Tag Archives: agriculture

Would we be happier as hunter gatherers than farming?

[ Someone posted an article in facebook from the New Yorker titled “The case against civilization. Did our hunter-gatherer ancestors have it better?”  And the author’s answer is a resounding “yes” backed only by bullshit.  I was so annoyed I … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Human Nature | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Why world leaders are terrified of water shortages

[ The article blow shows how water crisis in Yemen and Syria led to civil war, mass migration, roadblocks by angry citizens, water riots, increased dengue fever as people hard water, and 1 million refugees fleeing to Europe.  Egypt also … Continue reading

Posted in Caused by Scarce Resources, Drought, Mass migrations, Middle East, Social Uprising, Starvation, Water | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Pigeon towers to cope with peak phosphate and natural gas fertilizer?

[ Natural gas based fertilizers intensified crop production per acre up to 5-fold, yet natural gas, like phosphate, is finite.  We are going to be forced to reinvent our fossil-based agriculture, why not start with pigeon towers? Beats going to … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Phosphorus | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Nitrogen fertilizer poses significant threats to humans and the environment

NRC. 2015. A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System. National Research Council, National Academies Press. 19 pages.   Nitrogen (N) is essential for agricultural productivity, but in its more reactive forms, it can pose significant threats to humans … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Fisheries, Groundwater, Planetary Boundaries, Pollution, Soil | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Nitrogen fertilizer poses significant threats to humans and the environment

Steam powered farm tractors

[ Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Mineral: Soil from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

[ Ugo Bardi’s book on minerals covers a wide-ranging territory, including soil, which is a mineral.  In this section of the book he shows how humans have damaged the soil so much we have greatly overshot carrying capacity by lowering … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Peak Food, Soil, Ugo Bardi | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Mineral: Soil from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Plant more prairies to save topsoil and prevent pollution runoff

[ A program to plant more prairies to enrich the soil, keep topsoil from blowing and washing away, and provide a bio-diverse habitat for hundreds of species is receiving little funding or farmer participation, even though it would save farmers … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Soil | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Plant more prairies to save topsoil and prevent pollution runoff

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 a collapse will people grow their own food or plunder others?

[ In this post Ugo Bardi looks at what will happen if society collapses and we have to suddenly go back to pre-industrial agriculture conditions.  A back to the land movement where people grow their own food may not happen. … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Peak Food, Phosphorus, Scientists, Soil, Ugo Bardi | Tagged , , | 6 Comments