Climate Adaptation

CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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La Surconsommation is French for over consumption. Via Revkin

"The intensity of stupidity that is looking back at you <herzopause> is just amazing."

The Nation Magazine: "We were about to put our hands through a whole new type of hurt."

Gabriel Thompson spent a summer working at an Alabama poultry plant, where he observed the hidden health and safety crisis poultry workers face. In this week’s issue of The Nation, Thompson reports on the widespread dangers poultry workers face, and the reason things are about to get a whole lot worse:

We were about to put our hands through a whole new type of hurt. I was soon tearing through more than 7,000 chicken breasts each night (I worked the graveyard shift), while nearby workers sliced up countless birds with knives and scissors. The massive plant was capable of killing and processing nearly 1.5 million birds a week, and the pace was as relentless as such numbers suggest. We often didn’t even have time to wipe bits of chicken flesh from our faces, and I took to popping ibuprofen during breaks to quell the swelling in my hands. 

One (worker) was unable to hold a glass of water; another had three surgeries on her wrists; a third had discovered, after a visit to the doctor, that her thumb joint had almost disappeared after twelve years of line work. She told me her doctor had taken a vein from her leg and wrapped it around her thumb in an attempt to replace the missing cartilage. “Everyone on the line had hand problems,” she said.

When the government set the maximum line speed at poultry plants—currently it’s ninety-one birds a minute—it failed to take worker safety into consideration. Instead, the limit was determined by the US Department of Agriculture, based on food safety concerns. And here’s something even worse: in January the USDA proposed a new method for poultry inspection that would allow plants to run lines at 175 birds a minute. That’s nearly double the current limit. 

Read the entire story here.

Photo from Flickr user USDAgov under CC BY 2.0

One of my favorite tumblrs, fertilizermarkets posted this video on EPA regulations and Louisiana poultry growers. The issue is water quality and chicken poop. Basically, the EPA regulates water quality, among other things.

To do this, the source of any water pollution is identified, and measures are taken to mitigate the impacts to the water. Sources vary, from mall parking lots to toilet water to coal plants to chicken growers. In the video, poultry farmers learn that chicken poop is a potential source of water pollution and that they’re responsible for where the poop goes.

One problem is that American farmers generally don’t like to be 100% responsible for their waste (send me your hate mail here). And this irresponsibility manifests in a general disdain for the EPA and other “big government regulations.”

Lobbyists fuel this problem by creating confusion and uncertainty in the minds of farmers and politicians that represent them (which is, to my mind, an unethical exploitation and mental spoilage of otherwise good American people).

Anyway, the result is entrenched denial in its most brilliant form. And to me, it’s a fascinating artifact of American culture - to be both ‘personally responsible for self-actions’ yet eschew accountability when those responsibilities are not being met. Amazing to think about. This video follows standard journalistic tropes by showing “both sides” of the story. Good stuff.

Kristen Oaks shows us what #poultry growers can do to avoid a federal citation and fine due to new #EPA #regulations. This Week in Louisiana Agriculture.

Farming the Unconscious" proposes an alternative way of growing chickens for food: embedding them into a matrix. Free from cruelty, the chickens are unconscious, and free of pain and disease. They are well fed, healthy, and stress free because they are kept out of cages (and not awake) thus responding to ethical arguments against factory farming.  

As long as their brain stem is intact, the homeostatic functions of the chicken will continue to operate. By removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken, its sensory perceptions are removed.

It can be produced in a denser condition while remaining alive, and oblivious.The feet will also be removed so the body of the chicken can be packed together in a dense volume.

Food, water and air are delivered via an arterial network and excreta is removed in the same manner. Around 1000 chickens will be packed into each ‘leaf’, which forms part of a moving, productive system.

The model shows that the chickens take up less space than traditional factory farming. The chickens are “plugged in” to the system, there by eliminating the need for clean up of waste.

The model in the exhibition showed the system in which a chicken would be grown at The Centre for Unconscious Farming. Feed lines provide sustenance, excreata lines remove waste, electrodes stimulate muscle growth.

The proposal is by architecture student, André  Ford, who looked at eliminated not only the problem of intense agricultural farming techniques, but also looked at eliminating cruelty: 

One of the students of the course, André Ford, looked at the intensification of the broiler chicken industry. Each year, the UK raises and kills 800 million chickens or ‘broilers’ for their meat. Broiler rearing might be unethical and unsustainable but it is now the most intensified and automated type of livestock production.

Broiler chickens spend their 6-7week lives in windowless sheds, each containing around 40,000 birds. They are selectively bred to grow faster than they would naturally which often causes skeletal problems and lameness.

Many die because their hearts and lungs cannot keep up with their rapid growth. Information about the atrocious conditions in which they are raised can be found online.

Read the rest at Make Money Not Art