City chickens going mainstream

Another decade down

From Winnipeg Free Press, December 26, 2009

A lot can happen in a decade.

In fact, many of the forces shaping agriculture and food industries today weren't even on our radar screens as the millennium turned a decade ago. Meanwhile, other forces that were expected to dissipate have remained stubbornly resistant.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was something farmers in the U.K. and Europe were confronting. No one seriously thought it would ever surface here, nor did they imagine the lasting impact the discovery of one infected animal in 2003 would have on this country's beef industry.

Not only have producers here suffered the economic consequences of trade disruptions, they have been saddled with the costs of implementing new protocols and regulations in its wake.

Manitoba's hog industry was still in the early stages of its explosive expansion and conversion from stability through a large number of independent producers to a centralized, intensive production system. The industry operated under the assumption Manitoba's wide-open spaces, friendly government oversight and its competitive advantage -- largely due to the currency differential -- would shelter its expansion indefinitely.

The Canadian dollar was around 69 cents US at the turn of the century. Today it is around 94 cents US. As for free trade, it seems that for every trade barrier removed, another surfaces, causing one industry analyst to refer to trade recently as "blood sport." Rules only matter if you get caught.

Full article here


Joyeuses fêtes - Happy holidays

Post Carbon Greater Moncton wishes its members and visitors a happy holiday season!

Grand Moncton Post Carbon souhaite à tous ses membres et ses visiteurs une joyeuse période des fêtes!

Jeremy Rifkin on converging crises



Urban chicken bylaw labelled 'tragically bad'

National Post
December 21, 2009

Chickens might soon come home to roost in urban backyards, but potential owners should beware the fallout that goes beyond a tribute to food sustainability and buying-local initiatives.

One hundred North American cities have bylaws permitting residents to keep the traditional farm animal within city limits. The chickens are kept to lay eggs for consumption, dispose of kitchen scraps, eat bugs, turn soil and even weed gardens.

Full article here


Peak oil notes - Dec 17

Source : Energy Bulletin

After falling for 9 straight trading sessions, oil reversed on Wednesday and climbed nearly $2 a barrel to $72.66 after the EIA reported that crude and distillate stocks fell considerably more than analysts anticipated. Earlier this week oil had touched $68.59. US crude inventories are now at 332 million barrels, the lowest since last January. With inventories still high, refineries operated at only 80 percent of capacity last week, down 1.1 percentage points from the prior week. US crude imports last week were only 7.7 million barrels, the lowest since September 2008 when the ports were shut because of hurricanes.

The EIA also reported that US fuel consumption increased by 6.7 percent to 19.6 million b/d last week. This was the biggest one-week jump in consumption in over five years. The AAA expects a 3.8 percent jump in holiday travel this year. Distillate stocks dropped by nearly 3 million barrels as colder weather enveloped much of the northern US.

The Iranian nuclear situation continues to fester with Tehran testing an upgraded long-range missile on Wednesday. This provocation, coupled with Tehran’s intransigence on the nuclear issue, increases the likelihood that stiffer sanctions will be imposed during 2010.

Car bombs continued to go off in Baghdad this week despite all the talk that Iraq will soon be the world’s leading oil producer. The oil facilities off northwestern Australia are about to be hit by a Cat 5 hurricane.



Le temps de l'économie post-carbone est arrivé

Par Dan Vogel
Le Monde
12 décembre 2009

Quelles que soient l'issue et les décisions prises lors du sommet de Copenhague, les entreprises vont rapidement prendre conscience des nouveaux enjeux liés au changement climatique... Leur avenir en dépend.

Les enjeux du sommet de l'ONU sur le climat vont bien au-delà du politique ou de l'écologique. Copenhague, c'est surtout l'entrée dans une nouvelle ère économique, celle du post-carbone.

Le contexte politique est favorable à l'avènement de cette nouvelle ère. Barack Obama et le premier ministre chinois, Wen Jiabao, seront finalement tous les deux présents à Copenhague, avec des objectifs chiffrés. Le gouvernement chinois annonce vouloir baisser son "intensité carbone" de 40 % à 45 % d'ici à 2020 par rapport à 2005, et on parle de 17 % de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) pour les Etats-Unis. L'annonce à quelques jours d'intervalle de la présence des dirigeants des deux pays les plus polluants au monde est un signe fort. Gageons qu'elle redonnera confiance aux citoyens, qui n'attendaient guère de décisions d'un sommet qui se serait tenu sans les Etats-Unis ni la Chine.

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