Future farming: The call for a 50-year perspective on agriculture – an interview with Wes Jackson

2 February, 2009

Written by Robert Jensen

wes-jackson.jpgAs everyone scrambles for a solution to the crises in the nation’s economy, Wes Jackson suggests we look to nature’s economy for some of the answers. With everyone focused on a stimulus package in the short term, he counsels that we pay more attention to the soil over the long haul.

‘We live off of what comes out of the soil, not what’s in the bank,’ said Jackson, president of The Land Institute. ‘If we squander the ecological capital of the soil, the capital on paper won’t much matter.’

Jackson doesn’t minimize the threat of the current financial problems but argues that the new administration should consider a ‘50-year farm bill,’ which he and the writer/farmer Wendell Berry proposed in a New York Times op/ed earlier this month.

Central to such a bill would be soil. A plan for sustainable agriculture capable of producing healthful food has to come to solve the twin problems of soil erosion and contamination, said Jackson, who co-founded the research center in 1976 after leaving his job as an environmental studies professor at California State University-Sacramento.

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Becky Hogge: BT wants to monitor your online activities

Your ISP is watching you

Did you know … BT wants to monitor your online activities to serve you targeted ads? Don’t let it spy on you

2 February, 2009

A man walks through a shopping precinct. Tiny cameras capture his every move. If he so much as turns his head to glimpse into a shop window, that action is recorded, next to a reference number that identifies him uniquely among the many shoppers around him. As he walks through the crowded mall, the advertising billboards subtly change to suit his profile, flashing aeroplanes and knitted sweaters to replace the beach towels and lipstick intended for the woman in front of him. He ducks out of the precinct, looks around him, then walks down a side street to the door of a VD clinic. But the cameras are still watching him. Silently, passively. But watching him all the same …

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