In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Agriculture begins to tackle its role in climate change

After years of being off the table in climate talks, agriculture is now being considered widely by countries trying to reach their Paris emissions cuts pledges. By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News 4 Jan 2017 Farming in places like drought-plagued California is clearly impacted by climate change, but it can also play a role in slowing global warming, many countries …

Talk about the weather

By HIROKO TABUCHI 28 Jan 2017, New York Times GLEN ELDER, Kan. — Doug Palen, a fourth-generation grain farmer on Kansas’ wind-swept plains, is in the business of understanding the climate. Since 2012, he has choked through the harshest drought to hit the Great Plains in a century, punctuated by freakish snowstorms and suffocating gales of dust. His planting season starts …

Global study finds soil carbon losses will be greatest in world’s coldest places: melting tundra is biggest threat, might equal all of US emissions

Cross-posted from Science Daily, November 30, 2016  For decades, scientists have speculated that rising global temperatures might alter the ability of soils to store carbon, potentially releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and triggering runaway climate change. Yet thousands of studies worldwide have produced mixed signals on whether this storage capacity will actually decrease — or even increase — …

30 years of Farm Aid

Interviews Carolyn Mugar, Executive Director, Farm Aid How did you get involved with Farm Aid? I started with Farm Aid shortly before the first benefit concert in 1985. Willie Nelson and I had some friends in common and when he was looking for someone to help him distribute the funds that would be raised at the concert, I was lucky …