Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The future of farming?

Our modern day methods of producing food in advanced industrialized nations like the United States, require inputs of 10 calories of fossil fuel for every 1 calorie of food we produce. This is not only highly inefficient, but it is unsustainable given the contribution that fossil fuel use makes to climate change, and the expectation that sometime in the next five to 30 years that the production of fossil fuels will peak and then decline steadily, creating shortages and pushing prices far higher than their 2008 peaks.

Google Video has made available full-length documentaries through video streaming. The video below by Rebecca Hosking for the BBC's Natural World series, explores the question of what may happen to farming and our food supply in the future and what alternatives exist to fossil fuel based agriculture.

"Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key." BBC - Natural World

5 comments:

Bhuvan Chand said...

nice article. I'm regular reader of you blog.

Sue said...

We here at BIA really appreciate your readership!

Pat Jenkins said...

sue why not let the fossil fuel burn away naturally like you claim it will? would you not of accomplished your means of riding the world of them by just being patient?

Sue said...

Four very good reasons, Pat:
1) burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases the likelihood of devastating climate change that will bring even unpredictable weather and disasters (like the flooding the mid-west, and wild fires in Texas), destroy our agriculture and create famine, and other nasty consequences for humans, 2) digging coal out of the ground destroys forests, streams and rivers, pollutes water for urban areas, and drives people from their homes, 3) the majority of the oil is to be found in countries that don't like us, and this causes us to have to spend billions of dollars on military ventures that might be better spent increasing folks standard of living, and 4) if we just keep on burning fossil fuel, and do nothing at all to develop replacements for it, one day it will be gone, and we'll all just be sitting around in the middle of a junk yard of useless vehicles that covers the entire country.

Pat Jenkins said...

well sue you may have no choice but to weather the storm of fossil fuels. that is of course if you still would like the world to enjoy the "luxuries" of those things we need for comsumption!