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FEEDING THE WORLD
http://www.envirolink.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23448
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Author:  malthus99 [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  FEEDING THE WORLD

I expect that the problem of feeding the world when fossil energy becomes scarce and when extreme weather events caused by global warming happen more often, has already been well aired on this forum, but without a solution a catastrophe might be only a few years away.
The worlds farming systems are now almost totally powered by diesel fuel. This fact and the use of nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides derived from ancient sunshine has allowed the world population to triple in the last 70 years, but as diesel fuel is finite and it's use produces co2 emissions, it would be a highly dangerous strategy to rely on as the population goes to 9 billion in about 40 years from now.
Our farming system has become a method of converting cheap, plentiful fossil calories in to food calories. When oil becomes expensive and scarce through depletion or geo-political events such as a mid east war, this system will fail, these converted calories will become unavailable and the world population will fall to a level that a system with less fossil energy inputs can sustain. This would mean mass starvation, especially in those countries with advanced farming systems, who also rely on imported oil.
I have posted a video on http://www.youtube.com/amptrac to help explain what I see as the problem and also one way to power farming without diesel. There might be better ways to do it, but we need to be thinking about them now so that they can be developed in time.

Author:  Wayne Stollings [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

http://www.trunity.net/envsciClone/arti ... opic=81579

Changes in the productivity of the workforce illustrate the connections among energy, materials, and technological change. [Labor productivity] measures the quantity of goods and services that a person can produce per unit of time, such as the number of hamburgers produced per day by a cook. The more productive people are, the higher their income tends to be. International differences in per capita GDP are due in large part to international differences in productivity. Workers in developed nations are more productive than workers in developing nations. Similarly, the historical increase in affluence is due mainly to increases in productivity. In the United States, for example, a worker in a manufacturing industry, such as textiles or steel, produces over three times more textiles and steel than a worker in 1947. As a result, the average manufacturing wage today is more than $16.00 per hour compared to just $5.50 in 1947 when adjusted for inflation.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Peter Goodchild has written several articles on Population and Oil.
Here is the latest;
http://www.countercurrents.org/goodchild031012.htm

More big things that affect future yields are aquifer depletion, soil depletion, and AGW effects. (Even for back yard growing!!)
Such a drag, we need a spot of humor----or is it ironic reality???

A Disbarred Lawyer, an Illegal Alien, a Pathological Liar, a Muslim, a Communist and a Black Guy walk into a BAR.





Bartender asks....
"What'll it be, Mr. President?"

Author:  Ann Vole [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

there is always making your own food like we used to do. Greenhouse technology can help but you still have to get your hands dirty. I have seen a family of North Korean refugees move to Canada in February and grow the back yard into a garden that feeds 25 people that lived in the house and and 1/3 of the food was also sold... this is a small back yard in a city that was snow-covered grass before they moved in. With some know-how, you can grow a lot in a very small area (and this is without any technology... imagine adding a greenhouse to those North Koreans' back yard)

Author:  malthus99 [ Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Johhny Electriglide, Thanks for the Peter Goodchild link.
Very interesting. As a farmer seeing the fantastic speed that modern machines work, with precision guidence and also the accurate application of fertilizer and pesticide inputs, I just can't imagine an easy return to cutting corn and wheat by hand or with animals and then drying in the field. Things would have to be really desperate to get millions of workers in to the fields and they would be fairly useless to begin with.
Still, if that is a better solution than using renewable energy, we need to be preparing for that now.

Ann Vole,
I agree that a lot of food can be grown on a small area by very skilled people, but to feed 25 people from a small yard and selling off one third must be really difficult, especially in Canada with a short growing season.
But if that is possible, we should be finding how it's done so that it can be copied in years to come.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

In the "feeding 25 people from the back yard", I can only wonder if that really was totally feeding them or just feeding them vegetables, certainly NOT total nutrition. What are they doing to replenish the soil??? How about the occupancy laws?? Do they allow immigrants to live in crowded hovels like that? Yuck!

http://www.evfit.com/population_max.htm

Author:  animal-friendly [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Wayne Stollings wrote:
http://www.trunity.net/envsciClone/articles/view/178261/?topic=81579

Changes in the productivity of the workforce illustrate the connections among energy, materials, and technological change. [Labor productivity] measures the quantity of goods and services that a person can produce per unit of time, such as the number of hamburgers produced per day by a cook. The more productive people are, the higher their income tends to be. International differences in per capita GDP are due in large part to international differences in productivity. Workers in developed nations are more productive than workers in developing nations. Similarly, the historical increase in affluence is due mainly to increases in productivity. In the United States, for example, a worker in a manufacturing industry, such as textiles or steel, produces over three times more textiles and steel than a worker in 1947. As a result, the average manufacturing wage today is more than $16.00 per hour compared to just $5.50 in 1947 when adjusted for inflation.



Interesting, but not sure why you posted this. How does it relate ... ?

Author:  Ann Vole [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Johhny Electriglide wrote:
In the "feeding 25 people from the back yard", I can only wonder if that really was totally feeding them or just feeding them vegetables, certainly NOT total nutrition. What are they doing to replenish the soil??? How about the occupancy laws?? Do they allow immigrants to live in crowded hovels like that? Yuck!
They insisted on being self-supporting to the point of paying the church back for the house within 2 years (which went to help other families). They had all gotten jobs and bought houses by the end of that 2 years. They were very resourceful to go from owning nothing to being able to raise the price of a house within 2 years... these were no charity cases! The house was certainly overcrowded for a few months but they found friends to live at and just came over to help grow food, sew clothing and so many other cottage industries (one guy assembled hi-fi audio equipment from parts shipped in bulk).

Author:  Wayne Stollings [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

animal-friendly wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
http://www.trunity.net/envsciClone/articles/view/178261/?topic=81579

Changes in the productivity of the workforce illustrate the connections among energy, materials, and technological change. [Labor productivity] measures the quantity of goods and services that a person can produce per unit of time, such as the number of hamburgers produced per day by a cook. The more productive people are, the higher their income tends to be. International differences in per capita GDP are due in large part to international differences in productivity. Workers in developed nations are more productive than workers in developing nations. Similarly, the historical increase in affluence is due mainly to increases in productivity. In the United States, for example, a worker in a manufacturing industry, such as textiles or steel, produces over three times more textiles and steel than a worker in 1947. As a result, the average manufacturing wage today is more than $16.00 per hour compared to just $5.50 in 1947 when adjusted for inflation.



Interesting, but not sure why you posted this. How does it relate ... ?


You have to read the rest of the article to which it was linked. I cannot post the entire article without the problems associated with copyright infringement so I posted the first section and the link.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Ann Vole wrote:
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
In the "feeding 25 people from the back yard", I can only wonder if that really was totally feeding them or just feeding them vegetables, certainly NOT total nutrition. What are they doing to replenish the soil??? How about the occupancy laws?? Do they allow immigrants to live in crowded hovels like that? Yuck!
They insisted on being self-supporting to the point of paying the church back for the house within 2 years (which went to help other families). They had all gotten jobs and bought houses by the end of that 2 years. They were very resourceful to go from owning nothing to being able to raise the price of a house within 2 years... these were no charity cases! The house was certainly overcrowded for a few months but they found friends to live at and just came over to help grow food, sew clothing and so many other cottage industries (one guy assembled hi-fi audio equipment from parts shipped in bulk).

So they paid the "church" back with jobs they got (low buck and taking away from real Canadians' employment like in the US?). They did not grow total nutrition, and they did break occupancy laws for a period of months. In the US, only 2 per bedroom are allowed($1,600 fine in 1994)---unless the landlord or others are afraid of getting a discrimination lawsuit and being politically incorrect. The reason is the capacity of septic systems or municipal sewer systems, and property taxes being used for community schools, police/fire, and government. Too many people in a building mean not enough taxes are being paid for these services.
I remember in 1994, I was supposed to run a hotel building job near Vail. Because I had one child, I had to get a two bedroom apartment, while Mexican illegals doing housekeeping at hotels were doing it for $1.50 less than American girls, who had to live 50 miles away for affordable housing and ended up losing out to the $1.50/hr. less and under the table illegals, who were allowed to live 6 people per bedroom. I had to decline the job because it worked out to be a $2/hr. pay cut(instead of $6/hr. more) with the increased cost to white Americans of housing. It was a union job, too. The cost of food was higher from the increased demand, also, and went into the COL figures for us. There was an article in the Grand Junction paper about it with disgruntled out of work American housekeepers interviewed. Then PC and the big bucks of the ski industry shut up any follow up journalism.
While it is nice to admire resourcefulness, the fact of a world in overshoot can not be forgotten.

Author:  longstreet [ Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Why feed the world? Overpopulation is stripping the habitat of rare and valuable wildlife species.
AIDS and war are the only population controlling factors in central Africa.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

longstreet wrote:
Why feed the world? Overpopulation is stripping the habitat of rare and valuable wildlife species.
AIDS and war are the only population controlling factors in central Africa.

I agree, and feeding the world has stripped over 2/3 of the good soil and ground water, which will take a very long time to regenerate. In central Africa, by the 2020s overpopulation induced famine will begin its crash, and this time, the Europeans and Americans will not be able to afford to stop it. :neutral:
Ralfy, the "biocapacity" calculators fail to take into account existing depletion and pollution, and their rates, with absorption and replenishment rates. The rate of aquifer draw down is an average of around 100 times recharge, and the same with soil loss from all causes and types, 100 times regeneration rates. With fossil fuels needed to give the food and energy it is 50,000 times regeneration rates and its pollution many hundreds of times absorption rates. So overshoot is much higher.

Author:  ralfy [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... _footprint

Biocapacity is around 1.8 global hectares per capita but ave. footprint is 2.7, which means even the current population is now at overshoot.

Cuba has an ave. footprint of 1.85, which is close to biocapacity. The U.S. and some European countries have an ave. footprint of 8.0, which is almost four times that of the world ave.

Author:  longstreet [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

Why should we supply food to overpopulated areas? They will then have the strength to reproduce more of the same.
"Feeding the world" is not only stupid it is destructive.

Author:  ralfy [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FEEDING THE WORLD

longstreet wrote:
Why should we supply food to overpopulated areas? They will then have the strength to reproduce more of the same.
"Feeding the world" is not only stupid it is destructive.


Who's "we"? The 12 pct of the world's population that is responsible for much of personal consumption? The same 12 pct that can only pay for that personal consumption by selling more to the 88 pct?

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