Special Report

The Dirt on Soil

Ecology has become a term that sets people at odds. “Tree huggers” are both despised and celebrated. Some avidly support the new ecological movement of our time and others suspect that various agendas underlie it. What is the appropriate foundation for a relationship between humans and the environment?

Drowning in Excess Nitrogen

Alice Abler

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers have revolutionized worldwide food production, but after a century, environmentalists are sounding the alarm.

Feeding Our Nitrogen Addiction

Feeding Our Nitrogen Addiction

Alice Abler

Farmers, gardeners and scientific scholars understand that nitrogen is one of the most important plant foods. But are artificial means the answer?

Interview with Paul Erlich: And Then What?

And Then What?

Dan Cloer

Paul Ehrlich’s dire predictions of the effect of a burgeoning world population never came to pass. Or maybe, he says, they simply haven’t yet.

Fritz Haber: Plowshares and Swords

Alice Abler

The prophet Isaiah wrote of a time when instruments of war would be turned into implements for farming. But today, the opposite occurs far too often.