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Feeding the world with a mix of science and tradition

The biotech industry has long sought legitimacy by claiming that its genetically modified crop technologies are “feeding the world”. However this relentless focus on increasing food production ignores…

If we are going to reduce hunger in the world’s smallholder agricultural communities we need to look past genetically-engineered crops. Flickr/davidsilver

The biotech industry has long sought legitimacy by claiming that its genetically modified crop technologies are “feeding the world”. However this relentless focus on increasing food production ignores the fact that mass hunger exists alongside a huge food surplus.

To really reduce world hunger on a permanent basis, we need to embrace the ideas of food sovereignty, which highlights the politics of food, in terms of resource ownership, market control and decision-making power; and the concept of agroecology, which blends traditional farming knowledge with modern understandings of on-farm ecosystem services.

Last month, the World Food Prize was awarded to scientists from Monsanto, Syngenta and other bioengineering companies.

Sponsors of the prize (including Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midlands, Walmart, and Pepsi) claim that it is “the foremost international award recognising individuals whose achievements have advanced human development by increasing the quantity, quality and availability of food in the world”.

The winners spoke glowingly on how biotechnology held “the promise of benefiting all mankind” by producing increased yields through improving resistance to insects and disease, and increasing the capacity to withstand climate extremes.

But well-known food movement scholar and activist Eric Holt Gimenez criticised the prize outcome saying it has “become a corporate celebration of self”.

The further development of biotechnologies has been openly endorsed by agricultural exporting countries, including Australia. The newly-released National Food Plan called for the expansion of genetically engineered crops in this country.

However, critics say that in over 20 years of commercially-planted, genetically-engineered crops, yield gains have been minimal.

In fact, the technology may be causing yields to fall by decreasing biodiversity and contributing to the evolution of superweeds. Herbicide volumes are now rising at 25% per year to cope with these superweeds.

Hunger amid abundance

Enough food is being produced to feed 12 billion people globall. But as Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Food wrote when he visited Australia last year, “people are hungry because they are marginalised economically and powerless politically”.

The real progress towards reducing hunger has not been through the mass commercialisation of genetic-engineering technologies. Instead it has come through coordinated policy initiatives across health, education, gender, and housing, in a broad and inclusive process of reform driven forward by an engaged and mobilised civil society.

Given that the majority of hungry people are smallholder farmers or landless rural workers, agroecology has been endorsed by De Schutter and others as having the capacity to “double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty”.

Agroecology and food sovereignty

By combining the experiences of local farmers with scientific insight, agroecology aims to mimic natural ecosystems with a focus on crop diversity and the reuse of resources. Improved soil fertility and water management are just some of the environmental and agricultural benefits that have been recently summarised on The Conversation.

What we want to draw attention to here is how agroecology is being integrated into a broader social and political movement striving for major changes in world food systems.

Agroecology aims to share knowledge and resources among farmers to increase their independence and sustainability. This is why the self-described international peasants movement, La Via Campesina, incorporates agroecology as a central pillar of its vision for food sovereignty.

Food sovereignty calls for communities to have a much greater say over their food and agricultural systems by reducing excessive corporate control of food production and distribution.

These principles have been enshrined in the constitutions and laws of several countries including Ecuador, Nepal, Mali, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil; and at a local level in several counties in Maine and elsewhere in the US.

La Via Campesina and its allies also have a strong presence in the new civil society mechanism of the reformed Committee on World Food Security of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which is emerging as an alternative to to the corporate-dominated G8 initiatives in global food governance.

The concepts of agroecology are being used to promote food sovereignty within La Via Campesina the world’s largest social movement. Flickr/desfilhesjm

Emerging alternatives: the Jakarta Call

Over 500 participants from 88 countries, including (for the first time) Australia, recently attended the sixth international La Via Campesina conference. The outcome was a new declaration, representing 183 peasant and family farmer organisations, the “Jakarta Call”.

This declaration called for the widespread embrace of agroecology as the way to “defend biodiversity, cool the planet and protect our soils”. This idea is increasingly supported by studies worldwide.

Food and agriculture are at a crossroads. In this country both major parties have thrown in their lot with the biotech industry and the warmed-up concept of the “northern food bowl” which is both unrealistic and dangerous. Meanwhile our horticultural and food manufacturing industries continue to bleed farmers and workers dry, pushed by our government’s blind faith in free trade ideology. It’s time for some fresh thinking in this critically-important area. The world’s poor may just have something to teach us.

Join the conversation

45 Comments sorted by

  1. Jack Heinemann

    Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at University of Canterbury

    Thank you Nicholas and Federico for reinforcing the fact that agroecological agriculture is based on modern science and the best of the history of experimentation for many centuries. It really is time to discuss options in agriculture that deliver on their promises, such as agroecological approaches, and don't just deliver promises.

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  2. John Newton

    Author Journalist

    I have communicated with ministers for agriculture on this reality - biotech does not increase yield and besides what does it matter – and received platitudinous and deceitful responses.

    I sat through a seminar at NSW parliament house, during which scientists, lawyers and conventional farmers presented the case against GM. National Party members present - they had called for the submissions – were visibly shaken by the evidence they heard.
    The next day, they went into the house and voted along with the (Labor) government and their coalition partners to lift the moratorium on GM crops. Ian Macdonald was the relevant minister.

    Is it just a matter of following the money? Or do they really believe the biotech bullshit?

    Thank you for this terrific summary of both the problem and the solution. I'm going to circulate it as widely as possible.

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    1. Michael Croft

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Newton

      G'day John, I have spoken federal ministers, parliamentary secretaries and their shadows, and have received similar responses. What was 'interesting' is that both the Coalition and Labor ministers believed that free trade, reducing structural barriers to trade, and productivity increases are the only answer. It was an echo chamber.

      I was politely ignored when I pointed out that the evidence shows 3 decades of neoliberal free trade, reduced structural barriers etc has decimated farmers and rural communities. I joked with staffers after the meetings that to keep on this ideological path is a clinical definition of insanity - to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result. They were not amused :)

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  3. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

    I think agroecological agriculture is fine for peasants on their own land, and people living communally in small villages with acres to spare, but when you consider that over half of the world's human population now lives in cities, how else can we feed them other than by industrialised agriculture, backed up by massive transport networks?
    It amazes and disappoints me that population control seems to have completely disappeared from the international political radar.

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    1. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Well I have news for you Paul........ in a post Peak Oil world, cities will be abandoned, billions will starve, and those left will all go back to the land.

      Limits to Growth....... all predicted 40 years ago and bang on target to occur exactly as predicted.....

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    2. Robert Pekin

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Paul, I once held the same view however there are many large farms in Australia practising and pioneering Agro-ecological agriculture working with ecological Social enterprises to do just that, feed the cities in the transition to a resource constrained world (whatever that may look like).

      Those farming families who practice ecological and holistic forms of production are far more efficient and profitable (even before total externalised costs are accounted for) than the industrial farms. In the last couple of years I have seen evidence that those industrial type farms suffering badly with quite a few going out of business with huge debts

      The future looks worse for those farmers pursuing the industrial model and I really feel for them because they are being spun pure sophistry.

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    3. Robert Pekin

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Apologies Paul, I forgot to mention that population is not the biggest issue in this context, Its a combination of distribution inequality / inefficiency and feed being used for fuel. I'm not saying it wont be a problem in the future but there are easy wins for society if it took up the task of sorting out the issues in distribution instead of this constant resource drain into production.

      There is plenty of food to go around, we just waste so much through an industrial system that is struggling…

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    4. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      I’m in agreement with the lack of population control Paul. Population explosions create more crowding hence a potential for higher fatalities from natural disasters which are already growing more frequent.

      A calamity with tens of thousands of fatalities is perhaps a matter of time. Smaller natural events in the wrong place at the wrong time could have large human, environmental and economic impacts. Population explosions place severe pressure on forests and water pollution is already…

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    5. Justin Sharman-Selvidge

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Hello Paul,
      The increasing urbanization of the population seemingly creates a need for IA and huge supporting transport networks.I believe that there are enough reasonably successful models, that demonstrate,high yielding,,environmentally sound production of food in urban areas.The potential of urban food production to provide meaningful employment and also for resource recovery should be part of a wide range of solutions that lessens our dependence on the current system.

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    6. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Paul and Mike,

      I don't know if you're aware, but a lot of urban people worldwide grow their own food - inside towns and cities. It's easy to dismiss this food production as "minimal" - but only if you haven't seen what can be achieved. By way of example, here is a link to TED talks on the subject:

      http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/06/a-visit-to-ron-finleys-la-garden-plus-5-more-ted-talks-about-growing-your-own-food/

      Australia's cities are similarly full of unused land - "nature" strips, reserves, pointless tracts of municipal grass and longstanding vacant lots. And among the cognoscenti, it's well-known that a 1/4 acre garden in the Sydney area can provide all the fruit, veggies and eggs that a vegetarian family need. Not everyone has 1/4 acre of course (although lots still do) but there is all that other unused land - and it's a far cry from the "acres to spare" that Paul claims.

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    7. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      What you have to realise Lorna is that the people who DO grow their own food like this are too poor to buy supermarket style food, and have time on their hands due to being unemployed......

      Plus, anywhere that has been developed in Australia at least has had its soil stripped, or so severely compacted/impacted by the building processes that just about the only thing that will grow around houses IS grass...!

      As someone who grows loads of vegetables, you better believe me that it is a completely…

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    8. Terry J Wall

      Still Learning at University of Life

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Hi Paul
      perhaps population control is at the forefront of corporate food ideology..
      After all Monsanto are effectively trying to starve peasants by making them buy expensive new seed from them every year, and now the super weeds are demanding more and more Monsanto goodies to kill them. Yep that looks like a winner.

      Family farmers (with years of experience of maintaining the productive asset) are being pushed off their properties by subsidies favoring large operations driving mountainous machinery.

      Corporate marketing ensures that the big farmer gets the preferential premium prices for their crops.

      The loss of biodiversity through corporate insistence on sowing their own seed over vast areas will bite humanity in the arse.

      Yep I recon that if the climate doesn't reduce populations, the multi national corporations sure as hell will.

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    9. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      "What you have to realise Lorna is that the people who DO grow their own food like this are too poor to buy supermarket style food, and have time on their hands due to being unemployed......"

      C'mon - this is just nonsense. To be frank, growing your own food is a bit damn middle class, and one of the reasons I like Ron Finley is that he's refreshingly NOT High Fearnley-Whittingstall (who's also great). I know a large number of gardeners and permaculturists - none of them "too poor to buy supermarket…

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    10. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Sorry that should be Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. He's also done some amazing work (my personal favourite was the slaterburger).

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    11. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      "Yes it can be done...... but people will only be forced to do it screaming and kicking, and quite likely starving too".

      Oh - where to start? Probably at a meeting of your local community garden. You might encounter a sport of frustration and maybe the odd swearword - but mostly in the context of getting council permission to use vacant land for a garden. And in Britain, there are waiting lists TEN YEARS long for allotments.

      Urban gardeners aren't being dragged kicking and screaming, forced by extreme poverty to scrape a living from ruined soil. They are increasingly discovering the satisfaction of gardening as an activity that can fit around a busy working life (it takes less time to tend a permaculture garden than an equivalent lawn) while improving their fitness and contributing to their supply of super-fresh organic food.

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    12. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Lorna, I'm very pleased you are growing your own food successfully. But you make the classic mistake of treating me as someone I am not because you only know 'me' 'online' and have no idea of what I have done and what I have achieved.......

      I've been involved in Permaculture Noosa for YEARS! I have a PDC under my belt, and I've been on the PN Committee and held executive positions, and edited their newsletter for five years. I've also started a Transition Town Initiative. I KNOW how people…

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    13. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike,

      Just to re-iterate, I have been growing my own food for pretty much my whole life (thanks Dad) and started in permaculture over 20 years ago. I've built gardens on subsoil - and even on concrete, where it couldn't be broken or removed. I've gardened in tiny urban backyards, sandwiched between house walls. I have regenerated a native creekline on a budget of sod all and a full-time job. I have done a lot of experimenting - but I haven't blogged. Mea culpa.

      I'm aware of what developers…

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    14. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Thanks for the advice Lorna......... but you leave out the fact we live in completely different climates......

      I've even thrown corrugated iron on kikuyu...... and it won! Worse, I have two acres of the stuff next door that is doing it all can to invad my place. When I planted my zone 5 out, I even got cardboard boxes used to package refrigerators to sheet mulch around the trees.. it worked for a few weeks, but again the kikuyu beat me. It will grow six foot long runners in two days here......

      Can't wait to move to Tasmania......

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  4. MADGE Australia Inc

    logged in via Twitter

    Thank you for this excellent article. We are hearing how corn rootworm - the pest that GM corn was designed to kill - is now becoming immune to the toxins the GM corn produces. This is a problem as, due to the subsidies for corn in the US, farmers are growing it year after year. Much of it is not even used as food or animal feed but it turned into ethanol. When one crop is repeatedly grown over a large area this is a recipe for failure and famine. Agroecology, in contrast, can feed people a varied…

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    1. Federico Davila

      PhD Candidate, Human Ecology Program at Australian National University

      In reply to MADGE Australia Inc

      Thank you all for the insightful comments. Appreciate your support for our ideas.

      The question you pose, of 'Why isn't this happening'? Is largely driven by three things (In my experience).

      Firstly, there is the neo-liberal, market will solve it ideology (as outlined by Michael above). This mindset is out of date, yet continues to believe the old free trade ideas were successful and did not cause any global inequality, and even greater environmental impact.

      Secondly, power relations are…

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    2. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to MADGE Australia Inc

      No no Madge, don't you worry. The next generation GM corn will take the fight to a whole new level, overcoming all obstacles. And if not that one, so the next. There is a fight going on Madge, and we humans must win, after all, we know so much.

      Either us, or earth..

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  5. Geoff Davies

    Retired scientist

    Thanks Nicholas and Federico for an excellent, concise summary of the state of play in this vital issue.

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  6. John Harland

    bicycle technician

    Thanks for an excellent summation of the issues.

    "Reform" of agriculture too often centres on the production of monocultured cash crops in place of the variety of foods grown for local consumption. This is precisely the pattern of the European colonial empires, except that the corporations no longer rely on colonial powers as intermediaries in the process.

    While the crops bring cash, food then requires the outlay of cash. The variety available in local food is replaced by the narrowness of commercially-available food.

    Although outright starvation is a relatively rare outcome, dietary problems such as diabetes are a common outcome.

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  7. Eric Ireland

    logged in via Facebook

    I agree that the causes of hunger are political, but still, increasing crop yields can only be a good thing. Per capita food consumption is increasing, as people in many developing countries increase their consumption of meat and dairy products, processed foods, horticultural products, etc. It'll continue as long as economic growth continues. It this demand is not met, food prices will increase, hurting the poorest the most. If agroecology has the ability to “double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty”, then I'm all for it, but it's not the only solution. E.g. sub-Saharan Africa could increase crop yields by by using more fertilisers (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/483525a).

    Critics say yield gains from GM crops have been minimal, but a lot of peer-reviewed studies say the opposite (e.g. Bt cotton in India http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1203647109).

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    1. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Eric Ireland

      NO increase in yield is possible without more fossil fuel use, resulting in greater climate events...... and economic growth CANNOT continue... in fact it is grinding to a halt all over the world. Did you know Egyptian farmers haven't been able to access sufficient fuel for their tractors over the past few months...? And that's in an OIL PRODUCING country! And fertlisers are 80% fossil fuel based....

      Industrial farming is FINISHED.... I give it no more than ten years.

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    2. Rosemary Stanton

      Nutritionist & Visiting Fellow at UNSW Australia

      In reply to Eric Ireland

      The world's supply of phosphate rock is limited. I know there is widespread argument about when peak phosphorus will occur, but occur it will.

      Most of the current reserves are in Morocco, but rather than going to African countries which need it, the phosphate rock is bought by companies who can sell it for high prices in Australia.

      The 'market' economy also means that much of the fish Australia imports (about two-thirds of our total consumption) is taken from countries where the diet would…

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    3. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Eric Ireland

      A recent study found that five of 13 major crop pests are now resistant to genetically engineered BT corn and cotton crops.

      Rootworms are the most recent insect to develop resistance, overcoming Monsanto Co.’s rootworm-killing corn in at least two U.S. states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in January, confirming earlier university studies.

      Other instances of field-evolved resistance in BT corn include fall armyworms in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, and maize-stem borers in…

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    4. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Eric Ireland

      The Wall Street Journal's Ian Berry got the ball rolling early this year with a May report bearing the evocative headline "Pesticides Make a Comeback: Many Corn Farmers Go Back to Using Chemicals as Mother Nature Outwits Genetically Modified Seeds":

      Insecticide sales are surging after years of decline, as American farmers plant more corn and a genetic modification designed to protect the crop from pests has started to lose its effectiveness. The sales are a boon for big pesticide makers, such as American Vanguard Co. and Syngenta.

      http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/07/superweeds-and-superinsects-still-bedeviling-monsanto-crops

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    5. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Shirley Birney

      Wouldn't it be nice to hold both those leading a company as well as those owning shares economically responsible for whatever disasters might come from wrongly implemented practices of gene modifications :) A little like you can put dictators to trial, and other war criminals.

      Make those laws work internationally, and watch the companies adapt. No company, or share holder, wants to have a economic responsibility for what the company produce, more than the one expressed in their shares losing value.

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  8. Shirley Birney

    logged in via email @tpg.com.au

    What a refreshing article – thank you Federico and Nicholas. Indeed some of our scholars issue glowing reports on their collaboration with some of the largest biotech polluters in the world. The ignominious history of this ecocidal industry has been well documented for decades; in fact since the hit and run cabal contaminated the entire planet with persistent organic pollutants - and with impunity.

    Take Dupont for example who states they are: “the world’s leading source of customized solutions…

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  9. Dale Bloom

    Analyst

    Much of genetic engineering seems hype, and there is only so much genetic engineering can do.

    About 30 years ago there was a proposal to genetically engineer a species of sugar cane that was nitrogen fixing.

    Still waiting for that species.

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  10. Mike Stasse

    retired energy consultant

    "The world has quietly transitioned into a situation where water, not land, has emerged as the principal constraint on expanding food supplies. There is a large area of land that could produce food if water were available.

    Water scarcity is not our only challenge. Just as harvests are shrinking in some countries because of aquifer depletion, they are shrinking in other countries because of soil erosion. Among the more dramatic examples are Mongolia and Lesotho, which have each seen their grain…

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Thanks for mentioning soil erosion, Mike - too little has yet been said about this. Water may be the most immediate limiting factor, but eroded soils are coming up behind to deliver a second blow. And no amount of GM, even if it can increase yields or reduce herbicide/insecticide use to some degree, looks as if it's going to address this problem...

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    2. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike I don’t think there will be a shortage of water since the world will build desalination plants. I don’t believe this is a panacea to water shortage but governments are ramping up construction of plants. Already there are about 16,000 plants worldwide. Now that we have exhausted our supplies of groundwater, humanity’s plunder of the oceans is of course, a last resort of a desperate species with unknown trade-offs.

      Despite the assurance that sophisticated technologies won’t damage marine…

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    3. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Shirley Birney

      Desalination requires bucketloads of energy, and along with a water crisis, we are heading into an energy crisis. I put two and two together. In fact we are heading into a perfect storm...... Peak Resources AND economic collapse (due to unrestrained exponential growth - humanity's greatest shortcoming is its inability to understand the exponential function)

      And "adopt[ing] renewable energy in haste" requires using huge amounts of fossil fuels to do it with. It's called the energy cliff...
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/more-on-the-energy-cliff/
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/its-the-nett-energy-stupid/
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/more-on-the-energy-cliff-2/

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  11. John Harland

    bicycle technician

    There is far too much sophisticated fatalism amongst recent responses to this article.

    Future disasters are not "going to happen". They are likely to happen if we do nothing to prevent them. None of the challenges raised are impossible to prevent, although they do require action and innovation.

    Water is a challenge and desalination requires far too much energy to have any real place in providing water for agriculture. There are, however, huge opportunities for economy of water use including…

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    1. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      And there's this niggling issue........:

      Study: Global Warming Has Increased Australia’s Chances Of Extreme Summers Five-Fold

      By Jeff Spross on Jul 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      (Credit: Shutterstock)
      Researchers at the University of Melbourne have concluded that Australia is much more likely to see extremely hot summers thanks to human-driven global warming. This finding is based on a raft of climate measurements, plus over 90 climate model simulations.

      The context for the study is the record-smashing…

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    2. Lorna Jarrett

      PhD, science educator and science advocate

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike,

      Your comment is a perfect example of what John describes as "sophisticated fatalism".

      For example, we only "literally EAT fossil fuels" because, rather than make any attempt to use the land they have access to, to grow some of their own food; most Australians (and Westerners in general) have become inculturated into buying all of their own food, and using their land to grow lawn (which consumes yet more fossil fuels) and other low- or negative-return plants.

      Turning lawn (of any size) into productive garden delivers a double advantage - saving the fossil fuels used to cut the grass, and saving the fossil fuels used to grow and transport the food commercially.

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    3. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Couldn't agree more Lorna...... but the reason I'm fatalistic is because all the necessary skills have been lost.

      We grow most of our food. I've even had a go at milking goats and making my own cheese, raising piglets for meat, making beer and mead (we also have our own bees...), and I've raised and killed and eaten countless chickens and ducks.

      The problem lies in economies of scale. I recently processed 20kg of tomatoes (which I bought from the farmer for $10!) into passata. By the time…

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  12. Terry J Wall

    Still Learning at University of Life

    I totally support the hypothesis that farming has no place in the hands of corporations.
    For 70 years there have been no rules or incentives to produce food that is good for the consumer (safe; yes but nutritional integrity; no). Look what corporations did to banking in just 7 years without rules. Lets rest our case on that one.

    Currently, using organic based farming techniques, China has produced enough food for 30 people per hectare http://in-syncminerals.com/cms/Food%20Crisis.jpg, and in the US with all its carbon intensive, chemical and GM additives, produces enough for 4 per hectare. (and what is produced in the US could be described as nutritionally challenged). so perhaps it is justice - the unsustainable methods are failing and badly.

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  13. Mike Stasse

    retired energy consultant

    Another reason why factory farming is a really stupid idea...

    (Associated Press) Shortly before Americans fired up their grills for Independence Day, researchers announced that industrial farm workers have been contaminated with “pig MRSA,” an antibiotic resistant bacteria that is increasingly found in American hogs. According to a new study, workers at factory hog farms that use antibiotics are far more likely to contract the drug-resistant bacteria from the pigs than workers at antibiotic-free operations.

    http://occupymonsanto360.org/blog/factory-farm-workers-found-to-be-carrying-pig-mrsa/

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