Can the global community make a sustainable future for agriculture?

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Asked

Can the global community make a sustainable future for agriculture?

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PETER: It’s doing it already. I think it can do better, but, it’s doing it already. People are more conscious of soil. They’re more conscious of the trade offs of using tillage, of plowing versus no till or conservation farming techniques. They can build up ecosystems in soils that deliver nutrient transformation the way good guy bugs deliver pest control services. Societies can make political choices. We do so much more now, both in terms of moving invasive species around the world and in terms of regulating chemicals than we did forty years ago, even thirty years ago, when I started doing this. The world has said we’re going to get rid of these things. That never happened before. Society can make choices that would have seemed unthinkable thirty years ago. In Europe, agriculture is much more of a managed landscape that people live in. In the U.S., it’s all somewhere else. People in cities interact not a whole lot with fundamental agriculture. How a society thinks of itself and how th