Earth Policy Institute: Podcast

There are still some countries with a large potential for expanding fertilizer use. But in the many countries that have effectively removed nutrient constraints on crop yields, applying more fertilizer has little effect on yields. For the world as a whole, the era of rapidly growing fertilizer use is now history.

Direct download: fertilizer_use_diminishing.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 9:55am EST

While on a brief assignment for the USDA in India in 1965, Lester Brown pieced together the early clues of an impending famine. His urgent warning to the U.S. and Indian governments set in motion the largest food rescue effort in history, saving millions of lives.

Direct download: us_india_monsoon_failure.mp3
Category:Book Bytes -- posted at: 9:18am EST

The world is literally moving off the charts. With the global average temperature up over half a degree Celsius since the 1970s and with more warming in store, we are starting to witness weather anomalies so severe we need to update our metrics and extend our graphs.

Direct download: climate_change_driving_weather_off_charts.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 3:17pm EST

Today, with oceanic resources more threatened than ever, the world is far from that envisioned MPA network. Although coverage has doubled since 2010, just 2.8 percent of the ocean surface—some 10 million square kilometers (4 million square miles), roughly the size of the United States—is now in designated MPAs. And the level of protection varies.

Direct download: MPAs.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 9:21am EST

Last year was the thirty-seventh consecutive year of above-normal global temperature. According to data from NASA, the global temperature in 2013 averaged 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 degrees Celsius), roughly a degree warmer than the twentieth-century average. Since the dawn of agriculture 11,000 years ago, civilization has enjoyed a relatively stable climate. That is now changing as the growing human population rivals long-range geological processes in shaping the face of the planet.

Direct download: 2013_extreme_weather.mp3
Category:Eco-Economy Indicators -- posted at: 4:24pm EST

In China, wind power is leaving nuclear behind. Electricity output from China’s wind farms exceeded that from its nuclear plants for the first time in 2012, by a narrow margin. Then in 2013, wind pulled away—outdoing nuclear by 22 percent. The 135 terawatt-hours of Chinese wind-generated electricity in 2013 would be nearly enough to power New York State.

Direct download: generation_gap_wind_over_nuclear.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 3:14pm EST

Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. As recently as 2006—just eight years ago—China had a grain surplus and was exporting 10 million tons. What caused this dramatic shift?

Direct download: can_the_world_feed_china.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 2:32pm EST

1