The climate problem is a food problem
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Potatoes in Greenland, olives in the south of England, bell peppers grown outside of greenhouses in the Netherlands. The warmer weather offers possibilities. Furthermore, thanks to the mild winters, we can start growing our crops a few weeks earlier than we used to. And a higher level of CO2 also ensures a quicker growth rate and higher profits. This is the good news.

In reality, climate change is also dangerous for food production. Also, agriculture contributes heftily to the emission of greenhouse gases. Both these effects will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Agrofools hit the road during Social Forum in Malmö
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ImageProtesters at petrol stations state “Agrofuels are no solution for the climate and energy problem!”

Malmö, Saturday 20 September 2008 – During the European Social Forum (ESF) about 50 people protested against the introduction of the large scale production of agrofuels. The devastating social and environmental consequences of the production of energy crops was a big issue in the presentations and discussions inside the ESF. The Agrofools decided that it was important to reach the people in the streets as well, and to explain that we have to choose between food and fuel.

Banner Action at GM Soy Conference
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Land reforms! NO Steakholder Conferences!

ImageAmsterdam – On the 9th of December (2008) A SEED Europe held a picket-line at a conference on genetically modified soy. The objective of the meeting was to discuss sustainability risks and benefits of GM soy and to formulate management options for companies.  A SEED reminded participants upon arrival that not only is GM still controversial, but so is large-scale soy production in general. A SEED did not participate in the conference itself because the announcement made clear that in our eyes crucial poignant issues in the (GM) soy debate were not open for discussion.

Brochure: ¨Agrofuel, no cure for oil addiction and climate change¨
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– About equal distribution of land and energy and sustainable consumption.”

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This is the long title of a new brochure produced by A SEED. Besides explaining the many aspect of agrofuel related problems it, the brochure is mentioning ways to go to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and to live with a radical lower energy use.
You can read the brochure on-line print the higher resolution pdf-file version. Or try to obtain a paper version.
Small version (72dpi, 8.8 MB, to read on a screen)
Large version (150dpi, 31.8 MB, to print)

Besides in English version there is also a version in German: “Agrotreibstoffe, kein Mittel gegen Ölabhängigkeit und Klimawandel. – Für eine gerechte Verteilung von Land un Energie sowie ein nachhaltiges Konsumverhalten”

“Round Table set to certify damaging soy”
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New report published by groups from Europe, the US and South America

The Round Table on Responsible Soy is seeking to legitimise irresponsible, socially and environmentally damaging soy production, according to a new report published on Tuesday 22 April, ahead of the Round Table on Responsible Soy’s third conference in Buenos Aires.

Still protest needed against agrofuel targets European Commission
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After a lot of criticism from a broad range of civil society groups the European Commission decided in september 2008 to add a review of the 2020 agrofuel targets in 2014. But the 5% target for 2015 is there and it didn't slow down the current growth of the use and productions of agrofuels. Also the surface of monoculture field planted with energy crops, like soy, oil palms and sugar cane, is still expanding rapidly. The letter to the European Commission below is giving a good update of the agrofuel developments at the EU level.

Agrofuels: Out of the frying pan into the fire
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Why the production of agrofuels offers no solution to global climate problems, but rather creates and intensifies already existing  social and ecological problems. With cases about sugar cane in Brazil, soy in Paraguay and oil palms in Colombia.

Sign petition against Toxic Soy
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ImageAn Appeal to Solidarid and the World Wildlife Fund to stop the poisonous genetic modified soy

The nature protection organisation WWF and the Dutch development organisation Solidaridad are still continuing with the Round Table on Responsible Soy. This is not as positive as it sounds.

Agrofuel from the soy desert
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Agrofuel (often called biofuels0 is often in the news, due to instability in oil producing areas, high oil prices, dwindling reserves and also because a few countries want to do something about climate change, at least in theory. After all, it would be great if we could use all sorts of plant materials to make useable fuels. Many governments, including the Dutch, want to promote its production and use, partly by lowering excise duties on it. The European Commission wants to subsidise the cultivation of sugar beet for ethanol and lower the import tariffs for bio fuels. Car producers are working on models that can run on all sorts of alternative fuels.

Actie om Straathofs megastallen te stoppen
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Guerrilla Gardening in de Betuwe: Vleesindustrie zorgt voor dierenleed, klimaatramp en ontbossing. Vrijdag 17 april 2009 – 40 activisten van de groep Stop Straathof heeft vandaag een groentetuin aangelegd op het terrein in Buren waar grootindustrieel Straathof een van zijn vele varkenshouderijen wil uitbreiden. De actie was een protest tegen … verder lezen

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