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Climate-smart agriculture or corporate greenwash?

Rob Percival: It was the sound of 500,000 alarm bells ringing in unison. On Sunday, half a million people from 166 countries took to the streets to demand action from world leaders as they gathered in New York for the UN Climate Summit. The ‘People’s Climate March’, as it was dubbed, was marked by a sense of urgency. Climate disruptions are already being felt; our carbon budget is almost spent. Climate change is not a problem for future generations, for tomorrow, for 2050. But for today.

24 September 2014 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 3

Are we facing a less nutritious future?

Rob Percival: Carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere today in a concentration that has not been seen since sabre-toothed cats and mastodons roamed a planet on which humans had never set foot - it was three million years ago and we had not yet evolved. In recent years we have poured huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We know that rising global temperatures are the result. But a study published last week revealed that increased levels of carbon dioxide will also make some of the world's most important foods less nutritious - and this has significant implications for millions of people.

12 May 2014 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 16

The importance of food diversity

Rob Percival: Your dinner plate probably doesn’t include goosefoot, hopshoots, vervain, beremeal, medlars, Saltcote Pippin apples or Shetland black potatoes. But it could. These plants were once common British fare, and they grow here still. We simply don’t eat them. Nor do we eat the majority of the 30,000 edible plants growing on the planet today. For the most part, we eat about a dozen.

08 April 2014 | 6 Comments | Recommended by 17

The Gates Foundation puts a new spin on altruism

Amy Leech: It didn’t come as a surprise to hear that billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates had decided to throw £6.4 million at a problem that doesn’t need solving. Bill’s spent all his life looking for quick technical fixes - why change the habit of a lifetime for the sake of a bit of common sense? No seriously, thanks Bill. On behalf of the UK Government and the GM companies - thank you. Because our cash strapped researchers (who are already getting just £42m from the UK taxpayers) and 'our short of just about everything' Government, really need your support. We’re desperate to lead in scientific research you see, it’ll help us get out of the recession. And as for the GM companies, they can’t afford to do their own research, so it’s great that you’re paying for it for them.

19 July 2012 | 193 Comments | Recommended by 11

Nothing Is As Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Ed Dowding: For the first time in history the mind of man was really attempting to control his destiny. Hitherto usage, tradition, external necessity, accident had furnished the unchallenged framework within which he had devised his explanations and his consolations. He preferred familiar miseries to the mental torture of novel effort.

07 February 2011 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 15

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