why agrarians should care about fishing

posted January 10, 2016

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“For many terrestrials, and certainly for me, the ocean and fisheries are a foreign place. We cannot see into the sea and don’t know much at all about what goes on there, except perhaps familiarity with the blanket-term “over-fishing.” Young agrarians of the rangeland know well that a blanket critique—that the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service’s policies lead to “over-grazing,” for example—is not enough. Indeed after decades of handing over mining, drilling, grazing and mineral rights on public lands, there’s a flank of the environmental movement calling for privatization of over 400 million acres of public lands. Another flank, the Rainforest Action Network, is calling for a moratorium on the sale of mineral rights on public lands.

We need to look more closely. We need to survey what we already know. And we need to build from there.

Some of us have followed the campaigns against factory fish—the Costco victory against GMO salmonGMO soy oilbeing sold as pelletized fish food and the pollution caused by fish farms. And we have heard hype about aquaculture projects and been confounded by this glamorization of international fish farm development projects. We use kelp supplements for our dairy animals and soil mix, but don’t know much about the controversy behind them. For the most part, we aren’t much connected as producers with fisher people whose fish-meal we farmers buy. (I hope this article may woo a few young farmers to study across the boundary of the seashore and help us discover our common causes.)

So, what’s the difference between a well managed and a poorly managed commons?”

-Severine on the ocean commons, in “A Farm Organizer Visits Fish Country: Part I” for In These Times. Read the whole article here!



the united states needs a food policy!

posted November 24, 2014

image via abcnews.go.com

Mark Bittman of the New York Times, Michael Pollan of the University of California, Berkeley, Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Olivier De Schutter of the Catholic University of Louvain have collaborated on a new article in the Washington Post that puts forward a plan for a national food policy. For the authors, “The food system and the diet it’s created have caused incalculable damage to the health of our people and our land, water and air” and that this damage continues because “we have no food policy — no plan or agreed-upon principles — for managing American agriculture or the food system as a whole.”

They put forward a set of basic tenets that could inform a national food policy adequate to our age. The priorities of this policy include healthy food for all, reducing the carbon footprint of the food industry, investing in food that is free of dangerous chemicals, and treating animals with compassion and attention to their well-being. (more…)


miranda july and barak and voting

posted April 7, 2008

by Miranda July

I’d like to think all the people who follow my work are radical, political firecrackers. But those of you who are don’t need any encouragement from me. Instead I will focus my efforts on the demographic who, like me in 1996, feels completely disconnected from life, nevermind their country. I’m hoping that there aren’t very many of you, in this day and age. You people are hard to encourage, because all the political arguments will mean nothing to you. I just spent the last hour typing up my case for Obama, but you won’t even read it, you’ll skip ahead to something that seems subtler or less cliche, I know you. (And those of you who will read it, who are perhaps torn between Obama and Clinton, are well tended to by better writers.) So nevermind all that.

Here’s why you should vote: you are going to really love it, the whole strange procedure. You get to walk right into a building that you would never normally be allowed in, often an elementary school. You can pause in the hallway to look at all the weird school-art and feel the eerie vibe of hundreds of kids living their endless kid lives right nearby. Then you follow the arrows to the voting room and look at the faces of the volunteers – who are these people? There is a hush of secrecy, the voting booth is clunky, the whole thing seems fake somehow. You consider filling in all the bubbles, like you did on the SATs. But you don’t. You vote. You walk back outside feeling like you just gave blood or something, lightheaded from citizenry. You are wearing a sticker that says “I Voted” and you wish you could continue to get stickers like this throughout the day: I Ate Dinner, I Went To Sleep, I Got Out Of Bed, I Went To Work.

But alas, it is just this one thing that we all do together, savor it.

I tried to find an easy link for you to locate your polling place, but the best thing to do is just type the name of your city + “where do I vote” into google. If you’re not registered, then you might not be able to vote in the primaries, but register right now so you can vote in November.

pps: non-american readers: sorry. for everything. we are working on it.

from and while we’re on the topic, i am voting for barak obama

related: candidates food policy positions