In the race to feed the world’s seven billion people, we are at a standstill. Over the past century, we have developed increasingly potent and sophisticated pesticides, yet in 2014, the average percentage of U.S. crops lost to agricultural pests was no less than in 1944. To use a metaphor the field of evolutionary biology borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, farmers must runIn the race to feed the world’s seven billion people, we are at a standstill. Over the past century, we have developed increasingly potent and sophisticated pesticides, yet in 2014, the average percentage of U.S. crops lost to agricultural pests was no less than in 1944. To use a metaphor the field of evolutionary biology borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, farmers must run ever faster to stay in the same place—i.e., produce the same yields. With Chasing the Red Queen, Andy Dyer offers the first book to apply the Red Queen Hypothesis to agriculture. He illustrates that when selection pressure increases, species evolve in response, creating a never-ending, perpetually-escalating competition between predator (us) and prey (bugs and weeds). The result is farmers are caught in a vicious cycle of chemical dependence, stuck using increasingly dangerous and expensive toxics to beat back progressively resistant pests. To break the cycle, we must learn the science behind it. Dyer examines one of the world’s most pressing problems as a biological case study. He presents key concepts, from Darwin’s principles of natural selection to genetic variation and adaptive phenotypes. Understanding the fundamentals of ecology and biology is the first step to “playing the Red Queen,” and escaping her unwinnable race. The book’s novel frame will help students, researchers, and policy-makers alike apply that knowledge to the critical task of achieving food security....
|Title||:||Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons|
|Number of Pages||:||240 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons Reviews
As the topic is complex, and completely outside of my knowledge, the author is able to explain quite well what the problem is with respect to the creation of new forms of pesticides and how this "race to the slaughter" is definitely not very useful in the long run, while also providing useful suggestions to change things and hope for a better future.Per quanto l'argomento sia complesso, e totalmente al di fuori della mia conoscenza, l'autore é riuscito a spiegare piuttosto bene quale sia il problema rispetto alla creazione di sempre nuove forme di pesticidi e di come questa "corsa al massacro" sia decisamente poco utile sulla lunga distanza, fornendo inoltre utili suggerimenti per cambiare le cose e sperare in un futuro migliore.THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND ISLAND PRESS FOR THE PREVIEW!
Since the neolithic revolution, humans have, in making plants more attractive to ourselves via more sugar and starch, also give pests more reason to consume them. With each human innovation to keep the food for ourselves, the pests evolve to evade it--new formulation of pesticides, genetic modification of the plants, all of which is expensive (and available to bigger rather than smaller farmers) and short-lasting. Dyer offers a good introduction to evolution and genetics and their bearing on agricultural food production, and examines the pre-modern methods (avoiding monoculture, crop rotation, using other predators like spiders to control crop-eating bugs) as possibilities.
DisclaimerI received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I think this book examined the problems with mainstream agricultural pesticide problems quite well.