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Other titles in the Our Sustainable Future series:
Crisis & Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture (Our Sustainable Future)by John E Ikerd
Synopses & Reviews
We donand#8217;t have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about whatand#8217;s wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energyand#8212;more solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuelsand#8212;alternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why canand#8217;t engineers solve wind powerand#8217;s biggest obstacle? Why wonand#8217;t contraception solve the problem of overpopulation lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will?
This practical, environmentally informed, and lucid book persuasively argues for a change of perspective. If consumption is the problem, as Ozzie Zehner suggests, then we need to shift our focus from suspect alternative energies to improving social and political fundamentals: walkable communities, improved consumption, enlightened governance, and, most notably, womenand#8217;s rights. The dozens of first steps he offers are surprisingly straightforward. For instance, he introduces a simple sticker that promises a greater impact than all of the nationand#8217;s solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes wonand#8217;t solve our energy challenges (and presents two taxes that could). Finally, he explores how future environmentalists will focus on similarly fresh alternatives that are affordable, clean, and can actually improve our well-being.
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With the decline of family farms and rural communities and the rise of corporate farming and the resulting environmental degradation, American agriculture is in crisis. But this crisis offers the opportunity to rethink agriculture in sustainable terms. Here one of the most eloquent and influential proponents of sustainable agriculture explains what this means. These engaging essays describe what sustainable agriculture is, why it began, and how it can succeed. Together they constitute a clear and compelling vision for rebalancing the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of agriculture to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.
In Crisis and Opportunity, John E. Ikerd outlines the consequences of agricultural industrialization, then details the methods that can restore economic viability, ecological soundness, and social responsibility to our agricultural system and thus ensure sustainable agriculture as the foundation of a sustainable food system and a sustainable society.
About the Author
John E. Ikerd is professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri. He is the author of Sustainable Capitalism, A Return to Common Sense, and Small Farms are Real Farms.
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