Monday, September 19, 2011


OK, here I am living in and surfing the Internet world from Brazil's Acre State which holds both one of the world's epicenters of biodiversity and is a hub of fast-paced development that is changing everything. One of the reasons that I chose to be here (and love it) is that it seems to contain all of the contradictions. There are meat-eating environmentalists, rubber-tappers raising cattle, ranchers against deforestation and, of course, their opposites -- all of which gives a tree-hugging guy like me a lot to think about. And, it generally turns out to be -- as the Brazilians like to say -- "COMPLICATED" way beyond the sound-bites of the media.

So I'm turning into a student again in order to try to wrap my mind around whatever lies beyond the conventional polarities of environmental politics and the general "stuckness" that seems to have us trapped us in stasis. In the above video from Oregon State University, Jason Clay, Senior VP at World Wildlife Fund, discussed how to grow more food without turning more land over to agricultural production. The promise is great and the path is not simple. It's going to require lot's of new ways of thinking about our common dilemma.

Clay is obviously a real smart guy and it's also true that smart guys are not always correct. But, for sure, he serves up a rich plate of food for thought. Have a look.

[Update #1 - 3 March 2011, NY Times - Andrew Revkin at Dot Earth had an earlier post discussing Jason Clay's strategy with the discussion focused on it's most controversial aspect of increasing reliance on GM foods. Lots of good links.]

[Update #2 - 20 September 2011, NY Times - Justin Gilis posts at Green blog that, "the Carbon Disclosure Project finds that for the first time, a majority of companies in the United States responding to the group’s survey “now integrate climate change into core business strategy. ... A brief summary of the report can be found here, and the full document is here. Consumers may care to know that some big companies they probably do business with, including Apple, Amazon and DirectTV, are still refusing to respond to the carbon disclosure survey.”]

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