Autors de l'ICTA

Projectes relationats

Últims articles publicats

2015 What explains public support for climate policies? A review of empirical and experimental studies[disponible en anglès]

2015 Socially sustainable degrowth as a social–ecological transformation: repoliticizing sustainability[disponible en anglès]

2015 Bolivia set to violate its protected areas[disponible en anglès]

2015 What if solar energy becomes really cheap? A thought experiment on environmental problem shifting[disponible en anglès]

The EROI of agriculture and its use by the Via Campesina

2011, JOURNAL OF PEASANT STUDIES - número/volum 1/38 - ISSN: 0306-6150 - Pàgines 145-160 - DOI 10.1080/03066150.2010.538582

Autors de l'ICTA:
Joan Martínez Alier

Tots els autors:
Joan Martinez-Alier

Via Campesina supports peasant and small farmer agriculture both in the South and in the North. Its basic doctrine is that of 'food sovereignty'. It is a movement that defends an 'ecological neo-Narodnism'. Among the analytical tools used by this international peasant movement is the comparison between the energy efficiency of traditional small farm agriculture and modern industrial agriculture. This article briefly recalls the history of agricultural energetics, and then looks at the use of the concept of EROI (energy return on energy input) by Via Campesina when it claims that 'industrial agriculture is no longer a producer of energy but a consumer of energy', and that 'peasant agriculture cools down the Earth'. The absence in Marxism of a tradition of analysis of energy flows is also reviewed here, since it is of interest in order to bring together the classic economic concept of decreasing returns with the more recent notion of a declining EROI. The article also draws on work analysing how environmental activists use concepts from ecological economics, while at the same time 'activist knowledge' contributes to ecological economics in a two-way communication between activism and science.

© 2008 ICTA - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - Tots els drets reservats