The $250,000 Synthetic Hamburger (CBS News)

Global meat production rose from less than 50t in 1950 to about 275t in 2010. This growth has caused unaccounted environmental and social damage (see the $200 Hamburger (Raj Patel)). Recently, the most expensive hamburger in the world was produced by extracting stem cells from cows. Muscle tissue was grown in laboratories with the hope that this will someday solve the problems of growing meat consumption. The total cost of the project: €250,000. In the $200 Hamburger (Raj Patel), we saw that the environmental costs of a 50-cent fast food hamburger was 400 times its price at the register. It makes you wonder about the true price of the new synthetic hamburger. Are we solving problems or just trying to dig ourselves out of the hole that we created?

2013 Jack Beale Lecture on the Global Environment (David Suzuki)

Dr David Suzuki presents the 2013 Jack Beale Lecture on the Global Environment, on the topic of Imagining a sustainable future: foresight over hindsight. In a wide-ranging talk the Canadian scientist and broadcaster discusses the environmental movement’s successes and failures, explores human evolution and the threats to our future, outlines the problems of a globalised economy, criticises the Australian government’s climate change policies, and points to a sustainable way forward.

Coral reefs under rapid climate change (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg)

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has studied oceans from Mexico to Antarctica and is leading the creation of an online virtual diving experience into the Great Barrier ReefHere’s a short 6-minute TED talk. For more details see this review article of the scenarios for coral reefs under rapid climate change or his more elaborate video presentation here.

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement (Dr Ariyaratne)

The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement is the largest people’s organization in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya is Sanskrit for ‘Awakening of All’ and Shramadana means to donate effort. It began in one village and has grown to more than 15,000. Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, the founder-president of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement speaks about the ideologies behind the movement.

Farmers autonomy and winning the battle against poverty (Periyapatna Satheesh)

A very interesting interview (28 minutes) with Periyapatna V. Satheesh, director of the Deccan Development Society commenting on: Farmers autonomy, Defeating hunger, Food security, Hope for a better life, Desperation in search of better agricultural methods, Exhaustion of mother earth, Lost relations between crops and pests, Winning the battle against poverty…

Some of the footage is used in A new future for small farmers. Produced and directed by Paul Enkelaar, Jan Paul Smit and Manuel Reichert.

Arsenic Mitigation and Social Mobilisation in Bangladesh (AMRF)

This is a short 8-minutes version of a 60-minutes documentary Development in Bad Waters (AMRF). In Bangladesh, millions of rural poor are currently drinking water that is contaminated with high levels of arsenic. Although the problem was described as the worst mass poisoning in history, little has been achieved to resolve it. Among the few projects that are being implemented, even fewer have managed to reach the poor and to implement water supplies and health support provisions that last. The Arsenic Mitigation and Research Foundation has implemented an integrated and participatory program that links research with project activities in a manner that reflects the priorities of local communities.

Challenging our measure of progress (Robert Kennedy)

In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy challenged the basic way progress and well-being is measured through Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has only become more relevant since then. See similar arguments here Economists must learn to subtract (Adbusters). An alternative to GDP is proposed here The Genuine Progress Indicator, an alternative to GDP (Ron Colman).