Agroecology in Action by Keith Douglass Warner; Fred Kirschenmann (Foreword by)American agriculture has doubled its use of pesticides since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of non-point-source water pollution--runoffs of pesticides, nutrients, and sediments into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. In Agroecology in Action, Keith Douglass Warner describes agroecology, an emerging scientific response to agriculture's environmental crises, and offers detailed case studies of ways in which growers, scientists, agricultural organizations, and public agencies have developed innovative, ecologically based techniques to reduce reliance on agrochemicals. Agroecology in Action shows that agroecology can be put into action effectively only when networks of farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders learn together. Farmers and scientists and their organizations must work collaboratively to share knowledge--whether it is derived from farm, laboratory, or marketplace. This sort of partnership, writes Warner, has emerged as the primary strategy for finding alternatives to conventional agrochemical use. Warner describes successful agroecological initiatives in California, Iowa, Washington, and Wisconsin. California's vast and diverse specialty-crop agriculture has already produced 32 agricultural partnerships, and Warner pays particular attention to agroecological efforts in that state, including those under way in the pear, winegrape, and almond farming systems. The book shows how popular concern about the health and environmental impacts of pesticides has helped shape agricultural environmental policy, and how policy has in turn stimulated creative solutions from scientists, extension agents, and growers.
Yet food cultivation, too, has profound ecological consequences. Working agriculture occupies fully half of the total U.S. land base, and farms consume eighty percent of the nation¿s water. Although they often prevent sprawling development, improve water quality, or provide wildlife habitat, they also pollute rivers, drain wetlands, or emit destructive greenhouse gasses.
Don Stuart believes these two dangerous trends¿the loss of farms and damage to ecosystems¿are connected, and that a major cause is the political deadlock between farmers and environmental activists. Instead of achieving a reasonable balance, this stalemate stalls funding for incentive programs and prevents progress toward essential regulations.
Stuart offers a radical proposal: collaboration would advance the economic needs of one group while furthering the conservation efforts of the other. With a goal of promoting understanding, he presents opposing perspectives on topics such as incentives, regulations, government spending, environmental markets, growth management, climate change, public lands grazing, and the Federal Farm Bill. He points out costs of continued political impasse. Finally, drawing from a lifetime spent settling conflicts, he identifies characteristics of successful community programs to suggest a model for a prosperous, healthy future.
Call Number: GE197 .S778 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
Diet for a hot planet : the climate crisis at the end of your fork and what you can do about it by Anna LappeBeyond what we already know about "food miles" and eating locally, the global food system is a major contributor to climate change, producing as much as one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. How we farm, what we eat, and how our food gets to the table all have an impact. And our government and the food industry are willfully ignoring the issue rather than addressing it. In Anna Lappé's controversial new book, she predicts that unless we radically shift the trends of what food we're eating and how we're producing it, food system-related greenhouse gas emissions will go up and up and up. She exposes the interests that will resist the change, and the spin food companies will generate to avoid system-wide reform. And she offers a vision of a future in which our food system does more good than harm, with six principles for a climate friendly diet as well as visits to farmers who are demonstrating the potential of sustainable farming. In this measured and intelligent call to action, Lappé helps readers understand that food can be a powerful starting point for solutions to global environmental problems.
Call Number: S600.7 .C54 L37 2010
Publication Date: 2010-03-30
The Ecopolitics of consumption : the food trade by H. Louise Davis (Editor)Today's highly industrialized and technologically controlled global food systems dominate our lives, shaping our access and attitudes towards food and deeply influencing and defining our identities. At the same time, these food systems are profoundly and destructively impacting the health of the environment and threatening all of us, human and nonhuman, who must subsist in ecological conditions of increasing fragility and scarcity. This collection examines and exposes the myriad ways that the food systems, driven by global commodity capitalism and its imperative of growth at any cost, increasingly controls us and conforms us to our roles as consumers and producers. This collection covers a range of topics from the excess of consumers in the post-industrial world and the often unacknowledged yet intrinsic connection of their consumption to the growing ecological and health crises in developing nations, to topics of surveillance and control of human and nonhuman bodies through food, to the deep linkages of cultural values and norms toward food to the myriad crises we face on a global scale.
Call Number: HD9000.5 .E277 2016
Publication Date: 2015-12-16
Genescapes: the ecology of genetic engineering by Stephen NottinghamThis book introduces the lay reader to the ecological risks associated with transgenic organisms. Genetic engineering could make a valuable contribution within agriculture, although the initial promise of more abundant food, produced in an environmentally friendly manner, is not being fulfilled. Instead the technology is being promoted at the expense of sustainable alternatives that have fewer environmental and social costs.
Call Number: QH 442.6 .N684 2002
Publication Date: 2002-02-01
Pesticides, a love story : America's enduring embrace of dangerous chemicals by Michelle Mart"Presto! No More Pests!" proclaimed a 1955 article introducing two new pesticides, "miracle-workers for the housewife and back-yard farmer." Easy to use, effective, and safe: who wouldn't love synthetic pesticides? Apparently most Americans did--and apparently still do. Why--in the face of dire warnings, rising expense, and declining effectiveness--do we cling to our chemicals? Michelle Mart wondered. Her book, a cultural history of pesticide use in postwar America, offers an answer. America's embrace of synthetic pesticides began when they burst on the scene during World War II and has held steady into the 21st century--for example, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the US in 2008 are Roundup Ready GMOs, dependent upon generous use of the herbicide glyphosate to control weeds. Mart investigates the attraction of pesticides, with their up-to-the-minute promise of modernity, sophisticated technology, and increased productivity--in short, their appeal to human dreams of controlling nature. She also considers how they reinforced Cold War assumptions of Western economic and material superiority. Though the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the rise of environmentalism might have marked a turning point in Americans' faith in pesticides, statistics tell a different story. Pesticides, a Love Story recounts the campaign against DDT that famously ensued; but the book also shows where our notions of Silent Spring's revolutionary impact falter--where, in spite of a ban on DDT, farm use of pesticides in the United States more than doubled in the thirty years after the book was published. As a cultural survey of popular and political attitudes toward pesticides, Pesticides, a Love Story tries to make sense of this seeming paradox. At heart, it is an exploration of the story we tell ourselves about the costs and benefits of pesticides--and how corporations, government officials, ordinary citizens, and the press shape that story to reflect our ideals, interests, and emotions.