Friday, October 28, 2011
The future bread-basket of the world. It’s a phrase that Brazilians say with pride, and one that big agricultural conglomerates like to repeat, particularly when faced by criticism of environmental types worried about the degradation of land or the excessive use of chemicals in food production. Factory farming and large-scale agribusiness are increasingly seen as the only ways to feed a global population approaching 7 billion.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
It’s not just for stir fry any more.
last month passed law creating incentives for the cultivation and processing of one of the world’s most overlooked green construction materials: bamboo. Brazil
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The biggest winner of Brazil's Greenwashing Award (note: I just made this award up myself) over the last five years is without a doubt Petrobras -- the company was playing up its green credentials while selling diesel that had a sulfur content almost 20 times the maximum permitted in Europe. Now it's only allowed to sell that diesel in rural areas.
Monday, October 17, 2011
I have a problem with the term clean energy: most energy as we know it isn't clean. I am a proponent of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar because I think they are considerably cleaner than fossil fuels. But true clean energy basically boils down to very few things, such as using sunlight to dry your clothes. Hydro power, for example, is often thought of as clean energy, when it might make more sense to think of it is “cleaner” energy.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
There was a big kerfuffle back in 2009 when a boatload of hospital waste including syringes and catheters showed up at the port of Santos, under the innocouos label of recyclable aluminum cans. The British Embassy even stepped in and apologized after the it surfaced that the cargo had been brought in by a group of limeys. Last year when an entire cargo of soiled diapers was slipped in on a ship purporting to carry something else. Yuck.
Today, O Globo has an interesting story describing how the government's land resettlement agency Incra has racked up a record number of fines for deforestation this year.
The Incra is charged with helping provide land to rural squatters and strengthening patchy property titles in rural areas. It has resettled thousands of families throughout Brazil in efforts to provide the rural poor with not only land but also credit, technical skills and access to markets.