This chapter covers ecosystem conversion, and specifically the ways in which humans convert natural landscapes so that they have a productive form for human ends whether that is for agricultural or urban purposes (or otherwise). Soil and agriculture are part of this equation; we tend to think of soil as dirt, but it is a living system with the capability to support productivity. The world population is growing quickly but with improved agricultural productivity, we can avoid converting any more natural ecosystems to produce enough food. This will tackle issues such as 30 percent food waste rates and red meat consumption in diets. Thomas Lovejoy also mentions the negative impacts of human conversion approaches; for example, land should not be converted right to the water’s edge in order to avoid contaminating freshwater ecosystems because dead zones around the world have been doubling every decade for four decades.
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