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  • Its Bark Is Worse, and That Bites

    Last month, Mexican officials learned their country is losing its forests at a rate of nearly 3 million acres a year, or nearly twice the clip previously thought; now, they’re blaming the heavy deforestation on impoverished indigenous farmers in Chiapas, who slash and burn the jungle to scrape out their meager living. The long history […]

  • P-ouch!

    Australia Environment Minister David Kemp has angered environmentalists by agreeing to allow 6.9 million kangaroos and wallabies to be killed for commercial purposes this year. The figure represents a 1.5 million increase over past culls of Australia’s national symbol. State governments had requested an even larger increase, saying the kangaroo population was on the rise. […]

  • Food for Thought: Britain’s food system

    The fixings for a traditional British turkey dinner could travel more than 24,000 miles before they reach the table, according to a report released yesterday by the U.K. lobby group Sustain. On average, food consumed in Britain travels 50 percent more than it did a decade ago, at the expense of human and environmental health. […]

  • Speedy Gone-zales

    Mexico is losing forests at almost twice the rate previously thought, the country’s Environment Ministry announced yesterday. A new multi-agency study of satellite images taken from 1993 and 2000 found that average forest loss in that time was about 2.78 million acres a year, the world’s second-highest deforestation rate. Over the eight years, the amount […]

  • I Wanna Be Like Myco

    They’re good in salads, lovely with pasta … and great for the earth? The humble mushroom could help clean up everything from oil spills to pesticides, thanks to a new technology called mycoremediation. Mushroom expert Paul Stamets pioneered the technology against the bacteria E. coli and then partnered with scientists at the Pacific Northwest National […]

  • Grain and Bear It

    New policies emerging in China could bode well for that poster child of protection efforts, the panda. In an article published last week in the journal Science, scientists from the World Wildlife Fund and Beijing University praised China’s National Forest Conservation Program and its “Grain-to-Green” policy as likely to preserve habitat crucial to panda survival. […]

  • China's water table levels are dropping fast

    If you aren’t normally fascinated by China’s agricultural problems, then an obscure report issued this summer on the state of the nation’s water supply might have struck you as rather dry. But in this case, dry is precisely the problem: The water table under the North China Plain, which produces over half of China’s wheat […]

  • Momentum grows for greener ways of farming

    Rice as rice can be. In the humid hills of China’s Yunnan province, rice farmers make their living from plots of land smaller than many American yards. High, cool, and wet, the country here is rich, yielding almost a thousand pounds of rice per acre. But farmers face a perennial scourge: rice blast. Rice blast […]

  • How Now, Brown Cow?

    The 450,000 dairy cows in Southern California are contributing to some of the dirtiest air in the country — and regulators want to clamp down. The cows kick up tons of dust and their manure emits ammonia that joins with nitrogen oxide from vehicle tailpipes to create particulate pollution. Dairies in the area account for […]