“Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself because compassion is enviromental generosity, without direction, without ” for me” and without ” for them”. It is filled with joy, spontaneously existing joy, constant joy in the sense of trust, in the sense that joy contains tremendous wealth, richness.”
For the past 200 years, ever since Thomas Malthus published hisEssay on the Principle of Population, big thinkers have been wondering whether Earth-dwellers will eventually run out of food.
Today, a global group of scientists released a fresh look at the question. They add a different, environmental twist to it. Can we feed the world without destroying the environment?
It’s a good question, because agriculture is probably the single most destructive thing that humans do to the earth.
Consider: Cropland and pasture now cover 40 percent of our planet’s land surface; farming consumes nearly three-quarters of all the water that humans use for any purpose; farming accounts for a third of all the emissions of greenhouse gases that humans release into the environment. (Those greenhouse emission come from clearing forests or grassland for crops, the emissions of methane from rice paddies, and the conversion of nitrogen fertilizer into nitrous oxide — a powerful greenhouse gas.)
“Climate shifts were a statistically significant cause of social disturbance, war, migration, epidemics, famine, and nutritional status, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And climate caused famines, economic downturns, and catastrophic human events far more often than did any of the other 14 variables. The most direct way in which extreme climate shifts influence human society is through agriculture, Zhang says; a falling supply of crops will drive up the price of gold and cause inflation. Similarly, epidemics can be exacerbated by famine. And when people are miserable, they are likely to become angry with their governments and each other, resulting in war.”—Climate Shifts Sparked 17th-Century Conflicts | Wired Science | Wired.com