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Hard graft

I’m on duty today, at work, doing my job. One of my jobs. The others involve writing; this one, my main breadwinner, involves being the temporary resident human of a lovable dog. So here I am hard at work, looking out at the Pacific Ocean while the dog sleeps next to me.

We just got back from a long walk on the Pebble Beach golf course. This time I took us all the way to the Carmel end of the course, which I haven’t done before. It’s a long and spectacularly beautiful walk – yes even with golfers and golf carts and sand traps in view.

I was thinking as we walked that for many of the people playing there … Read the rest

More Blog Posts


A Black South African Woman’s Journey to Atheism
By Leo Igwe, November 20, 2015 Though many sections of black South Africa are bubbling with religious fervor and mysticism, there is a wave of non-religiosity and unbelief sweeping across these communities. Individuals, like Nosipho, are part of this wave of change and transformation. One only needs to look beneath the charged surface of religiosity and theism to capture this undercurrent of atheist awakening in black South Africa.
In Defense of Modern Industrial Agriculture, Agribusiness and Our Food Supply: Appendices
By Thomas R. DeGregori, November 14, 2015

In the following Appendices, we provide a selection of authors and their data including some used in the text that reinforce the argument being made here.

Appendix  I – Dairy production – Capper and

The environmental impact of dairy production: 1944 compared with 2007 by Jude Capper, Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 87, March, 2009, pp.2160-2167.


A common perception is that pasture-based, low-input dairy systems characteristic of the1940s were more conducive to environmental steward-ship than modern milk production systems. The objective of this study was to compare the environmental impact of modern (2007) US dairy production with historical production practices as exemplified by the US dairy system in 1944. A deterministic model based on the metabolism and … Read the rest

In Defense of Modern Industrial Agriculture, Agribusiness and Our Food Supply: A Spirited Response to the Critics part 2
By Thomas R. DeGregori, November 13, 2015

Part 2

“In 1950, the U.S. had 22 million head of dairy cows producing an average of 2,415 kg of milk per year. In 2,000, the U.S. dairy industry had 9.2 million cows averaging 8,275 kg milk per year. Total U.S. milk production in 1950 was 53 MT, compared to 76.2 MT in 2000. The dairy industry produced 44% more milk in 2000 with 58 percent fewer cows than in 1950” (Blayney, 2002, cited in  Havenstein, 2006). Blayney, D. P., 2002. The changing Landscape of U.S. Milk Production, USDA/ERS, Stat. Bull. 978, June,

Contrary to the critics of modern agriculture, there is no scientific evidence that “organic” is healthier. There is substantial evidence in peer reviewed scientific literature that Read the rest

In Defense of Modern Industrial Agriculture, Agribusiness and Our Food Supply: A Spirited Response to the Critics
By Thomas R. DeGregori, November 13, 2015

In some circles, there is now what appears to be an established, unquestioned and largely unchallenged consensus that modern agriculture is an unsustainable failure and responsible for any number of ills in our society. The media and our larger cultural discourse are riddled with well-orchestrated misinformation about our food supply and how it is produced. Every ill is blamed on modern food production. An outbreak of E coli 0157:H7 in spinach was widely blamed on industrial. Months later when the source was identified as being organically grown spinach and that the E coli probably came from free range cattle in a low density ranch across the river, it was old news and largely unreported. In fact, it is difficult to Read the rest

The Challenge of Atheism in Contemporary Zimbabwe
By Leo Igwe, November 8, 2015 The growing network of atheists in the country is a clear testimony that atheism has a place in the lives of people whether they live under comfortable or stressful conditions; whether they live in a conflict situation or they lead a peaceful and secure life.
A Pesticide as Medicine? Medicine as Poison? Or What is in a Name? 3
By Thomas R. DeGregori, November 3, 2015 Any credible evidence that does not support their firmly held beliefs does not exist in their universe.
A Pesticide as Medicine? Medicine as Poison? Or What is in a Name? 2
By Thomas R. DeGregori, November 3, 2015 It is easier to scare people than educate them.

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In Focus

Steve Fuller 
Expert witness for the other side.
The Ryan Report 
What happened in Irish industrial schools.
Women Under Theocracy 
Religion and culture function to shield the oppression of women from criticism.
Is it forbidden to 'offend the religious feelings of believers'?