"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What to Love About Canada

There's bad apples everywhere, but Canada has some especially good ones too.


David B. Benson said...

Good bad apples?

Hank Roberts said...

Something else to love about Canada -- their production of rapeseed oil (I gather this is a Texas native plant); their 'Can-ola' name is a marketing tool.

Why? Couple'a' reasons. Texas is a big producer also. It's the highest oil yielding plant. It's far healthier than corn or peanuts - the latter info from a wonderful long presentation by a government military researcher on improving the health of the warfighter: reducing heart attacks and artery damage.

Changing our agriculture to healthier food sources would also have benefits for climate change.

Start around minute 12 of the video available here:

Listen through the end of the first hour, to where the soldiers in the audience bring up the problem with their rations.

This is a scientist with clear relevant information making no bones about presenting it and saying, this is important, you should change how you live because this is how the world works. Refreshing. There's a downloadable calculator at the same NIH site for individual use.

(Copies of his slides, more legible, found here:
http://omega-6-omega-3-balance.omegaoptimize.com/files/8/9/8/7/3/147167-137898/NutritionalArmor.ppt )

Since all the big fish are gone, it's irresponsible to advise fish oil for everyone. Since the heart-healthy crops are also more productive of biofuel (oil from rapeseed, ethanol from flax) with less fossil fuel required to grow and process them, there's another, er, low-hanging fruit.

Better food, better fuels, better cardiac health.

What's not to like?

Big corn, big peanuts, big sugar, big soda, and of course the meat industry won't be happy.
Nor will those who think scientists shouldn't be straightforward about the policy implications of their work.