Casaubon's Book

Archives for January, 2011

Stuart Staniford has a terrific piece that offers a little visual clarity about food, energy, unemployment and the Riots in the Middle East and North Africa: Tunisia is a minnow in the global oil market, Egypt slightly more important. Algeria, however, matters a lot as its oil production is probably close to total demonstrated OPEC…

From The Onion: According to anthropologists, untold millions of slaves and serfs toiled their whole lives to complete the gap. Records indicate the work likely began around 10,000 years ago, when the world’s first landed elites convinced their subjects that construction of such a monument was the will of a divine authority, a belief still…

Remember how I said I was going to do 31 book reviews in January, and well…didn’t? On Friday, I finally got reliable internet back, just in time to shut down for the sabbath, so now I’m playing catch up. Got to get about 25 book reviews done today. That should happen, right? Just a reminder…

I am *still* without full access to my email, although new stuff is at least being forwarded to Eric’s account. I apologize profusely for the difficulties, but I know that some people who tried to register either got bounces or got through, but are buried in my gmail account without my having access, so I…

The good news is that everyone was more or less happy about Obama’s stated energy policy last night. The Republicans were happy because Obama was talking about a “clean standard” which actually means “let’s burn fossil fuels in a barely less harmful way” – ie, let’s switch some dirty coal to natural gas, and pretend…

Paul Kingsnorth has a brilliant article on what underlies the disproportion in attention between flooding in the Global South and Global North, and what it says about how we see the world: This imperial narrative morphed, after the death of the Western empires, into the narrative of ‘development’ that we still cleave to today (I…

There’s quite a bustle among my colleagues about the deficiencies of recent studies about whether X female thingie evolved as a strategy to prevent rape. My favorite such study is one that seems to think that the only critical thing that happens when women ovulate is that they might get raped. The (probably bullshit) increase…

A number of readers asked me to comment on the recent Argentine report that predicts disaster for world food supplies based on Climate Change in the near term. I hadn’t done so because I was honestly puzzled by the report, which got a lot of attention, and raised awareness of climate food issues, but seemed…

12 Books for Every Sustainability Nut

Note: I’m way behind on my 31 books resolution – I’ll have to hurry to catch up. In the meantime, will you count these 12? I bet you don’t own them! Worms Eat my Laundry by Alcea Grovestock – Worms are hot – in-house domestic composting is everywhere. But have you considered the way red…

Gardeners like to compete with each other over who has the worst soil. You wouldn’t think we’d be proud of this, but what can I say, we’re a strange bunch. One will argue for his hard clay, baked in the sun, another for her sand, without a trace of organic matter. I’ve got my own…