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Lawyer fighting palm oil among 6 to win environmental prize

When Alfred Brownell arrived in a remote Liberian village, the surrounding tropical rainforest had been leveled by bulldozers. Burial grounds were uprooted, religious shrines were desecrated and a …

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What’s Your Idea For Emissions Reduction? The Keeling Curve Prize | #CleanTechnica Exclusive

Keeling Curve PrizeHere’s your chance to make an impact on climate change

CleanTechnica

Kenseth’s hopes at $1 million All-Star prize done after oil leak

Matt Kenseth fans looking for their driver to win a second All-Star race were disappointed after an oil leak ended his night after the first stage of the All-Star race. That leak forced Kenseth to take his car behind the wall. Kenseth won the All-Star race …
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Winners Of Zayed Future Energy Prize 2016 Selected

zayed-future-energy-prize-press-conference

The jury for the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize has selected the winners for the international renewable energy and sustainability awards, which will be formally announced at the awards ceremony on January 16th, 2017 during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Winners Of Zayed Future Energy Prize 2016 Selected was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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CleanTechnica

$250,000 NW Energy Experience Prize Winners Announced

OREGON BEST

For the 2015–2016 NW Energy Experience Prize, Oregon BEST announced 9 winners who each receive about $ 25,000 to support their work. The students for this year are from Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Tech, and Washington State University–Vancouver. They will collaborate on cross-university teams for one year in conjunction with utility companies to [&hellip

$ 250,000 NW Energy Experience Prize Winners Announced was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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CleanTechnica

Should the “Nobel prize for food” go to a Monsanto exec?

woman first prize trophy
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In a move that has disturbed many anti-hunger advocates, including the 81 global leaders of the World Future Council and laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, the World Food Prize — often known as the Nobel prize for food and agriculture — has given this year’s award to three chemical company executives, including Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer, Robert Fraley.

Fraley shares the prize with two other scientists responsible for launching the “technology” behind the biotech business three decades ago, after developing a method for inserting foreign genes into plants. For an award that claims to honor those who contribute to a “nutritious and sustainable food supply,” genetically modified organisms miss the mark on both counts.

GMOs do not create a more nutritious or sustainable food supply. Twenty years after the commercialization of the first GMO seed, almost all are limited to just two types. Either they’ve been developed to resist a proprietary herbicide or engineered to express a specific insecticide. (No surprise, since the product development is led by chemical companies like Monsanto and Syngenta.) While these crops have proven profitable to the companies producing them, they’ve been costly to farmers. And for the cash-poor farmers, who make up 70 percent of the world’s hungry, this technology worsens dependency on purchased seeds, fertilizer, and chemicals. As GMOs exacerbate farmers’ dependency on these inputs — all at volatile and rising prices — many small-scale farmers are driven to despair.

In terms of sustainability, GMOs also do nothing to reduce the agriculture sector’s reliance on fossil fuels, mined minerals, and water — all natural resources that will only get more costly as they become more scarce.

While the genetic engineers promise that their technology can deliver, experts I’ve interviewed here and around the world are doubtful. Instead, they point to the studies showing the productivity and resilience of organic and agroecological methods, especially in the face of drought and other extreme weather. Organic production methods outperform chemical methods in drought years [PDF] by as much as 31 percent. Other benefits? Organic methods can use 45 percent less energy and produce 40 percent less greenhouse gases [PDF]. Real numbers, real solutions.

Further evidence from some of the world’s most important institutions — from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to the World Bank — is showing how ecological methods outperform GMOs, improve nutritional qualities of crops, and benefit biodiversity and soil health, all without leaving farmers in debt and dependent on companies for ever-more expensive inputs. In India, for example, agriculture systems that have turned away from the synthetic inputs GMOs require are hitting record highs in productivity. Thanks to research from around the world, including a three-year groundbreaking study involving over 900 participants from over 110 countries, a growing consensus exists: We know what’s working to improve crop yields, nutrition, and farmers’ livelihoods. And despite the PR talking points from the industry, it’s not GMOs.

Much of the public relations spin revolves around “feeding the world.” Let’s be clear: Global hunger is not the result of a lack of food, but perhaps more importantly, a lack of democracy, as my mother Frances Moore Lappé and her colleagues at Food First have been arguing for four decades. Today, despite the planet producing more than enough food for every man, woman, and child, 870 million people on the planet suffer from extreme, long-term undernourishment, according to the United Nations.

Biotechnology fails to address the roots of this persistent hunger — which include poverty and inequality, and fundamentally a lack of choice over how food is grown, where it’s grown, and who has access to it. A technology like genetic engineering, which has been developed and is controlled by a handful of companies, does nothing to transform this dynamic. Indeed, the technology serves to further concentrate power over our food system: An estimated 90 percent of U.S.-grown soybeans and 80 percent of corn and cotton crops are grown from Monsanto’s seeds. Crops that don’t nourish the world, but instead end up in the gut of a cow, the tank of a car, or the ingredients list of processed foods.

Finally, Monsanto and Syngenta have a long history of working to silence scientists and farmers who are critical of their products, including one case that hit close to home.

In the late 1990s, my father, the scientist Marc Lappé, decided to investigate Monsanto’s claims that the technology would increase yields. He found that the company vastly overstated the potential of the technology. He wrote up his findings in his book Against the Grain, but just before printing his publisher received a threatening letter from Monsanto lawyers. The message: Print at your own risk. The publisher balked. My father eventually found a small progressive press in Maine who had the courage to publish his book, but he lost the imprimatur of a larger publisher. This is just one anecdote of intimidation among many — including the recent buy-out of a research firm linking Monsanto to the global bee crisis known as “colony collapse disorder.”

In its choice this year, the World Food Prize has placed itself decidedly out of step with the international community’s assessment about agricultural biotechnology and the proven approach to promoting nutrition and sustainability.

Filed under: Article, Business & Technology, Food
Grist

And The Winner Of The World Food Prize Is … The Man From Monsanto

The prize is sometimes called the “Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.” And this year’s winners include Monsanto executive Robert Fraley, a pioneer in genetically engineered crops. If there’s a single person who personifies the company’s controversial role in American agriculture, it’s probably Fraley.

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Environment

Nigerian environmental activist receives human rights prize

The Rafto Prize, a Norwegian human rights award, was awarded to Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey on Thursday for his campaigning on behalf of victims of climate change and environmental damage.
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UT Professor Wins World’s Top Prize for Ecology and Environmental Science – Marketwatch

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor who is one of the world’s leading experts on invasive species has received the world’s pre-eminent prize for ecology and environmental …
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UT Professor Wins World’s Top Prize for Ecology and Environmental Science – YAHOO!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor who is one of the world’s leading experts on invasive species has received the world’s pre-eminent prize for ecology and environmental …
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