Tag Archives: population

How not to end world hunger

Food prices are rising. Again. And the scramble is on to figure out who to blame: climate change?  Biofuels? Good old capitalist greed? Just this morning the New York Times published a discussion panel on the issue: “Is the world … Continue reading

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Who pays for overfishing? Poor people in Africa (and elsewhere)

[Based in part on my evaluation for the Faculty of 1000, accessible only by subscription I'm afraid] The pervasive detrimental impacts of overfishing on marine life and ecosystems have been widely publicized in recent years, ratcheting up calls for stricter … Continue reading

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The world with us

Alan Weisman recently published a book that got a lot of press attention for its novelty idea of considering The World Without Us — that is, what earth would look like if some unlikely event wiped out humans and left … Continue reading

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Approaching the ultimate limits?

As an academic ecologist researching or teaching about ecosystems, a common dilemma is the issue of how to define the boundaries of a system. Where, for example, does the Chesapeake Bay end and the Atlantic begin? What is the edge … Continue reading

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Getting to the root of the problem

Question: What is more fundamental to sustainability than fixing climate change, even more certain to lead to catastrophe if unfixed, far more politically sensitive, but even more essential to passing on a habitable planet to our grandchildren and their children? … Continue reading

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We have met the enemy . . . and they is us

Why is the world in the trouble that it’s in? We could cite a long litany of reasons, but ultimately it boils down to the large and increasing number of people on earth, and our large and increasing appetites, broadly … Continue reading

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Biodiversity and the limits to growth

We hear frequently in the news these days that earth is in the midst of a mass extinction. To many people this is difficult to believe, thanks in part to the vigorous efforts at obfuscation by the likes of Bjorn … Continue reading

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Declining ocean health: It’s the economy, stupid

I know, I used the same subtitle for another recent post.  But I’m not recycling titles out of laziness — well, not entirely anyway. I do so here to highlight the simple, yet perversely (and perhaps intentionally) misunderstood theme whose centrality … Continue reading

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Can we afford to save the world?

The environmental problems the world faces are daunting.  One often hears that the economic costs involved in resource conservation, reforestation, transition to a new energy regime, and so forth are so high that solving them is simply too expensive. But this … Continue reading

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Ocean biodiversity and the future of seafood

[NOTE: This is a copy of my essay in the April 2007 issue of Food Technology Magazine] Harvesting of wild fish and shellfish from the oceans provides a major source of protein to the planet’s population, and supports an industry … Continue reading

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