Beyond agriculture – the myths and the alternatives

Agriculture was the great leap forward for humanity, or so we’ve been told. but is it true? Toby Hemenway, in this compelling talk Redesigning Civilisation – with Permaculture, lays out a different picture and dispels the myths of agriculture as the great liberator from a life we are told was brutish and short.

At this point I feel compelled to assure you, this is not a casual criticism of agriculture or farmers. I have been one and I hold a deep respect for that culture, so if you are reading this article and have a background in rural activities, thank you for reading this far, and I welcome you to take this journey of discovery with me.

The essence of agriculture, which the origin of the word points to, is the cutting of trees to make way for open fields – to then grow large areas of a small number crops, or grass for animals. Given this suggestion the term sustainable agriculture, must surely be an oxymoron, as there are few if any areas of the earth where agriculture has been practiced for long periods of time, which do not show signs of degradation and loss of soil, water and human health. The origins of this open field approach can be traced back to thefertile crescent‘ in the Middle East - where years of grain agriculture has turned the land to desert and the soil to salt-laden sand.

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Fracking Benefits Overblown?

Why is it that oil and gas companies such as TAG Oil and Apache are so aggressively pursuing exploration of gas fields in New Zealand when US gas prices are at a 10 year record low of US$2.176 per mBtu?  In January both Chesapeake Energy and ConocoPhillips announced plans to reduce gas natural gas output and shift towards more oil drilling. » Read more

Oil and Gas in Steep Decline - Taranaki report

Venture Taranaki have produced an immaculately presented report entitled "The Wealth Beneath Our Feet". » Read more

Petrobas drilling for Oil off New Zealand coast

This is a must read for those concerned about New Zealands clean gren image or the environment.


senjmito's picture

New research shows 7 out of 10 Kiwis want NZ Govt to prepare for Peak Oil

WWF NZ has commissioned a couple of opinion polls on the government's response (or
lack of it) to projected oil price increases. Here are the press releases they issued about the results. Both are well worth checking out.

http://www.wwf.org.nz/?4960/Seven-out-of-ten-Kiwis-want-Govt-to-prepare-for-peak-oil » Read more

Daryl's picture

Opec earnings reach US$1.251 trillion

Opec's earnings from oil exports are expected to reach a record US$1.251 trillion ($NZ1.68 trillion) this year, about US$73 billion more than previously estimated, the US government's top energy forecasting agency said on Tuesday. » Read more

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