Seed saving movement calls for seeds to be publicly owned
Seeds need to be brought back into public ownership, rather than belonging to a small group of agrochemical companies, say campaigners, after a year in which seed-swapping and saving has reached new heights of popularity.
From March onwards, when the pandemic hit the UK, seed producers and seed banks across the country were overwhelmed with demand. Organisations such as the Seed Cooperative, Vital Seeds and Irish Seed Savers saw a sharp surge in orders, 600% in some cases.
David Price, managing director of the Seed Cooperative, says this rise in sales could be attributed to new and returning small-scale growers responding to empty supermarket shelves and spending more time in green spaces. And commercial growers were also inundated with orders for organic, locally produced food.
Local slaughterhouses struggle to keep ethical farming alive
At the height of the coronavirus lockdown, the Welsh high street where William Lloyd Williams' has his butcher's shop was virtually deserted. Yet Williams was inundated with customers keen to buy meat with a fully traceable supply chain.
Williams slaughters local livestock in his small abattoir next to the farmland in Machynlleth's bucolic Dyfi Valley where he keeps his own cows and sheep. The shop itself is only a short walk away.
"Wil has got a field so the animals have no stress," says Joy Neal, from nearby Glandyfi. "He is kind to the animals and provides good meat for local people and I think he is much appreciated!"
Consumers often prefer not to think about how their meat was killed. But Neal is reassured that it comes from a local abattoir. "There are very few of them left and I feel very strongly about this one," she says.
Inside the Off-the-Grid Ecovillage Fighting London's Airport Expansion
Nestled between London's roaring M4 and M25 motorways is an ecological utopia, born out of a political struggle against climate chaos. Its wooden houses, DIY turbines, and vegetable patches stand in defiance to environmental damage.
Grow Heathrow started as a protest site. Campaigners created the space to support the local community’s fight against a proposed third runway at London’s Heathrow airport. In 2010, activists reclaimed nearby derelict land and, though the soil was full of dumped toxins, they gradually nurtured it back to health. Now, this disused scrubland has transformed into an ecovillage of 25 residents with strong roots in the local community.
The Deceptive Beauty of the Changing Antarctic
Finding beauty in destruction is part of the artistic tradition. It’s through beauty that questions of religion, war and death have been offered up for scrutiny. It forms a gateway of understanding, through which we might peer and contemplate the devastation.
For photographer Paolo Pellegrin, who joined NASA to document the changing Antarctic last November, it was this duality found in environmental damage that he wished to convey. “From up there, it’s ecstasy in front of the magnificent. I think I understood what the romantic notion of the sublime was: It’s not only the absolute beauty of these landscapes, it’s the sensation of finding yourself in front of a presence that speaks of eternity,” says Pellegrin.
Why Wildlife Photography Matters in a Post-Truth Era
When the term “alternative facts” was coined, scientists, climate change campaigners and anyone with an interest in preserving the planet took a collective sigh of despair. For the post-truth era is not just damaging for political integrity, it threatens the survival of bio-diversity as we know it.
So what can the experts fight with, when they can’t fight with facts? “We go back to the pictures,” veteran wildlife photographer Nick Nichols tells TIME. “So as long as we’re in this cycle of lies, the pictures can actually stand up again and do some more work. I still believe that [photography] plays—I hate to say it this way—unfortunately the strongest role, because data and science doesn’t necessarily hit you emotionally.”
A Crude Awakening: A Visual Exploration of the Pipeline Controversy
The irreversible damage of oil extraction to the earth’s ecology is already evident. But when plans for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines were revived in the first days of the new administration, it became clear that America, the insatiable consumer, would not be turning green any time soon – one more chapter in a centuries-long battle over land and resources.
Here is a visual exploration of the environmental consequences of oil production – from the Alberta Tar Sands in northern Canada to the pipelines and refineries across America – as told through the work and words of nine photographers.