David A. Cleveland's Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture PDF

By David A. Cleveland

ISBN-10: 0520277422

ISBN-13: 9780520277427

This booklet is an interdisciplinary primer on serious considering and powerful motion for the way forward for our worldwide agrifood approach, in keeping with an figuring out of the system’s organic and sociocultural roots. Key elements of the publication are an intensive research of the assumptions underlying various views on difficulties with regards to nutrition and agriculture world wide and a dialogue of other suggestions. David Cleveland argues that combining chosen features of small-scale conventional agriculture with smooth clinical agriculture may help stability our organic want for nutrients with its environmental impact—and proceed to satisfy cultural, social, and mental wishes relating to food.

Balancing on a Planet is predicated on Cleveland’s examine and fascinating instructing approximately meals and agriculture for greater than 3 many years. it's a software to assist scholars, college, researchers, and readers comprehend debates in regards to the present hindrance and possible choices for the long run.

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Additional resources for Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture

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In terms of the total photosynthetic output of green plants (net primary product, or NPP), Vitousek et al. have made a widely cited estimate that humans use 38 percent of our planet’s NPP, of which 4 percent is used directly for food and an additional 34 percent is either co-opted for nonedible products or destroyed (Vitousek et al. 1986). Recent studies support the estimate of 38 percent of NPP used by humans, while pointing out that of the remaining 62 percent of NPP, only about 15 percent might be available in forms humans can use; given projected growth in demand, humans will deplete this available NPP within decades (Running 2012).

How has agriculture evolved in ways that increase HCC? I begin with the first agricultural revolution, the Neolithic, and the way in which it dramatically changed the relationship of humans with other species, with the environment, and with other humans. We will see how changes in these three fundamental relationships have continued through time with the spread of agriculture from its centers of origin, the scientificindustrial revolution, the Green Revolution, and the biotech revolution. Because the focus of these revolutions has been overwhelmingly on increasing short-term production, the social and environmental costs have often been ignored, yet they have undermined HCC over the longer term in many places.

Evans 1993). However, if you accept the idea that there are limits on the extent to which humans can divert energy and matter from natural ecosystems, and social limits on the extent to which humans can organize society to produce more food, then over the longer term Malthus was right. His fundamental observation seems incontrovertible—humans, like all organisms, tend to increase exponentially with no intrinsic biological limit to the ability to reproduce, while there are physical limits that prevent food supply from increasing exponentially except over relatively short periods of time.

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Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture by David A. Cleveland


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