Dublin, Ireland. We are seeing the first good days here, leading up to the golden days of mid-summer, and I’ve been talking to elderly friends here in the Irish countryside about what they used to do when the sun shone. The answer, of course, was that they made hay. When farmers heard the cry of … Read more
As it was in the beginning… farmers need protection from those who have taken privileges, not protection by the military might of those privileged marauders. The least we could do is get the story straight.
Is farming a mistake? Up until a generation or two ago, you would find no people of any background who would make this assertion — even though we’ve been farming for thousands of years and presumably if it was a bad thing it might have occurred to someone else before now to say so.
Whatever the future of this broken world, today we can attend to the work of repair and restoration. That does not require hope in what is to come but, rather, a belief in our ability to manage our lives without hierarchy and a faith in each other’s capacity for mutuality.
Not everyone is sure that today’s industrialized, globalized societies will be around long enough to define a new geological epoch. Perhaps we are just a flash in the pan – an event – rather than a long, enduring epoch.
Others debate the utility of picking a single thin line in Earth’s geological record to mark the start of human impacts in the geological record. Maybe the Anthropocene began at different times in different parts of the world.
Did you know that we can lose half our food supply and it won’t matter? That’s because agriculture is only 3% of GDP, so there’s no need to worry about the effects of climate change on farming. Or so says the latest genius to win the Nobel Prize in economics.
We have eliminated the species around us with reckless abandon and without concern for whether we can survive without them. An alarming new study suggests a rapidly accelerating decline in worldwide insect populations. Can we survive without the insects of the world?
Phosphorus is a key ingredient in modern fertilizers and essential for all living organisms. Will we have enough to feed the world in the decades to come?
Tis the seaso‘n when food is on most of our minds. What if next year or the year after some of that food was no longer available or even edible?
There is a notion afoot that our agricultural production can simply migrate toward the poles in the face of climate change as areas in lower latitudes overheat and dry up. Few people contemplate what such a move would entail and whether it would actually be feasible.
But how did we get from the Palaeolithic foraging of my last post to the very apogee of mixed agrarianism shown in the picture? I’m glad you asked. To answer it, I need to go to way back when and return to my main historical thread by looking at some of the tensions within…
In the beginning, there was a Miocene ape – the common ancestor of our genus Homo and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and gorillas. It bequeathed to us its descendants, so the primatologists suggest, a tendency towards (particularly male, but also female) status ranking. Do we need to go that far back into our evolutionary past in order to understand the nature of status competition in contemporary societies? Perhaps it’s a sociological heresy to say so, but I think the answer is quite possibly yes.