Drought in America: US Cattle Herd at Lowest since 1951

I’ve seen numerous headlines over the past few weeks warning that the U.S. cattleherd is at historic lows.  Most blame drought for the decline, but looking behind the numbers a bit I realized that drought isn’t the full story, though … Continue reading

Permaculture the Schools

The clock is still ticking, and collapse continues unabated. Most are oblivious to the true nature of the progression, what it means, why it’s happening, and most importantly, what we should do about it. But the answer is simple, and … Continue reading

Monsanto Defeated

As reported by the Public Patent Foundation, four of Monsanto’s key patents related to genetically modified (GM) crops have been rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. After dozens of cases against North American farmers, the most well-known … Continue reading

The Photosynthetic Ceiling

The concept of a “photosynthetic ceiling” was first introduced in Jared Diamond’s book Collapse. Though Diamond certainly did not pioneer the idea, as far as I can tell he was the first to use the easily digestible term “photosynthetic ceiling”, … Continue reading

The Question of Agrobiodiversity

Over the past century, we have seen massive loss of agricultural biodiversity, in terms of both species and varieties. The statistics on biodiversity loss in varietal strains are staggering. According to the book Fatal Harvest, from 1903 to 1983, we … Continue reading

Information Intensive Agriculture

As Rudolf Steiner argued so many decades ago, the 20th century shift towards input intensive agriculture was, and is, troubling in so many ways. According to Steiner, heavy investments in external inputs, like fertilizers and pesticides, are the symptoms of … Continue reading

A Mixed Blessing

Last Thursday I traveled to several rural areas outside of the city of Cochabamba to attend a day-long training in aquaculture systems. Part of the training involved a trip to the Chapare, that part of Bolivia notorious for illicit coca … Continue reading

Cannibalize Yourself

One of the strangest characteristics of the contemporary economic system is its propensity to cannibalize itself in pursuit of short-term increases in profits. According to a literature review by eftec, “an estimated 40% of the global economy is based on … Continue reading

Manifest Destiny

The notion that Americans are entitled to over-consume world energy supplies is merely a novel twist on the 19th century ideal of Manifest Destiny. While 19th century political, economic, and military might was brought to bear on America’s territorial expansion, … Continue reading

Sustainable Cycling

The Portland Peace and Justice Center has put together quite an innovative bicycle tour. The Sustainable Energy in Motion Bike Tour combines a long distance cycling expedition with an integrated learning experience. Participants learn about organic agriculture, green building, permaculture, … Continue reading