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Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food And the Coming Crisis in Agriculture (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2006

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3,9 étoiles sur 5 17 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Every calorie of food produced in the U.S. required ten calories of hydrocarbons. Without oil, the U.S. can only sustain two thirds of its present population and world population should be around two billion. The solution: transition to a sustainable, localised agriculture.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Eating our seeds 9 mai 2017
Par daveyd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In this book's Forward by Andrew Jones we find the old solutions to our nation's (and the global) food scarcities: increased production and better utilization of existing resources.
Thankfully the book's author, Dale Allen Pfeifer, wastes no words as he begins on page 1 his scholarly attack on the wasteful and unsustainable exploitation of fossil fuels in the pursuit of unlimited agricultural expansion.
Two respected consultants to the oil industry predict that world production would peak and then begin an irreversable decline around 2010. The result will be "food shortages and massive starvation".
The Green Revolution that began a half century past did nothing to alleviate world hunger but it did stimulate the relentless trajectory of population growth within the globalization of food production. This was all under the parentage of cheap and abundant oil and natural gas that incrementally created a dependency on unsustainable energies to seed crops, harvest and transport them to processors and then to market.
The intensity of big agri practices soon strips the soils of nutrients and depletes water aquifers. This requires greater dependence on energy intensive irrigation and ever greater reliance on nonrenewable hydrocarbons.
Some 10,000 years past humanity transitioned from hunters/gathers to agriculture. This was the beginning of "civilization". And so began the unrelenting population growth that would displace other competing life forms.
On page 6 the authors note "The need to expand agricultural production has been one of the root causes behind most of the wars...Today land on this planet is being exploited by agriculture". the Green Revolution industrialized world grain production during mid-20th century when fossil fuel fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation reflected a 250% increase in grains
The Green Revolution's industrial practices leave behind degradation of the land and water supply. Since 1945 more than 43% of the land's vegetated surface has degraded because of soil depletion, desertification and destruction of rain forests. Sixty percent of world deforestation is related to arable land needs to feed the 84 million people born each year. Farmland loses millions of acres annually to erosion, urbanization, road building, industry... The production of one pound of maize requires 175 gallons of water. Forty percent of all grain production worldwide goes to poultry and meat farms.
According to one study the U.S. food system consumes ten times more energy than it produces. More than 40% of food-related energy consumption is used in refrigeration, 20% in used in cooking and a similar amount for heating water.
Americans individually consume one-third of their calories from animal and dairy sources. Fast food provides one-third of all caloric intake. The farming behind all this uses 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides in the U.S. annually. That is five pounds for every member of humanity. Each year we lose more crops to pests despite more pesticide use.
Page 25 has an interesting narrative regarding how far food travels from farm to table. A Swedish study found that the mileage estimated for an entire breakfast was equal to the circumference of the earth.
Eating Fossil Fuels might best be described as a treatise on the profligacy of unrelenting waste in humanity's quest for the good life but leaving the medusa for the unsuspecting. It may be worth noting that as chapter 6 proclaims: "the underpinning of life on this planet has been diminished... to the breaking point... our agricultural system is ready to collapse". In old census data 34.6 million people were living in poverty and it happened during cheap oil and gas, limitless water for irrigation, and transportation without borders.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 good concise review of the coming crisis in agriculture 25 avril 2007
Par John G. Curington - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
"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 topic.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Feast or famine without oil? (review by author of When Technology Fails) 17 novembre 2007
Par Matthew I. Stein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
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 less energy and buying less stuff.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very informative! 6 juillet 2008
Par Luis Mansilla - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
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 growth also. I have my opinion on Cuba but considering all this is a very informative book.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 We Need to Bring Back the Victory Garden 27 février 2008
Par MartaJan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I wish I had read this book last year, I would already have prepared a vegetable garden to plant this spring. I know about Peak Oil, etc. but this book really got my attention. It provides a clear explanation of how dependent our food supply is on fossil fuels. Higher and higher food prices are in store for us, soon. And that's before we start to see food shortages. The agricultural land in the U.S. can only support about 200 million people, and we have almost 300 million. Plus this agriculture is heavily dependent on oil (to run the irrigation pumps, harvest, process and transport the products), and natural gas (to make fertilizer..who knew?). In a politically unstable world of rising fuel prices, not to mention a future without those fuels, do we really want to rely on imported food to feed our nation? Or go to war over food? This book outlines the problems and has an action plan and extensive list of resources to help solve the problems. Yes! There are things you can do to avert this crisis, whether you live in the city, suburbs, or country.
Spade up those (organic) Victory Gardens, folks, and learn how to provide and preserve at least some of your own food. Support your local food producers. This year. You'll be glad you did.
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