Nature

Dirt

The Erosion of Civilizations

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520952111

Category: Nature

Page: 296

View: 4286

Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
Nature

Dirt

The Erosion of Civilizations

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520933163

Category: Nature

Page: 295

View: 9158

Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
Nature

Dirt

The Erosion of Civilizations

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520248700

Category: Nature

Page: 285

View: 2218

Ranging from ancient times to modern-day environmental threats, a natural and cultural history of soil explains how an elimination of protective vegetation and an exposure to wind and rain causes severe erosion of cultivated soils, how the use and abuse of soil has shaped human history, and the how the rise of organic and no-till farming holds hope for the future.
Science

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393608336

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 5600

A MacArthur Fellow’s impassioned call to make agriculture sustainable by ditching the plow, covering the soil, and diversifying crop rotations. The problem of agriculture is as old as civilization. Throughout history, great societies that abused their land withered into poverty or disappeared entirely. Now we risk repeating this ancient story on a global scale due to ongoing soil degradation, a changing climate, and a rising population. But there is reason for hope. David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Growing a Revolution draws on visits to farms in the industrialized world and developing world to show that a new combination of farming practices can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to problems farmers face today. Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Farmers he visited found it both possible and profitable to stop plowing up the soil and blanketing fields with chemicals. Montgomery finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides the essential recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less, if any, fertilizer and pesticides. These practices are good for farmers and the environment. Using less fossil fuel and agrochemicals while maintaining crop yields helps farmers with their bottom line. Regenerative practices also translate into farms that use less water, generate less pollution, lower carbon emissions—and stash an impressive amount of carbon underground. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Growing a Revolution lays out a solid case for an inspiring vision where agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems, helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.
Nature

Out of the Earth

Civilization and the Life of the Soil

Author: Daniel Hillel

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520080805

Category: Nature

Page: 321

View: 9332

A moving tribute to the physical and spiritual properties of nature's richestelement by one of the world's leading soil conservationists.
Science

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

Author: David R. Montgomery,Anne Biklé

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393244415

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 6032

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine. Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut. When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health. They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all—for better or worse—the product of what our microbes eat. This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine—by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.
Social Science

King of Fish

The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon

Author: David Montgomery

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786739932

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 9517

The salmon that symbolize the Pacific Northwest's natural splendor are now threatened with extinction across much of their ancestral range. In studying the natural and human forces that shape the rivers and mountains of that region, geologist David Montgomery has learned to see the evolution and near-extinction of the salmon as a story of changing landscapes. Montgomery shows how a succession of historical experiences -first in the United Kingdom, then in New England, and now in the Pacific Northwest -repeat a disheartening story in which overfishing and sweeping changes to rivers and seas render the world inhospitable to salmon. In King of Fish, Montgomery traces the human impacts on salmon over the last thousand years and examines the implications both for salmon recovery efforts and for the more general problem of human impacts on the natural world. What does it say for the long-term prospects of the world's many endangered species if one of the most prosperous regions of the richest country on earth cannot accommodate its icon species? All too aware of the possible bleak outcome for the salmon, King of Fishconcludes with provocative recommendations for reinventing the ways in which we make environmental decisions about land, water, and fish.
Integrated agricultural systems

Dirt to Soil

One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Author: Gabe Brown

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603587632

Category: Integrated agricultural systems

Page: 240

View: 5942

Gabe Brown didn't set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown--in an effort to simply survive--began experimenting with new practices he'd learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture. Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life--starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time. In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge--restoring the soil. The Brown's Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown's Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers. The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land--more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. "The greatest roadblock to solving a problem," Brown says, "is the human mind."
Science

Soil Erosion and Conservation

Author: R. P. C. Morgan

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 140514467X

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 5997

Soil Erosion and Conservation provides a comprehensive treatment of the processes of soil erosion, the methods that can be used for their control, and the issues involved in designing and implementing soil conservation programmes. Features of the third edition of this internationally recognised textbook include: New material on gully erosion, tillage practices, erosion risk assessment, use of erosion models, incentives for farmers and land users, and community approaches to erosion control Updated sections on the mechanics of wind erosion, soil erodibility, use of vegetation in erosion control, traditional soil conservation measures, socio-economic issues and the role of government Describes the methods used to assess the risk of erosion and predict rates of soil loss Outlines the social, economic, political and institutional constraints on implementing soil protection measures Covers erosion and its control for agriculture, grazing, forestry, mining land, road banks, pipeline corridors and recreation Provides worldwide coverage of the success and failure of erosion control using material from Europe, Africa, Australia, America and Asia An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at [email protected] for more information.
Religion

The Rocks Don't Lie

A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393082393

Category: Religion

Page: 302

View: 2252

Using rocks as proof, a geologist examines the great flood stories found in many cultures and religions and travels across countries and landscapes to discover a place where theology and science converge. 13,000 first printing.
Pollution

Dirt

A Social History As Seen Through the Uses and Abuses of Dirt

Author: Terence McLaughlin

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Pollution

Page: 182

View: 1370

Describes men's attitudes toward dirt while examining practices of cleanliness in Western cultures since Roman times.
Fiction

The Book of Dirt

Author: Bram Presser

Publisher: Text Publishing

ISBN: 1922253073

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 7664

‘An immense work of love and anger, a book Bram Presser was born to write.’ Joan London They chose not to speak and now they are gone...What’s left to fill the silence is no longer theirs. This is my story, woven from the threads of rumour and legend. Jakub Rand flees his village for Prague, only to find himself trapped by the Nazi occupation. Deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he is forced to sort through Jewish books for a so-called Museum of the Extinct Race. Hidden among the rare texts is a tattered prayer book, hollow inside, containing a small pile of dirt. Back in the city, Františka Roubíčková picks over the embers of her failed marriage, despairing of her conversion to Judaism. When the Nazis summon her two eldest daughters for transport, she must sacrifice everything to save the girls from certain death. Decades later, Bram Presser embarks on a quest to find the truth behind the stories his family built around these remarkable survivors. The Book of Dirt is a completely original novel about love, family secrets, and Jewish myths. And it is a heart-warming story about a grandson’s devotion to the power of storytelling and his family’s legacy. Bram Presser was born in Melbourne in 1976. His stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Sleepers Almanac and Higher Arc. ‘The lyrical, impassioned and culturally rich prose of The Book of Dirt, and its moral force, bears echoes of such great Jewish writers as Franz Kafka (Presser inherited his grandfather’s copy of The Trial), Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Cynthia Ozick...It is a major book, and one for the times: while I was reading it, neo-Nazis in America brought fatal violence to Charlottesville, and, in Melbourne, neo-Nazis placed posters in schools calling for the killing of Jews to be legalised...The Book of Dirt is a courageous work, as necessary for us to read as it was for Presser to write.’ Saturday Paper ‘A beautiful literary mind.’ A.S. Patrić ‘Meet Bram Presser, aged five, smoking a cigarette with his grandmother in Prague. Meet Jakub Rand, one of the Jews chosen to assemble the Nazi’s Museum of the Extinct Race. Such details, like lightning flashes, illuminate this audacious work about the author’s search for the grandfather he loved but hardly knew. Working in the wake of writers like Modiano and Safran Foer, Presser brilliantly shows how fresh facts can derail old truths, how fiction can amplify memory. A smart and tender meditation on who we become when we attempt to survive survival.’ Mireille Juchau ‘The Book of Dirt is a grandson’s tender act of devotion, the product of a quest to rescue family voices from the silence, to bear witness, drawing on legend, journey and history, and shaped by extraordinary storytelling.’ Arnold Zable ‘A remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love and genealogical sleuthing...A beautiful tale that will stay with the reader long after the book’s end.’ Books+Publishing ‘It’s hard not to be captured from the opening epigraph...[A] magnificent ode to all that is lost.’ Longin to Be ‘It is difficult to convey the breadth and nuance of this extraordinary work. It is a book about how history is made—and about who is allowed the privilege to remake it. There are echoes here of Sebald’s biting honesty and Chabon’s long and rewarding vignettes. An absolute pleasure to read.’ Readings ‘As in Sebald’s prose narratives, Presser’s novel inhabits and the dynamic region between fiction and non-fiction.’ Australian Book Review ‘An impressive and captivating story of remembrance, a journey into the past for the sake of deciphering our present.’ Dasa Drndic ‘In The Book of Dirt the fractured lines of memory create a gripping story of survival and love.’ Leah Kaminsky ‘I found Bram Presser’s The Book of Dirt impossible to forget. Penetrating, soulful, and surprisingly welcoming, it reminded me of my own ancestors and how easy it is to sidestep the past.’ Barry Scott, Australian Book Review, 2017 Publisher Picks ‘Presser blurs the boundaries of fact and fiction in a compelling way...A wonderful and original book, told in rich, lyrically beautiful prose that is laden with history and cultural meaning.’ Good Reading ‘A combination of homage, mystery, family history and a sepia-toned love story...The Book of Dirt is magnificent.’ ANZ LitLovers ‘A heartfelt and original attempt to bridge the ever-growing gaps between history, memory and silence...Its heart beats so earnestly, and so loud...What Presser has produced is a meditation on the ethics of storytelling, of the duties we owe to the people whose stories we tell, and to the people whose stories we don’t.’ Australian ‘Always surprising and beautifully complex, and both deft and sensitive in its handling of its intertwined narratives and materials. It is an incredibly affecting book, one that lingers long after reading—and a remarkably assured debut.’ Age ‘A gripping tale of survival and an absorbing novelisation of his family’s extraordinary lives...Presser fills in the gaps in his grandfather’s story with vivid character studies; together with poignant black and white snapshots, he brings them evocatively to life. His poetic narrative is a perfect foil for the silences of his forbears.’ Toowoomba Chronicle
History

Empires of Food

Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Author: Evan Fraser,Andrew Rimas

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1582437939

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1325

Using the colorful diaries of a sixteenth-century merchant as a narrative guide, Empires of Food vividly chronicles the fate of people and societies for the past 12,000 years through the foods they grew, hunted, traded, and ate—and offers fascinating, and devastating, insights into what to expect in years to come. In energetic prose, agricultural expert Evan D.G. Fraser and journalist Andrew capture the flavor of places as disparate as ancient Mesopotamia and imperial Britain, taking us from the first city in the once-thriving Fertile Crescent to today’s overworked breadbaskets and rice bowls in the United States and China. Cities, culture, art, government, and religion were founded on the creation and exchange of food surpluses. Complex societies were built by shipping grain up rivers and into the stewpots of history’s generations. But evenutally, inevitably, the crops fail, the fields erode, or the temperature drops, and the center of power shifts. Cultures descend into dark ages of poverty, famine, and war. A fascinating, fresh history told through the prism of the dining table, Empires of Food offers a grand scope and a provocative analysis of the world today, indispensable in this time of global warming and food crises.
Aryans

Race and civilization

Author: Friedrich Otto Hertz

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Aryans

Page: 328

View: 9224

Nature

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

Author: William Bryant Logan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393351602

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 4910

"A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review "You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. Whether William Bryant Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of "dirt," that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.
Medical

Coprophilia

or, A peck of dirt

Author: Terence McLaughlin

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Medical

Page: 182

View: 329

History

Collapse

How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141976969

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 8896

From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
Gardening

Dirt

A Love Story

Author: Barbara Richardson

Publisher: Foreedge

ISBN: 9781611687668

Category: Gardening

Page: 224

View: 6991

Thirty-six artists, scientists, and renowned writers go wild about the virtues, pleasure, and importance of dirt!
Nature

Big Dams of the New Deal Era

A Confluence of Engineering and Politics

Author: David P. Billington,Donald C. Jackson

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 0806157895

Category: Nature

Page: 416

View: 1646

The massive dams of the American West were designed to serve multiple purposes: improving navigation, irrigating crops, storing water, controlling floods, and generating hydroelectricity. Their construction also put thousands of people to work during the Great Depression. Only later did the dams’ baneful effects on river ecologies spark public debate. Big Dams of the New Deal Era tells how major water-storage structures were erected in four western river basins. David P. Billington and Donald C. Jackson reveal how engineering science, regional and national politics, perceived public needs, and a river’s natural features intertwined to create distinctive dams within each region. In particular, the authors describe how two federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, became key players in the creation of these important public works. By illuminating the mathematical analysis that supported large-scale dam construction, the authors also describe how and why engineers in the 1930s most often opted for massive gravity dams, whose design required enormous quantities of concrete or earth-rock fill for stability. Richly illustrated, Big Dams of the New Deal Era offers a compelling account of how major dams in the New Deal era restructured the landscape—both politically and physically—and why American society in the 1930s embraced them wholeheartedly.