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Neighbourhood News

Neighbourhood News Jan 7th


How Green Is The White House?

The election of Barack Obama promises a new era of eco-awareness in the US, says Sarah Wachter

These are heady times for environmentalists in America. The initial euphoria of Barack Obama’s White House win hasn’t worn off yet. They say he is the American president with the most clearly-enunciated environmental platform of any in recent memory. Even though the financial crisis has taken centre stage, environmentalists think that’s good news, too, since Obama is talking about creating millions of green jobs to kickstart the spluttering US economy.

“Right now it looks like environment policy is a high priority,” says Bob Bendick, director of government affairs for the Nature Conservancy. “Climate change, the environment, and the health of the planet are interrelated with human welfare and the economy.”
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The Christian Science Monitor

Cities may sprout vertical farms

This article touches on Dr Despommier’s concept we’ve previously mentioned.

Farming would seem to be a horizontal occupation. Iowa corn or Kansas wheat pokes up from flat fields that stretch to the horizon.

That’s why the idea of “vertical farms” seems ripe for humor. When its biggest advocate appeared on the faux news show “The Colbert Report” earlier this year, comedian Stephen Colbert prefaced the interview by guessing it would have something to do with corn that grows sideways or perhaps “Chia blimps” that float overhead.

Such teasing hasn’t deterred Dickson Despommier, the Col­umbia University professor of public health. He sees putting crops into skyscrapers as a better way to feed a hungry world. Professor Despommier’s website, verticalfarm.com, features architectural concepts of high-rise buildings that could grow fresh produce in urban areas while at the same time being much more environmentally sustainable than conventional agriculture. Read More


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