" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Deconstructing Dinner: The erosion of civilizations (w/David Montgomery and Ronald Wright)


Deconstructing Dinner has recently been reflecting on the model of agriculture itself as the primary source through which most people on earth access their food. From our exploration of ethnobiology to recent topics on permaculture, it's clear that there are other models available, which, for some people are a substitute for agriculture, and for others, complementary practices. But what within that dependence on agriculture are we all dependent upon? Multinational corporations? The chain grocery store? Perhaps the microwave!?

Well behind those dependencies, which are precarious at best, is a more deeply rooted dependence... soil - a dependence of which its once-deep roots have demonstrated over time to have become progressively shallower as 'modern' agricultural practices deplete soil depth and nutrients.

On this broadcast, Deconstructing Dinner features voices of researchers who have explored the evolution of agriculture and soil alongside civilization.

Voices

David Montgomery, professor, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington (Seattle, WA) -

David is the author of the 2008 book "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" (UC Press). The book explores the idea that we are and have long been using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. At the University of Washingotn, David studies theevolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. He received his B.S. in geology at Stanford University (1984) and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from UC Berkeley (1991). David was hosted at Oregon State University in July 2009 by PAGES and was later interviewed by Tom Allen of KBCS.


Ronald Wright, author, A Short History of Progress, (Salt Spring Island, BC) -

Ronald Wright is a novelist, historian, and essayist, and has won prizes in all three genres, and is published in ten languages. Ronald was the 2004 Massey Lecturer - a prestigious annual public event in Canada, for which he presented A Short History of Progress. One of his more recent works is "What is America: A Short History of the New World Order". He was born in England, educated at Cambridge, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Download the audio for this episode here.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


Food Sovereignty in Rebellion: Decolonization, Autonomy, Gender Equity, and the Zapatista Solution

One of the biggest threats to food security the world currently faces is …

Monsanto, temptation and some 'adolescent' farmers

Monsanto has done the equivalent of giving a teenage boy the keys to the …

Urban Farming and Food Access Org Grows Hope and Food in Ypsilanti, Michigan

From its 1.4-acre site, the 501(c)3 organization Growing Hope operates hoop …

Alleycat Acres Puts New Twist on Community Gardens in Seattle

Alleycat Acres has survived the immense challenge of losing farms to …

Rural Sociology

For mutual interests to come to the fore, each city and each rural area …

Declaration of La Via Campesina Delegation to the 2016 World Social Forum

"We not only believe that another world is necessary, the members of La …

Watching the Watchers

The exercise is based on the notion that we could, if collectively we so …