question: what are small farms, how do they contribute to society, and what challenges are they faced with?

Producing a vast amount of the world's food, small farms are valuable assets that contribute to long-term economic sustainability and food security. What actually constitutes a small farm is hard to specify as there are extreme variations in societal structure, ergo many definitions exist. In the United States, a small farm is defined as any … Continue reading question: what are small farms, how do they contribute to society, and what challenges are they faced with?

question: how are plants propagated?

New plants are created via plant propagation of which there are two types: sexual and asexual. With sexual propagation, there are two sources of parental DNA resulting in the creation of a third living organism. Sexual propagation involves the floral components of the plant and is the result of the pollination of megagametophyte (egg). There … Continue reading question: how are plants propagated?

question: what are networks and how are they classified?

At the most basic level, a network is any connection between different components of a given system. The way by which the connection functions is dependent on the network variety, inclusive of the types of relationships that exist between the nodes, i.e. the people and organizations participating in the network. Relationships that do develop are … Continue reading question: what are networks and how are they classified?

question: what is aquaculture and why is it important?

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations defines aquaculture as "the aquatic farming of marine creatures including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and water plants." This includes intervention in the rearing process to increase output by means such as predator removal, feeding and regular stocking. Output from these operations can be used for human … Continue reading question: what is aquaculture and why is it important?

question: what is meant by “strong sustainability”?

The concept of sustainability is one that is still developing.  New information provides new insights and the tools to work towards a future more capable of enduring the tests of time. Until recently, humans believed that all resources could be indefinitely exploited without damage to the system as a whole.  This lead to exploitation and … Continue reading question: what is meant by “strong sustainability”?

question: why are humans reluctant to take global warming seriously?

“A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.” - William James Folks, I am just going to come right out and say it: Denying that there is no human impact on the global climate is foolish. Of course, there is valid evidence demonstrating … Continue reading question: why are humans reluctant to take global warming seriously?

question: why are certain countries classified as failing states?

Throughout history, the greatest threats to the stability of global society have been dependent on states with too much power. However, in modern times it is the countries that cannot maintain power that threaten international stability. When a national government loses some or all of its power and cannot ensure the wellbeing of the citizens … Continue reading question: why are certain countries classified as failing states?

question: what kind of services does nature produce?

Nature provides a myriad of services that humans are dependent upon for life. For example, wetlands purify water and streams, forests prevent and/or reduce floods by absorbing water, plants absorb CO2 which reduces harmful emissions and produce oxygen to breathe, worms transform waste into soil, pollinators provide us with food to eat, and natural sources … Continue reading question: what kind of services does nature produce?

question: how can the use of materials be reduced and what industries may benefit the most from the increased efficiency?

We currently live in a throw-away society – not enough is recycled and staggering amounts of waste are produced. While each segment of society contributes to this, industry is the biggest offender. For instance, steel, which is used more than all other metals combined, is essential to the automobile, household appliance and construction industries. Even … Continue reading question: how can the use of materials be reduced and what industries may benefit the most from the increased efficiency?

question: why is the world still so dependent on fossil fuels?

There is no doubt about it - fossil fuels still reign supreme. Industry and consumers are still slaves to this non-renewable resource despite the fact that it pollutes our environment and results in an inequitable distribution of wealth that is concentrated in the hands of a select group of people not necessarily concerned with the … Continue reading question: why is the world still so dependent on fossil fuels?