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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 13

Welcome back to Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on Earth and science-related news. This week we take a look at agriculture and the work that goes into it. How might we make meat more sustainable? Did the ancient Maya use permaculture? And could agave help make our food more drought resistant? All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

No one's quite sure why the Maya civilization collapsed by the end of the 10th century AD, but one popular theory is that they tapped out their local ecosystem. But did that really happen? What if the Maya's agricultural methods didn't require massive deforestation? The Valhalla Movement has more info behind the link.

Generally speaking when one imagines a forest fire they probably don't imagine a rainforest. But that's what happened in Washington state when the temperate rain forest in Olympic National Park went up. Could climate change be to blame? Subhankar Banerjee argues such for The Nation.

Should food always be more natural? Not so fast, says Rachel Laudan for Jacobin Mag; historically-speaking civilization has thrived when humanity has sought to alter and improve its food stocks, rather than simply rely on what nature provided. Indeed, nearly all of the food we eat (including traditional food) is highly artificial in some manner or another. What we should desire, she says, is not "natural" food but high quality food.

For those who love meat but are concerned about sustainability, eating a hamburger or steak can sometimes seem like a dilemma. But does meat eating have to be costly? According to this article from Mother Jones it actually doesn't and in fact meat-raising already provides for itself in a number of vital and important ways.

With California, America's breadbasket, suffering from its worst drought in recorded history many are rightfully concerned with the impact future droughts and climate change could have on agricultural production. But could the humble agave plant, best known for tequila, hold the key to salvation? Scientific American examines how the genome of the agave may hold the secret to drought-resistant agriculture.

Top image by גד לבני

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


  • alan
    alan Thursday, 13 August 2015

    Hi my name is alan i am new to the pagan site but have always believed in the old and true pagan ways hope you can help me in my journey to true enlightenment. just looking at the picture above takes me back to my younger years and enjoyed my days harvesting for 10 shillings a day

  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis Thursday, 13 August 2015

    We're glad to make you feel welcome, alan! I hope you enjoy your time here :D !

  • alan
    alan Friday, 14 August 2015

    Thank you will be reading a lot of post's and taking in what i have always believed the old way's that go long before the arrival of Christian belief's in there present form,and if mankind look after the world nature will look after us.

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