Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

nature vs the man

With the end of summer closing in, gas and oil prices at an all-time high, and storms ravaging the country, things are looking pretty bleak for the man in the now-familiar man versus nature scenario. Fortunately, that scenario is a hoax. Why is it that every time a natural disaster strikes, the mainstream media insists on positing it against mankind in some horrific gladiator duel? Why, in an age when science is beginning to understand a possible correlation between weather patterns and human ecological impact, do we still accept this ancient metaphor of nature as a remote and mysterious enemy force? Watch the news today, and you’ll hear reporters assigning storm fronts absurd characteristics like wrath and fury—showing all the meteorological sophistication of an eighteenth century sailor. But this irresponsible use of a man versus nature metaphor is more than just a failure of good reporting. It also seems like a subtle way of keeping people from thinking about the possibility of human contribution to weather patterns. It seems like another way of discrediting climate change. Ross Gelbspan hit the nail on the head on Wednesday, when he exposed Katrina’s real name: Global Warming. Not to suggest that the devestation isn’t horrible, or doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. It is, and it does. But why does taking a problem seriously these days primarily mean assigning it status as an enemy force, and framing (yes, framing) it as a demon? If it could, the Bush administration would add Katrina to a list of rogue nations or enemy combatants, ship it off to an island to be disappeared, and call it done. God forbid we address the problem as if we were responsible participants in our own environment.


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More

Q&A with Michael Ableman: How Urban Farming Can Improve Society

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.Street Farm is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More
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