The Road From Green Revolution to Fatal Harvest  

Posted by Big Gav

One of the other writings that first got me into the whole peak oil thing was an essay called The Oil We Eat - Following the food chain back to Iraq by Richard Manning, which discusses how dependent modern industrial agriculture (based on the so called "green revolution") is on oil.

WorldChanging has some good posts on the global food system which discuss a lot of the same issues.

There are so many criticisms around the current global food system that for a while I started wondering if in fact it had already collapsed and I was studying a post-apocalyptic food system.

The difficulty with data around the food system is a little like data around climate change, only much more fragmented and fast-moving. If a group of scientists make a claim, it's fairly easy to find a Bjorn Lomborg-type claiming it ain't so, you're just fear-mongering. Discerning the truth of what's going on with the global food system at the numbers and science level requires a lot of time and energy. There is contradictory information and all of it cannot be right. At the end of the day it boils down to epistemology and axiomatic truths, and a choice needs to be made as to what we are willing to accept as legitimate data.

In trying to discern patterns in the mass of data it seemed to me that there are two broad schools of dueling, wheeling thought, with a host of lesser and emerging schools emanating from them. The first is the modern Green Revolution. The second, simultaneously representing an older form of agrarian logic and a response to the Green Revolution, can be dubbed (perhaps unfairly) the Fatal Harvest School.

1 comments

Gav, you beat me to the punch-line:
http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2005/03/oil-based-framing.html

But then again, you always get a head-start down under :)

BTW, Manning also has a book out which includes this topic among others.

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