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Feed or Feedback: Agriculture, Population Dynamics and the State of the Planet

Overview

Placing agriculture at the forefront of environmental issues, this book argues that every major impact the human species has had on the natural environment has been a result of the change from a hunting-and-gathering method of food supply to a farming one. Historical information is presented about ecological, environmental, and demographic changes in human society from the advent of agriculture to today. The rates of deforestation, soil ...

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Overview

Placing agriculture at the forefront of environmental issues, this book argues that every major impact the human species has had on the natural environment has been a result of the change from a hunting-and-gathering method of food supply to a farming one. Historical information is presented about ecological, environmental, and demographic changes in human society from the advent of agriculture to today. The rates of deforestation, soil erosion, and water consumption as they relate to agriculture are assessed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Feed or Feedback makes a complex and vital issue of global survival accessible to the lay reader, and is a most valuable contribution to the globalization debate. I hope it will be widely read by those concerned for our ecology, and the disastrous things we are doing to the earth that feeds us.” —John le Carré

“Engaging, provocative and with great attention to historical data and detail, Brown dares to pose the stark alternatives facing humanity regarding food, population and the environment: limit the size of the global population or limit the rate of food production. . . . Essential reading to anyone who wonders where our next meal ought to be coming from.” —Brewster Kneen, author, Invisible Giant and Farmageddon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789057270482
  • Publisher: International Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 431
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Duncan Brown is a professor emeritus in the department of biological sciences at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He has previously taught at the University of Manchester, the University of California, Cambridge University, Yale University, the Norwegian Institute of Technology, and the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He is the author of Microbial Water Stress Physiology.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Symbols and Abbreviations 10
Nine 'Laws' of Ecological Bloodymindedness 11
Preface 13
1 The Beginning 17
2 An Ecological Detour - and Some Ground Rules 33
3 The Transition 49
4 Town and Country - Part 1 57
5 Town and Country - Part 2 69
6 The Sanitary Imperative 83
7 The Road to the Sea 103
8 Water - Part 1 127
9 Water - Part 2 143
10 People and the Soil: Part 1 - Erosion and Organic Matter 167
11 People and the Soil: Part 2 - Nitrogen and Phosphorus 189
12 Two Related Matters 207
13 The Contemporary Farm 221
14 Where To From Here? 249
15 The Real World? 273
Appendix 299
Notes 331
Bibliography 399
About the Author 425
Index 427
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