Lynxes, and Soybeans, and Bears, Oh My!
By Amy Willis
When you think about “high-tech,” you tend to think about your electronic devices, silicon chips, the Internet…But what about nature? How much do bears, deer, and whales owe to technology?
This week’s EconTalkepisode with Jesse Ausubel is a whirlwind of food, transportation, wilderness, and more. There’s a lot to think about, and we know you doing just that! Let’s continue the conversation offline.
1. Ausubel claims that if the world shifted to a more plant-centric diet, this would be better for the land. Roberts points to the paleo craze, which seems to dampen this possibility. How might prices play in role in encouraging one or the other? Consider the price of soybeans, the price of animal protein and the price of land used for one or the other.2. Roberts notes that in his neighborhood, deer have become “vermin” for many residents. How does this illustrate the costs and benefits of “rewilding?” Have you noticed any rewilding over your lifetime based on where you live or on your travels?
3. Recall Dr. Seuss’ story of The Lorax, and Ausubel’s note that only 20% of logging in the US is done on lands farmed for trees. Knowing this, how might the tale of the Onceler be retold?
4. Does Ausubel overestimate the effect of technology on the increasing scope of nature? Many scientists worry about the pace of extinction. How might Ausubel respond to their claims?