Category Archives: Agriculture

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

Preface. Post-harvest storage in the U.S. consists of gigantic grain elevators, some so huge they can store enough grain for most of the U.S. for weeks at a time. These silos are highly energy-intensive and far apart, requiring legions of … 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

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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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