By Lucy Dean Stockton Published March 24, 2014
Climate change is altering the Earth's temperature, as well as global precipitation distributions, which has huge implications for all of Earth's ecosystems. It will have a particularly large effect on agriculture, a huge consumer of water resources. Potential ways to address this issue include mitigation strategies to prevent further global warming and adaptation strategies which will help farmers cultivate crops in an environment more compatible with the changing climate. These techniques are based in conservation principles and can be incentivized through the use of policy.
By Lucy Dean Stockton Published November 8, 2013
Biofuels leave a lot to be desired. While many had high hopes for increased energy independence, sustainability and job stimulation, biofuels have instead shown themselves to be relatively inefficient producers and consumers of energy requiring huge facilities and huge investments. But even as biofuels may be a disappointment, bioenergy is not a bust. Simpler technologies like bioheat energy harvesting can be done on a smaller, local scale and provide both heat and electricity. Because bioheat doesn't require the complex fermentation processes associated with biofuel, they may also allow us to change the kinds of plants that are grown to ones that are more sustainable for the climates they grow in with less inputs required.
By Lucy Dean Stockton Published October 10, 2013
The 'Green Revolution' that began in the 1960's describes the phenomenon of global agricultural advancements through innovations such as synthetic fertilizer, genetically modified crops and industrial farming technology. The technological advances and increased crop yields made it possible to feed billions more people around the world and to solve the then-imminent problem of famine. In turn, it enlarged both the global market and the U.S. dependence on foreign imports. It is crucial to note that most of the agriculture that supplies our food system (the sum of all parts and processes involved in feeding a population) depends on fossil fuels. Understanding that oil is a non-renewable resource, it is easy to see why our food system is resting on such fragile foundations: oil is undoubtedly running out.