The Year that Ended Dangerously
Las Vegas seems to be an apt place to launch a risky corporate gamble that could destroy the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers. Earlier this month, the international food conglomerate Cargill chose the city’s famous Strip to introduce what it hopes will be its next blockbuster product: EverSweet, a sweetener made of “the same sweet components in the stevia plant.”
And yet, despite Cargill’s heavy reliance on stevia in its promotional material, EverSweet does not contain a single leaf of the plant. Cargill’s new product is an example of synthetic biology, a form of genetic engineering that uses modified organisms to manufacture compounds that would never be produced naturally. What makes EverSweet taste sweet is not stevia; it is a compound produced by a bioengineered yeast.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December will feature all the tightly choreographed production values of a Hollywood blockbuster. The cast will be huge: presidents and prime ministers at center stage, supported by thousands of extras, including protesters, riot police, and busloads of media. The script may still be under wraps, but the plot has already leaked: This time, in sharp contrast to the failed negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, the planet is going to win. It is a seductive plot, but one that does not quite hold together.
“Liberation Theology” or “Liberation Technology”?
Tenemos el gusto de invitarles a nuestro siguiente Jour Fixe: "Frente a la crisis, la respuesta ¿está en las nuevas tecnologías?"
Se llevará a cabo el día jueves 18 de junio, a las 18:00 hrs, en Casa Lamm, Álvaro Obregón 99, esquina Orizaba. Col. Roma, México D.F.
Presentan: Silvia Ribeiro y Verónica Villa del Grupo ETC; Emmanuel González, de la Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad-México y Annette von Schönfeld, Directora de la FHB para México, Centroamérica y el Caribe
In 2014, the Green Economy -- dominating the media enviro beat and UN negotiations since well before the 2012 Rio Earth Summit – merged and morphed into the Sharing Economy and the Maker Economy to offer us a vision of Transformative Transnationalism. But, is this really a new Triple Bottom-line or just the same old Triple-Bottom Feeders? ETC Group takes an irreverent look at what was new in 2014 – and what only claimed to be.
The Green Economy: