sustainable agriculture


Why the Loss of Grasslands Is a Troubling Trend for Agriculture, in 11 Maps and Graphs

, Kendall Science Fellow

Grasslands provide substantial climate benefits. Shouldn’t we be protecting them? The obvious answer is yes, but a few maps and graphs illustrate what is really happening. Read more >

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Good News and Bad News on This Year’s Dead Zone Measurement

, Kendall Science Fellow

For the first time since monitoring began in 1985, there will be no official measurement of the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we already know how to cost effectively reduce water pollution. Read more >

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Book Review: Cowed’s Message is Less but Better Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

There’s a lot to be learned from Cowed, by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes. It’s about cows, but the eclectic topics range from the scandalous coverup of mad cow disease, to the origin of modern cattle from the legendary aurochs (i.e. the “Ur-ox”), to the gender politics of the cowboy, to the federal government’s subsidy of beef over-grazing on our public lands, to a visit to a dairy farm run by robots. Yet there’s a serious underlying theme as well—that the U.S. needs a fundamental transformation of its relationship to the cattle industry. Read more >

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Where Your Brews Come From: A Deeper Dive into Barley for Beer

, Kendall Science Fellow

While the summer is in full swing, a season often full of barbecued food and adult beverages, this is a good time to think about what it takes to make a truly local brew. Michigan is a great case study to understand the challenges of localizing the craft beer supply chain, so in this post I’ll focus on barley grown there. Read more >

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Map of the US highlighting the hypoxic "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico and the watershed that feeds it. Photo: NOAA

There’s Nothing Average About This Year’s Dead Zone Forecast

, Kendall Science Fellow

Yesterday, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual forecast for the size of the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” – an area of coastal water where low oxygen is lethal to marine life. They say we should expect an “average year.” That doesn’t sound so bad, but as we wrote last year, the dead zone average is approximately 6,000 square miles, or the size of the state of Connecticut. Average is not normal. Read more >

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