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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

[Also Covered By]: Phys.org


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 14, @02:29PM (3 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 14, @02:29PM (#1212667)

    Until population gets too big, the solution to pollution really is dilution. The bottom of the Miami river is not being dredged and is only open to shallow draft ships because of all the toxic waste locked up under the silt. The reason mercury is circulating in the environment is because we dug it up and released it. It does re-bury itself, slowly. Our switch from coal to natural gas has dramatically reduced mercury emissions, but we're still far from "doing a great job" about taking care of the environment. 2006 Houston was blanketing the town in soot and all kinds of crap from the fuel refinery that got on-shored after the offshore platforms got wiped by Katrina/Rita. All that crap was being dumped in the Gulf when the offshore refineries were running. It's well known among local anglers that snapper and other species of desirable food fish gather at the drill sites, but when you catch them there you can literally taste the crude oil in the meat.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 15, @01:30PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 15, @01:30PM (#1212904) Journal

    Our switch from coal to natural gas has dramatically reduced mercury emissions, but we're still far from "doing a great job" about taking care of the environment.

    Ok, you just complained about mercury as an example of how the US wasn't doing a great job about taking care of the environment and now, we see it wasn't a good example.

    2006 Houston was blanketing the town in soot and all kinds of crap from the fuel refinery that got on-shored after the offshore platforms got wiped by Katrina/Rita.

    How often do emergencies like Katrina and Rita happen to the oil industry? Sorry, just because an emergency happened doesn't mean that the US isn't taking care of its environment.

    It's well known among local anglers that snapper and other species of desirable food fish gather at the drill sites, but when you catch them there you can literally taste the crude oil in the meat.

    Maybe shouldn't do that then.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 16, @05:59PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 16, @05:59PM (#1213176)

      the US wasn't doing a great job about taking care of the environment and now, we see it wasn't a good example.

      Depends on your definition of "great job" better than flaming rivers and 100% of lakes 100% dead from acid rain, yeah, we're beating that standard - now.

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