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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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Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

What happens when humans finally win the war with nature and end up in charge of ecology?  A question for the future?  Think again.  In “Peak Wood: Nature Does Impose Limits”, John Perlin describes what happens when human societies, starting in prehistory, have completely ... [More]

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Anthromes »

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Looking for a new view of an old biosphere?  Now, you can buy a wall-sized version of our first Anthropogenic Biomes map over at Maps.com.  The map includes pictures of different anthromes and is based on the paper “Putting people in the map: Anthropogenic Biomes of the World”.... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Friday, March 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Now that we’re busy hacking the planet, we need all the help we can get.  We humans are pretty good at solving complex problems like choosing the next move in chess- better than most machines.  But as Gary Kasparov notes in Clive Thompson’s Wired piece on the Cyborg Advantage, ... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Monday, January 25, 2010 | 2 Comments

“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 grid, and grow their own. Now it’s 2010, and the quote above, from ... [More]

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Global Change, Land use »

Friday, January 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

If you still think of rural China as remote, traditional, and unchanged for millennia, think again.  China’s ancient village landscapes are among the most dynamic and densely populated on Earth, with a global extent more than twice that all of Earth’s cities combined (2.5 million km... [More]