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Missouri’s “Right to Farm” Amendment has Family Farmers Worried

New measure aims to preempt potential animal welfare and environmental regulations in the state

The right to farm. It sounds innocuous enough. Shouldn’t we all have some right to farm if we want to? Probably, but that isn’t exactly what Missourians were getting at when they passed a constitutional amendment this summer to protect the right…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – October 22, 2014

In Review: Mission Blue

Diving into the life of renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle

For many years, I was a vegetarian. It was a gradual process. Like many people, I eliminated red meat first, then poultry, and eventually, fish. And then, as the idealistic haze of my college years wore off, I gradually started eating meat…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – September 26, 2014

Lettuce, From a Skyscraper Near You

Vertical farms are gaining traction from Illinois to Singapore, but questions remain about their role in urban agriculture.

Skyscraper farms seem like a thing of the future: Lettuce growing in windowless rooms under red-tinted LED lights while scientists check nutrient levels and calculate optimal harvest times. Basil plants stacked 10-feet high. Tilapia swimming in large troughs. While these images may…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – September 15, 2014

$7.5 Billion California Water Bond Headed for the November Ballot

Voters must decide whether the bond can lead the state toward a sustainable water future

As California remains parched with drought, everyone’s mind is on water – and that includes state lawmakers’. During the final days of the legislative session, both houses passed a $7.5 billion water bond with broad bipartisan support. The new legislation will be…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – September 10, 2014

Is China Turning the Corner on Environmental Protection?

Growing health concerns have spurred significant changes to the Middle Kingdom’s environmental law and policy.

Most of the news we hear about China’s environment is depressing, filled with references to the country’s dirty air, water, and soil. Some of it is downright apocalyptic, accompanied by images of environmental destruction that remind me of Dr. Seus’ illustrations in…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – August 21, 2014

Wildlife Depletion May Be Driving Child Labor and Crime

Decline in biodiversity is a source of social conflict rather than a symptom, says UC Berkeley report

What do overfishing, wildlife trafficking, and endangered species all have in common? According to a paper recently published in the journal Science, these environmental challenges may all have cascading social consequences when it comes to forced labor, organized crime, and even piracy.…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – August 13, 2014

A Pledge that Promises to Keep Seeds Free For All to Use

In battle against seed patents, plant breeders and advocates find inspiration in open source software

For years, many of us have kept an eye out for organic and pesticide free vendors at our local farmers markets. Thanks to a new movement hitting the American food scene, we may soon be looking for another important environmental marker: open…
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by: Zoe Loftus-Farren – July 22, 2014

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