- Prince Charles is no fan of genetically modified foods and crops. He calls them an experiment in nature that has gone seriously wrong. The Independent reports:
"What we should be talking about is food security not food production - that is what matters and that is what people will not understand.
"And if they think also that somehow it's all going to work because they are going to have one form of clever genetic engineering after another then again count me out, because that will be guaranteed to cause the biggest disaster environmentally of all time."
Charles said relying on gigantic corporations for the mass production of food would threaten future food supplies. And he said small farmers would be the victims.
"If they think this is the way to go we will end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness then you count me out. I think it will be an absolute disaster."
- Oh man, my beloved New York City could face subway floods due to global climate change. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is all fired up about it! Reuters is on it:
"There are costs to adapting to climate change ... By planning now, we can reduce our exposure to weather-related events," the mayor told reporters.
A task force charged with safeguarding all of the city's roads, bridges, tunnels, mass transit, water and sewer lines, and power and telecommunications systems will begin with an inventory. It will then forecast and report on the local impact of climate change and devise safeguards, he said.
"In order to manage any problem, first you have to measure it," Bloomberg said, recalling a lesson he learned while working on Wall Street. "In God we trust; everybody else has to bring data."
His latest effort is one of the 127 green initiatives launched last year in his PlaNYC program.
- To fuel our ever-festooning addiction to oil, a virgin rainforest in the Amazon is being targeted for drilling. Andy Coghlan of NewScientist Environment explains:
Unspoilt Amazonian rainforests covering an area almost as large as Texas have been provisionally earmarked for oil and gas exploration.
A new report reveals that the area has been divided into 180 "blocks" designated for exploration by governments of countries that own the land on the western fringe of the Amazon. Their intention is to lease the blocks to oil and gas companies for exploration and extraction, taking a cut of any revenues as a royalty. About 35 oil companies are vying for the contracts.
However, most of the blocks overlap with huge areas of rainforest that would become vulnerable to illegal hunting and logging once breached by roads to service exploration activities.