Monthly Archives: February 2015
By Andrew Beattie
Most people understand the idea of a supply chain so that, for example, to make a car you need many thousands of different car components for assembly at the factory. If any of those components are no longer available, there is trouble, and if it’s a major one then you can’t make the car.
The same is true of any typical agricultural crop in Australia. The paddock is where the product is assembled but to make it, many thousands of components are required.
The supply chain of components includes the thousands of microbial and invertebrate species in the soil that make it both stable and fertile. Other components are the crop pollinators, usually insects.
The hundreds of thousands of species of soil organisms and pollinators are farm assets and are generally taken for granted as they are assumed to come free.
But some economists now question this and identify them as part of the natural capital of the system. Even so, they are only infrequently incorporated into economic models, sometimes because little is known about their functions, but more often because economists are simply unaware of them.
Gerardo Ceballos and Paul R. Ehrlich
The selfie taken by a coati mundi that is posted above was actually posted by us, but we are sure the coati intended it to be. Technologies gone berserk are one of the main things driving Earth’s biodiversity into a mass extinction, but some of the new technologies can at least make small contributions to helping to preserve our only known living companions in the universe.