• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

French Study on Feeding 9 Billion People  RSS feed

 
Jonathan Byron
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A large, 5 year study by 2 French Agencies found that we can feed the 2050 estimate of 9 billion people without destroying the environment, but that some changes are needed.

These are the main challenges for research, says Guyomard. For example, high-yield farming typically means large expanses of one crop, which encourages crop diseases and requires more pesticides.

Instead, researchers could find ways for farmers to raise yields while maintaining biodiversity. Guyomard says food scientists will need to organise globally, as climate scientists have done.


Can anyone say "Permaculture" ???



http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19947-we-can-feed-9-billion-people-in-2050.html
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
really, what about suggesting that all homes have some food crop growing, at least one, even if it is no more than a tomato plant on their windowsill !!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Reduce the likelihood of producing the extra billions of people?

http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_defendingwomensrts


 
R Hasting
Posts: 183
Location: Mineola, Texas
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is always war and famine!
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
287
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
War and famine have succeeded for over 50 centuries.  Does that qualify them as "Permaculture"?
 
                                            
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
if you want to feed more people, just have everyone become predominantly vegetarian.

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes

 
maikeru sumi-e
Posts: 313
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
neoplasticity wrote:
if you want to feed more people, just have everyone become predominantly vegetarian.

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes




An all-potato diet sounds just like what we need.

http://mynorthwest.com/category/local_news_articles/20101129/Man-on-60-day-potato-diet-ends-challenge/
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Permaculture seems to indicate one can raise a sustainable diet including meat because some animals will eat kinds or parts of plants which humans can't or don't want to eat, turning these things into tasty nutritious food and great fertilizer for plants. (Circle of Life) 
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can't seem to find the study itself... was it actually a study or a report?
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
287
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some people predict that mother Earth cannot support 9 billion people.  They are correct if we maintain the status quo.  We need to rethink our living and growing patterns.  Segments of most countries are deemed uninhabitable, which is a falsehood.  People would just rather live elsewhere.  Siberia by itself could probably sustain billions.  The 90% of Canada that is uninhabited could support billions more.
In the US, all of the private lawns and golf courses, a billion more.  With that many people, it will get awfully hard to find an undeveloped chunk of nature, and Mother Nature herself may become exhausted and just give up, surrendering to the masses that will be demanding more and more.
 
Jonathan Byron
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can't seem to find the study itself... was it actually a study or a report?


I think the 5 year study had multiple reports, and there is a book that summarizes the work:

http://www.cirad.fr/en/news/all-news-items/articles/2010/ca-vient-de-sortir/agrimonde

There is also a page with a few hours of video on the subject, but merci me, they seem to be in some foreign language:

http://www.inra.fr/l_institut/prospective/agrimonde__1
 
Jonathan Byron
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
neoplasticity wrote:
if you want to feed more people, just have everyone become predominantly vegetarian.

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes



Yes, relying too much on meat is inefficient.  Having chickens or ducks that scrounge here and there to provide eggs and some meat can be good. Putting a few cows, sheep or goats to pasture here and there is not a problem if it really is a few animals. Using pigs to convert 'waste' to food can be good. But if people want their diet to include lots and lots of meat, then efficiency and total production falls rapidly.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some regions, such as arid and semi arid regions, just aren't very good for growing crops edible by humans.  I don't seem to be able to grow potatoes where I live, but deer and squirrels grow like mad.  It might be silly for me to to have a diet based on potatoes, but maybe not so silly to have a diet based on deer and squirrels.    I'm not sure one can make accurate blanket statements about diet which apply to all people everywhere.  Some places it might be more efficient to have a diet relying on meat, other places more efficient to have a diet relying on vegetables.

 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
neoplasticity wrote:
if you want to feed more people, just have everyone become predominantly vegetarian.

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes



that beef is a lot more nutritionally dense than those potatoes.

You can also raise 5,000 lbs of rabbit meat in that same space...

I'm not going to sacrifice my diet so that we can cram a few more billion on the planet. 7 billion should be more than enough people....
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
velacreations wrote:
7 billion should be more than enough people....


Seems like plenty, doesn't it? 
 
T. Joy
Posts: 438
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:
The 90% of Canada that is uninhabited could support billions more.


How, exactly? A large portion of that is Canadian Shield, a lot more is cold for most of the year. Not exactly feasable for living on or producing food I'm afraid. Not to disparage your reasoning, I'm genuinely curious about your ideas for using that land. It's just that I am pretty sure that 90% is uninhabited for a reason.
 
                            
Posts: 56
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding is some 90% of all vertebrate biomass on the planet is devoted to The Human Civilization Project. This is grossly imbalanced and all based on the availability of fossil fuels. All indicators say, this will not last. Permaculture cannot make this happen. Permaculture is not a deus ex machina for human desire and expectations. Is the land saying: Yes, more humans, that's what we need! That ain't what I'm hearing.
 
Jonathan Byron
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I'm not sure one can make accurate blanket statements about diet which apply to all people everywhere.  Some places it might be more efficient to have a diet relying on meat, other places more efficient to have a diet relying on vegetables.


In terms of thermodynamics, eating higher on the food chain will always be less efficient. It typically takes 10 to 100 calories of plant energy to yield a calorie of animal energy - warm blooded animals burn most of what they eat as a fuel, even cold blooded animals require 4x more calories than they yield. 


that beef is a lot more nutritionally dense than those potatoes.


Sure, no doubt about that, more protein and calories in a pound of meat than in most plant foods. But the total yield of calories or protein per acre goes down dramatically when the system design is pushed towards more meat.

In a natural ecosystem or permaculture system, meat is available, but it may be less than many humans desire... humans evolved to crave high-protein/high-calorie foods and sweet foods because they can be useful and have traditionally been rather scarce...  but given complete freedom, many people will over-eat these to the point of disease.  As I see it, the success of fast food joints is about catering to what people really want (even though what they want and what they need diverge when people are on a see-food diet).

Chickens and ducks occupy one niche where they perform ecosystem functions and provide a yield to humans - great to have a few chickens.  Ruminants occupy another niche, pigs yet another.  All good in moderation, but when the desire for rich food becomes the driving factor in food production, human health and the Earth both suffer.

The traditional logic is that some hillsides are too steep to plow and plant, so they should by nature be grazed. Ok, but what about doing permaculture on a hillside? The traditional logic is that semi-arid or arid lands cannot support agriculture, so they should be grazed. Ok, but are these lands suited to desert permaculture?

I'm not arguing against eating meat, but I think that a meat-centered diet is an indulgence with serious consequences.


My understanding is some 90% of all vertebrate biomass on the planet is devoted to The Human Civilization Project. This is grossly imbalanced and all based on the availability of fossil fuels. All indicators say, this will not last. Permaculture cannot make this happen. Permaculture is not a deus ex machina for human desire and expectations. Is the land saying: Yes, more humans, that's what we need! That ain't what I'm hearing.


The numbers are troubling, I agree. But if humans decide to eat less meat, it can reduce the human ecological footprint. Does that solve everything? No. But no single action can solve a collection of complex problems.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with a lot of what you said, Johnathan.    Personally I eat relatively little meat. 
 
T. Joy
Posts: 438
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you Jonathan Byron for that most excellent post.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to try and avoid starting another meat vs vegetarian debate on here again....

In terms of thermodynamics, eating higher on the food chain will always be less efficient. It typically takes 10 to 100 calories of plant energy to yield a calorie of animal energy - warm blooded animals burn most of what they eat as a fuel, even cold blooded animals require 4x more calories than they yield. 

Strict numbers like that are useless for really understanding food production. They fail to illustrate the infinite amount of real world combinations and situations where eating higher on the food chain is more efficient.

10 calories to produce 1 calorie?  (assuming this number is correct), what were those original 10 calories?  grass? corn stalks? alfalfa? duckweed?  or any number of plant matter that is inedible to humans?

So, we take 10 calories of "waste" and nutrient poor material and create 1 calorie of nutrient dense human food.  Not a bad conversion when you say it like that....

How many calories of fossil fuel does it take to produce one calorie of corn? wheat? potatoes?

But if humans decide to eat less meat, it can reduce the human ecological footprint.

That depends...  Allon Savory's work shows us that meat demand is drastically improving the environment. Other people use animals to consume waste products that would otherwise be rotting in a landfill somewhere.

As said before, blanket statements like "we should all be vegetarian" and "less meat reduces the ecological footprint" rarely describe the actual situation for the majority of people.

The problem I see here is not "How do we feed 9B people?" but rather "How do we reduce our population down to 5B people without major economic and social collapse?"
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with a lot of what you said, velacreations. 

I think we all have our pet solutions to the "Population Problem"  - mine are "empowerment of women" and "don't have kids."    Other people might have "don't eat meat" as their solution.  Many different solutions are helpful and useful - not all are equally helpful and useful in any given situation, in my opinion.  For some people it might make a lot of sense to be vegetarians.  For others, not much sense at all. I wish we would not have these diet debates all the time. 
 
                            
Posts: 56
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jonathan_Byron wrote:
The numbers are troubling, I agree. But if humans decide to eat less meat, it can reduce the human ecological footprint. Does that solve everything? No. But no single action can solve a collection of complex problems.


I think we need to look at this from a systems perspective. Setting up a dichotomy between meat-centered diets and plant-centered diets as a fundamental issue guiding world happenings does not provide clarity. For example, if we all became tofu eating vegetarians chances are that that number of 90% would not be reduced. It'd just mean that biomass would now be occupied by more humans rather than by cows. Generally speaking, things would be the same as they are now. This is sort of like Jeavons paradox. Yes, a vegetarian diet is more efficient per acre at producing food for humans, but greater efficiency does not usually mean a reduction in overall resource use. In fact, the opposite generally occurs.

I do think, however, that your point about seeking a meat centered diet, say by trying to integrate animals into a permaculture system that don't deserve to be there -- like trying to have cows or horses or other large animals -- just to satisfy our industrially-cultured desires is silly. For my part, I do eat a lot of domestic meat now from local family farms. I would like to continue to eat meat, and for this bioregion I think that's possible with all the wild game. But I don't yet have the skills to hunt or butcher animals so I'm doing the next best thing until I'm at that point, and trying to integrate poultry into my permaculture system.

On the whole the population issue will probably be resolved through a decrease in population following the decrease in available fossil fuels. We can hope this will happen through attrition, but it may mean folks die young and from disease. In this regard I have no response and do not think I need a response. Most animals don't worry about these macro-issues and so I tend to not give them much attention either.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      The thread i have opened on desertification in the mediterean, by which i mean in countries normally called mediteranean, is about hills eaten down by the live stock till the vegetation is done for or bared by the use of herbicides, crazy as that sounds. I have seen evidence of the use of herbicides on many a hillside, These hills are first bared and then  kept bare  till the unprotected earth has all been carried off by the wind or by water.
        The hills i have photographed to illustrate this are in  the  centre of Spain, in a mountainouse areas where the rainfall is in the 700mm - 770 mm, too much water by far for this area to be called a desert.
        The land is destroyed because the land is left so bare of vegetation so that there is nothing to add vegetable matter to the soil, so there is no nitrogen in the soil, nitrogen is a product of the break down of organic matter. There could be ever so much more vegetation in these areas if overgrazing was stopped and i am sure that is also true of enormouse extensions of the world that also have a dry season as Spain does so that fear of fires in the dry undergrowth during this system leads to systematic over grazing.
    People say to me that there is not over grazing there because they say there are few enough heads of cattle, in this case sheep and goats. Of course there is not much live stock, things have got to the point when the land would not support many heads of cattle but the greenery that is left is still over grazed or killed with herbicides.
    Here it seems so possible to grow much more so that the idea that there would be problems if the population grew seems to me, livign here, to be ridiculouse, however if we have suprise floods because of global warming, now in one country now in another, it is going to be very hard to know how much of our crops will go to waste each year.  and so we will have bigger tahn normal  shortages of food
 
  We can grow much more but i am for believing what wildeyes says, it sounds like the sort of thing people discover when they study things well. She says that if we have more food we will only start to have bigger populations and end up with less food. agri rose macaskie
 
   
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
287
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As to my comment on Canada's north feeding people, yes, it can be done.  In the area, there is an abundance of water (scarce in many parts of the populated world).  There are trees and other vegetation.  There is wildlife.

I would bet that if you put a million Koreans there, that they would survive.  Probably they would not thrive, but they would survive.  And, as with the rest of the animal kingdom, their birth rate would decrease without an abundance of food.

200 villages of 5,000  childless people each.  Come back in 5 years and see.  The population would probably have doubled.  Commerce and industry, on small scales would exist, and people would be "getting by".

They would probably not be "doing well", but by then, the people in cities of 10 million will not be doing well either.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As to vegetarianism there is always the question of our brutality to animals and whether or not we should accept it and it is on the increase, the life expectancy of dairy cattle is right down, factory farms are a brutal way of bringing up animals.
   
      Is not our waste an even bigger  problem than our diet, for the moment at anyrate.
      Carbon dioxide is waste and we could hardly have the populations we have without fossil fuels though we can now with clean energies.
    Also, I saw a documentary on the pursuit of waste from atomic power stations in europe and it seems the mafia handles radio active waste and some of it was taken to africa where it was merely dumped in those big oil can things beside fairly empty stretches of road. The journalist who made this documentary got killed it is a second journalist tha tfinished it. I tis not the only time i have heard that the mafia deals with atomic waste. are we to have big popùlations at the price of cancer in poor countries, the religiouse want as many children to be born as possible, at what price and why cant they wait for the generation to sum up inot a big number of people, why do they all have to come now? the world is set to end tomorow is not it, to leave a time marker that is a bit more fun than an actual date in this thread. agri rose macaskie.     
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A question I contemplate is:  Is a population of 9 billion desirable and why? 

Another: Are cities of 10 million desirable and why?

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
    As to vegetarianism, there is always the question of our brutality to animals and whether or not we should accept it and it is on the increase, the life expectancy of dairy cattle is right down, factory farms are a brutal way of bringing up animals.
   
      Is not our waste an even bigger  problem than our diet, for the moment at anyrate.
      Carbon dioxide is waste and we could hardly have the populations we have without fossil fuels though we can now with clean energies.
    Also, I saw a documentary on the pursuit of waste from atomic power stations in europe and it seems the mafia handles radio active waste and some of it was taken to africa where it was merely dumped in those big oil can things beside fairly empty stretches of road. The journalist who made this documentary got killed it is a second journalist tha tfinished it. I tis not the only time i have heard that the mafia deals with atomic waste. are we to have big popùlations at the price of cancer in poor countries, the religiouse want as many children to be born as possible, at what price and why cant they wait for the generation to sum up inot a big number of people, why do they all have to come now? the world is set to end tomorow is not it, to leave a time marker in this thread. agri rose macaskie.     
 
T. Joy
Posts: 438
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:
As to my comment on Canada's north feeding people, yes, it can be done.  In the area, there is an abundance of water (scarce in many parts of the populated world).  There are trees and other vegetation.  There is wildlife.

I would bet that if you put a million Koreans there, that they would survive.  Probably they would not thrive, but they would survive.  And, as with the rest of the animal kingdom, their birth rate would decrease without an abundance of food.

200 villages of 5,000  childless people each.  Come back in 5 years and see.  The population would probably have doubled.  Commerce and industry, on small scales would exist, and people would be "getting by".

They would probably not be "doing well", but by then, the people in cities of 10 million will not be doing well either.



"The current surface expression of the Shield is one of very thin soil lying on top of bedrock, with many bare outcrops. This arrangement was caused by severe glaciation during the ice age, which covered the Shield and scraped the rock clean.
The lowlands of the Canadian Shield have a very dense soil that is not suitable for forestation, but it also contains many marshes and bogs. The rest of the region has coarse soil that does not retain moisture well and is frozen as permafrost year round. Forests are not as dense in the north."

I think it might be more feasible to look at reasonably reducing population rather than trying to eek out a living in such an inhospitable area. It's my personal opinion that people trying to live and produce food on the Shield would neither thrive nor survive, I think there would be much starvation and death. You can't build or grow anything on so much of that land, it's just rock. Rock, rock, rock covered by a thin layer of soil, rock rock solid unabiding rock.
 
Lee Einer
Posts: 169
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hastingr wrote:
There is always war and famine!


And as a dire last resort, condoms. Desperate times call for drastic measures!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LasVegasLee wrote:
And as a dire last resort, condoms. Desperate times call for drastic measures!


Or heaven forbid, vasectomy and tubal ligation.   

(my husband got a vasectomy a year after we were married when we knew for certain we did not want children of our own loins )
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe you coudl have a hydroponics system on the rock.
Why this admiration for koreans? Dont white people eek out livings too, Confuciouse did set out a system under the cover of which, in one country, for centuries, it became the thing to bend back your daughters feet till they broke the bones in their feet, having first applied softening creams and keep their feet broken for ever  in what they thought of as a sexy goat foot, as the broken  bones stick out in two points. Anyone who did not do so was not tring for her jhusband, familiar arguement, anyway done at seven years old, girls did not have a choice. This is a reality we find so hard to face that we pretend they merely stunted the growth of the feet by tying them up so they could not grow. A systyem that keeps people subservent seems great but it is not great for everyone. The girls sacrificed a lot for the good of society they were not egotistically looiking after their own good. Should, they have been good to such a society? Might there not be somehtign in egotism tha tkeep the balance of po9wer more even. Cries forselfless behavior are so modified applied with more rigour to one section of society than another soemthing that is difficult topercieve it is not that htey ask no sacrifice from other sections it is that the demand is much less though you might find that hard to see or measure so that a demand for selflessness facilitatees the creation of servant sections of society. Thos who decide who is to learn to obey and who is to learn to rule argue  that reality demands that some are busy ruling the necessity for leadership makes giving some people an easier life a necessary action rather than a bit of unfair priveledge. Tthey dont believe in gthe good sense of the citizen if you give them a voice and vote In a reasonably argued debate.
  It is not that i dont like things from korean culture, i find christians equally given to wanting to go back to the old system and my favourite film in many respects goes on being karate kid in which you do fight bullies rather than letting them have their fling.  
 We had a century ago a lot of poor forced to eek out a lot so meager that there was plenty of under grown children. It is not as if they live with all they need but without luxouries it is that really bad things happen to them like their children dying.
  As i said, this new, we like those who aren't materialists, is the new we like the poor, respect them and the old fashoined we like the poor, lead to maintaining large parts of society poor.
     The very people who gave the poor  sandwhiches and soup being instrumental in maintaining attitudes that stopped the poor complaining and bettering things. Give the poor half a chance and they start a lot of small businesses and make things better. It is best to be very cautionuse about fervour for poverty which is not to say that we should not try to redistribute wealth, letting the rich get too rich seems to lead to old fashioned societies with a few very rich and a lot of very poor.
    Some said of the Iranies,” if we save them from Saddam Hussein it wont work,they have to save themselves”. It is their fault they have a tyrant? As nothing is easier, if observation of history gives you a correct veiw of humans, than making people subservent and pacient, that is a bit unfair but still there are probably a lot of ideas in Iran about people being useless and needing a tyrant  that lead to people educationg their children to hard arm others, rather than to have a fair mind, it is often thought that those who educate people to lead teach them to be fair but often they teach them to be good at pushing others around rather than fair. Tthey teach their children to be good at pushing others aaround so they will be capable of leading and have at their fingure tips all the arguements for others to knucklye under, i know there is still a lot of the arguements that back up tyranical behavior in Spain, and this ideology embedded in so many minds in a population may mean that the population is bound to return to a tyranical form of rule.
   We are the countries who managed to pull our poor our of eeking a living that hardly managed to keep body and soul together, though that is a lie it often did not keep body and soul together. Before the french revolution the people who had time to think indoctrinated the poor to ask for their rights. We are the great ones not the long suffering koreans, we should not start start imagining that those who are thoroughly subservent are great or we will go back to being totally irresponsable about our poor again. It is always fun turning others into great people who bare anything but it is sadic fun and should not be indulged in.
   There were enough materials for everyone to have a house, in all countries ther is always stones and mud, having the poor in hovels was not necessary,  being on the border of collapse makes it hard to buy those fruit trees that would help your home economy or enough  potatoe seed to give you a big crop of potatoes. Or to go down to the pub and find out about new ideas for keepig fruit trees. Energy is another matter or was untill now when a lot of work should give us clean energy.b keeping warm is not so easy unles permaculture allows us to grow enough wood so  keeping people poor  has maybe more to do with redcuing the competition government  always could have made them rich, if people are struggling to live they dont compete for the best jobs this is likely th ereason for keeping people poor and lack of imagination tha tllows you to grow more and build more it is better if more people are drivign building and such and if the poor are depressed less people are driving activities. rose macaskie.
 
Jonathan Byron
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wildeyes wrote:
I think we need to look at this from a systems perspective. Setting up a dichotomy between meat-centered diets and plant-centered diets as a fundamental issue guiding world happenings does not provide clarity. For example, if we all became tofu eating vegetarians chances are that that number of 90% would not be reduced. It'd just mean that biomass would now be occupied by more humans rather than by cows. Generally speaking, things would be the same as they are now. This is sort of like Jeavons paradox. Yes, a vegetarian diet is more efficient per acre at producing food for humans, but greater efficiency does not usually mean a reduction in overall resource use. In fact, the opposite generally occurs.


Jevon's paradox is something I have thought about lately.  There are certainly cases where it describes what is going on. But I don't think it is in any way a law.  And it is often invoked to oppose any sort of action, to defend the status quo via a sense of fatalism. It is like someone saying that if they don't blow their savings ans go into debt for a boat, they will eventually blow their savings and go into debt for something else ... perhaps true in some cases, but part of a pattern of thinking that is short-sighted.

I think that minimizing my own ecological footprint is a good idea. I think that it is also a categorical imperative, a good idea in general.

In the short run, if the wealthier people reduced their ecological footprint, that would free up land.

In the long run, that land might be put to various uses. Some of it might go into habitat restoration. Some might go to producing biomass for energy (reducing fossil fuel use, reducing greenhouse gas levels).  If population growth continues, it might eventually be put towards feeding people. It is only one action, one piece of the puzzle, maybe not enough, but I see it as necessary but not sufficient.
 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 723
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Allan Savory talks of several things about humans.
in his view, proto-humans were mid level omnivore scavengers, "big raccoons", before tools and fire.
with tools and fire, humans became top predator (lions, tigers, and bears, oh my)
but our basic problem is that on the genetic level, we're still programed and think like "raccoons"
this is why we kill off herds of animals without thinking. Raccoons never worry about things like that. lions, however, do.
this food pyramid social climbing is the heart of the problem
the "predator/prey relationship" ( every x number of predators requires y number of prey)  of the wolves and big cats, is not in our DNA.
the predators balance reproduction to match prey numbers.
humans still breed like raccoons

permaculture, I think, seeks to return us back to our past by providing a varied omnivore diet that's easier on the environment
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
neoplasticity wrote:
if you want to feed more people, just have everyone become predominantly vegetarian.

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes




It all depends what area you are talking about. Some dry grasslands cannot produce crops without irrigation, but actually need grazing animals on them to survive.
 
Lee Einer
Posts: 169
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
velacreations wrote:

The problem I see here is not "How do we feed 9B people?" but rather "How do we reduce our population down to 5B people without major economic and social collapse?"


I rather doubt that we can. Seems more likely that major economic and social collapse will reduce the population down to 5B people. Or less. Maybe a lot less. Given that our current population is about ten times the pre-oil age population, we might have a 90% human die-off once the oil bubble pops.

Permaculture can soften the blow, somewhat, and those who embrace it will be more likely to be among the 5B that get to stay.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
duane wrote:
humans still breed like raccoons


I'm pretty sure most human females don't have four babies at a time like raccoons do. 

Most women prefer to have fewer but healthier babies, not "breed like raccoons."

http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_defendingwomensrts
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
287
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Population growth rates vary considerably by country, and by region.  Years ago, China implemented means to control their population problems.  The US indirectly encourages larger families:  IRS gives you an exemption for each child, Welfare payments go up for each child.  A childless family often times pays more into the "School system" taxes than a family of 8.

Besides "Peak Oil", other things are peaking.  Some estimates say that at our current rate of use, we will run out of phosphorous by 2040.  Healthy food crops, root crops in particular, will soon be a thing of the past if "we" continue down the path we have been on.

A huge percentage of our (US) population are working in various "service industries".  When the bubble bursts, the majority of those jobs will cease to exist...if only a hand full of us are producers, there will be little demand for services.  I believe that unless the next generation can learn to produce, they will have to learn to do without...there will not be enough to go around.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      T. Joy, says there is very little soil on the shield, an area in canada I suppose. Is not bettering thin soils a part of permaculture the design methods optimize the cteation of soils where there are none. Maybe in a cold climate the knewspaper mulches and other mulches take too lonf to break down.
  Geof lawton proved Bill Mollisons designs make soil, by creating a garden near the dead sea  in which soils improved amazingly and did so amazingly fast.
        In part we could say permaculture is about building up soils. In the Bill Mollison videos there he is in Arizona were the soils have been destroyed by cotton production worrying about their soils and how to better them and in another bit of the videos he is in the Kalahari where they have been destroyed by the domestic animals introduced by the english i suppose. He seems in the videos to be more interested in building up soils than in almost anything else, in thedry climate ones at any rate.

      Kirk Hutchinson, tell us more about the lands that need herbivores to survive but can't grow crops without irrigation. If you put things on internet people in al sorts of corners of the world can find them and use them and maybe do better, or make less big mistakes.

      I just like images, like people taking the place of the cows, we stop breeding cows because we have stopped eating them and then our population will grow to take the place of the cows. How many people fit into a cow? Its liking extravagant ideas and images that make me like the Jevons theory. I don have some feling that that is the sort of hting that does go and happen.
 
    We will have clean energy sooner or later, so energy is not going to be a problem. Worrying about energy is a theme for the past nearly. Bill mollison started talking about permaculture in the sixties if i remember right, when it seemed that we would never have clean energy, i rememer we only heard of it ocasionaly as the idea of crazy people. For me tha tpart of the problems he wishes to redress is no longer a problem. Twenty percent of Spains energy is clean already if i remember right, a bit more i think. Lets hope we get clean energy soon enough to stop all these floods and whirlwinds.
  We really can have clean energy, every roof covered in solar panels, and more an dmore solar farms with vegetables growing in their shade in deserts,as many small wind mills as telegraph posts and big wind mills too. It is not too hard to get a lot of clean energy gadgets all over the place though it is a bit expensive.  agri rose macaskie.


 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
H Ludi Tyler wrote:
A question I contemplate is:  Is a population of 9 billion desirable and why? 

Another: Are cities of 10 million desirable and why?




These are my questions as well. We have a debate in Germany about the demographic change. People getting older, number of people is decreasing because of less and less reproduction and our social systems are, as the politicians state it, on the verge of collaps. German politicians say we have to start making children again to solve all our problems.

What does the amount of people living in one place say about the well-being of those people?

It doesn't really matter if there are 5B, 9B or 12B people on earth. What we fear is that WE have to change the way we live. That's our problem.
 
Yes, my master! Here is the tiny ad you asked for:
learn permaculture through a little hard work and get an acre of land
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!