Berrett Koehler Publishers (22)
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Medium 9781523095865

6 Online Technology and Life

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Are the many discouraging indicators, such as increasing depression and suicide and skyrocketing obesity, actually arising from our use of screen technologies? Clearly, these technologies cannot be the only factor, but in this chapter we look at how our omnipresent screens may be impairing our sleep and undermining other basic pillars of health and entailing a cascade of major compromises of our physical and mental states.

As we were writing this book, many of the tech industry’s most prominent members, troubled by the addictive and destructive behaviors that they perceive social media, mobile phones, and other technologies to intentionally foster, began offering serious criticism of the industry. They include former senior executives at Facebook, Google, and other prominent companies. Among the loudest and most insistent was Roger McNamee (whom we later asked to write the foreword to this book). Roger has been investing in technology companies, such as Facebook, for three decades, and introduced Sheryl Sandberg, its present chief operating officer, to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. From his seat at the table, McNamee has one of the longest perspectives on how the industry is affecting us and our world. In a Guardian interview in October 2017, he pointed out the underlying conundrum: “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”1

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Medium 9781626569737

9 Security and Privacy in an Era of Ubiquitous Connectivity

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In an episode of the popular TV series Homeland, Vice President William Walden is killed by a terrorist who hacked into Walden’s heart pacemaker. The hacker raises Walden’s heart rate, pushing him into a serious, inevitable cardiac arrest. Walden’s pacemaker had been connected to the Internet so that his doctors could monitor his health. That was the fatal mistake. Viewers watched in shock and disbelief, but this assassination plot seemingly out of science fiction was actually not that far-fetched.

These days, many complicated, critically important medical devices include onboard computers and wireless connectivity. Insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and defibrillators have all joined the Internet of Things. Every year at security conferences, hackers are demonstrating new ways to compromise the devices we rely on to keep us alive. Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously asked his doctors to disable the wireless connectivity of the pacemaker embedded in his chest. “It seemed to me to be a bad idea for the vice president to have a device that maybe somebody on a rope line or in the next hotel room or downstairs might be able to get into—hack into,” Cheney’s cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner of George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., told 60 Minutes in an interview in October 2013.1

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5 The Amazing and Scary Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Many of us with iPhones talk to Siri, the iPhone’s artificially intelligent assistant. Siri can answer many basic questions asked verbally in plain English. She (or, optionally, he) can, for example, tell you today’s date; when the next San Francisco Giant’s baseball game will take place; and where the nearest pizza restaurant is located. But, though Siri appears clever, she has obvious weaknesses. Unless you tell her the name of your mother or indicate the relationship specifically in Apple’s contact app, Siri will have no idea who your mother is, and so can’t respond to your request to call your mother. That’s hardly intelligent for someone who reads, and could potentially comprehend, every e-mail I send, every phone call I make, and every text I send. Siri also cannot tell you the best route to take in order to arrive home faster and avoid traffic.

That’s OK. Siri is undeniably useful despite her limitations. No longer do I need to tap into a keyboard to find the nearest service station or to recall what date Mother’s Day falls on. And Siri can remember all the pizza restaurants in Oakland, recall the winning and losing pitcher in any of last night’s baseball games, and tell me when the next episode of my favorite TV show will air.

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11 Designer Genes, the Bacteria in Our Guts, and Precision Medicine

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the near future, we will routinely have our genetic material analyzed; late in the next decade, we will be able to download and “print” at home medicines, tissues, and bacteria custom designed to suit our DNA and keep us healthy. In short, we will all be biohackers and amateur geneticists, able to understand how our genes work and how to fix them. That’s because these technologies are moving along the exponential technology curve.

Scientists published the first draft analysis of the human genome in 2001. The effort to sequence a human genome was a long and costly one. Started by the government-funded Human Genome Project and later augmented by Celera Genomics and its noted scientist CEO, Craig Venter, the sequencing spanned more than a decade and cost nearly $3 billion. Today, numerous companies are able to completely sequence your DNA for around $1,000, in less than three days. There are even venture-backed companies, such as 23andMe, that sequence parts of human DNA for consumers, without any doctor participation or prescription, for as little as $199.

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9 A Personal Epilogue

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Almost immediately after we pitched this book to our publishers, criticism broke out about the business practices, ethics, and values of the big technology companies. In August 2017, sociologist Jean Twenge published her book iGen, which examines how teenagers are growing up with technology dominating their lives while being completely unprepared for adulthood.1 Her September 2017 article in The Atlantic, discussed in chapter 6, sparked a firestorm of commentary and criticism. Former New Republic editor Franklin Foer published World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech in September 2017, a polemic that criticizes Google, Facebook, and other tech giants for what he regards as soulless monopolism that seeks to understand every facet of our identities and influence every decision of our lives for profit.2 In a blog post titled “Hard questions: Is spending time on social media bad for us?” Facebook’s director of research, David Ginsberg, finally acknowledged that perhaps the social network was not so good for its users.3 (The eye-popping irony of the post was that the prescription to solve the problem was even more in-depth Facebook participation!)

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Cab International (154)
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Medium 9781780642109

11: Pastoralism and Kalahari Rangeland Soils

Brearley, F.Q., Editor CAB International PDF

11 

Pastoralism and Kalahari Rangeland Soils

Andrew D. Thomas,1* David R. Elliott,2 Tasmin N.L. Griffith2 and Helen Mairs2

1

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University,

Aberystwyth, UK; 2School of Science and the Environment, Manchester

Metropolitan University, UK

11.1  Introduction

Grazing lands cover almost half the global land area and an estimated 70% of the world’s poorest billion people rely on income generated from pastoralism (FAO/IIASA/ISRIC/ISS-CAS/JRC, 2009).

In rural dry sub-humid environments such as the Kalahari, pastoral farming is the only viable livelihood for most people, and cattle are central to the Tswana way of life. Cattle not only provide a major source of household income, but confer prestige to families within their communities (Campbell, 1990). The vast majority of livestock are reared on communal land where fences are absent and grazing resources are shared. The absence of surface water in the

Kalahari means that animals are dependent on groundwater from boreholes (Perkins and

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Medium 9781780641836

9 Effects of Climate Change on Regeneration by Seeds

Gallagher, R.S., Editor CAB International PDF

9

Effects of Climate Change on Regeneration by Seeds

Rui Zhang1* and Kristen L. Granger2

Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, Massachusetts, USA;

2

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The Pennsylvania

State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

1

Introduction

Climate change has been shown to influence many aspects of species’ life histories

(Pounds et al., 1999; Hughes, 2000; Walther et al., 2002). Compared to the well-studied literature of how climate change affects performance of adult plants, relatively few studies have focused on the responses of seeds and seedlings, the shifts in their abundance and distributions, and changes in population dynamics and regenerations that are connected by these early life stages.

As iterated in other chapters of this book, seeds play a critical role in plant regeneration. Furthermore, early life stages are expected to be more sensitive to climate change than adult stages (Lloret et al., 2004;

Walck et al., 2011), and therefore impacts of climate change on regeneration are likely to have consequences at the population and community levels. In this chapter, we review both lab and field investigations on seed and seedling responses to climate change. There is a rich literature on how environmental factors regulate seed biology

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7 Seed Dormancy

Gallagher, R.S., Editor CAB International PDF

7

Seed Dormancy

Alistair J. Murdoch*

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development,

University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, UK

Introduction

Defining and Measuring Dormancy

The regeneration of plant communities from seed depends on seeds being in the right physiological state to germinate in the right place at the right time. In some species, this requirement is satisfied by a regeneration strategy in which seeds germinate as soon as they are shed. In others, seeds may survive for long periods in the soil seed bank with intermittent germination of a part of the population.

There are two basic physiological prerequisites for seeds to survive in soil: viability must be maintained for as long as germination is avoided by dormancy or quiescence.

Moreover, for such seeds to contribute to regeneration, dormancy must be relieved and germination promoted perhaps within a limited period when there is a good chance of successful seedling establishment. In explaining how different regeneration strategies can result from varying physiology, the approach adopted in this chapter in considering dormancy is to examine how this adaptive trait influences the responses of seed populations to environmental factors, so ensuring that at least some individuals germinate in the right place and at the right time.

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4: Microbial Functioning in Response to a Simulated Drought in Malaysian Rain Forest and Oil Palm Soils

Brearley, F.Q., Editor CAB International PDF

4 

Microbial Functioning in Response to a

Simulated Drought in Malaysian Rain Forest and Oil Palm Soils

Francis Q. Brearley*

School of Science and the Environment,

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK

4.1  Introduction

Land-use change is known to affect the diversity and composition of soil microbial communities in a range of tropical ecosystems (Bossio et al.,

2005; Verchot, 2010; Dinesh et al., Chapter 2, this volume; Mendes et al., Chapter 5, this volume).

In addition, land-use change also affects soil

­nutrient status through a reduction in carbon

(C) input leading to knock-on changes mediated through soil microbial communities. While the focus of most of the research into the effects of land-use change on soils has been on their chemical properties and on the diversity of soil organisms/microbes, much less work has been conducted on the impacts on ecosystem functioning, such as functional stability.

One major land-use transition currently

­occurring in South-east Asia is the conversion of forested lands to oil palm plantations, which are a highly profitable agricultural crop (Koh et al.,

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2 What Would Invasive Feedstock Populations Look Like? Perspectives from Existing Invasions

Quinn, L.D., Editor CAB International PDF

2

What Would Invasive Feedstock

Populations Look Like?

Perspectives from Existing

Invasions

Lauren D. Quinn*

Energy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana, USA

Abstract

As the bioenergy industry develops globally, nations will be importing a variety of novel crops to be produced on large scales. Commercial and other intentional introductions of novel plants are not new, and have, in many cases, resulted in escape and establishment of invasive populations that negatively impact native ecosystems. Several authors have postulated that the influx of novel bioenergy feedstocks could have similar results, but because the production of second-generation crops is still in an early phase in most locations, the rate and impacts of escape remain to be seen. However, several taxa now being considered or used as feedstocks have previously been moved and established outside of their native regions. To prepare for the worst-case scenario in which invasive feedstocks are planted and allowed to escape and establish unchecked, four representative feedstocks with existing invasive populations are examined: (i) Arundo donax L. (giant reed); (ii) Miscanthus spp.

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Cabi (198)
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Medium 9781845939212

6 Agricultural Productivity Paths in Central and Eastern European Countries and the Former Soviet Union: The Role of Reforms, Initial Conditions and Induced Technological Change

Fuglie, K.O., Ball, V.E., Wang, S.L. CABI PDF

6

Agricultural Productivity Paths in Central and Eastern European

Countries and the Former Soviet Union:

The Role of Reforms, Initial Conditions and Induced Technological Change

Johann Swinnen, Kristine Van Herck and Liesbet Vranken

Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS),

KU Leuven, Belgium

6.1

Introduction

Economic and institutional reforms have dramatically affected agricultural organization, output and production efficiency in

Central and Eastern Europe and the former

Soviet republics. Not only did farm output fall dramatically in the transition countries of Europe and the former Soviet Union, some studies find that efficiency decreased as well during the transition. In a review of the evidence, Rozelle and Swinnen (2004) conclude that productivity started increasing early on during the transition in Central

Europe and parts of the Balkan and the

Baltic States, but continued to decline much longer in other parts of the former Soviet

Union. Initial declines in productivity were associated with initial disruptions resulting from land reforms and farm restructuring in

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13 Agricultural Productivity and Policy Changes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Fuglie, K.O., Ball, V.E., Wang, S.L. CABI PDF

13

Agricultural Productivity and Policy Changes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Alejandro Nin-Pratt and Bingxin Yu

International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC

13.1

Introduction

In recent years, ‘an improvement in economic indicators throughout Africa led some observers to argue that the region had finally solved its economic conundrums and could now expect sustained economic growth’ (van de Walle, 2001). That optimism was fuelled by the end of several civil wars, a wave of democratization in several countries (which made possible the creation of the New Partnership for Africa’s

Development, or NEPAD, and a new agenda for development), the acceleration of economic growth, and significant improvements in the performance of the agricultural sector across Africa during the 1980s and

1990s. Output growth in sub-Saharan Africa

(SSA) from 1964 to 1983 was on average

1.8%, with the worst performance occurring between 1972 and 1983, when output growth was less than 1%, below the rate of increase in the use of inputs in agriculture

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9 Structural Transformation and Agricultural Productivity in India

Fuglie, K.O., Ball, V.E., Wang, S.L. CABI PDF

9

Structural Transformation and

Agricultural Productivity in India*

1

Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize1 and Alwin d’Souza2

China Agricultural University, Beijing 2Jawaharlal University, New Delhi

9.1 Agriculture and the Economic

Structural Transformation Process

Studies of the patterns of economic growth and transformation, carried out by Simon Kuznets,

Hollis Chenery and most recently by Peter

Timmer (2009), have shown important regularities in the structural composition of economic activity. Prior to economic transformation, agriculture generally accounts for the bulk of the economic output and the labour force.

Because productivity in the non-agricultural sector is higher than in the agricultural sector, the share of agriculture in total GDP falls far short of its share in the labour force. As industrial growth takes off, industry becomes even more productive, and the productivity differential with agriculture increases, while the share of agriculture in GDP starts to fall even more rapidly.

Thus, the structural gap widens during periods of rapid growth as long as the share of agricultural in GDP falls much faster than the share of agricultural labour. Farm incomes visibly fall behind incomes earned in the rest of the economy. ‘This lag in real earnings

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10 Shifting Sources of Agricultural Growth in Indonesia: A Regional Analysis

Fuglie, K.O., Ball, V.E., Wang, S.L. CABI PDF

10

Shifting Sources of Agricultural Growth in Indonesia: A Regional Analysis

Nicholas E. Rada and Keith O. Fuglie

Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

10.1

Introduction

Indonesia is a large country with diverse agriculture. One dimension of this diversity is sharp regional differences in relative resource endowments, which range from very densely populated ‘inner’ Indonesia, defined here as Java and Bali, to relatively land-abundant ‘outer’ Indonesia, including the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and

Sulawesi. Another dimension of its agricultural diversity is its broad commodity mix.

Although rice-based farming is the principal agricultural system – accounting for about half of all agricultural output –

Indonesia also has extensive areas in tropical perennial or plantation crops, especially oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coconut and coffee.

Recently it has emerged as a major net agricultural exporting nation, although it continues to experience a trade deficit in strategically important food grains. A majority of its agricultural exports are from tropical perennials. These two dimensions of diversity are not independent, because most of the country’s rice crop is produced on the inner islands whereas perennial crops are primarily grown on the outer islands. Both geographic segments, however, do have significant resources in both annual and perennial crops, as well as in livestock production. Examining Indonesia’s record

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13 Wind Erosion of Agricultural Soils and the Carbon Cycle

Banwart, S.A., Noellemeyer, E., Milne, E. CABI PDF

13 

Wind Erosion of Agricultural Soils and the Carbon Cycle

Daniel E. Buschiazzo* and Roger Funk

Abstract

Wind erosion is an important process of both progressive and regressive pedogenesis in arid and semi-arid environments around the world. In semi-arid regions, which are influenced by carbon-poor dust depositions from deserts, the properties as a sink area should be maintained to enable C enrichment by continued soil formation. On agricultural land, wind erosion is a soil-degrading process, resulting mainly from the very effective sorting processes. Coarse particles remain in the field, whereas the finest and most valuable parts of the soil get lost, like particles of the silt and clay fractions and soil organic matter. The latter is not regarded in most carbon balances, although this particulate loss can reach considerable amounts. The processes of wind erosion are subject to a great spatial and temporal variability, making its quantification difficult. In this chapter, we expose wind erosion in the context of its influence on soil organic carbon and prove considerable losses by first measurements.

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Cabi (590)
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Medium 9781780646312

3 The initiative gathers force – LFLP, the second leasehold forestry project

Thierry, B. CABI PDF

Chapter 3

The initiative gathers force – LFLP, the second leasehold forestry project

“A project is a time capsule. It needs to change into a programme if it’s going to be sustainable.”

Mr. Bal Krishna Khanal, first coordinator of the Hills Leasehold Forestry and Forage Development Project

From their houses in the hills, slowly, the village men and women converge. Many appear to be timid, somewhat reluctant. Some of the women fall behind, perhaps in deference to the men, or perhaps out of a sense of ambivalence or uncertainty as to whether they should be participating at all. At the same time, they know that they have a great deal that they would like to talk about and that the others would like to hear. Programme staff and group promoters whom they know and trust have encouraged them to participate. They push on.

The setting for the discussions is informal. There are no microphones, no round tables, no flip charts with coloured markers.

In fact, the setting is outdoors, in their own crop plots, on the grass and under the trees that they visit and use on a daily basis. Later, the discussions will continue during a walk into the forest areas that have been leased to them as part of this government project, as a way of making more palpable the lives that are being spoken about and the changes that are – or are not – taking place. After several hours of walking, talking and observing, themes begin to emerge. Some of them surface again and again, introduced by one participant and enthusiastically elaborated by another and then another. Others speak with a lone voice, but a voice that is so emphatic that it cannot be discounted. How have these people benefited from their newly gained access to land and forestry?

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2: Assessing Structural Quality for Crop Performance and for Agronomy (VESS, VSA, SOILpak, Profil Cultural, SubVESS)

Ball, B.C. CABI PDF

2 

Assessing Structural Quality for Crop

Performance and for Agronomy (VESS,

VSA, SOILpak, Profil Cultural, SubVESS)

Tom Batey,1 Rachel M.L. Guimarães,2* Joséphine Peigné3 and Hubert Boizard4

1

Plant and Soil Science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK;

2

­Agronomy Department, Federal University of Technology – Paraná, Brazil;

3

ISARA Lyon, Lyon, France; 4INRA, UPR1158 AgroImpact, Péronne, France

2.1  Introduction

The physical properties of a soil are a key factor in evaluating land quality whether for agronomy or for other purposes. Soil structure is an important component of the physical properties.

Its qualities are transient and may be altered by both anthropic and natural events. For example, cultivation, the passage of harvester and trailer wheels, grazing when the soil is wet and intense rainfall can all alter soil structure. Methods to assess the quality of soil structure are therefore important tools in the management of soils.

Such methods should be cost-effective, widely available and the results easily interpreted.

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7: Evaluating Land Quality for Carbon Storage, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nutrient Leaching

Ball, B.C. CABI PDF

7 

Evaluating Land Quality for Carbon

Storage, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nutrient Leaching

Joanna M. Cloy,1* Bruce C. Ball1 and T. Graham Shepherd2

1

SRUC, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 2BioAgriNomics Ltd,

Palmerston North, New Zealand

7.1  Introduction

Recently the importance of good soil structure in mitigating climate change and environmental contamination has been recognized because soil structure influences the storage of carbon (C) sources and sinks of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and cycling of nutrients, which are key soil system processes. This is because the maintenance of soil structure by aggregation, particle transport and formation of soil habitats operates across many spatial scales to regulate water drainage, water retention, air transfer to roots for favourable gas exchange and mineralization of nutrients for release to crop roots (Kibblewhite et al.,

2008; Ball et al., 2013a). For the functions being considered, the most important aspect of soil structure is the soil pore network, which determines the movement of gases, liquids and associated solutes, as well as particulates and organisms, through the soil matrix (Haygarth and Ritz, 2009;

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9: The Expanding Discipline and Role of Visual Soil Evaluation

Ball, B.C. CABI PDF

9 

1

The Expanding Discipline and Role of Visual Soil Evaluation

Bruce C. Ball1* and Lars J. Munkholm2

SRUC, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 2Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark

9.1  Introduction

Drawing on the conclusions of previous chapters, our objective here is to show that methods of visual soil evaluation (VSE) are key aids to the management of soils. They can identify and quantify soil degradation, particularly compaction. These methods can be used to monitor soil quality and thus to maintain its cropping potential. We also identify the future roles of VSE in soils and the environment and suggest improvements in the methods to support these roles.

The prominence of the role of soils for food security and environmental sustainability is likely to increase as the area of land available shrinks and the quality of what is left decreases. Soil is basically a non-renewable resource and, with limited scope to bring new land into cultivation, degradation needs to be decreased or negated by conservation and by restoration of prior degraded land (Lal, 2013). New technologies such as genetic modification are restricted in their ability to increase crop yields by limitations in soil water and/or nitrogen supply (Sinclair and Rufty, 2012) and the constraints of photosynthetic efficiency.

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18 The Contribution of Smallholder Irrigated Urban Agriculture Towards Household Food Security in Harare, Zimbabwe

WinklerPrins, A.M.G.A. CABI PDF

18 

The Contribution of Smallholder

Irrigated Urban Agriculture Towards

Household Food Security in Harare,

Zimbabwe

Never Mujere

University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

18.1  Introduction

Agriculture is no longer seen as just a rural

­activity but is now embraced as part of a livelihood and an important income-earning strategy in most cities. It has become an important economic and social activity, contributing to the aesthetic value of the city and socio-economic uplift of urban households. Most urban dwellers engage in urban agriculture (UA) as a survival strategy due to challenges of absolute and relative growth in urban poverty and food insecurity

(Gallaher et al., 2013; Korir et al., 2015; Chapters 7 and 12, this volume). A significant proportion of low-income urban households face serious difficulties in accessing adequate basic foodstuffs, which are sold at prices beyond what consumers can afford. High food prices have drastically reduced people’s purchasing power and raised the spectre of food and income disequilibrium at the household level. The urban food crisis is further worsened by a massive population shift from rural to urban areas. As a result, some urban authorities have reserved patches of land for urban agriculture in their municipalities (Olufemi and

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Indiana University Press (32)
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Medium 9780253009845

2 Gunpowder Technology, 1490–1800

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Edward Gibbon was to claim that gunpowder “effected a new revolution in the art of war and the history of mankind,”1 a view that was common in the eighteenth century and indeed both earlier and later.2 More recently, the widely repeated thesis of the early modern Military Revolution3 has focused renewed attention on the issue of gunpowder technology. Improved firepower and changing fortification design, it is argued, greatly influenced developments across much of the world and, more specifically, the West’s relationship with the rest of the world. In other work, I have questioned the thesis,4 but here, first, I want to draw attention to the changes that stemmed from the use of gunpowder.

Gunpowder weaponry developed first in China. We cannot be sure when it was invented, but a formula for the manufacture of gunpowder was possibly discovered in the ninth century, and effective metal-barreled weapons were produced in the twelfth century. Guns were differentiated into cannon and handguns by the fourteenth.

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6 Revolution, Transformation, and the Present

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Modern military power is based upon technology, and technology is based upon computers. . . . We [the Soviet Union] will never be able to catch up with you [the United States] in modern arms until we have an economic revolution. And the question is whether we can have an economic revolution without a political revolution.

Nikolai Ogarkov, Chief of the Soviet General Staff, 1983, cited in the New York Times, August 20, 1992

The literature on recent, current, and future warfare is dominated by the language of change and modernization. As is the general pattern in modern culture, change and modernization are descriptive, prescriptive, and normative, being equated with improvement. Relative performance or promise is defined according to these emphases, as are the conflicts seen as worthy of attention by scholars, and therefore, in a circular sense, as contributing to their analyses. Such an approach to modernization, however, begs the question of what is a modern, let alone a more modern, style of military operations? This question is one of recurring relevance for military history and for understanding present and future situations, and thus links the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) discerned in the 1990s and 2000s to earlier episodes of what have been presented as military revolutions.

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Medium 9780253353597

One Introduction: Washington, London, and Two Very Separate Wars, 1921–1941

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION: WASHINGTON, LONDON, AND TWO VERY SEPARATE WARS, 1921–1941

ARMS RACES ARE NOT the cause of rivalries and wars but rather the reflection of conflicting ambition and intent, though inevitably they compound and add to these differences. The First World War was not the product of Anglo-German naval rivalry, though this was one of the major factors that determined Britain’s taking position in the ranks of Germany’s enemies, and most certainly it was a major factor in producing the growing sense of instability within Europe in the decade prior to 1914. But if the naval race was indeed one of the factors that made for war in 1914—although it should be noted that the most dangerous phase of this rivalry would seem to have passed by 1914—then there is the obvious problem of explaining the war in 1939–1941, in that the greater part of the inter-war period, between 1921 and 1936, was marked by a very deliberate policy of naval limitation on the part of the great powers. Admittedly the arrangements that were set in place in various treaties had lapsed by 1937, and a naval race had begun that most certainly was crucially important in terms of Japanese calculations in 1940 and 1941 and indeed was critical in the decision to initiate war in the Pacific. In summer 1941, as the Japanese naval command was obliged to consider the consequences of its own actions and the full implications of the U.S. Congress having passed the Two-Ocean Naval Expansion Act in July 1940, the Imperial Navy, the Kaigun, was caught in a go-now-or-never dilemma, and it, like its sister service, simply could not admit the futility and pointlessness of past endeavors and sacrifices. But, of course, not a few of these endeavors and sacrifices had been military and Asian and most definitely were not naval and Pacific.

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Four Japan and Its “Special Undeclared War”

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FOUR

JAPAN AND ITS “SPECIAL UNDECLARED WAR”

THE PERIOD BETWEEN the two world wars saw a series of conflicts, and the importance of naval power in some of these wars is seldom acknowledged. The Allied intervention in the Russian civil wars and involvement in the Greek-Turkish conflict were based on naval power, but, arguably, in the inter-war period in only one conflict did a navy play a major, indeed significant, role and possess more than en passant importance. The Sino-Japanese conflict, which began in July 1937, saw the major involvement of the Imperial Japanese Navy in two areas of operations with immediate and long-term relevance: a series of coastal operations and landings in southern China, most obviously the occupation of Canton in 1938 and Hainan Island in 1939, and involvement in air operations, and specifically in the strategic bombing campaigns staged in 1939 and 1940.1

The inter-war period was one that saw Japanese forces, and specifically the Imperial Japanese Army, the Nippon Teikoku Rikugun, involved in a series of conflicts that began with intervention in the Russian civil wars in which Rikugun forces reached as far west as Novosibirsk.2 The main focus of Japanese military attention, however, was China, with its interminable civil wars, power struggles, and secessionist problems, and specifically was directed to Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and northern China after September 1931. In the course of a three-month campaign the local Japanese garrison force, the Kwantung Army, overran three of Manchuria’s four provinces and paved the way for a double development.

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Fourteen The Japanese Situation—and Another, and Final, Dimension

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE JAPANESE SITUATION—AND ANOTHER, AND FINAL, DIMENSION

IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS the Japanese situation in terms of shipping, trade, and production has been subjected to examination, for one reason: for more than six decades the American public perception of the Pacific war has been focused primarily upon fleet and amphibious operations; what has been provided here is not a correction to such perspective but an addition, the presentation of matters seldom afforded much in the way of consideration but gathered here to provide balance and perspective. By definition, these short chapters cannot be comprehensive and must serve only as introduction to matters often given little historical consideration. This final chapter is concerned with battles and individuals, for the same reasons and with the same intent.

Excluding the attack by Japanese carrier aircraft on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the attacks by Allied carrier aircraft on a variety of targets in Japanese waters in the war’s last month (though perhaps the irony should be noted that the last survivor of the Pearl Harbor operation, the heavy cruiser Tone, was sunk at its mooring off Kure by U.S. carrier aircraft on 24 July 1945), during the war in the Pacific there were no fewer than eighteen actions involving warship formations on both sides.1 Of course, there also were actions involving aircraft and warships from opposing sides, the best known of these actions being those in the Bismarck Sea in March 1943 and when the battleship Yamato was sunk southwest of Kyushu in April 1945. Of all these actions perhaps the one that possessed greatest historical symbolism was the action off Cape St. George, which was the last action between warship formations other than in the Surigao Strait in October 1944, but the greater part of historical attention over the lifetime that has elapsed since these actions were fought has been directed to the action fought off Midway Islands and Leyte Gulf. The other four major carrier actions—Coral Sea, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, and Philippine Sea—have generally been afforded en passant consideration: the Coral Sea was but the prelude to Midway, and the Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz were not battles on which Americans dwell because neither resulted in victory. The second-tier status of the battle of the Philippine Sea is perhaps surprising given the fact that in terms of fleet and light carriers of the two sides this was the largest carrier battle of the war, larger even than Leyte, though the latter had many more warships than Philippine Sea and with escort carriers added to the list is the larger of the two battles in terms of carrier numbers.

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