Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture

Overview

Concern is growing that human activity as a whole has become insupportable, the entire planet having fallen into deficit spending, ecologically speaking. But if our species is to find a road leading to great resilience and sustainability, an ecologically sound agriculture can-must-take the lead.

Why should agriculture take the lead? Until now, a feature of agriculture has been to subdue or ignore nature. Yet, ecological processes have long track records of success in building ...

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Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture

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Overview

Concern is growing that human activity as a whole has become insupportable, the entire planet having fallen into deficit spending, ecologically speaking. But if our species is to find a road leading to great resilience and sustainability, an ecologically sound agriculture can-must-take the lead.

Why should agriculture take the lead? Until now, a feature of agriculture has been to subdue or ignore nature. Yet, ecological processes have long track records of success in building and conserving soil, holding and filtering water, and supporting wildlife diversity.

Agriculture has the discipline of ecology and evolutionary biology to help us produce food in properly functioning ecosystems. All visions of a sustainable or resilient society must rely on renewable resources. Other spheres of human activity do not have that advantage. Agriculture, broadly defined, may be the only artifact in current civilization where that potential resides.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582437804
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Part I SOME HISTORY AND ASSUMPTIONS

Chapter 1 Introduction 3

Chapter 2 One Man's Education 19

Chapter 3 Earth Is Alive 64

Chapter 4 The 3.45-Billion-Year-Old Imperative and the Five Pools 73

Chapter 5 The Rise of Technological Fundamentalism 85

Part II LOSSES

Chapter 6 The Most Serious Loss of All 100

Chapter 7 Chemicals on the Landscape 131

Chapter 8 The Loss of Cultural Capacity 135

Chapter 9 Global Warming: How a Little Change Can Mean a Lot 140

Part III REVERSING THE DAMAGE

Chapter 10 Consulting the Genius 146

Chapter 11 A 50-Year Farm Bill Proposal Goes to Washington 177

Chapter 12 An Appeal to the Russians 188

Chapter 13 Were Ants the First Agriculturists? 201

Part IV ANALYZING THE RESISTANCE

Chapter 14 Analyzing the Resistance 208

Part V AWAY FROM THE EXTRACTIVE ECONOMY

Chapter 15 Away From the Extractive Economy 218

Part VI AN ENIGMA

Chapter 16 Thoughts on the Natural History of Eden 238

Coda 243

Acknowledgments 250

References and Notes 254

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