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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 11, @04:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the Betteridge-says-"No" dept.

Can We Feed Billions of Ourselves Without Wrecking the Planet?

We are now producing more food more efficiently than ever, and there is plenty to go around for a human population of 7 billion. But it is coming at a drastic cost in environmental degradation, and the bounty is not reaching many people.

Sustainable Food Production, a new Earth Institute primer from Columbia University Press, explores how modern agriculture can be made more environmentally benign, and economically just. With population going to maybe 10 billion within 30 years, the time to start is now, the authors say.

The lead author is ecologist Shahid Naeem, director of the Earth Institute for Environmental Sustainability. He coauthored the book with former Columbia colleagues Suzanne Lipton and Tiff van Huysen.

This is an interesting interview with the author. Do you agree (or disagree) with his conclusions?

Columbia Climate School

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @06:12PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @06:12PM (#1211840)

    Any time anybody talks about "justice" and they aren't talking about a criminal case, you know they're spouting garbage.

    When it comes to food, it's always extra fun because the stuff they want to do is obviously and directly counterproductive. Usually a grab bag of :
    More locally grown food (transportation is only about 2% of the cost of food and usually actually increases carbon footprint because transportation is more efficient than growing food where it doesn't want to grow)
    More organic food (organic is basically code for "less efficient")
    No GMOs (ditto)
    Less meat (livestock eat food that humans can't, mostly byproducts or grown on land that isn't suitable for growing human food)

    It's all just a bunch of la-la hippie nonsense designed to force everyone except them to make "sacrifices". Remember, it's not about making things better, it's about making them worse (for everyone else) to show how wonderful you are.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @08:22PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @08:22PM (#1211895)

    Pesticides have decimated very necessary ecologies, when someone calls something lala hippy stuff it is rarely a comment worth making. Bio-diversity is important, crops that produce sterile seeds are bad, widespread chemical pollution is bad. It is called science, not lala hippy crap. Your comment about livestock feed shows how little you actually understand the topic which is why you resorted to a lame near political insult. Be best my d00d.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:31PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:31PM (#1212125)

      Sure. Pesticides have done a lot of damage. But not doing some kind of serious pest control means no crop to speak of. Bio-diversity is important, sterile crops suck, pollution bad.

      Tadaa, you win! ... against that strawman you just erected.

      The GPP was pointing out that the prescriptions described in the actual article are largely counterproductive, often badly so. The article was all noisy about sustainability but proposed exactly, precisely no substitute for fossil fuel sources for NPK fertilisers to maintain anything resembling current productivity.

      If you can't even meet that standard of demonstration, you're firmly in the realm of hippy crap, not serious crop science.

      There's plenty more wrong there, but a lack of strawmen wasn't it.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 12, @04:35PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 12, @04:35PM (#1212155) Journal

        but a lack of strawmen wasn't it

        But what will my straw cows eat?