pronald

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November 8, 2010
The online debate at The Economist Magazine continues. Dont forget to vote. My rebuttal is here: I agree with Charles Benbrook that "Bt crops have helped reduce insect feeding damage and lessened the need for toxic, broad-spectrum insecticides, and as a result, helped build populations of…
November 2, 2010
The Economist is running an online debate and we need your vote. Vote here. My opening statement: The number of people on Earth is expected to increase from the current 6.7 billion to 9 billion by 2050 with food demands expected to rise by 70%. How will we feed them? If we continue with current…
November 1, 2010
November 1 begins the rainy season in California and it is time for Kori's newsletter about The Market Garden at the Student Farm. Kori tells us that all over the farm the rains have called forth the hoards of sleeping winter weed seedlings, and the dry, dusty brown is transforming rapidly. It is…
September 21, 2010
The most devastating impact on biodiversity is caused by agriculture. Farming is already the greatest extinction threat to birds, and its adverse impacts look set to increase, especially in developing countries (Green et al. 2005). Thus one of the global challenges for the next century is the need…
September 20, 2010
Today is the first week of Fall quarter at UC Davis and the Student Farm has harvested some glorious vegetables. The tomatoes in the CSA (community supported agriculture) basket today came mostly from the farm's Seeds of Change variety trial. The green striped, red striped, orange, dark striped,…
September 13, 2010
We are eating well in Davis, California. Below is an update from Raoul about the UC Davis Student Farm fall planting. Carrots, beets, spinach, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, daikon, cilantro and fennel are in the solarized beds germinating. We also transplanted broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale…
September 7, 2010
in 2007 Yonah opted out of a Bar Mitzvah. His alternative rite of passage was riding a bike from San Francisco to Washington DC with the rest of the family in tow. His Dad, Matt, is a mediocre selling author whose most recent royalty check for his "breakthrough book" was only four figures. (Two…
August 21, 2010
Bill Gates had a lot of thoughtful things to say about technology and social innovation at the recent Techonomy conference, including a nice plug for Tomorrow's Table! "There's a lot of great thinking [from both the GMO and organic communities], which lead to things you should care about-…
August 14, 2010
Korea has a 5000 year history of food and farming. How much can a nine-year old and her mother learn on a two week visit to this land of miracles? For the first few nights we stayed in a tiny room in a traditional Korean house called a "Hanok" house. There is a courtyard that everyone shares that…
August 1, 2010
Ed Yong recently published a post called "On the origin of science writers" asking that science writers (anyone who regularly writes about science) tell the story of how they got started. The idea is to establish a resource for future writers. I joined the thread and have reprinted it here. As far…
July 28, 2010
George Steinmetz began his aerial adventures on leave from Stanford in 1979. Thirty one years later he has accumulated thousands of photographs from his flying machine. He showed us a sample here at the Aspen Environment Forum, sponsored by the National Geographic and the Aspen Institute. The Waw…
July 27, 2010
British kids can more easily identify Japanese cars than native plants and animals, says moderator, Robert Draper here at the Aspen Environment Forum, sponsored by the National Geographic and the Aspen Institute. American children not readily exposed to nature are more prone to depression,…
July 27, 2010
Brilliant talk by photographer Joel Sartore here at the Aspen Environment Forum, sponsored by the National Geographic and the Aspen Institute. "What can I do to get people to care about the environment? I want people to fall in love with these animals as much as I did so the world pays attention…
July 27, 2010
More live blogging from The Aspen Environment Forum, sponsored by the National Geographic and the Aspen Institute. Panelist include: Brian Keane, Amory Lovins, Will Wynn, with moderator Jack Riggs. Brian: Each one of us can and must be part of the energy efficient solution. It is the small little…
July 27, 2010
Climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier that will make other problems such as agricultural productivity worse. This is one of the conclusions at a panel called "Trusting Climate Science" here at the Aspen Environment Forum, sponsored by the National Geographic and the Aspen Institute. I am…
July 20, 2010
When PZ Myers goes on strike, Seed media listens. PZ has posted a demand for some changes from the Seed management. All are reasonable and helpful and will make ScienceBlogs a better place. It seems Seed management agrees and soon the changes will be implemented. If you want a history of Science…
July 16, 2010
How do you help people who live on less than a dollar a day? This is one of the challenges that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is taking on. In preparation for a recent visit there, Raoul and I reread a speech that Bill Gates gave at the 2009 world food prize symposium It is worth a read.…
July 10, 2010
Check out this video to see what life is like in Davis, California. If you missed it, dont fret, the Tour de Cluck will be an annual event. Here is a preview for next year's event: our hens, Oreo and Snickerdoodle.
July 7, 2010
Clearly, transparency is critical but how much does the source of funding matter if it is fully disclosed? Among the scientific community, government funded research is generally considered trustworthy and as a benefit for the public good. Still, that view is not universal. I have been accused of "…
June 28, 2010
For the Grow your Own Bakeoff, a blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products, I baked a Swiss chard-Gruyere pie. Here is the recipe: First, gather as many ingredients as you can from your garden. In our garden, I found…
May 24, 2010
Some thoughtful and interesting letters in response to the OpEd that James McWilliams and I wrote recently for the NY Times. Here are some highlights: I think that there are many in the organic food movement who recognize that genetic engineering has a role to play in the future of food. But…
May 23, 2010
The World Science Festival, is a five day-long extravaganza of science in New York City that is coming up this year on June 2-6. The World Science Festival (now in it's third year) is not only for adults interested in science society- it is for kids, too. That why I will bring my 9 year old…
May 21, 2010
The number of people on Earth is expected to shoot up from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050. How will we feed them? If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, and farm workers will be…
May 15, 2010
This Op-Ed just published today in the NY TImes. Here it is with links and a few edits. A REPORT by the National Research Council last month gave ammunition to both sides in the debate over the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. More than 80 percent of the corn, soybeans and cotton grown…
May 11, 2010
Ask a ScienceBlogger is a great way to get the answers you want. Do you have a burning question to put to the ScienceBlogs bloggers? Now is your chance to ask. ScienceBlogs has just announced the Ask a ScienceBlogger series, in which (you guessed it), you get to ask ScienceBloggers questions, and…
May 10, 2010
There is little doubt that organic farmers have been instrumental in bringing the need for ecologically based agriculture to the public's attention. That is a good start. We now need to move beyond organic (still only ca 2% of US agriculture) and embrace other tools and farming practices that can…
April 30, 2010
hat tip for this video to Isis and the Thoughtful animal.
April 30, 2010
Tonight's dessert is plum cake: Tante Lissy's Flaumen Kuchen (Plum Cake) 1 c Butter 1 c Sugar 1 Egg 2 tsp Almond extract (or vanilla) 1 tsp Salt 1 c White fl our 1 c Barley 10 Plums, pitted and cut in half 2 Tbsp warmed apricot jam 1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add in egg, almond or vanilla…
April 26, 2010
Today I wore a bikini for science. Last week, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader was quoted as saying : "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases…
April 22, 2010
For Earth Day, let's celebrate Stewart Brand, the distinguished writer, lecturer and author of the classic Whole Earth Catalog, which won the national book award in 1972. He also has a new book called "Whole Earth Discipline" where he argues that the established Green agenda is outdated, too…