1 July 2021
The Rashomon Effect:
Great short video (<6 minutes) explaining how events can be recalled in contradictory ways by well-meaning but ultimately subjective witnesses. The latter half is most relevant to us in explaining the value of including multiple perspectives in an analysis and the difference between ambiguity and unanimity in decision making – https://youtu.be/xg5y6Ao7VE4
Farmers switching to solar (away from crops):
This is interesting for three related things.
- The first is that solar boom is taking place on ag land where the farmers are SWITCHING from crops to solar. The fact that this is taking place now with the whole ‘let’s grow food in the UK’ is worrying. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/28/solar-farm-proposals-for-east-of-england-more-than-double
- The second is why agrivoltaics aren’t being considered for this situation. There might be a great reason why for these locations, but I don’t know what it is. https://thecounter.org/agrivoltaics-farmland-solar-panels-clean-energy-crops/
- The third, linked very much to the first one, is that the numbers show that Post-Brexit trade deals may cause 1,500 additional diet-related deaths every year. So how to manage the solar boom, potential energy use change, and ‘lost’ farm land in the next few years – https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-021-00306-9
- The paper is cool and used MAGNET linked to a dietary risk model
- Of course, Marco is involved.
Ageing cell lines for cultured meats:
Interesting for the following reasons. I am hoping this is me being doomy about things: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/cow-cell-lines-cultured-meat
- The secrecy around sourcing and keeping cell-lines portends future inequality in accessibility of the cultured meat technology. If cultured meat will change food systems as we know them, some of this will just replicate the current terrible power dynamics,
- Transparency, communication, and the fuzzy-ness of sentience when it comes to storing cell-lines and telling ‘consumers’ about them,
- This is travelling on the same lines as the north-to-south trade in genetic avian stock and requisite proteins (see Dixon 2002). If this continues, it seems likely there will be ‘northern’ commercial ownership of bovine cell lines and the necessary mediums for bioreactors. The production might be off-shored, but the IP and tech stays where it is.
Why cocoa growers are still poor:
Price premiums haven’t worked as expected and it’s disturbingly easy for multi-nationals to sidestep. Also corporate sustainability programs can really just be productivity programs in fancy dress: https://theconversation.com/why-efforts-by-cote-divoire-and-ghana-to-help-cocoa-farmers-havent-worked-162845
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