Archive for foreclosure

How Mayor Bloomberg Causes Obesity

Posted in Ecological resilience, Organic agriculture, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by Rob Wallace

Yeah the doctors don’t know, but New York was killing me / Bunch of doctors coming round, they don’t know / That New York is killing me / Yeah I need to go home and take it slow in Jackson, Tennessee -Gil Scott-Heron (2010)

On October 6 Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked the United States Department of Agriculture for permission to enjoin New York City’s 1.7 million food stamp recipients from using their stamps to buy sodas and other sugary drinks.

The request, made with New York State’s assistance, is part of a anti-obesity campaign pursued by the Bloomberg administration that has already included advertisements, greater restrictions on food sold in public schools, and an unsuccessful go at imposing a tax on the sugar drinks.

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The Alan Greenspan Strain

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by Rob Wallace

First, a question with which few biogeographers bother. If a goodly chunk of their discipline is dedicated to veiling the impact capitalism imposes on the natural world (discussed here and here), how can researchers interested in paying their bills study the crises that threaten the posh gamblers for whom, however distally, they ultimately work?

For those who study pathogens, the answer is a short one. Focus on viruses and bacteria as biomedical objects alone. The spread and evolution of these lil’ nasties can be tracked underneath the microscope or, at the public health level, across computer maps, but rarely over their rough-and-tumble geographies.

Otherwise, the problem of a pathogen, already treacherous, becomes in such a political context nigh impossible. God forbid, researchers might be forced to study the social relationships that bind together and separate out populations across  capitalist landscapes near and far. The corrupt omission, a constant headache, is eased with a trail of career pellets, however routinely the solutions that result may fail.

As recent work on one virus illustrates, however, there is another way.

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