Two things to note of late, both of which demonstrate the need to speak clearly, to recognize the particular communities impacted by particular policies and not to speak of broad strokes.
“good for the environment”
“good for agriculture”
“good for farmers”
what does that mean, actually? whose environment? agriculture for whom? which farmers?
here is one example: small farmers and the impact of climate change mitigation policies.
“Sarwadi Sukiman, a small farmer from Sumatra (Indonesia) [shared] his experience in Poznan during the United Nations climate talks, as part of the Via Campesina delegation. His story shows what happens when plans such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) are implemented and what impacts they have on small farmer’s lives. REDD is a new mechanism negotiated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that provides funding to developing countries to protect forests in order to capture carbon and stabilise the climate. This carbon trading mechanism is getting a lot of international support at the Poznan conference. However, the real impact of such programmes on peasants and indigenous peoples is disastrous.”
and then there is the story of the man Obama has chosen as Secretary of Agriculture. Of course – such a position impacts agriculture worldwide, and agriculture impacts climate change, and climate change impacts us all in different ways.
As reported by the Institute for Public Accuracy, President-elect Obama is nominating Tom Vilsack, a former governor
of Iowa, to be secretary of agriculture.
a resarch biologist at the Global Justice Ecology Project, Smolker
said today: “Vilsack’s appointment is tremendously disappointing to those of us working to oppose ‘agrofuels.’ He has been a staunch proponent of corn and soy based fuels even as over a billion people are starving and mountains of evidence have demonstrated that turning plant matter, (edible or not) into fuel contributes to climate change and ecosystem degradation. Vilsack, darling of Monsanto and the biotechnology industry’s ‘governor of the year,’ will attempt to pave the way for a massive upscale of industrial agriculture and biotechnology under the guise of ‘renewable energy.'”