Category Archives: Agriculture

From wood to fossil fueled civilizations — the greatest tragedy mankind will ever know

[ These are my notes from this book about how we went from an organic sustainable economy to a temporary fossil-fueled one.  It’s one of the few books I’ve found that explains what life was like before fossil fuels in … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Experts, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How horses changed native cultures after 1492

[ This is a very brief overview of Peter Mitchel’s “Horse Nations”.  As oil and other fossils decline, will we will almost certainly return to using more horse “muscle power” as we did in the past. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author … Continue reading

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Book review of “1493 Uncovering the new world Columbus Created”

[ This book will be included in the “must read” category of my giant booklist when I get around to updating it. This book isn’t just about the past, the implications reverberate into the postcarbon future.  Will slavery return without … Continue reading

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Chemical industrial farming is unsustainable. Why poison ourselves when pesticides don’t save more of our crops than in the past?

Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides destroy soil, ecosystems, and a third of the crop is still lost to pests, just as in the many millennia of farming before chemicals. [ This is a book review of Dyer’s “Chasing the Red Queen”, … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Biodiversity Loss, Chemicals, Overshoot, Pesticides, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chemical industrial farming is unsustainable. Why poison ourselves when pesticides don’t save more of our crops than in the past?

After the harvest – protecting food from rats, mold, insects, fire, and bacteria

[ Current post-harvest storage is totally out of scale with what future generations will need. Now we have mainly gargantuan grain elevators, some so huge they can store enough grain for most of the U.S. for weeks at a time.  … Continue reading

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The Back to the Land Movement: why it failed and why we need to try again

[ This is my book review of “Back from the Land: how young Americans went to nature in the 1970s, and why they came back”.   Some succeeded, but most failed, and there are lessons to be learned from the previous … Continue reading

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Livestock diseases, Science Mag Review of “Arresting Contagion”

Science 17 April 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6232 p. 294 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7672 The fever on the farm Arresting Contagion Science, Policy, and Conflicts over Animal Disease Control Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode Harvard University Press, 2015. 477 pp. … Continue reading

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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”

[ This is a book review of Stephen Wegren’s 2005 book “Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization”.  Related articles: Inside North Korea’s Environmental Collapse Who Lives, Who dies in a never-ending energy crisis. Book review of Nothing to Envy. Ordinary Lives … 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

[ The source of much of this information comes from Barbara Demick’s 2010 “Nothing to Envy. Ordinary lives in North Korea”.  But first I summarize why and how energy shortages led to the hardships chronicled in Demick’s book. Related posts: … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Energy, North Korea | 1 Comment