"Claims by many permaculturalists, organic farmers, and grassland polemicists that they can “draw down carbon forever” are wrong. They can do so only to an optimum point of balance and that balance will be a very high achievement," argues Patrick Noble.
"Minerals and gases are either a part of a tendency for life, or of a tendency for lifelessness. My husbandry can swing the balance one way or the other. Humanity as a whole is choosing to swing the balance towards a lifeless planet," writes Patrick Noble.
Nick Bardsley, a Feasta member and lecturer in climate change economics at the University of Reading, has prepared a slideshow presentation for the recent Feasta Climate Group weekend which is now available for download. In it he discusses the problems associated with a biofuel-based economy, drawing on the work of energetics analysts Mario Giampietro and Kozo Mayumi. Nick also discusses his own challenges as a lecturer in ecological economics.
In this week's Fleeing Vesuvius article, Nate Hagens and Kenneth Mulder explain why today’s prices and costs provide a very bad basis for making investment decisions. They reflect temporary relative market scarcities rather than long-run underlying physical ones. The world needs to abandon money as its measure when determining energy and economic policy if it is to invest its scarcest, most limiting resources in the best possible way.
Most beef farmers in Ireland are losing money. In view of this, some policymakers and commentators think that it would be in the national interest to encourage a lot of them to give up their loss-making hobby and to switch to growing biofuels instead. The Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network is preparing a report which explores this idea and draws some unexpected conclusions, and comments are very welcome.