Yale Environment 360
June 18, 2008 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Yale Environment 360 is an online environment magazine from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. It has a lot of great material, like "Biodiversity in the Balance" by Carl Zimmer and "Carbon’s Burden on the World’s Oceans" by Carl Safina and Marah J. Hardt. [Via Zimmer's blog The Loom]
posted by homunculus (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, I know someone who went there. Hi Tom!

posted by mdoar at 6:10 PM on June 18, 2008

The real question is, can they relate to their plumbers?
posted by Oxydude at 10:39 PM on June 18, 2008

Thanks for posting this. Today's post, "Global Commodities Boom Fuels New Assault on Amazon" covers what is currently a very heated point of discussion among biodiversity and economics experts-- will demand for biofuels greatly accelerate land use change (from rain forest to agriculture) of the Amazon region? The recent Science article that cast serious doubt on the ability to biofuels The author explains it well. This is seriously the best science blog I've seen on the internet-- it's covering the same topics I hear discussed at meetings but without so much jargon. And I didn't know it existed until homunculus linked to it in a comment yesterday.
posted by Tehanu at 7:00 AM on June 19, 2008

Sorry, I seem to have baleeted part of that comment. Trying again:

The recent Science article that cast serious doubt on the ability to biofuels to reduce carbon emissions made exactly this point. Previously.
posted by Tehanu at 7:07 AM on June 19, 2008

Hmm. Mostly he's on the right track there, but he doesn't fully describe the trade-off between intensive and extensive land use. You impact more land directly with grass pasture because you've got the cattle out there eating grass, which is only a certain amount per acre, unlike the feedlots where you cram them into a small space with a bunch of grain that was quite productive per acre. You impact the land less intensely, but you impact more of it directly. So the scenario that's often described is some amount of land that is pasture versus a smaller amount that's very intense agriculture and a feedlot with the difference made up of reserved forest. And I think that really is his main point-- that we are making a poor choice between these two scenarios.

I do think he's entirely correct, since the ecological footprints of the intensive petroleum-fueled methods go so far beyond the direct impact. We need to be designing livable sustainable communities, and we need to start doing it yesterday.

Personally, I've lived in apartments since college, and as a seemingly compulsive gardener by family tradition, I would really love a small plot somewhere. Every year without one wears on me. But I can barely afford rent where I am now, much less any place with greenspace. Last time I checked the community gardens in another part of DC had a several year long waiting list. What's an urban dweller without much to put into this beyond seeds and labor to do?
posted by Tehanu at 12:57 PM on June 26, 2008

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