Almost six decades have passed since Rachel Carson’s seminal book, Silent Spring, triggered the modern era of environmental concern. Her poignant warnings about the impact of pesticides made many people around the world question the “wisdom” of intensive farming techniques.
Today, the same fundamental question still hangs in the air: how should we feed the billions of mouths around the planet without denuding the natural “assets” – the soil, the water, the forests – that sustain us?
But climate change now complicates matters considerably. It is sobering to consider recent research which found that one third of human-caused emissions are due to our “food systems”.
Sign up to Carbon Brief's free "Cropped" email newsletter. A fortnightly digest of food, land and nature news and views. Sent to your inbox every other Wednesday.
The decisions we make – from the individual consumer in the supermarket through to governments at international conferences – risk further exacerbating the crisis. Or they could help.
But where we need evidence-based clarity to guide our choices and policymaking, we are typically presented with a thick soup of competing claims, misinformation, emotion and vested interests.
Should we eat organic food? Is it best to be vegan? Could genetically modified crops better withstand climate change? What exactly are “nature-based” climate solutions?
This is why Carbon Brief is now sending out a free fortnightly email newsletter.
It provides a digest of all the key developments from the fraught, yet fascinating intersection between food systems, land use, nature and climate change.
Yes, it’s a huge, complex topic to cover. But Carbon Brief has a team of world-leading journalists – including our food-systems specialist Dr Giuliana Viglione in Washington DC and land, food and nature specialist Aruna Chandrasekhar in Mumbai – who spend each day closely tracking mainstream media, academic journals and policy documents looking for anything that is of significance or interest. This already feeds into our Daily Briefing media digest, but now also helps to shape our fortnightly Cropped newsletter, too.
“Cropped” provides the context behind the headlines, recommended reads and interesting new studies you will have missed.
And lands in your inbox once a fortnight on Wednesday afternoons (UK time).
You can find all of the previous issues of Cropped below…
- 27 July 2022: Heatwaves sweep northern hemisphere; Ukraine-Russia wheat deal; Africa’s conservation congress
- 13 July 2022: Valuing biodiversity and wild species; Big meat’s forest pledges digested; Oceans and nature-based solutions
- 29 June 2022: Biodiversity talks; WTO subsidies; EU nature law
- 15 June 2022: LEAF Coalition concerns; Kiwis’ carbon pricing; Biofuel boom
- 1 June 2022: Fears for UN biodiversity summit; Food as a war weapon; Commodity flip-flops
- 18 May 2022: Great Barrier Reef bleaching unmasked; Food crisis worsens; World begins land negotiations
- 4 May 2022: UN land report; State of the forests; Indonesia bans palm oil exports
- 20 April 2022: Wheat deals; Protein sustainability report; Reneging on rainforest promises
- 6 April 2022: IPCC on how land can tackle climate change; UN nature talks end in stalemate; Ukraine’s agricultural crisis
- 23 March 2022: War sparks food security fears; Geneva biodiversity talks; Mass coral bleaching
- 9 March 2022: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; IPCC report; Palm oil deforestation plunge
- 23 February 2022: World financing ‘own extinction’; Catastrophic wildfires; Ethanol emissions
- 9 February 2022: Food security fears; ‘Crypto’ carbon markets; Indigenous victories
- 26 January 2022: Agribusiness-linked deforestation; India’s forest plantations; European agriculture policy
- 12 January 2022: Brazilian deforestation; Wildfires rage; UK ‘rewilding’ scheme
- 15 December 2021: Land and water report; Agribusiness investigations; Rainforest roundup
- 1 December 2021: Brazilian deforestation soars; Fishing subsidy fights; Indian farm laws repealed
- 27 October 2021: COP26; Committee on World Food Security meets; Climate change in Africa
- 13 October 2021: Biodiversity COP; Palm oil investigation; Food shortages