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Books > Business & Money > Economics > Environmental Economics > 0865715653
  1. Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture
    Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture
    Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture
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  2. Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (17 reviews)
    Price R373.00

Additional Information

The miracle of the Green Revolution was made possible by cheap fossil fuels to supply crops with artificial fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation. Estimates of the net energy balance of agriculture in the United States show that ten calories of hydrocarbon energy are required to produce one calorie of food. Such an imbalance cannot continue in a world of diminishing hydrocarbon resources.
Eating Fossil Fuels examines the interlinked crises of energy and agriculture and highlights some startling findings:
• The worldwide expansion of agriculture has appropriated fully 40 percent of the photosynthetic capability of this planet.
• The Green Revolution provided abundant food sources for many, resulting in a population explosion well in excess of the planet’s carrying capacity.
• Studies suggest that without fossil fuel-based agriculture, the United States could only sustain about two-thirds of its present population. For the planet as a whole, the sustainable number is estimated to be about two billion.
Concluding that the effect of energy depletion will be disastrous without a transition to a sustainable, re-localized agriculture, the book draws on the experiences of North Korea and Cuba to demonstrate stories of failure and success in the transition to non-hydrocarbon-based agriculture. It urges strong grassroots activism for sustainable, localized agriculture and a natural shrinking of the world’s population.

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Dale Allen Pfeiffer
Brand: New Society Publishers
Used Book in Good Condition
New Society Publishers
New Society Publishers
Illustrations, 1 port.
Illustrations, 1 port.
New Society Publishers
New Society Publishers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

"Eating Fossil Fuels," by David Allen Pfeiffer, is a fascinating review of the upcoming crisis in production of food for our population. He starts with a quick discussion of land degradation and water degradation, and then goes into the data behind the use of fossil fuels in modern agriculture. With the approaching decline in global oil production, our ability to produce food will be severely compromised.

For anyone who reads much about "peak oil" or modern agricultural policy, this will come as no surprise. Pfeiffer's book shines, though, in his discussions of the examples of South Korea and Cuba. It is fascinating to consider the different paths taken by each of these countries during their politically-imposed sudden drop in oil availability.

Pfeiffer goes finishes with a discussion of sustainable agriculture and some ideas for what a concerned activist might do.

On the whole, I learned much from the short, well-written book about an important... Read more
Concerned about food and how a world economy fueled by oil will continue to feed over 6 ½ billion people when the oil squeeze comes? I suggest you read this book. Pfeiffer, a geologist and science journalist who has been intimately involved with peak oil issues for more than ten years, provides profound insight with his analysis of two parallel nations suffering from similar predicaments, but with radically different outcomes. He uses the powerful example of how Cuba and North Korea each dealt with nearly instantaneous loss of their supplies of oil after the Soviet Union dissolved. In the case of North Korea, their economy was shattered and millions of people died of starvation and disease. In the case of Cuba, people lost weight and made do with less, but a shift to sustainable agriculture and natural healing averted catastrophe. Cuba provides us with a glimpse of a possible future that avoids violent collapse and provides a good quality of life in spite of having to get by using... Read more
One good thing about this book is that the author does not need 300 pages to explain the Oil/Agriculture relation. What I liked most of this book is the explanation on the evolution of agriculture to these days, making clear that Oil is an important contributor to production performance, due to the use of fertilizers, pesticides and of course the energy derived from it in Industrial Agriculture. I agree with the author that we are beginning a transition to a new way of living, not pleasant, due to the fact that oil depletion will make difficult to attain a sustainable agriculture, even a sustainable civilization with the population numbers we have. The effects are visible, inflation and food crisis.
Most people think that technology will remedy the situation, but if you read more about energy you will realize the future's precarious situation. Governments in the world need to put an eye on it and start doing energy projects, particularly Nuclear. India must control its population... Read more
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