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Brian Fagan
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Blog Entries by Brian Fagan

Walking Statues?

Posted July 14, 2011 | 14:30:57 (EST)

For years, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific with its great statues, the enigmatic moai, has been the poster child for humanly caused ecological catastrophe.

When Europeans stumbled across the island in 1722, an estimated 3,000 seemingly impoverished people and numerous moai dwelt on the islands. Almost...

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The Quiet Crisis

Posted June 10, 2011 | 17:34:22 (EST)

An Oxfam report published recently predicts that the average cost of major food crops will rise between 120 and 180% by 2030. Oxfam warns of a tightening squeeze on people already struggling with inadequate food supplies. Climate change, with its higher temperatures and prolonged droughts, will cause at...

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Delusion! Delusion! What Drought Is Over?

Posted April 18, 2011 | 22:48:51 (EST)

"The drought is over." "Brown is expected to declare end of drought." I've been waiting for the headlines for weeks, ever since nicely spaced rains filled local reservoirs here in Southern California. Yes, it's been a good rainfall year. The Sierra snowpack is 165% of average for this wet season....

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John Wesley Powell Was Right

Posted March 28, 2011 | 15:09:42 (EST)

In 1893, John Wesley Powell of Grand Canyon fame, Director of the US Geological Survey, addressed an irrigation conference in Los Angeles about water in the American West. He flatly stated that there was insufficient water in the American West to support widespread irrigation agriculture. Powell was shouted down, forced...

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Do You Respect the Elixir of Life?

Posted March 21, 2011 | 21:22:43 (EST)

Many years ago, three San hunters and I trekked across the arid Kalahari Desert in southern Africa on a searingly hot morning at the end of the dry season. We had stalked duiker since dawn searching unsuccessfully for the elusive antelope in the shady thickets where they settled as the...

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