Category Archives: Food issues

An Energy-Related Reason Why US Healthcare Outcomes are Awful

Back in January 2013, the US Institute of Medicine published a report called U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. This poor health outcome for US citizens is in spite of the US spending twice as much as … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications, Food issues | Tagged life expectancy, morbidity rates, mortality rates, processed food | 658 Comments

2013: Beginning of Long-Term Recession?

We have been hearing a lot about escaping the fiscal cliff, but our problem isn’t solved. The fixes to date have been partial and temporary. There are many painful decisions ahead. Based on what I can see, the most likely … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications, Food issues, Planning for the Future | Tagged debt default, economic growth, electricity demand, Food prices, forecast for 2013, government spending, high oil prices, oil exporter, oil importer, oil prices, oil shale, Peter Turchin, recession, renewable energy, Secular Cycles, Social Security, tight oil | 158 Comments

Is Sustainable Agriculture an Oxymoron?

This is a guest post by Toby Hemenway, author of  Gaia’s Garden, a Guide to Home Scale Permaculture. It is being republished with the author’s permission. It was previously published on his blog, Pattern Literacy.  Jared Diamond calls it “the worst mistake … Continue reading

Posted in Food issues, Guest post, Planning for the Future | Tagged agriculture, permaculture, sustainability, Toby Hemenway | 143 Comments

Why Malthus Got His Forecast Wrong

Most of us have heard that Thomas Malthus made a forecast in 1798 that the world would run short of food. He expected that this would happen because in a world with limited agricultural land, food supply would fail to rise … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications, Food issues | Tagged coal, energy consumption, food supply, Malthus, oil, oil price, peak oil, technology | 160 Comments

The Long-Term Tie Between Energy Supply, Population, and the Economy

The tie between energy supply, population, and the economy goes back to the hunter-gatherer period. Hunter-gatherers managed to multiply their population at least 4-fold, and perhaps by as much as 25-fold, by using energy techniques which allowed them to expand … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil, Book draft, Food issues, Introductory Post | Tagged coal, deforestation, economy, electricity, energy supply, erosion, GDP, hunter-gatherer, Hydroelectric, oil, peat, petroleum, population, soil fertility, top soil | 158 Comments