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Reply #219: ok, agreement [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #204
219. ok, agreement
"Yes, at this point peak oil and climate change could potentially (mind you potentially for the moment) be an extinction level event for HUMANS, not only other species. And we need to do what we need to do to survive as a species, mind you not as the US, or China, but as a species."

OK, we agree right there on the bolded part. Damn, I knew there was fundamental agreement between us on this somewhere.

Now....from that point on I am talking methods, practical methods with an emphasis on political solutions to social problems, not ideology or beliefs.

We need to keep feeding people, and this is not trivial manner. I trust you are not advocating letting most people starve for the sake of those remaining living in a more sustainable world.

I am trying to tell you that farming is the tail, not the dog. It responds to the needs of the people and is subject to political and economic forces. I am also trying to tell you that the amount of nitrogen and other elemental nutrients is fixed and they are recyclable. It is politics and economics that are determining how we get these nutrients to the plants, what gets planted and where, what is raised and how. There are many other ways to do this that do not require fossil fuel, but that are not "economically feasible" now. What does that mean? If we saw "the economy" as serving the people rather than as some disconnected force that we must all serve - and that again is a matter of politics - then all sorts of things become economically feasible, to include increased crop rotation and nitrogen fixing plants and leaving fields fallow and taking nitrogen from the atmosphere by other processes.

Growing crops does not "take" nutrients or water. Those resources are not destroyed or removed. Farming uses them and cycles them. Human beings cannot be seen as a burden, consistent with a determination to look out for humans - which you said was the goal. Of all of the things we use fossil fuel for, does it not make sense that food production is the most vital? After all, we could all stop driving and survive, yes? We are talking about a small fraction of our fossil fuel use that is being used to make fertilizer, which right now is absolutely essential - whether it was smart or not to go down that path - to feeding people.
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