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“Guerrilla Grafters” Seek to Bear Fruit on Streets of San Francisco

Food Vigilantes Take on City Prohibition on Sidewalk Fruit Trees

We’re all familiar with the story of a certain famous tree that bore forbidden fruit. Here’s a story of trees that are forbidden to bear fruit at all  — and the story of people who are working to change that. Photo by…
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by: Brian Scoles – March 9, 2012

Rebuilding Rome

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World
By Jeremy Rifkin
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 270 pages

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the WorldBy Jeremy RifkinPalgrave Macmillan, 2011, 270 pages Have you heard of this book? It offers a compelling vision of a new economic paradigm through which we can transcend our outdated and crumbling infrastructure, solve our urgent economic and environmental crises, and usher in a new era of human prosperity and collaboration. Okay, so probably you’ve heard of a…
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by: Brian Scoles – Spring 2012

Feed 9 Billion People, Cut Out the Food Waste

Improving Food System Efficiency Shouldn’t be Hard

I’ve been hearing this “9 billion” figure a lot lately. Nine billion people on the planet by 2050. It’s a big number, and most of the extensive coverage in papers, magazines, and blogs jump straight to the issue of food: how are…
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by: Brian Scoles – January 26, 2012

Commonsense: Mercury in Fish Ain’t Good for You

Yet EPA’s Plans for New Mercury and Air Toxic Standards Face Sabotage by House Republicans

What’s that you have pinched between your chopsticks? That’s not… tuna, is it? Oh, please no. Not during Mercury Awareness Week. Photo by Flickr user PacificbroTuna could be a bad dinner choice for some. Ok, so that was actually last week. But…
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by: Brian Scoles – December 14, 2011

Who’s Greener? Who Cares?

To be Sustainable, Green Movement Must Embrace Hypocrisy and Halfway Solutions

All I wanted was some sugar. Oh, for the days when such an errand was simple. John Cavanagh photoRice seedlings at Danilo Atilano’s small organic farm in the Phillipines. I found myself in an aisle at Berkeley Bowl West, with a fancy…
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by: Brian Scoles – December 8, 2011

Local Food, meet Local Legislation

While Congress Cooks Up a Secret Farm Bill, Some Towns Get Creative in Supporting Small-Scale Agriculture

Our Congress – that cherished body of lawmakers which recently caved to lobbying pressure to call pizza a vegetable, and now has a single-digit approval rating lower than that of BP during its oil spill – may be on the brink of…
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by: Brian Scoles – November 18, 2011

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Public Relations Industry

In an Age of Information Warfare, We Must All be Forensic Scientists and Rhetoricians

Table 5.1 in the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual contains, among many, the following recommendations: “Learn the insurgents’ messages or narratives. Develop countermessages and counternarratives to attack the insurgents’ ideology.” “Respond quickly to insurgent propaganda. Delaying responses can let the insurgent story…
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by: Brian Scoles – November 10, 2011

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