Articles by Maywa Montenegro
Maywa Montenegro is an editor and writer at Seed magazine, focusing mainly on ecology, bidiversity, agriculture, and sustainable development.
What will US ratification mean for health of the oceans?
I recently wrote a short piece for Seed about the Law of the Sea -- a piece of legislation that has been held up in the US Senate for the past 25 years, and which, if ratified, could have a major impact on ocean health.
The treaty -- which was given a thumbs-up in October by the US Foreign Relations Committee and now awaits ratification in the Senate -- declares most of earth's vast ocean floor to be the "common heritage of mankind," placing it under UN aegis "for the benefit of mankind as a whole."
That language has some people running scared. The treaty recently earned some scathing critique in the Wall Street Journal:
Why bees and pigs are not machines
In yesterday's New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan writes, "Two stories in the news this year, stories that on their faces would seem to have nothing to do with each other let alone with agriculture, may point to an imminent breakdown in the way we're growing food today."
Can you guess what they are?
Retailers beef up the packaging
For Christmas last year, I received an iPod Nano (through which I now get my weekly fix of podcasts from NPR Environment, PRI Living on Earth, and of course, Grist). That the Nano weighs a mere 1.74 oz. and is so slim it easily gets lost in an overstuffed pocket is pretty impressive. Nearly as impressive, however, is that I walked out of the store toting this pygmie player inside an slick, white, matte, double-ply plastic behemoth of a bag, with sturdy woven cords that cinched the neck; it could have easily fit 100 Nanos with room several real apples to spare. I've been using it as a gym bag ever since.
Apparently, that's exactly what Apple had in mind:
Experts push for an intergovernmental biodiversity panel
For this enviro, Christmas is shaping up pretty nicely this year. Today, as post-Kyoto discussions commence in Bali, Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, sweeping aside decades of Howard's curmudgeonly climate skepticism. Another unexpected gift came last month, when a group of 80 experts convened in France to mull over the future of biodiversity. Their consensus? That we need to establish a new intergovernmental panel -- akin to the IPCC -- to begin aggressively addressing the biodiversity crisis.
In words that would surely make E.O. Wilson proud, the committee said: "It is not enough to draw up a list of threatened or extinct species. Biodiversity needs to be seen as a whole, in terms of management but also of environmental services rendered, for instance from the point of view of adaptation to climate change." They hope to have a structure in place by 2008. Keep 'em rollin' in, Santa!