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The world spins on and the news stops for no one. Here’s the latest word on reporters not reporting, beasts going bye-bye, happy food, and more…
In the Unfair & Utterly Unbalanced Dept… Just in case your brain wasn’t already rattled by a Left Wing Media Conspiracy that, once you stop drinking the Kool-Aid, actually seems more like a Right Wing Media Conspiracy, try wrapping your head around this burning little conundrum: According to mag mogul Nina Utne, zero (count ‘em… zero) peer-reviewed articles on global warming published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 expressed any doubt whatsoever about whether or not human-induced climate change was occurring. Yet during roughly the same period, 53% of mainstream news articles on the subject claimed that scientific uncertainties remain. Let’s recap: Scientists With Advanced Degrees 0%, “Journalists” Apparently Getting Their Facts From Tea Leaves 53%. What gives? That’s the subject of this week’s Beyond Organic Radio program. Is ether is being secretly released in the White House Briefing Room? Does ExxonMobil own everybody in America with a pencil and a steno pad? Download an MP3 of the show for some hot discussion on the subject.
A hot discussion has also begun over at our good eco-buddy Joel Makower’s Two Steps Forward blog, which has an interesting new columnon patient capital. (Don’t worry. We hadn’t heard of it either.) This wacky idea says that maybe, just maybe, one’s investments ought to do a tad more than simply make money. (That sound you just heard was every fund manager in the country falling over in a dead faint.) It says maybe the best investments don’t come screaming out of the gate clawing and scratching their way to ASAP profits at the expense of everybody and everything else. Instead, a more proper investment should create those kinds of wealth that nobody talks about as well. Things like the social health, a clean environment, and human happiness. You know… all that crazy dreamy stuff. While your money is off doing those things, patience is required. You’re gonna have to wait awhile for your payoff. But when you finally cash out, you’ll be doing it in a world that hasn’t been reduced to a smoking cinder of ruin and despair. Which we think is a definite plus. Makower equates the idea to the slow food movement. You have to wait longer to eat, but it’s worth it ‘cause the meal is so much better. Sounds good to us. The financial industry’s whole absurdly shortsighted focus on quarterly earnings and short term returns makes everyone involved look a small child who wants to eat the whole thing right the heck now regardless of how much intestinal grief it’s going to cause the entire family.
Also on our plate today is word of a new program that helps assures us of healthier food. That’s the goal of the new Certified Humane Raised and Handled Label program, which seeks to assure food shoppers via a special seal of approval that the food in question lived something like the good life before it actually became food. Food producers who pass muster can apply the label to their products, and whenever consumers see it they can trust that the egg, dairy, meat, or poultry product underneath was produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. That means allowing the creature to engage in natural behaviors, raising it in sufficient space and with gentle handling, and not getting it all hopped up on antibiotics and hormones. In essence, the program guarantees that our food was happy. At least until the moment it realized it was what’s for dinner. Then we imagine things got a little ugly. In any event, the program is a good idea though we worry about the proliferation of labels on products. The more that appear on a given product the harder it is for us to tell just what we’re buying. And not all labels are created equal. Instead, how about a single smiley face that says our food wasn’t produced with anything that could possibly kill us or cast shame on our families? Any monkey business of any kind from irradiation to GMO ingredients to factory farming to chemicals in or on it and your product doesn’t get to be happy. That would put a smile on our faces.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore, one thing’s for sure: Your options are getting more limited. That’s the verdict of the the latest Red List released this week by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it. Conserving Nature. Yes, we very much like the sound of that since, you know… Nature is where we all freakin’ live.) The Red List is the organization’s authoritative list of all the species around the world in danger of becoming extinct. According to the new report (which is way scarier than any cheap piece of Michael Crichton trash and which, come to think of it, should probably used to smack him into submission) human activity and global warming are to blame. The grim tally finds that 784 species have officially left the party for good and another 65 are only found in captivity. Of the 40,177 total species studied, an deeply frightening 16,119 are threatening to wink out forever unless the silly humans get their act together. That’s over 40% of the total studied. Maybe we should say that a little louder so everyone in the whole world can hear it. Extrapolate that sample out and THAT’S 40% OF ALL LIFE ON EARTH IN DEEP DOO-DOO, PEOPLE. Helloooooo… Anybody get that? Anybody out there? Anybody as horrified as we are about this profoundly disturbing situation? Shouldn’t this be on the front page of every paper and the top story of every newscast every day until it goes away? Shouldn’t all citizens of Planet Earth stop everything, take to the streets, sit down, and refuse to budge until the pin-headed politicos and self-consumed corporations stop treating earth’s ecosystems like their own private candy jars? We think so…