Anthroecology »

November 11, 2015 – 9:45 am

Why did behaviorally modern humans and no other multicellular species in the history of the Earth gain the capacity to transform an entire planet? Biology alone cannot explain this – Homo sapiens is just another …

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Articles tagged with: agriculture

A tale of two planets: The Anthropocene revisited

April 30, 2013 – 2:41 am

Is the Anthropocene recent? Defined solely by the accelerating impacts of an industrial society that threatens the future of both humanity and the biosphere (Barnosky et al., 2012, Rockstrom et al., 2009)? A closer look at …

Saved! by Ester Boserup

January 11, 2011 – 3:52 pm

Human populations grow until they overshoot their carrying capacity and collapse. Game over. Thank you Malthus! (1798; and Ehrlich 1968).
Not so fast! There’s something wrong with this story: it almost never happens. Human populations do …

Think like a farmer

August 31, 2010 – 9:02 am

by Nick Magliocca

“Farming is hard work, so why do more of it?” That is what many early farmers were probably thinking when deciding between fuller bellies or keeping their long off-seasons of leisure time– at …

An early history of rice

July 26, 2010 – 11:35 am

When did rice change the planet? Rice is the most important food crop on earth, feeding more than half of all humans. Most is produced in Asia in the flooded paddy systems that form the …

On observing human nature

July 19, 2010 – 10:47 am

Ecologists are studying the least human parts of the most human ecosystems and the most human parts of the wildest ecosystems while favoring the Temperate zone over the Tropics (Nature News Article by Zoë Corbyn: …

Whole Earth Manifesto (a review of Whole Earth Discipline)

January 25, 2010 – 10:52 am

“Cities are green. Nuclear energy is green. Genetic engineering is green. (Brand 2009).” In 1968 Stewart Brand‘s Whole Earth Catalog was embraced by a generation trying to get back to the country, get off the …

Inconvenient food for thought

December 14, 2009 – 8:35 pm

“How do we feed a growing world without destroying the planet?” asks Jon Foley’s new 3 minute video (see below).
It’s a great question. To get enough food for our existing billions, we already use about …

Burning the biosphere before you were born

August 21, 2009 – 10:37 pm

Millennia before humans discovered coal, indeed, millennia before there was civilization, Homo sapiens had discovered fire and was making extensive use of it. In a study just published by Bill Ruddiman and myself (Ruddiman and …

Guns, forests and carbon

July 15, 2009 – 10:43 pm

Not only do humans burn away forests to enhance their food supply, they also do it when they battle each other! Or so says a study published by Zhen Li and his colleagues this week …

Rewriting the history of global climate change

June 29, 2009 – 8:23 pm

For thousands of years, humans have been changing global climate, maybe even helping us avert the next ice age, all long before the Industrial Revolution. Interested? Then you should read Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How …