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Global Change, Sustainability »

Thursday, January 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

“Large amounts of energy will be required to fuel economic growth, increase standards of living, and lift developing nations out of poverty.” (Brown et al., 2011; see Figure at left).    A key message from Brown et al. in their must-read empirical and theoretical summary of r... [More]

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Land use, Sustainability »

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

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 collapse – but not because of p... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

What kind of biosphere do you want?  Great question!  And great to see it connected with beautiful prize-winning graphics at visualizing.org.  But on thinking further, it seems clearer than ever that the inspiration behind this- the Planetary Boundaries concept, is going completely in... [More]

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Land use »

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

"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 least from the perspective of Ester Boserup. Since its 1965 release, Ester Boserup's seminal study T... [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change, Sustainability »

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | 1 Comments

“We cannot expect nature to remain in a constant condition and thus provide us with a simple solution to the questions of what is “natural” and what is desirable.”  (Botkin 1990, p 181) .  Just one of many great thoughts in Daniel Botkin’s 1990 classic: Discor... [More]

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Anthromes, Global Change, Land use »

Thursday, August 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

"So how did the biosphere become anthropogenic anyway?” asked an astute audience member at my 2007 AGU presentation (powerpoint).  I had just given a presentation on my work with Navin Ramankutty demonstrating that human populations and their use of land have reshaped most of the terrestr... [More]

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Anthromes, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Monday, July 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

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 core of the most intensively-managed of all ancient agricultural anthromes, the rice villages, where i... [More]

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Anthromes, Methods »

Monday, July 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

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: “Ecologists shun the urban jungle”).  That’s what we’... [More]