Agriculture

The environment and marijuana legalization

In the wake of the successful marijuana legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington state, and the success of a number of legalization initiatives on the ballot in the prior mid-term elections, there is a renewed effort to get a legalization measure on the ballot here in California for the 2016 elections. A prior measure in …

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California Headed for Record Drought: Will Critically-Needed Reforms Follow?

Confronting a Looming Environmental Disaster

The Sacramento Bee’s fine environmental reporter, Matt Weiser, yesterday reported on a looming, major drought facing California and its regional neighbors. The figures aren’t pretty.  A persistent high-pressure front stretching over the Gulf of Alaska and most of the Northern Pacific has diverted the normal fall and winter storm track away from California and other …

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The Emergence of Food Law

As with most holidays, Memorial Day is associated with a traditional food component — in this case, picnics.  So this seems like a good occasion to talk about the emerging legal field of food law. According to the Food and Drug Law Institute, about sixty law schools have courses on Food and Drug Law, a …

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NY Times Triples on Climate Change

The NY Times has three op-eds this morning dealing with climate change: An op. ed. by Bruce Usher argues for a clean energy strategy: “The United States still has a very long way to go to curtail emissions, but the states are heading in the right direction, and national energy policy must build on their …

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Empty Plates

Many of us will have plenty of food on the table tomorrow.  Indeed, many of us will eat more than is really good for us.  But the U.N. reports that the global food situation is quite different, as explained by the NY Times: Global grain production will tumble by 63 million metric tons this year, …

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White paper released today on how farmers and ranchers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions

What can California’s farmers and ranchers do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? “Room to Grow: How California Agriculture Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” a new white paper released today by UC Berkeley/UCLA Schools of Law, the California Attorney General’s Office, and Bank of America, provides some answers. California agriculture is a huge industry, generating …

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm . . .

But unfortunately, the farm wasn’t as bucolic as you might imagine, as the NY Times reports: Agricultural runoff is the single largest source of water pollution in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the E.P.A. An estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from waterborne parasites, viruses or bacteria, including those stemming from …

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GHG Emissions and Meat Production

This article in the new issue of Scientific American has an important discussion of the ways in which animal-based food production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. From the article: Most of us are aware that our cars, our coal-generated electric power and even our cement factories adversely affect the environment. Until recently, however, the …

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