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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Monday, November 16, 2009

Veteran reporter Dan Morgan has taken a hard, clear-eyed look at carbon markets for agriculture and the validity of  various conservation practices aimed at fighting climate change (h/t farmpolicy.com).

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Prairie Home Companion,  the long-running radio variety show, Robert Altman movie and purveyor of powdermilk biscuits,usually broadcasts from St. Paul, Minnesota. Last week's performance originated from Des Moines. During the show's the Lives of the Cowboys segment, the following exchange transpired.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Agriculture Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture released a surprising bit of climate change-related research on Tuesday, work that suggests that getting big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from simple changes in common farming practices may not be as easy as many hope.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All corn, all the time. Good Magazine's YouTube channel has had this punchy, short video up since January, illustrating how corn permeates American life. EWG's work tracking the billions of dollars in taxpayer funded subsides to corn and corn ethanol laid the foundation for artful stuff like this.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Hearings began in the Senate last week on the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. This bill, the companion legislation to the Waxman-Markey climate change bill passed by the House, aims  for a 20 percent cut in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Delta Farm Press reporter David Bennett posted his Q and A with EWG Midwest VP Craig Cox on Friday. Their discussion centered on points raised by Cox's recent report on the cost of climate change to agriculture, Crying Wolf.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Corn ethanol is far from an environmentally friendly fuel. While petroleum's pollution contributions are obvious and well reported, ethanol's are less clear. However, from chemical fertilizers and pesticides slathered on corn crops (which run off into rivers and streams and eventually end up in the Gulf 'Dead Zone')  to the clearing of wildlife habitat, there is much to worry about.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last week saw the launch of a new web property by a coalition of environmental and business groups who take a dim view of plans to raise the ethanol content of gasoline to 15%. The site, Follow the Science, marshals the overwhelming scientific evidence to deliver a focused message to the Obama Administration and Congress to not raise the corn ethanol blend limit by 50%.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Crying Wolf, EWG's recent report on current climate change legislation, convincingly debunked exaggerated claims that a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gases will increase costs for the agriculture sector. Many farm state lawmakers and agri-lobby groups have been recklessly misstating and inflating the cost of protecting agriculture from the ravages of climate change, using flawed conclusions drawn from their analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate bill (officially the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 or ACES).

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Whoops.

study in the journal Science today got widespread news coverage by pointing out a major flaw in the way the world has been calculating the impact of biofuels use on the atmosphere’s greenhouse gas buildup and global warming.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watershed informational slides.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation today aimed at reducing pollution that has endangered the Chesapeake Bay watershed for over 25 years. The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act will give state and federal governments more power and funding to clean up pollution from agriculture sources and metropolitan storm run-off.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

“Frito-Lay traveling nachos with cornbread, served with a corn cobbette” – that’s what’s for lunch today in my old elementary school cafeteria in Richmond, VA.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

When we talk about California and climate change, agriculture matters.  California's agriculture sector faces two major challenges:

  1. Reduce its contribution to climate change.
  2. Arm itself against the threats a warming planet poses to agricultural production.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Farm industry leaders and their supporters in Congress are trying to derail climate change legislation by insisting that the House-passed bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), will cause ruinous increases in the costs of production for farmers. They claim this threat is so potentially devastating that climate change legislation should be shelved or loaded up with concessions that send more money to their agricultural constituents.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Remarks by Environmental Working Group Midwest Vice-President Craig Cox to the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Public Meeting.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

 

Associated Press, John Heilprin

Published December 20, 2005

Drinking water may have a lot more in it than just H20 and fluoride, according to an environmental group's analysis of records in 42 states.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

 

San Francisco Chronicle, Jane Kay

Published January 9, 2002

Pregnant women who drink chlorinated tap water face a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects in their newborns despite tougher new standards, says a study by two environmental groups.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kevin Diaz

Published July 27, 2007

Do millionaire farmers need a safety net?

The question looms tall as a prairie silo over a multitude of controversies fueling congressional debate over the nation's next big farm bill.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

 

Peoria Journal Star, Steve Tarter

Published June 25, 2006

It's an area the size of Connecticut that fails to harbor aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico.

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