CK Links--Friday October 28, 2016


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Eight cool, ghastly-looking recipes to bake for Halloween! (Baking Bites)

Ten household chores you've been doing wrong all along. (Coreco)

45 tasty, healthy vegan-friendly snacks. (No Meat Athlete)

Actual facts on land use contradict many commonly held agri-intellectual beliefs, such as "agriculture has more impact on the environment than any other human activity." (Jayson Lusk)

An extensive list of "ketogenic-approved" foods. (KetoRach)

Insightful, concise six-minute video on Plato's Cave. Seems a fitting theme these days somehow, I'm not quite sure why. (The School of Life)

Learn another language and your morality will change. (Scientific American, via Academy of Polish Language)

An incredibly useful cognitive bias cheatsheet. Worth bookmarking. (Better Humans)

My bully is dead. (You Don't Say)

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Anonymous said...

Lusk doesn't take comments, so you'll get them here.

First, his links don't work so you can't check his original data.

Then, if you presume the cropland used to be forest you would find that cropland currently replaces about 38% of forest. It's not a wholly valid assumption, because some used to be grasslands (still valuable) and surely development cut significantly into forest land, but the ratio of cropland to forest in the US is still high. Lusk's comfort with forest cover at about 25% clearly rests entirely on his vague sense that that sounds like a lot, with no real evidence on how much forest is actually needed and where. Further, his observation that total cropland decreased in the 2000's is cold comfort: none of that is returning to forest; it's all suburban development.

Also, he focuses on cropland alone, but decries statements like "agriculture has more impact on the environment than any other human activity" or "agriculture is the biggest threat to the environment." Agriculture surely includes grazing for the production of meat.

Lusk ignores the more substantial deforestation of tropical forests for crops. The US relies on palm oil from Indonesia, soy from Brazil, and produce from throughout Latin America. Indonesia and Brazil, are among the largest holders of the planet's rainforests, which are being deforested at alarming rates.

US forests are only a small fraction of the world's forests, but US demands for deforesting agriculture globally are disproportionate. As we learn this week that worldwide wildlife population has been cut in HALF since 1970, and if we reflect on the role of deforestation in drought, flooding and climate change, we may want to reconsider our reliance on these tropical crops.

In short, Lusk's essay is dangerous nonsense.

Daniel said...

Thanks. I'm always happy to hear any counterargument, so thank you for sharing here.