Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (February 14, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #378,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #9 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Insecticides & Pesticides #427 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Reference > History #948 in Books > Science & Math > Environment > Environmentalism
Eating Oil: "The War On Bugs" Sounds A "Pharm Alarm" About the Toxic History of American AgricultureBy Dr. Rob Williams, Vermont Commons editorRead more about this book at [...]East Thetford, Vermont's Will Allen of Cedar Circle Farm is no ordinary tiller of the soil. The former marine, jailed for anti-war protests during the Vietnam Era, also possesses a Ph.D. in Anthropology, a long track record as a citizen/activist, and now, a new book brilliantly entitled "The War On Bugs." Allen's story is a remarkable expose, ten years in the making, that highlights the often-sordid relationship among what might be awkwardly termed "corporate agricultural interests," Madison Avenue, and the U.S. Empire's military/industrial complex. Let's collectively call this trio "Big Pharm."As always, history is a useful starting place. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, author Jared Diamond coined the term "farmer power" to describe the dramatic increase in land productivity (and economic and political might) that emerged with the Neolithic Revolution in agriculture roughly 10,000 years ago, a series of processes that gave us the very best and worst of human civilization. Allen's analysis in "The War on Bugs" charts the arrival of a second agricultural revolution, which began around the time of the so-called American "Civil War" during the 1860s, when U.S.-based chemical companies declared war on two scourges: bugs of every description, and declining soil fertility.Allen's great strength lies in combining short and pithy analytical vignettes detailing the various tools and tactics used by an evolving "Big Pharm" industry with a cornucopia of visual material.
Farming is a important component of the world economy and it ranks as the most important in terms of human survival. Food is vital to the continuance of any species and with multiple billions of individuals inhabiting the planet, the volume of food needed to sustain the population is staggering. In order to protect crops and better ensure that food continues to be produced in massive quantities, chemical companies and government collaborators have created all sorts of chemical compounds to eliminate insects and the use/misuse of these chemicals and other questionable practices forms the basis of this book, the War on Bugs, a book written by a man who has extensive experience in organic farming and is concerned that the chemicals intended to kill bugs are much too toxic and could pose a threat to humans.Growing large amounts of food is much more challenging then it was in the past. It is also more critical, since there are far fewer farmers producing much larger volumes of food then at any point in history. In order to facilitate this transformation from small, family farmer to large, mega- farm, chemical compounds were created to help fend off insects and other pests. Many of these compounds are potentially very harmful, but big businesses continue to manufacture these compounds and sell them to farmers for direct use on crops. To make matters worse, governments are often co- conspirators; encouraging the use of these poisons to control insects while completely ignoring the long- term impact on the health of the citizens.Pesticides are one of the main items discussed in this book, but they are only one part of the problem.
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