Category Archives: Professor’s Corner

Give soil credit where it is due.

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“A ‘biological universe’ exists in a gram of soil.” (Fortuna.)  I’ve often looked to the stars or the sea to picture a magic-like expanse that holds so many secrets and marvels of life.  I’ve never given much thought to what is under my feet. After the contemplative practice from week 8, I started to search for words I have never… Read more »

The Role of International Law in Fighting Climate Change

The contemplative practice from lesson seven really stuck with me because it helped me overcome my decidedly negative preconceptions about the role international law plays in combatting climate change. As previously I had concluded that although it was capable of facilitating minor progress in this regard, international law was largely incapable of creating significant positive impacts. My primary evidence for… Read more »

The Implications of Linear Thinking on Societal Sustainability

My biggest conclusions from the course this quarter primarily concern the nature of the systemic importance that food and water systems possess for human societies and how this will be impacted by climate change. Such is the case as data regarding these aforementioned impacts is far more severe than previously imagined. However, simple recognition of the multitude of ways climate… Read more »

A Seed of a Solution

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I know plenty of people who I consider to be smart and reasonable who believe that any critique of genetic engineering of seeds is unfounded conspiratorial thinking. I have long found this notion unfair. I don’t think that genetic engineering is wrong on principle. However, I think it is too soon to know the effects on our health and the… Read more »

Future of Food

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This quarter has changed my appreciation of food forever. There are some things that I will never take for granted again, like the virtual water content of my produce, or the suffering endured to bring chocolate to my home, or the relationship of soil and water to my earthly being. As I prepare my meals I try to be considerate… Read more »

How Private Organizations Leverage Biophysical Constructs for Political Gain

Land and water are not merely biophysical phenomena but valuable commodities for global financial markets that play a large role effecting the dynamics of political power. Traditionally, whenever I gave this phenomenon thought it always seemed that state actors were the ones with the most to gain politically through policy shifts in regards to land and water usage. However, the… Read more »

How Political Power Grows from the Ground

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My primary takeaway from these lessons has been the massive role that political power plays in how food and water systems are managed throughout the globe. The way these systems are managed often correlates to the distribution of political power, especially so in developing nations. Throughout history, it is clear that hunger has been consistently used as a weapon by… Read more »