Three years ago, I posted an article here that highlighted 2012 as the hottest year recorded in the United States. Then, two years later, I posted another article that declared 2014 as the hottest year ever recorded. Today, the New York Times reported that 2015 now has the distinction of being the hottest year in recorded history. Climate researchers point out that a strong El Niño effect was a contributing factor in 2015, but it seems increasingly apparent that climate change is causing generalized warming of the planet. Of course, what we should be doing about this is the real question we need to ask ourselves in 2016.
This year I am starting a new position in the Department of Anthropology at (THE!) Ohio State University. My hire is part of OSU’s Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation (InFACT), one of the many new Discovery Themes on campus. This initiative is recruiting dozens of new faculty who approach the study of food and agriculture from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including anthropology, architecture, nutrition, political science, and public health, among others. I will continue to be working in the Amazon region (both in Peru and Brazil) and the American Midwest, focusing on farmer’s conservation management practices and adaptation to climate variability. I am also developing a new project that investigates the use of human waste (“biosolids” or “night soil”) in contemporary agriculture.