Briefly, Farmers of Forty Centuries describes the voyage agronomist and former US Department of Agriculture official Franklin Hiram King made to to China, Korea and Japan in the early 1900s. The purpose of his trip was to study how the extremely dense populations of the Far East could produce massive amounts of food century after century without depleting their soils. What he discovered was a highly sophisticated system of water management, crop rotation, interplanting and rational utilization of ecological relationships among farm plants, animals and people.
Rising geopolitical tensions and high oil prices are continuing to help renewable energy find favour amongst investors and politicians. Yet how much faith should we place in renewables to make up the shortfall in fossil fuels? Can science really solve our energy problems, and which sectors offers the best hope for our energy future?
To help us get to the bottom of this we spoke with energy specialist Dr. Tom Murphy, an associate professor of physics at the University of California. Tom runs the popular energy blog Do the Math which takes an astrophysicist’s-eye view of societal issues relating to energy production, climate change, and economic growth.
In 2002, NASA launched a mission called Grace, which sent two satellites into orbit to measure Earth’s gravitational field. As NASA scientists looked at the data sent back from the mission, they were finding strange aberrations in the data.
For decades, farm bills in the U.S. Congress have supported large-scale agriculture. But with the 2012 Farm Bill now up for debate, advocates say seismic shifts in the way the nation views food production may lead to new policies that tilt more toward local, sustainable agriculture.
More than ever, U.S. corn is king. Across the Midwest, farmers are expanding their corn acreage to take advantage of record high prices. More corn will be planted this year than any since World War II, with 94 million acres under cultivation, up from 78 million in 2006.
Photo by Flickr user likeablerodent [This blog is an excerpt from the 2011 Hunger Report. Read the full article here.] Feed the Future has the potential to be a major step forward in U.S. foreign assistance, but it is not...
Bombarded almost daily with news of “food scarcity,” “energy scarcity” and “resource scarcity,” it’s sure easy to absorb the scary notion that there’s just not enough of anything: from food to fuel to parking spaces. In fact, modern economics, now the dominant world religion, defines itself as the science of allocating scarce goods.
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