Thursday, October 16, 2008

Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2007

I'm browsing through this book, and it is generally pretty good. It seems to focus on cities, however, and it is not as heavy on the facts and graphics as I sort of expected it to be.

I read the first half more closely, and now I'm more browsing. I was interested to read about eucalyptus as a cash-crop in Timbuktu, which lead me to the Wikipedia page. Apparently the tree is mainly native to Australia, and there's some major concern that it is an invasive species in South Africa.[1] Yet Worldwatch made no mention of that! The plant they mentioned next as helping to revitalize rural Africa, bourgou, seems more solidly ecological, and the National Research Council mentioned it favorably in a book on "Lost Crops of Africa". Apparently it can survive for months under water,[2] making it somewhat unique, and thus can be planted and harvested in areas where nothing could be grown previously.

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