The world is divided into the optimists and the pessimists. Here are two methods for the latter group to deal with the inevitable gray mood after reading all the depressing news about the state of the earth.
Photo credit: Dale Gillard/Creative Commons
A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia,
Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water
We need an economy for the twenty-first century, one that is in sync with the earth and its natural support systems, not one that is destroying them. The fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway
When it comes to population growth, the United Nations has three primary projections. The medium projection, the one most commonly used, has world population reaching 9.2 billion by 2050. The high one reaches 10.5
In 1994, I wrote an article in World Watch magazine entitled "Who Will Feed China?" that was later expanded into a book of the same title. When the article was published in late August, the press conference
We are entering a new era, one of rapid and often unpredictable climate change. In fact, the new climate norm is change. The 25 warmest years on record have come since 1980. And the 10 warmest years since
After several decades of Lrapid rise in world grain yields, it is now becoming more difficult to raise land productivity fast enough to keep up with the demands of a growing, increasingly affluent, population.
The literature on soil erosion contains countless references to the "loss of protective vegetation." Over the last half-century, clearcutting, overgrazing, and overplowing have removed so much of that protective cover
The thin layer of topsoil that covers the planet's land surface is the foundation of civilization. This soil, typically 6 inches or so deep, was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded
As oil and natural gas reserves are being depleted, the world's attention is increasingly turning to plant-based energy sources. These include food crops, forest industry byproducts, sugar industry byproducts,