Figure 1: Image: Weather factory? ADM Mill in Minneapolis, c1920. Photo: Minnesota Historical Society, MH5.9 MP3.1A

Weather Markets: A Business Case for Environmental History

Originally posted on The Otter ~ La loutre, May 17, 2017 When Monsanto spent $1 billion in 2013 to purchase Climate Corporation, its climate data, and its algorithms for using machine learning to predict weather, everyone from farmers and insurance companies to technologists and The New Yorker concluded that agri-business believed the climate science consensus: climate…

Historical presentation for the SSF Webinar on Integrated Land Use, June 2016

Webinar: The Security and Sustainability Forum

In June I had the pleasure of presenting a talk on “Historical Transitions in Agriculture” in a webinar at The Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF). The webinar was titled Integrated Land Use: What do individuals and societies need from landscapes, and it was organized by Dr Arianne Cease from the School of Sustainability at ASU. It featured…

Environment Canada weather stations, 1960. map J MacFadyen

Long-range forecasts

Originally posted on The Otter ~ La Loutre, February 3 is getting a bad reputation. If like me you grow weary of Canadian winters around this time of year, and neither the Super Bowl nor Groundhog Day predictions offered any hope yesterday, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you weren’t in Snag,…

Francis Bain sketch of PEI shells, Nov 3, 1878.
Source: PARO, Image No. 4.2353.92

Prince Edward Island Beaches and Bain’s “Old Friends” Released from Winter’s Ice, 1866

On this day in nineteenth century Prince Edward Island, the farm landscape is only just beginning to emerge from beneath the ice and snow. The shores of York Point, at the confluence of the North and West (Eliot) Rivers at visible for the first time this spring, and the ice sheets break away from the…