Does the prospect of genetically modified food creep you out?
The mass experiment producing new lab-generated life forms is hardly slowing down. Here’s a take from Mercola (never heard of it before but it calls itself “the world’s #1 natural health website) on the efforts to “improve” what you might have thought was doing pretty well already without interference from scientists or corporate profiteers: the forest.
One more clipping from the press glut on Earth Day about the TreeKeepers program that’s ramping up this week.
This one is from the Vancouver Province. One of the city’s two dailies. Not long after this story ran, a leaked memo from the new publisher of the Sun and the Province told staff the mainstream newspaper business may not be sustainable, and they should ask themselves if they’re really meant to be there, because if they didn’t have creative solutions maybe they were part of the problem.
Ouch! Hope this article wasn’t the back-breaking straw.
You heard all about the Arab Spring that toppled dictators, right? Maybe it’s Malaysia’s turn.
A friend sent a link to this pleasant video of Malaysians planting “flowers” for “peace” and “hope” and the “underdog” and such.
Turns out to be heavier than that. Some of the people behind the video are already being investigated by the Malaysian authorities. When a government comes down on people for doing nice things, you can imagine there’s some serious sub-text there.
One of the planters, Nurul Izzah, in the lavender scarf, is the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister ousted and jailed on dubious charges.
When Canada finally got around to choosing its first Poet Laureate, they skipped right past the high-falutin’ Ontario crowd and the Quebec other-solitude cadres to select one of us, BC’s own George Bowering.
He’s written dozens of books, not just poetry but also novels and non-fiction. He’s also taught thousands of writers at SFU and elsewhere. I’ve been a fan ever since he was kind (or dazed) enough to agree to appear as a guest on an early livestreaming show I hosted called The WritingLife. We filmed at 6am on Saturdays on a floating “cyber den” in Coal Harbour. I’m sure it was the novelty of livestreaming around the world that got guests out of bed; today I can’t even imagine having the gall to ask.
Bowering was an excellent guest. He’d just been named Poet Laureate, and when I asked him how he felt when he heard about the honour, he held up a clipping from a headline about a war tactic then being applied in Iraq: “Shock and Awe.”
One thing I didn’t ask him which always puzzled me was, as a good Canadian boy, why the big love for baseball? His autobiographical book Pinboy helps explain. Here’s my review of it for the British Columbian Quarterly.
Here’s one way to help the urban forest: build it yourself. Two vertical towers under construction in Milan will have their own forest created as part of the construction: 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 plants. Water will come mainly from grey water used by residents.
If there ever is a world government, I vote for Bhutan to lead it. The Himalayan country that gave us the Gross National Happiness index has just upped the ante on what it really means to be “sustainable” by becoming the first country in the world to go completely organic.
It’s still going to be a work in progress for a while. Climate change is getting to them too, bringing in new pests and altering the yield rates of traditional (largely organic anyway) farming practices. But they, unlike much of the blinkered developed world that aims to double down on the chemical fix solution to a widespread problem, figure the changing conditions are all the more reason for a wholistic, environmental method to feed the nation.