News posts from Chelsea Green Publishing's Archive


Live long and ferment!

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

We have news from one of our authors, who recently had a national radio gig on NPR.

In his recent newsletter, Sandor Ellix Katz talks about his experience, and what he’s up to these days.

From Sandor: Greetings from steamy sweaty Tennessee. It is as dry as I’ve ever seen it here, and more than warm enough to make tempeh and koji without contriving conditions for incubation. Between teaching gigs I’ve been helping care for an ill friend, and tending the goats and the gardens.

The teaching I do brings me into contact with many inspirational people and places. No places bring me more pleasure or hope than bountiful farms and gardens. Farmers are my heroes, and we need more of them. If you are not a farmer, at least be an ally to farmers and get to know some and visit their farms and spend some of your money directly with them for the food they produce. Without farmers, there is no food.

I was invited recently to talk about underground food movements on National Public Radio’s Science Friday. The appearance was especially exciting for me because my fellow guests, for a wide-ranging discussion of agricultural policy and grassroots food movements, were Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle, two authors whose work I greatly admire.

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15% of US Electricity Supply from $454 billion Iraq War

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Now that President Bush has again exhorted Americans to “stay the course” in Iraq, perhaps it’s a good time to again consider what we could have done with the money spent on waging war in the Middle East had we heeded the Biblical injunction to beat swords into plowshares.

The United States could now be generating from 1% to 15% of its electricity supply if the direct costs of the Iraq war ($454 billion) had been invested instead in wind or solar energy.

Had the United States invested in solar energy instead of war, the country would now be operating 45,000 MW of solar photovoltaics, 20 times that in Germany, the world’s leader.
Similarly, had the United States chosen to install wind turbines instead, the country would be 225,000 MW of wind generating capacity, 20 times that currently installed in the country.

More details on the lost opportunities of the Iraq war can be found here.

— Posted by Paul Gipe, who is the author of Wind Power and Wind Energy Basics

USDA: Convicted, again

Friday, August 18th, 2006

This is hardly a surprise, but the USDA has again been convicted of endangering the public instead of protecting us. This time is the the bio-pharma industry that got a free pass. The Washington Post reports:

Environmental groups yesterday called for a moratorium on open-air tests of crops genetically engineered to produce medicines and vaccines, citing a federal court’s conclusion last week that the Agriculture Department repeatedly broke the law by allowing companies to plant such crops on hundred of acres in Hawaii.

In a toughly worded 52-page decision released without fanfare late last week, a U.S. District judge in Hawaii concluded that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which grants permits for the planting of genetically engineered crops, should have first investigated whether the plants posed a threat to any of that state’s hundreds of endangered species.

Read the rest of the article

Biodieseling around the globe

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Last month the word biodiesel made it into the Merriam Webster dictionary and today we learn from Autoblog Green that biodiesel is powering the Earthrace in its quest to be the fastest boat to circumnavigate the globe. The sky’s the limit.

Earthrace, a 78-foot boat, looks like a seagoing version of the Batmobile, and is able to cut under waves like a submarine. The twist with this record breaking attempt is the fuel the boat is being run on. The Earthrace is strictly run on biodiesel. The skipper, Pete Bethune, and his wife are strong supporters of biodiesel, and are trying to raise awareness for the fuel with an 18-month tour calling at 60 of the world’s great cities. The current record for circumnavigating the world stands at 75 days. The Earthrace aims to take 65 days to cover the same distance, in the first attempt ever to be powered solely by renewable fuels.

Follow the progress of Earthrace at their web site.

MLK Day Celebration

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Dr Reverend James Forbes, senior minister from NYC’s Riverside Church, came to the neighborhood last night to deliver the keynote address for Dartmouth’s MLK celebration. Rev. Forbes’ speech was called “The Source, Scope and Spirit of the Dream,” and interestingly, he argued that the scope of the dream included environmental care.

Forbes made a case that we have been trivializing Dr King’s dream over the past forty years, and ignoring the spiritual and environmental responsibilities it encompassed. Calling Hurricane Katrina “a CAT scan of the nation,” Forbes said that the devestating environmental tragedies of 2005 revealed the depth of MLK’s dream in a new and dramatic way.

Forbes cited little known passages of MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that point to his concern about creation care: “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.”

If Martin Luther King were alive today, would he be preaching the merits of Creation Care?

As an aside, Forbes was honored this November, along with Chelsea Green author Michael Ratner with the Jews For Racial and Economic Justice Risk Taker Award.

Guantanamo Anniversary

Monday, January 16th, 2006

On the fourth anniversary of the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, BBC’s Gordon Corera looks at the way the prison has survived and changed. His article, distributed by the New York Times Syndicate, reveals that media tours of the prison have become “more slick and stage managed” with passing time, and reminds us that any information collected from detainees is rapidly becoming out of date.

A Good Year for GMO Companies

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

In the most recent issue of Rachel’s Democracy and Health News, Peter Montague wrote about all of the great things that happened for the biotech industry in 2005, and how those victories have literally planted the seed for further corporate success in years to come. Things “couldn’t have turned out better for the GMO crop companies if they had planned it this way,” he wrote.

Now that everyone acknowledges GMOs are “leaky technology”, spreading into nearby fields and contaminating organic crops, some countries are trying to contain GMO crops and pollen, enforcing strict rules about where the seeds can be planted. In the US, probably the biggest success in enforcing a buffer zone between GMO crops and conventional crops came from Anhueser Busch, which didn’t want its Missouri rice fields contaminated with GMO produce.
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Austin Chronicle Update on Diane

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

The Austin Chronicle wrote this morning that “CodePink co-founder Diane Wilson has concluded her fall book tour…with a stint in the Victoria Co. Jail.” The update from the Chronicle explains that “Once she finishes her sentence – she’ll get out on March 18, if she exhibits good behavior – she’ll face charges in Houston for the DeLay infraction, summarized by her lawyer, Greg Gladden, as ‘apparently impersonating a dead Republican.’” The whole story is here.

Biodiesel and Ethanol to Hit New York Thruway

Monday, January 9th, 2006

The New York Times reported Saturday that New Yorkers may start to see biodiesel and corn-based ethanol available at service stations throughout the state. Governor George Pataki is convinced that ethanol could be an effective way to combat NY’s “petroleum problem” if only people knew they could use it in their cars, and could access it easily. According to the Times, Pataki wants to see biodiesel and ethanol available at more than 100 stations, including 27 stations on the NY State Thruway, as early as this year. An estimated 200,000 New Yorkers currently own cars that could run on bio-based ethanol, but right now they’d have to travel to Ottawa to buy it.

Green is the New Red, White and Blue

Friday, January 6th, 2006

With Paul Krugman on vacation, Thomas Friedman filled in the NY Times Op-Ed page with a great piece on the urgency of environmentalism, calling it ” the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do.” Check out his column.


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