And the Horse You Rode In On

A fascinating academic article has been circulating recently, comparing the energy it takes to run a conventional farm with that required on an organic one. If you’re interested in the ‘real’ costs that go into your food, then the cost and benefits of energy use should certainly be high up there. And this study delivers. What makes it particularly good is the resolution of the information – over 1.25 million data points over six years, from the Land Institute’s Sunshine Farm. What they find is that organic farming is more energy efficient than conventional farming, when all variables are taken into account.

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Brisbane, Australia

Join two of the leading thinkers and writers on the subject of sustainability as they come together to discuss their new books and the issues that face the planet today. Environmental, economic, social and political problems are approaching crunch time and Raj Patel and Bill McKibbin address these issues each from their own perspective.

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Sydney, Australia

We Need To Talk About America

Healthcare has been reformed (somewhat), but the United States’ economy is still fragile, the country is embroiled in two wars, and has decided that climate change is just too hard. Why is the “world’s greatest democracy” struggling to lead? American writers Raj Patel, Lionel Shriver, Reza Aslan, Josh Neufeld and Michael Otterman tell Anne Summers about the state of their union.

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Sydney, Australia

Politics, Arts and Ecology: where to next for the environment?

The failed 2009 Copenhagen climate talks expose fracture and hopelessness in national and international political systems. Raj Patel, Donna Green and James Arvanitakis talk to Paul Brown about the potential role of the disenfranchised individual, the future of environmental politics, and where the arts sit in ecological debates.

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Statistically better than a monkey with a coin

On 7th April, Alan Greenspan appeared before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, to explain what happened. He testified that he “was right 70% of the time and wrong 30% of the time.” That’s great. He spends 70% of his day asleep, eating, pooping, and commuting. It’s hard to screw these things up. Which suggests that the screw-uppy 30% was limited to those parts of the day when he was sitting in front of a desk making monetary policy.