat, can read the warming trend in harvests, or lack of them. Many are somewhere between disbelief and denial, but beyond the hard numbers, there's the UN panel on climate change, consistently sounding the alarm.

By Mort Rosenblum

The New York Times 2007-12-23

Carbon summer

Carbon summer

If peace requires food, water and land, then climate change is changing that, particularly for poor countries, say Al Gore and a panel of climate-change scientists as they accept Nobel. Worst effects can be averted, they say, if U.S. and China, the largest emitters of carbon dioxide, end their stalemate and find the moral courage to reduce pollution.

By Sarah Lyall

The New York Times 2007-12-11

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Chocolate hero

In Brazil, an experiment with shade-grown cultivated cacao trees could pay off in trees' ability to store carbon, thus keeping it out of the air as carbon dioxide. Mars, a chocolate manufacturer, is researching how carbon storage can be measured, then translated into carbon credits as incentive for farmers.

By Joanne Silberner

National Public Radio 2007-11-19

Sugar question

Sugar maples in Vermont are like canaries in a coal mine - as climate change takes hold, sap yield is in question and syrup makers turn to vacuum pumps to achieve the yields they did in perfect sugaring seasons past.

by Ketzel Levine

National Public Radio 2007-10-29

Future food

Since the '80s, Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA scientist, has been studying food supply and the warming planet. Though the subject is complicated, it's the human factor that makes her optimistic: People are learning how to consume less energy, send less heat-trapping gas into the air and, possibly, how to create a world where people everywhere can get enough to eat.

By Dan Charles

National Public Radio 2007-10-30

Your score:

To determine your environmental footprint of those restaurant dinners and other lifestyle choices, play this game from American Public Media.

By Christopher Kennedy, Michael Skoler and others

American Public Media and Realtime Associates, Inc. 2007-09-19

Cheese changes:

From Alps to Vermont, climate changes, from unprecedented heat to new plants, force cheesemakers into adaptations that may change the taste, texture and quality of their products.

By Ketzel Levine

National Public Radio 2007-08-30

A perfect storm?

As farmers eagerly switch from food crops to those for biofuels, ecological and social factors led by high food prices, meat-rich diets, dropping water supplies, climate change and the growing population threaten vast numbers of people with food and water shortages.

By John Vidal

The Guardian (UK) 2007-08-29

Review: No time

Judging from plastic bottles clogging the landfills and SUVs clogging the highways, the news that we're killing ourselves and our world hasn't kicked in, so that makes "The 11th Hour," an unnerving, surprisingly affecting documentary, essential viewing.

By Manohla Dargis

The New York Times 2007-08-17

Starving whales:

Emaciated grey whales seen off the coast of Baja California may show a crucial break in ocean's food chain; algae mats, home to shrimp-like creatures that whales, walrus and sea ducks feed on, have disappeared as ice melts.

By Leonard Doyle

The Independent (UK)

Blame it on corn?

Ethanol craze blamed for high prices across the supermarket, but other factors include surge in global food demand, high oil prices, uncooperative weather, and the slide of the dollar against other world currencies.

By Barrett Sheridan

Newsweek magazine

Locavore's dilemma:

Local food advocates trumpet food miles, but the Life Cycle Assessment, with comprehensive accounting of all resources that go into food network, from fertilizer to electricity, offers clearer picture; meanwhile, air shipping is the most fuel-intensive, and the fastest growing sector of food transport.

By Drake Bennett

The Boston Globe

Wheat increase:

With ethanol craze and escalating corn prices taking all the attention, worldwide drought has gone almost unnoticed, but it is driving wheat prices up; breadmakers are paying more for flour and weak dollar makes U.S. wheat attractive.

By Jeff Cox


New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

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Hard harvest:

In northeastern Brazil, farmers use simple technologies and great persistence to harvest, pick, raise and slaughter, despite high temperatures, little rain and unfertile soil; they begin with a mud-patch, to hold rainwater to create oases of production.

By Isaura Daniel; translated by Mark Ament

Brazil-Arab News Agency

Greening caffeine

Starbucks, learning early on that carbon emissions would affect rainfall and temperatures, thus affecting price, quantity and quality of coffee beans (and its bottom line), calculated its carbon footprint and is working to lower the number; other companies are coy.

Sonia Narang

Forbes magazine

Food/Farm bill:

It's a $70 billion annual bill, and before, only agribusiness cared, but a tsunami of activists now believes that its subsidies for corn and soy encourage diet-related disease and climate change; instead, they advocate money for sustainable and organic food production, agricultural conservation and for a priority on fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

By Carol Ness

San Francisco Chronicle