Category Archives: Agriculture

Become a Bison rancher

Far more buffalo can be grazed per acre than cattle. It’s likely wild bison will return to the Great Plains in the future.   Already there are fewer people in areas where the Ogalla aquifer has been depleted than when Native … Continue reading

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A book review of “Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization”

by Alice Friedemann Wegren, Stephen K.  Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization. 2005. Lexington Books. Governments that can’t feed their people lose their legitimacy and risk widespread social unrest.  The Russian government has made many mistakes in the past, such as … Continue reading

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Who Lives, Who dies in a never-ending energy crisis. Book review of Nothing to Envy. Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Who lives, Who Dies in a Never-Ending Energy Crisis a book review by Alice Friedemann of: Barbara Demick. 2010. “Nothing to Envy. Ordinary lives in North Korea”. North Korea and Cuba were the first countries to lose oil, the lifeblood … Continue reading

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Energy in the Food System uses 19% of all energy consumed in the USA. Pimentel 2008

Reducing Energy Inputs in the US Food System David Pimentel & Sean Williamson & Courtney E. Alexander & Omar Gonzalez-Pagan & Caitlin Kontak & Steven E. Mulkey. Hum Ecol (2008) 36:459–471 [some excerpts below. Clearly we’ve got to start reducing … Continue reading

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Muscle Power

Steven Vogel   Prime Mover: A Natural History of Muscle    W. W. Norton Reviewed in June 2004. Natural History Magazine Today we have machines for making people move in place: run, walk uphill, push pedals back and forth or up and … Continue reading

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Electric Agriculture. Turning electricity into food.

Agriculture is one of the main users of fossil fuels in our society.  As fossil fuels decline, food prices will increase.  How can we plant and harvest crops without fossil-fueled equipment? Ugo Bardi, et al., discuss the use of renewable … Continue reading

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Book Review of Paleofantasy: What Evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live

Alice Friedemann’s review of: Marlene Zuk. 2013. Paleofantasy: What Evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live. My first introduction to Evolutionary Psychology was “The Adapted Mind” which posited we’re unhappy because of the tremendous difference between … Continue reading

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Northern California marijuana harms ecosystem, has huge carbon footprint. Legalize ASAP!

A book review by Alice Friedemann of Emily Brady’s 2013 book: “Humboldt. Life on America’s marijuana frontier.” The tales I hear from my friends in Mendocino and Humboldt counties fascinate me.  There are stories of mayors and sheriffs on opposite … Continue reading

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Science book review of Vaclav Smil’s “Approaching the Limits”

Steven W. Running  Science 15 March 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6125 pp. 1276-1277 DOI: 10.1126/science.1235886 Approaching the Limits Harvesting the Biosphere What We Have Taken from Nature by Vaclav Smil MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2012. 315 pp. $29, £19.95. ISBN … Continue reading

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Mao’s War Against Nature

Mao’s War Against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China by Judith Shapiro. 2001.  Cambridge University Press (book review by Alice Friedemann) The main thesis of this book is that when free speech is squelched, the consequences can be … Continue reading

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