Is the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) better than nothing?

This post is probably more technical than most that I write, but it is something that I think needs to be written. I actually debated submitting a short article to a peer reviewed journal, but really didn’t want to wait the months to a year that would require before it saw the light of day. So I’m putting the nuts and bolts here, and perhaps someday I’ll submit some version of this analysis to a journal where “serious academics” can read it. …

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How to Make a Natural Weed Killer

Well over a year ago, I wrote about a homemade herbicide containing salt, vinegar, and dish soap. “Many of you have probably seen it posted to Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, or on your favorite home gardening site. One of my favorite descriptions calls it a “magical, natural, weed killing potion.” That particular potion certainly kills weeds, but it isn’t natural (and it certainly isn’t chemical-free). It contains dish soap and vinegar, both of which are synthesized industrially, so it isn’t natural by most definitions of the word. That’s disappointing, …

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An Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)

I’ve always been interested in how changes in agricultural production practices impact the environment. In particular, I’ve followed the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops since I was an undergraduate, and try to stay up to date on research relating to the environmental impact associated with these crops. Several publications over the last decade have relied on the environmental impact quotient (EIQ) to quantify the environmental impact of changes in pesticide use resulting from GM crops. The EIQ originated with a …

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If you’re a frog in a field, there are many ways to croak

Just saw a link to a story on the Guardian titled “Common pesticides ‘can kill frogs within an hour’“. Obviously, my interest was peaked. Global amphibian decline is a well-noted phenomenon, and it is possible that pesticides may play some role. But killing frogs “within an hour” is a pretty shocking result for a pesticide that is used properly. The Guardian piece reports on a study published today in Scientific Reports by Carsten Bruhl et al. The study aimed to study …

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