An award-winning environmental journalist introduces a new generation of farmers and scientists on the frontlines of the next green revolution.
When the demographer Robert Malthus (1766 - 1834) famously outlined the brutal relationship between food and population, he never imagined the success of modern scientific agriculture. In the mid-20th century, an unprecedented agricultural advancement known as the Green Revolution brought hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, and improved irrigation that drove the greatest population boom in history - but left ecological devastation in its wake.
In The End of Plenty, award-winning environmental journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. puts our race to feed the world in dramatic perspective. With a skyrocketing world population and tightening global grain supplies spurring riots and revolutions, humanity must produce as much food in the next four decades as it has since the beginning of civilization to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe. Yet climate change could render half our farmland useless by century's end.
Writing with an agronomist's eye for practical solutions and a journalist's keen sense of character, detail, and the natural world, Bourne takes readers from his family farm to international agricultural hotspots to introduce the new generation of farmers and scientists engaged in the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. He discovers young, corporate cowboys trying to revive Ukraine as Europe's breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist channeling ancient Chinese traditions, the visionary behind the world's largest organic sugar-cane plantation, and many other extraordinary individuals struggling to increase food supplies - quickly and sustainably - as droughts, floods, and heat waves hammer crops around the globe.
Part history, part reportage and advocacy, The End of Plenty is a panoramic account of the future of food, and a clarion call for anyone concerned about our planet and its people.
©2015 Joel K. Bourne Jr. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I just bought this audiobook, and downloaded it with anticipation as I believe this is a hot and fascinating topic, and wanted to learn more. I didn't even think to look and see who narrated it. But within a few minutes of listening, I wanted to stab my eyes out at the slooooowww, monotone southern drawl of the author. I know from a quick Google search that Joel Bourne is an acclaimed, award-winning journalist and I'm sure the content is well-researched and compelling. But professional narrators exist for a reason -- they have the ability to read a book in a way that allows a listener sink into the content and material, and absorb it with rapt attention without really realizing they're being read to. That's the beauty of an audiobook. A born and raised fast-talking upper Midwesterner, I just can't handle listening to this. It's far too distracting, as I have to concentrate too hard to understand. "Did he say 'oil' or 'owl?'" Ugh. Maybe one day I'll download the Kindle version and try the book form, but for now, I'm asking for my credit back. One would think that after all that work put into a book, authors would want the delivery of it executed to perfection. This is such a pet peeve of mine. It's like a screenwriter wanting to act in their own movies. I just don't get it. If it was to save a buck or two, it backfired in the loss of a purchase. So sorry to write this, but it's super frustrating. Next time I'll be sure to preview a sample first, which I usually do for novels but didn't think to do for this non-fiction title.
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