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Mad Sheep and Crashing the Gate on DailyKos

Jill Richardson over at Daily Kos (also known as OrangeClouds115) had some nice things to say about Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics and Mad Sheep: The True Story Behind the USDA’s War on a Family Farm today:
What’s the one book every Kossack must read? Is it fair to say Crashing the Gate? If we’re talking about food-related books, I’d say The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. But I think Crashing the Gate is the most relevant to all of us, even those who don’t give a rat’s ass about food, and it’s the best statement on what we’re really doing here and what direction we need to move in. You recently took the USDA to task in a column published on AlterNet. What grade would you give the USDA under President Bush? The USDA hasn’t gotten its own Grade A rating for many decades now. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. Yes, they get a big fat F under Bush (as do most other agencies… FEMA, I’m talking to you) but that doesn’t mean they were better under Clinton. There’s a fantastic book called Mad Sheep by a woman named Linda Faillace. Under the Clinton USDA, her family worked with the government to legally import European sheep. It was a brilliant business venture because European sheep breeds can produce 10 to 25 times more milk than American ones and Americans import a lot of sheep’s milk cheese from overseas. Once her family had the sheep, the USDA got some heat about mad cow and they decided to take it out on the Faillace family, claiming their sheep had mad cow disease and needed to be destroyed. The government did over 400 negative tests for mad cow on the sheep until they were finally able to come up with a false positive or two using some year-old freezer-burned sheep brains and an invalid testing method in a later discredited lab. It was Bush’s USDA that finally took the sheep and murdered them because the fight lasted beyond the Clinton administration, but Clinton’s USDA was just as bad in that story….
And her personal blog has a great name: La Vida Locavore. Thanks for the shout-out, Jill! Read the full Q&A here.


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
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