Written for The Ecologist 01/10/2008
Available online at http://www.theecologist.org/pages/archive_detail.asp?content_id=1978
If there is a video gamer in your life, chances are that you have heard of Spore, the latest creation from the super successful inventor of ‘The Sims’.
Apparently in some places they call Hong Kong "Disneyland". What better place than among the sci-fitowers of this gotham-city landscape for the brave new pioneers of Synthetic Biology to gather, plan and celebrate the next stage of artificial life. For the next few days Synthetic Biology 4.0, the fourth global congress of syn bio leaders, will be meeting at Hong Kong's University of Science and Technology to discuss synthetic organisms, whole genome construction, next generation biofuels and all manner of biohackery.
Henry Ford dreamed of making plastic cars out of soy. Now Dow, DuPont and other chemical giants are also dreaming of a ‘green’ future. But, as Jim Thomas argues, bioplastic is not the eco-solution it’s cracked up to be.
Article from New Internationalist Magazine September 2008 issue - available online here
Can science save the planet or should we avoid putting our faith in high-tech fixes to deliver us from the ecological mess we‘ve made? Jim Thomas and Paul Fitzgerald push each other’s buttons.
Read the debate here in the latest issue of New Internationalist Magazine: http://www.newint.org/features/special/2008/08/01/technofixes/
Mapmaking and conquest has a disturbingly close history. As indigenous people learned, the innocuous mapmaker may be followed by weapons, property claims and exploitation. So too for the recent rash of science projects using mapping
Written for The Ecologist - 20/07/2008
If radical vegan Ingrid Newkirk has her way, the nouvelle cuisine on vegetarian menus in five years time may be a big juicy steak.
Newkirk, founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has offered a $1 million prize to whoever can scale-up stem cell techniques that grow edible animal tissue – so called lab-grown meat – for a mass market.
Biofuels fuel global food crisis
Toronto Star/star.com July 08, 2008
As G8 leaders meet this week in Japan, their ears will still be ringing from the bombshell dropped last week in a leaked World Bank report declaring that biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75 per cent, far higher than previously estimated.
Testimony of Pat Mooney
Executive Director of ETC Group
Before the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources-regarding Bill C-33 (the "Biofuels Bill")
Senate of Canada
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Thank you. I will begin by confessing that I am not an expert on biofuels. I feel as though my life has been hijacked by biofuels over the last few months.