Bush toasts to world hunger

Auntie Ruth is green to the eco scene. Read each week as she weeds through the dirt and unearths new gems of environmental knowledge.

Aunt Ruth has her misgivings about these world summit conferences, where top leaders sit around and talk about problems they have never experienced themselves. At the G8 summit in Japan, the world’s leaders came together to discuss the very real, very frightening global food crisis while they scarfed down an 18-course dinner that included hairy crab bisque soup, milk-fed lamb and boiled prawns, according to the Daily Mail, a newspaper in the United Kingdom. But the biggest moment of shame had to be when George “Dubya” Bush, reportedly ended a private meeting by saying, “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.” He then “punched the air while grinning widely,” according to another British newspaper. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who attended the meeting, reportedly sat stunned. Is there really any remaining doubt that Bush just doesn’t give a damn about world hunger?

Does aerial spraying of pesticides actually stop or slow the transmission of West Nile virus from mosquitoes to humans? The Sacramento-based Pesticide Watch says no. The organization released a report in July stating that it found no scientific evidence supporting the use of large-scale aerial spraying over thousands of acres in Sacramento County in 2005, although the California Department of Public Health said otherwise. The Pesticide Watch report says the so-called “effectiveness” of the spray may not have been completely accurate, given that the wind was pretty active during those days, and because the methodology used by CDPH was flawed. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s spraying program for the light brown apple moth was recently terminated following outcry from the scientific community and concerned public.

The city of Portland, Ore. is all about supporting the bicycling community and alternative forms of transportation. The latest proof: Several businesses have turned into street vendors on bikes! Both Hotlips Pizza and Old Town Pizza deliver pizza pies by bicycles (Hot Lips will use an electric car for deliveries more than 10 blocks away), and a bakery now offers bike-through lanes so cyclists don’t have to dismount to retrieve pastries. If this keeps up, Auntie Ruth may have to consider relocating to the Pacific Northwest.