Agriculture has always been the greatest raper of nature, stripping and simplifying and regimenting it, and reducing acreage left. Then, in America, in about 1940 acreage and yield decoupled. Since about 1940 American farmers have quintupled corn while using the same or even less land. Corn matters because it towers over other crops, totaling more tons than wheat, soy, rice, and potatoes together
The title of this post contains a redundancy. Capitalism is inherently sustainable, relentlessly producing more human satisfaction using fewer resources. What environmentalists call “sustainability” ought to be called primitivism, producing less human satisfaction using more resources. Read Ausubel’s entire piece.