Reply To: Joachim Radkau – The Era of Ecology

Author Replies # Posted on November 18, 2014 at 16:59

Nik Petek – Reply to Kristina Berglund 18.11.2014

I agree that Radkau’s book was a very detailed description and it is easy to criticize him for putting too much emphasis on German environmental history and environmental movements. However, anybody who leverages such a criticism should be aware where the author comes from and what languages he understands. Not everything is available in every language, and to be fair, Radkau was asking us about any Swedish sources , so he is trying to extend his scope.

I also heard about the argument on ecological farming, but I have unfortunately not read anything on that topic. I agree with you that ecological farming probably does have benefits for many species, not just us. I would like to hear more on the topic of why ecological farming would lead to starvation and what their science behind it is, if it is not just to peak the interests of an audience. I would expect researchers from the SLU to be able to substantiate their claims. I have been hearing for years now that we are throwing so much food away each year, and the food the supermarkets are also disposing off, which is still perfectly good to eat. Apparently the world population grows enough food for each and every one of us to be fed. But neither have I heard of any science behind this claim.
Their claims (the way you quote them) seem to me to be popularized (by that I mean made so that it catches a listener’s ear) and coming from a very personal opinion rather than a scientific one. This reminds me of a small experiment we did in psychology in high school: take any argument, and while it may start with reasonable points and arguments, have it for long enough and it becomes personal.

Studies that show no correlation between starvation and food production are well known and (I thought) well accepted in academia now. Of course, not all farming needs to be ecological, and in a very large part of the world ecological farming and ecological food are not for the poor woman/man. But of course, as more farmers would join in the cheaper the food would become. As it stands however, ecological food and farming is out of reach for many of us.