Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Water, Alfalfa, China, and a modern Tragedy of the Commons

Posted 12 Aug 2014 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “In Time Of Drought, Arizona’s Alfalfa Exports Are Criticized” There are so many interesting aspects to this story. First and foremost, it illustrates that “tragedies of the common” are entirely, well — common — in modern economies. The rules of resource use dictate whether that resource will be over-exploited: if there are Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Cooperation, Deserts, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Supply

Concentrated factory farming of livestock massively alters the phosphorus cycle

Posted 25 Jan 2014 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution” This short feature provides a clear example of how human agricultural practices massively modify nutrient cycles, decoupling what used to be inseparable: where animal feed is grown and where animals are raised. This separation means that we no longer have closed-loop agricultural systems. I would suggest Read More

A Minor Post, Closed Loop Systems, Composting, Economics, Ecosystem Ecology, Eutrophication, Food, Pollution, Ponds & Lakes, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Rivers & Streams, Soil Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, Vegetarianism

NPR piece suggests that economics are pushing us towards nutrient recycling

Posted 10 Apr 2013 / 0

NPR All Things Considered “Cities Turn Sewage Into ‘Black Gold’ For Local Farms” This is a really interesting piece because it suggests that the costs associated with properly disposing of human waste are beginning to incentivize municipalities to repurpose this waste as fertilizer. As this feature indicates, landfilling and (even worse) incineration have been in Read More

A Minor Post, Closed Loop Systems, Economic sustainability, Pollution, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture

Production on marginal lands can meet only 25% of our biofuel mandates

Posted 17 Jan 2013 / 0

Nature “Bioenergy: Biofuel production on the margins” & “Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest” This is fascinating, and provides further evidence that even the smartest biofuel production methods are not going to be enough to mitigate our energy demands. In order to really get off of fossil fuels, we need to find Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Climate Change, Grasslands, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy

Freakonomics takes the quantitative knife to how we produce and consume food

Posted 25 Nov 2012 / 0

Freakonomics Radio “You Eat What You Are” This piece delivers a much needed kick in the self-righteous pants to the locavore movement. It systematically disassembles the assumptions of the local food movement, ending by discussing the minimal quantitative ecological benefits of using the “I only eat local” rule. It pulls apart belief from reality, and Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Belief, Carrying Capacity, Climate Change, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Ecological Footprinting, Economics, Ethics, Food, Greenwashing, Hunger, Hypothesis Testing, Life Cycle Analysis, Philosophy, Population Growth, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Subsistence, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Vegetarianism

Want to know where the Presidential candidates stand on science? There’s a site for that!

Posted 25 Oct 2012 / 0

Science Debate dot org “The Top American Science Questions: 2012“

A Minor Post, Astronomy, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Economic sustainability, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Food, Grants & Funding, Health & Medicine, Marine Ecosystems, Political Science, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Science (General), Space Travel, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Web

Reductions in fertilizer use are now worth carbon credits

Posted 19 Sep 2012 / 0

American Carbon Registry “ACR Approves MSU-EPRI Carbon Offset Methodology for Emission Reductions from Agricultural Nitrous Oxide“

A Minor Post, Pollution, Sustainable Agriculture, Web

ESA 2012 Thursday afternoon talks

Posted 10 Aug 2012 / 0

I spent Thursday afternoon once again hustling from one talk to another, with Organized Oral Session #47 (Universal Senescence? New Theories and Experimental Approaches Across the Tree of Life) being my primary focus. The writings of George C. Williams and his ingenious antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis explaining aging have always fascinated me. Like a lot of Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Conferences, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Society of America, Ecosystem Services, Freshwater Ecosystems, Individual-based Models, Parasitism, Phenotypic Plasticity, Ponds & Lakes, Predation, Senescence, Spatially Explicit Modeling, Sustainable Agriculture, Talks & Seminars, Tropical Forest

Changing rice from C3 to C4 in order to feed our growing population

Posted 29 Jun 2012 / 0

Science “The Development of C4 Rice: Current Progress and Future Challenges” I will be amazed if this works. The C3/C4 pathway split is a major evolutionary event in plants, and apparently we are poised to horizontally transfer this adaptation across lineages using genetic engineering. If this works, it will be an unprecedented feat of cultural Read More

A Minor Post, Food, Genetic Engineering, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture

The Union of Concerned Scientists illuminates Monsanto’s role in maintaining unsustainable agricultural practices

Posted 15 May 2012 / 0

Union of Concerned Scientists “Eight Ways Monsanto Fails at Sustainable Agriculture“

A Minor Post, Activism, Sustainable Agriculture