Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Powerful documentary 'Our Daily Bread' reveals ethical and systemic failings of 'modern food systems'

In Avignon last night I went to see the documentary feature length film 'Our Daily Bread'. It is a powerful, absorbing account of the interplay between the ' mechanisation' of life as well as the over-mechanisation of contemporary European food production. Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, it has received critical appraisal wherever released. It is recommended viewing, especially for those who research, design, engineer or fund modern food production methods, not to mention those who consume!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New series of essays - 'Making Connections', launched in Nature

In an editorial to Nature, volume 445 on the 25th January, 2007 a new series of essays based on systemic understandings was announced:

'The essays in the Connections series will illustrate some of the insights that are emerging as researchers pursue more holistic approaches to problems, while engaging in an unprecedented degree of collaboration between biological, social and physical scientists. They will raise provocative ideas about how to probe dynamic systems, illustrating, for example, how systems approaches can challenge assumptions established within the more reductionist framework of twentieth -century-science.'
Tipping point in climate change debate symbolized by Time article

In a Time special double issue (April 9 2007) devoted to 'The Global Warming Debate' a set of '51 things you can do to make a difference' are outlined. Suggestions range from purchasing to planning - some appear as technical magic bullets, and little is said about overall consumption levels, but the piece is symbolic of where most of the world is at - no longer debating what climate change is, but how to address it. I wonder if decision makers in the US and Australian governments have read it? Given recent criticism of the Australian government stance by ACF (Australian Conservation Foundation) I hope so!