Is There Life After Fert?

A return to mixed farming would bring with it numerous blessings: reduced water pollution, greater agricultural biodiversity, healthier soils, reduced reliance on pesticides and herbicides, more farm jobs and more varied and interesting work.

Nitrogen fertilizer is not a climate solution

Nitrogen fertilizers are not just a technicality, they are a major building block in the industrial, global and capitalist agriculture system. As such they both drive and enable the increasing metabolic rift between human society and the ecosystem that sustains it.

Nitrogen Glut: Too Much of a Good Thing is Deadly for the Biosphere

Climate change deniers often claim that carbon dioxide cannot be harmful because plants need it to grow. The same false argument can be made about nitrogen, and our reply is the same: too much of a good thing can be deadly. Organisms and ecosystems that evolved in a world where the supply of reactive nitrogen was strictly limited are now being disrupted, in many cases destroyed, by an unprecedented nitrogen glut.

Nitrogen Wars

So here I want to take a critical look at the Breakthrough Institute’s line on the necessity of synthetic nitrogen in world agriculture, which is laid out in its agronomic aspects in this post by Dan Blaustein-Rejto and Linus Blomqvist (henceforth B&B), and in its historical aspects in this one by Marc Brazeau.

The one thing you need to know about the president’s plan to address climate change

The one thing you need to know about President Obama’s plan to address climate change is that the most it will accomplish is slowing very slightly the pace at which the world is currently hurtling toward catastrophic climate change.