The Nature of Things: Cuba's Accidental Revolution
Set your TiVOs: The CBC is rebroadcasting its two-part documentary about Cuba’s Special Period, when their agricultural system collapsed after the fall of the former Soviet Union. The film details how Cubans crash-restarted it with a program of permaculture-oriented, labour-intensive organic farming nationwide. It also shows how the nation’s diet became largely vegetarian, and the health care system switched to preventative care (eat an apple, go play soccer, dammit) versus Western-style catastrophic care.
I think it’s important because it shows what can (and eventually, will) happen here when oil and gas inputs to our food supply dwindle or vanish altogether. If you’re interested in food, period, it’s a must-see.
Part one airs Wednesday August 2nd at 10pm ET/PT (yes, YULBlog night, but tape it) and part two is the following Wednesday, August 9th.
Interesting side note: The director, Ray Burley, is himself a farmer whose previous work, Apocalypse Cow, documented the rise and ongoing threat of mad cow disease. (Salad for me, please.)
Climate Change Deniers and the Wilfully Ignorant
Science blogger Bouphonia writes an elegant rant about the airheaded Peggy Noonan’s wilfully ignorant column about climate change.
On the good side, there’s one Canadian public relations guru who’s sick of seeing his colleagues sell out on an issue that affects everyone. I’m happy to present the anti-climate-change-denialist, anti-PR-spin DeSmogBlog.com.
Remember, folks, spaceship Earth doesn’t come with escape pods.
Anthony Bourdain in Beirut
My favourite TV chef, Anthony Bourdain, was in Beirut filming an episode of his new Travel channel series No Reservations when the shelling started.
He’s OK, but this a missive on eGullet’s forums lets people know what’s going on:
I was standing with a group: a Sunni, a Christian, and a Shiite—by the Hariri memorial when the gunfire started and the Hezbollah people appeared driving through city center and honking their horns in “celebration” for the capture/kidnappings. The look of dismay and embarrasment on all three faces…and the grim look of resignation as they all— instantly— recognized what would inevitably come next…it’s something I will never forget. Of the three, our Shiite security guy, a tall, taciturn man, was the last to leave us, insisiting on staying by our side though he and his family lived in the much more perilous Southern part of Beirut. After witnessing many quick telephone exchanges between him and his family, and as more bombs and shells began to fall, seeing him nervously fingering his prayer beads, we finally convinced him to leave. His house was later flattened.