Author: Steve Savage

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How to Feed the World and Get a Nobel Prize: Invent an Efficient Small Scale Haber/Bosch Process

[social_buttons] Ok, I didn’t actually clear this challenge with the Nobel Committee, but I think we could convince them.  Nobels were awarded early in the 20th century when German scientists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch made the sequential advances that made it possible to make synthetic nitrogen fertilizer from the nitrogen gas that makes up […]

November 14th

Why “Organic” Fertilizers are Not the Solution to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico

[social_buttons] From the comment streams and emails I’ve been getting about recent posts, it is clear that many people believe things that are not actually true about the environmental profile of organic fertilizers.  I don’t mean to minimize the challenge we face when it comes to fertilizers, particularly nitrogen fertilizers.  They take energy to make, […]

November 12th

Organic Farming Would Be Better In Terms of Climate Change Impact. Right?

[social_buttons] I’m probably going to irritate some people with this post.  I apologize in advance because that is not at all my intention.  For those readers that don’t think climate change is a real problem, I respect the fact that there is uncertainty in that science, but if the majority position of climate scientists is true, the […]

November 10th

Rehabilitating The Concept of Bio-Fuels: Part One

[social_buttons] In 2006 I attended a BIO meeting in Toronto focused on the new bio-based economy.  Oil had just risen to $70/barrel and it was a time when environmental NGOs, biotech companies and even oil companies seemed to be on the “same page” in terms of their enthusiasm for moving to plant-based feedstocks as the […]

November 4th

Scientists Behaving Badly

[social_buttons] The discussions following my two last posts about climate change opinion shifts and about an anti-science coalition have made it clear that one of the reasons people distrust science is that “Science” fails to speak with one voice.  There are definitely forces from the outside of Science that erode trust, but there are also […]

October 30th

The Bizarre, Modern Coalition of Anti-Science Forces

[social_buttons] A wise Nebraska farmer I know taught me this saying: “It’s what you know for certain that keeps you from learning.”   This principle is at the core of why certain groups and entities are rejecting good science. As a scientist, and particularly as a scientist involved in agricultural and environmental issues, I’m increasingly aware […]

October 28th

Musings of A Suburban Farmer on Harvest Day

[social_buttons] Today I picked the grapes from my vineyard.  I got 366 usable pounds from my 25 vines even though I lost at least 100 pounds to birds that somehow penetrated my elaborate net system.  The harvest will still give me between 90 and 115 bottles of what I hope will be decent wine – […]

October 3rd