I think we're getting the message: It's
up to me. And it's up to me to rehabilitate the environment too.
Did you know that the big "clean up"
campaigns now sponsored by governments in many big cities began
when a Sydney man got a group of friends together to get the junk
cleared from his local area? The idea took off.
A research molecular biologist, Ian Robertson,
is working with PhD students from the University of Zimbabwe on
a 'virus-busting' programme to zap destructive viruses and allow
for far greater potato production there. The project has been
conducted simply, harnessing everyone's bright ideas - like using
peanut butter jars for culture, cotton wool instead of agar jelly,
and an adapted second-hand air-gun to do the job of a sophisticated
and expensive 'gene gun'! And this all started because Ian Robertson
remembered a technique he'd learned for making tissue culture
when he was a student in Edinburgh.
The Bococks, a farming family in Alberta,
Canada, have been on their land for three generations. They organised
a community campaign which achieved stricter control of pollution
in their state, years before it was "fashionable".
They started using alternative energy sources, storage systems
to reduce waste, and a system of crop rotation to reduce the need
for chemical fertilisers. Bill Bocock says, "Farmers have
a calling not only to feed the world but also to promote a quality
of life that makes that possible."
And another group of environmentally with-it
farmers are the 'British Farmers for International Development'.
They have links with a farmers' group in the Sangli district of
India. The British farmers send money to their Indian brothers
and have also sent seeds for drought-resistant trees. This is
not government-backed. It started when Pat and Kristin Evans
of Worcestershire met farmers abroad, less well off than themselves,
and took their plight to heart.
Nada Bond, Australia