Back in 2006, novelist and country music singer-songwriter Kinky Friedman ran (unsuccessfully) for governor of Texas. His campaign slogan, a rather pointed reference to the fact that recent occupants of the office George W. Bush and Rick Perry were not the sharpest tools in the shed, was "how hard could it be?" I can't answer that, but I can answer, after a fashion, the question of how complex or simple an Earth surface system can be.
The editor of Soil Science, Daniel Gimenez, known for his work on complex nonlinear dynamics and fractals in soils, recently suggested that I write a review paper for the journal updating my ideas on complexity in pedology and pedogenesis. It was an interesting challenge that had not otherwise occurred to me, and I'm glad I did it. The result was recently published as:
The abstract is below:
40th Annual Naff Symposium chem.as.uky.edu/naff-symposium University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Todd Yeates, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA