Photo by Haplochromis
This week’s green news has been big on alternative dwellings, of which I am a mad crazy fan. There was a minor frenzy surrounding this video of a 30-story Chinese prefab hotel going up in just 15 days. I wonder if this is going to end up just another empty shell in one of China’s freaky ghost cities.
On the “I want” list is this house you can print. Yup, just program every single niggly detail of the house into your software (which must take, like, 6 years) and out comes your modular home, ready to pop together by whomever happens to be around. I’m not sure if this would be super-fun, like building your own house with Lego, or the terrifying equivalent of wrestling the world’s biggest IKEA flatpack into submission. Either way, when I finally get my tiny tiny house, I hope I can make it like this.
The wacky world of sustainable eating saw some interesting action this week, too. There was this odd infographic about the future of agriculture from USAID. It’s full of numbers that don’t add up and figures that are questionable at best. The one that really confused me is the claim that beef production “must rise by over 100%”. Huh? Why? There are other ways to feed the world. Such as everyone eating less beef, which, according to Mark Bittman’s blog, we are already choosing to do. Or maybe we could just stop wasting 40% of food instead?
We’ll need even less meat if studies like this keep showing up. Some clever Swedes have shown that eating processed meat increases your chance of getting pancreatic cancer. By a lot. According to the BBC, “The World Cancer Research Fund has advised people to completely avoid processed meat”. Now, “processed meat” doesn’t just mean Spam. It means sausages, bacon, sandwich meat, Big Macs, and any other meat that wasn’t just sawed from the animal and plopped on your plate. Also, did you know that “the UK government recommended in 2011 that people eat no more than 70g [of red meat] a day”. It’s pretty hard to imagine the US Government doing the same, seeing as a Quarter Pounder rings in at 85g cooked.
Now, let’s take a look at what non-food animals we’re killing this week. Bees are dying (duh) and it’s probably because of pesticides. Honestly, I don’t get why this surprises anyone. When you spray poison into the environment, it’s going to kill things. And not just flying things. CO2 is finding its way into the ocean and wiping out some of our favorite tiny sea creatures. Here’s Treehugger’s sad and beautiful slideshow of ten ocean species that your grandkids will probably never see.
Last but not least, the Canadian government is whining again. About environmentalists. Again. (Remember that cartoon called Lil’ Bush? That’s the Harper administration.) Apparently our “radical ideological agenda” is wrecking their plans to destroy some of the most beautiful wild places left in Canada. FYI, Harper Government, environmentalists are not a “special interest” group. We are fighting for the survival of every living thing on the planet. You don’t get much more general than that.