Heather Rogers will be speaking about her new book Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution – “a new ‘No Logo’” according to Derek Wall – in London:
- Sunday 27 June, 5pm at the Arcola Theatre
- Wednesday 30 June, 6.30pm, at the ICA, with Kirsty Wright, the climate justice campaigner at the World Development Movement
Take a look inside the facts & figures thanks to Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization:
Organic farmers, the heroes of today’s food movement, often can’t make ends meet—even those at the farmers’ market who sell eggs for a staggering $14 a dozen. In the US today small farms must rely on off-farm sources for 85-95 percent of their income.
From its inception in 2002 through 2008 the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program had an annual operating budget of about $2 million. Over those same years, industrial agriculture received hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer support.
As organic goes mainstream—think General Mills, Kraft, and Wal-Mart—some organic growers are deforesting to establish new cropland to meet booming demand.
Of all Fair Trade registered producers globally, just 20 percent sell their crops at the premium price. They must offload the rest at the low conventional price or leave it to rot in the field.
40 percent of all CO2 emissions in the US come from buildings, but we can’t fix this because of a technology lag—right? Wrong. Buildings that generate more power than they use (via solar panels) have been up and running for years in towns like Freiburg, Germany.
Today’s green buildings use cutting-edge but simple technologies like interior walls embedded with microscopic spheres of paraffin wax that absorb summer heat in the daytime and release it at night.
The rainforest on Indonesian Borneo is being clear-cut for cropland to make biodiesel, destroying the last viable habitat of the orangutan and resulting in Indonesia becoming the world’s third largest CO2 emitter, trailing only the U.S. and China.
Growing, producing and running our vehicles on ethanol and biodiesel can release twice the CO2 into the atmosphere than if we filled our tanks with fossil fuels. Two out of very three U.S. taxpayer dollars spent on renewable energy in 2007 went toward ethanol —double what was invested in wind, solar and geothermal combined.
If Obama carries out his current plans to support biofuels, US taxpayers will have doled out over $1 trillion by 2030 for transportation fuels that aren’t truly green.
U.S. car companies sell vehicles in Europe that get almost triple the fuel efficiency of their American models. Ford UK’s 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic, a five-seater, hits a staggering 88 mpg while the U.S. version gets in the low 30s.
High-tech plug-in gas-electric hybrids—the cars of the future—such as GM’s much-touted Chevy Volt promise a way out of global warming with 200+ mpg. But in reality the Volt can easily clock a measly 38 mpg.
One highly regarded carbon offset project in southern India, a renewable energy plant, has created a market for wood so impoverished villagers now fell trees to sell as fuel to the facility.
Alarmingly, the offset market creates a disincentive for governments to clean up their act. If leaders in, say, India implement a comprehensive wind and solar program, the country would no longer qualify for the billions of dollars in offset money it currently gets.
Carbon offset projects can’t neutralize today’s CO2 emissions today. Trees planted to counteract emissions from a coal fired power plant will require thirty, fifty, one hundred years or longer—the lifetime of a tree—to absorb that CO2.
Watch Heather discussing the myth of green capitalism at Socialism 2009 conference in Chicago: