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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:42 PM
Original message
Vertical farming skyscrapers. Who says you can't feed the world?
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 03:48 PM by lunatica
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Make it so. K & R. n/t
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. +1
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
162. Sci-Fi movies should start featuring this kind of stuff regularly.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
171. 1
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Link?
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I added a couple of links
But there are lots if you google vertical farm skyscrapers
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Thanks. Sadly, it doesn't take (even the progressives) very long to poo-paw any idea.
The future used to be a lot bigger.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. The negative responses are depressing.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. I agree. Yesterday, I posted an article for a personal helicopter using small turbines and
everyone dissed the idea. Sure, it is the old flying jetpack stuff, but a least it is an attempt at an innovation. I want to return to an age where the future is big and the country can do amazing things.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. I saw that post
I wanted to respond positively but got turned off by the negative posts. They just suck the enthusiasm right out of you.
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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
131. Hey wait a sec...
I thought I said something about wanting to be reincarnated just so I could come back to fly in one of those because it looked cool. In fact I saved the page so that I could show it to Paul.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #131
140. I saw it. I know that everyone isn't negative. Keep up the good optimism.
;)
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justiceischeap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Just what the world needs, vertical factory farming. nt
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. That's exactly what it needs
You could build these anywhere in the world. If enough of these skyscrapers were built in cities like New York they would become self-sufficient in growing heir own food. And it would always be fresh food which would not be at the mercy of droughts, freezing, or pests.
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justiceischeap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
39. As long as it were organic, free range farming that would be fine
but I'm referring to factory farms that no matter how or where they are built are still bad for you.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Let me know when one of these gets built on the scale shown
in the artwork. If I'm still alive when that happens, anyhow.

I don't think the economics work on for this.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Like we're going to build millions of skyscrapers in the middle of a depression
At a cost of many, many trillions of dollars.

The irony is that almost all of the demand for more food in the coming years will come from developing nations in Asia and Africa that can't afford to build vertical towers.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Can the world afford not to have something like this? 7 billion people and all...
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
42. Yes, it can unfortunately
We already turn our backs on millions of people being malnourished and starving every year now. We just lost HALF A MILLION people in Somalia due to famine.

Letting poor people die is always cheap, unfortunately.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Not all at once and we won't be in any depression forever, although for what it's worth
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 04:18 PM by Uncle Joe
the Empire State building was built during the Great Depression and provided drastically needed jobs.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. So was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, as well as the Hoover Dam
I guess there are a lot of people who have puny little imaginations.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. And the Tennessee Valley Authority.
People have different strengths, not everyone has vision but they make up for it in other ways.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
44. The problem is that we don't have much time left to implement these solutions
Between a growing population, Peak Oil, global warming, water depletion, soil degradation, ocean acidification, and increasing resistance to herbicides and pesticides among pest species, food production is going to become very dicey in many parts of the world in the next 20 years. You would need to construct many towers PER DAY, for DECADES, to fend off potential famines as conventional farming fails in various parts of the world.

And the kicker is that the richest nations like the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe aren't the ones that will be paying for these. That burden would fall upon the countries that will be impacted most by the whirlwind of global warming, population growth, and energy depletion: the African and Asian nations that can ill-afford to spend the kind of money required.

The only country I could see putting in such structures on a meaningful level is China.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. This is not the be all of answers, it's just one of many changes, approaches and strategies needed
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 04:47 PM by Uncle Joe
to take place in order to address, those valid concerns that you list.

Virtually everything needs to change whether it be sources and uses of energy, the economy, transportation, architecture, the design of our cities and homes, the over reliance on pesticides and definitely the elimination of war.

The nutrition company Shaklee's motto is "In Harmony with Nature" that's the kind of thinking that needs to take place across all segments of human society, we've separated ourselves from our only home in the universe for too long and we're paying a heavy price for it.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #46
142. You must admit that vertical farms have to be in the mix of answers
You are right about the list of ills our society suffers from but we can't tackle them one at a time. We need to restructure our societies on a global scale and we have to start... yesterday!

Don't forget about reducing energy and water usage as well. Commercial farming uses 20% of the petroleum intake of the US, and it uses 75% of the fresh water. Because most vertical farming plans center around hydroponics then the energy usage is less, the water usage is about 5% to 10% of commercial farming, and the output per acre of land is multiplied.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #142
175. Yes I do agree with your post, vertical farms should be in the mix, I also believe
the growing urban implementation of vertical farms could have a cooling effect on our heat island, concrete, steel and glass cities.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #175
178. That's another benefit I hadn't thought of
It would definitely bring some much-needed color and interest to the skyline as well.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #44
97. Japan and ROK as well.
Maybe Malaysia and Singapore.

But yes, the areas of greatest need are the places where they're less-likely to be built.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #44
118. they already are. they are building entire cities which are sustainable.
There is an American designer/architect who is creating entire cities off the grid. rainwater collection, rooftop farms, solar energy. It IS happening. Alos look at Detroit!!! google urbanroots. Look at the trialer for the film about the changes in Detroit. this is HAppening now. It just isn't getting mainstream coverage.
In SAn francisco a firm is taking dog poo from dog parks and turning it into methane gas. Another firm has created solar garbage compactors. Id ont know which cities theya re in. the idea is that with solar energy, the garbage placed in the public bins are compacted. Then you don't need trucks to come by to collect the waste very often. the cost, zero. solar. the savings huge. less oil used. less trucks running around.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #118
156. What is this "sustainable" you keep talking about? No city is "sustainable," if by sustainable you
mean can sustain itself independent of outside inputs.

Nor has any city ever been sustainable, nor will any city ever be sustainable by that definition.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #156
157. luckily, you are wrong. By sustainable I mena entirely not connected to the grid
, reusing all waste rpoduced, reclaiming water instead of wasting it, and using solar power for electricity instead of fossil fuels.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #157
158. show me this sustainable city you say exists and tell me where the water comes from,
where the materials for the buildings & solar panels come from, where the waste is processed, etc.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #158
160. google it. there are 6 of them. An American designer designed them.
He was honored at the annual big bash for the 100 smartest people in the world, whatever it is called. The link probably came from DU, around 2 years ago.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #158
163. Here is one from 2005.not the ones I was talking about. The
water comes from the yangtze river. but all water is recycled and reused for farming. people have this right down the block here on a smaller scale in LOs Angeles. It is called a black water garden. the garden is 100% fed by reusing water from the washing machine and sinks. No new water used to irrigate the garden.
so by googling sustainable cities china you wll find all the info.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #163
165. no one lives in that city. it's planned to be built from scratch on an island in the shanghai
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 11:50 PM by Laluchacontinua
metro area, using plenty of outside resources to cover an area iof 53 square miles in new construction and bring 500,000 peasants from the countryside to the metropolitan area to be cheap labor for chinese industry.

Water from the Yangtze is the same water used to water crops elsewhere. The people would use the same water wherever they lived -- probably less in the countryside.

The citizens living in your new construction will have an ecological footprint of 5.5 acres/2.2 hectares/person, which means that the area they occupy will not "sustain" them.

Not to mention that the new construction will likely destroy habitat for migrating birds:

Area: The city is planned to cover an area of approximately 86 km2. Today, the area is an important habitat for migrating birds and the city has not yet been realised.

Dongtan was planned to open, with accommodation for 10,000, in time for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. By 2050 the city was expected to be one-third the size of Manhattan, with a total planned population of 500,000.<1><2><3> However no construction of the eco-city has taken place yet, so the project has fallen behind schedule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongtan


Maybe no construction has taken place yet because this project is just another facet of China's real estate bubble which is building completely empty cities all around the country -- because it makes money for someone.


The main designers, Arup, are also taking part in many less environmentally-friendly projects in China, including airports and office blocks. Arup recently received the "Greenwasher of the Year Award" from Ethical Corporation Magazine for the most dubious green claim of the year, describing Dongtan as a Potemkin village.<8>


None of these chinese eco-cities, so far as i can tell, have any people in them & most are not even under construction.

this is the only chinese eco-city that seems to have built anything:

Huangbaiyu was conceived by William McDonough and Partners in conjunction with Tongji University in Shanghai, the Benxi Design Institute, and China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. The town is being built in stages and is to be model of sustainable development using principles laid out by McDonough. His main thesis is that instead of trying to reduce waste you eliminate it by having everything be capable of being broken down into technical or biological nutrition that can be reused so that no waste is created and no waste needs to be disposed.
Construction

In April 2006, the project was encountering some difficulties: some housing was completed, but no residents had moved in.<2> By September 2006, 42 houses had been built.<3> The cost of each individual dwelling is estimated to be around 28,000 yuan (A$4,600).
Controversies

* Of the 42 completed houses, only three have used the hay and pressed-earth combination. The rest use hay and compressed bricks of coal-dust, triggering a debate over whether the coal dust represents a health risk.<1>

* Only one house has solar panels; the rest were built to burn timber but have now been modified to use gas from a biogassification plant that Huangbaiyu's village chief, Dai Xiaolong, built after buying the technology. None of the houses face south as originally planned because the building contractor changed the orientation to fit Feng Shui. Inexplicably, the new houses also have garages, although no villager can afford a car.<1>

* American anthropologist Shannon May was sponsored by computer-chip giant Intel to live in the village to monitor the transformation. But after more than a year, she is dismayed at the outcome and worried that to "save face", the village may continue to be promoted as sustainable and replicated elsewhere.<1>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huangbaiyu
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #165
169. McDonough must be the designer I read about. Obviously corruption is
ruining the project city you describe. That is a terrible shame. That doesn't mean it is not viable and doable. Sustainable technology is absolutely here, ready, and available. The only reason it is not prevalent here in the US is the economic/political system. There are small movements of people doing it on their own.

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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #169
173. I asked you to show me a functioning eco-city, since you said they're functioning now,
Edited on Mon Nov-07-11 08:12 PM by Laluchacontinua
building food skyscrapers now, etc.

"Small movements" of people CAN'T BUILD FOOD SKYSCRAPERS.

Which brings me back to my original point: who do you imagine is going to finance these things, and for what purpose?
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #118
159. We have some solar garbage bins in Chicago.
People seem to like them.
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waddirum Donating Member (106 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
126. How about existing (but vacant) skyscrapers and buildings
found all over the country? Let's first look at reuse of existing assets, rather than pouring new concrete.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't see the point. The world already produces enough food for everyone, and
enough housing. Production isn't the problem.

No offense meant, but this kind of ill-thought-out vanity project (think of the labor needed to harvest all those tiny lettuce plants in little dishes) doesn't seem to me to add anything useful to the picture. Yeah, we can grow lettuce in skyscrapers. So what? The pictures remind me of the designs of that guy associated with the anti-Fed/Alex Jones folks, or the crazy sea cities the Arab billionaires are designing in the Gulf.

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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. +1
Thanks for writing the post I thought of when I read the OP.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. If there's enough food then why are people starving?
It's because the food doesn't get to them. Something you don't have to worry about in this country, but what about the countries in Africa where droughts are quite severe? And that's just one of the issues with food in the world.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #31
45. So African nations are going to pony up the money to build these?
Really?
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. WTF!
Developing countries as well as the US give billions of dollars to poor countries. All the time. What makes you think these countries wouldn't prefer to help them build these farms instead of spending billions reacting to famines after the fact?
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #54
60. What makes you think that Africa can't grow its own food in the usual way instead of in skyscrapers?
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 05:28 PM by Laluchacontinua
Have you noticed that China & other countries are BUYING/TAKING land in africa to grow food on? But not for africans. I honestly don't mean to be rude but please do some research about the control of global food policy & the confluence of global politics and famine.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #60
68. This subject is not about who controls everything
It's about changing things. Lots of things, including who controls food or anything else.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #68
72. Why would you think that a food skyscraper would change who controls food?
African peasants don't build skyscrapers, and the starving people in Africa are mostly in the countryside, not the cities.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #72
120. BULLSHIT. The entire point is local sustainability, whether in the US or anywhere.
here in the US our food is brought in from other countries and factory farms. Just look in your grocery store! Urban farming is an entirely new concept. A fantastic one. It totally changes the economics of food, making food healthier and more affordable and helpingIf food is produced in the cities for the cities, it will cost much less, be helathier, and be better for the planet.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #120
122. And why would you think that the people with the money to build a food skyscraper are interested
in local sustainability? They're the ones invested in economic concentration.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #122
127. Why are you changing the conversation?
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #127
134. I don't know what conversation you're talking about. The conversation about how great
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 01:07 AM by Laluchacontinua
food skyscrapers are? The conversation about how food skyscrapers are the solution to "feeding the world"? I disagree with the premises. Does that disallow me from the conversation?

You don't seem to get it. Poor countries in Africa have no *inherent* problems that would prevent them from being regionally self-sufficient in food production -- the problems are political, not inherently material. And the question "who is going to build your skyscraper"? is highly relevant to the discussion.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #54
66. Maybe because we already let them starve?
As it stands, aid to developing countries has been cut substantially around the world, with no sign of rebounding soon.

And the money we give them for famine relief is a drop in the bucket compared to what they'd need to build these towers.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. That's simply not true.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. It IS true. And food aid & the suppression of domestic agriculture & our fucking wars
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 06:07 PM by Laluchacontinua
& theft of resources are the primary methods we use.

The only use for this skyscraper thing would be to feed yuppies if domestic unrest broke out in the countryside.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #69
121. Truth is the half-million dead Somalians we just let starve to death
And that's just ONE example.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #121
125. no, it was the terrorists who let them starve to death
they are making it tougher for aid workers to get in and provide aid. and certain govts and others who are given the food and other aid don't always give it to the people.

now they are making it tough even for Kenya .
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
59. Yes, & so how does growing lettuce in a skyscraper get food to them?
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 05:29 PM by Laluchacontinua
Why do you think that the same rich fucks that control the food supply are going to build a skyscraper to grow lettuce for the poor?

The food doesn't get to people -- in a nutshell -- because global food policy, land, & production decisions are controlled by an oligarchy.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #59
176. They don't just grow lettuce
Why would the oligarchs build these vertical farm skyscrapers? They wouldn't. Maybe we should step up and help build them as part of a volunteer organization. Or perhaps the UN should make that part of their mission... or some other NGO. Who knows. But the benefits far outweigh the downside costs.

Maybe they don't need a 30-story building but instead six 5-story buildings since land isn't a premium.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. Except not everyone gets the food. I'm sure you've heard of the famines in Africa
Building hydroponic self-sustaining farms in countries that experience above normal droughts would solve that problem.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
38. It decreases the building footprint
which lessens the impact of stormwater runoff on streams and decreases erosion compared with horizontal farms.

It also improves air quality for the people living or working in the building and, depending on the design, can also help reduce electricity bills from heating and air conditioning because the leaves provide shade in the summer but fall away in the winter allowing the building to retain the heat from the sun better.

And it provides locally produced food that doesn't need to be shipped in increasing resilience to oil price shocks.



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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #38
62. Decreases the building footprint? How so?
If people are living & working in the building as well, how much produce is going to be grown?

Locally produced food can be grown in greater volume on regular farms. Or in people's windows & yards in the city.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #62
79. Let's say you have a 30 story building
that's 100x100 feet with 10 foot high stories (just to keep the math simple). Each of the four facades of the building is 30,000 square feet + 10,000 ft2 for the roof giving you approximately 130,000 square feet on which you could theoretically grow crops. Obviously it's less than this, but it's probably something in the neighborhood.

If you had a 130,000 square foot farm it would be relatively difficult to keep it under cultivation constantly and when it wasn't being cultivated it would be subject to erosion from wind and heavy storms. But if you put the same farm in a building with a 10,000 ft2 footprint and then plant trees or otherwise design permiculture gardens for the remaining 120,000 ft2 around the building, you've increased permeable surfaces, creating a much more pleasant environment that is less subject to erosion and which can support more diverse ecosystems.

Many people have balconies now in their apartments now and a lot of new buildings have green roofs. If you could plant a real garden on your balcony you would still be able to live and/or work inside. You'd just have a much more pleasant exterior to go out to. You're basically just taking a normal building and putting a greenhouse around it or allowing people to stack their gardens on top of each other. Depending on the climate, I'm sure you could grow a surprising amount of whatever you wanted to.

Yes, food can be grown in high volumes on regular farms, but then you have to use oil to get the food from the farm to the person. And if something happens to the farm, or to the transportation system, you can't get the food to the people. Monocultures increase vulnerability and ensure that when something does go wrong it goes really, really wrong.

A building like this functions as a supplemental backup system. It's not intended to replace conventional farming, but to improve food security, reduce oil dependance, make better use of the land available, create a more attractive living environment, reduce air pollution and lower the damage done by stormwater runoff.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Thanks for that input!
And people would be needed to run the entire system. These would create jobs. Janitorial, engineering, grounds keepers, building and systems maintenance, cultivation, seedling growth, harvesters and much more.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #79
88. So this building isn't using the same inputs as growing the same food in dirt would?
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 08:00 PM by Laluchacontinua
The water etc. doesn't have to be dealt with through city sewers etc?

We can grow grain & process it in these oil-free environments?

You're going to slaughter those animals running around in that shiny pleasant building?

Where does the chickenshit go?

Questions, questions.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #88
93. I didn't say it wasn't using some of the same inputs,
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 09:24 PM by wickerwoman
simply that it has other positive environmental impacts.

I also never said that it was an oil-free environment. Obviously there are embedded costs in the construction of the building. But once you build it, depending on the lifetime of the building and the materials used, it may be economical to grow food in a way that doesn't later require it to be transported hundreds (or thousands) of miles to the consumer. And that is a good in and of itself, regardless of whether it is more or less economical than traditional farming because it has the additional benefit of increasing food security.

In terms of water, less has to be dealt with in city sewers if the building has a smaller footprint and you can build swales or water treatment areas in the green spaces around the building which you freed up by going taller. And this has the added benefit of reducing electricity use because you don't have to pump water to treatment facilities that are miles off-site.

Many new buildings in Australia have their own water systems which are off the grid and are designed to conserve water use, collect and evenly distribute stormwater, etc. How the water is treated in this case would depend on the system installed in the building but in any case could hardly be more damaging than traditional farming methods in terms of contaminant discharges, erosion, compaction of the soil, etc.

You can grow grain as long as you shield it from the wind higher up. You can also process it wherever you like as long as you soundproof (and smellproof) industrial areas from residential and commerical areas. Or you can process food offsite. It's still uses less oil that transporting it from farms to processing centres to markets to consumers.

Chickenshit goes on the compost heap and then back into the system.

If you have questions, why don't you do a little research about rooftop gardening and agriculture (which is already being implemented in a number of places). There are about fifty gazillion good books, websites and videos on youtube on sustainable architecture, building design, technology and agriculture. Why not pick some of them up?

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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #93
123. There's no benefit to the food skyscraper that couldn't be achieved by people growing food in their
backyards, their windows, porches, roofs & on vacant lots.

The food skyscraper by its very nature implies concentrated capital. That's the problem with your vision.

Thanks for your recommendations on what I should study. But perhaps I have already done more research than you imagine.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
119. I disagree. Food is trucked from country to country. Food grown locally means
less pettroleum consumption, less waste, less diseases. Having food shipped is completely different from local, organic farming. There is no comparison. It is giving someone a fish versus teaching them how to fish.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #119
124. Food is trucked from country to country because of the dictates of the economic oligarchy
who'd be building your food skyscraper.

If you think they're interested in local food, why don't you just ask them to quit shipping food from country to country?
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #124
128. Why do think there is an occupy movement all over the country? Ask them?
You mean DEMAND CHANGE, don't you?
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #128
136. I repeat: who do you think is going to finance your skyscraper & give the
food to the poor?

Let's talk about the cost of big-city real estate & the cost of building a specialized skyscraper & which billionaire you think is going to front the money without demanding a return on investment?
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #124
129. Historically, asking the ruling group to change is not the way change happens.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #129
133. I don't think change happens by asking the ruling group to build food skyscrapers either.
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 11:34 PM by Laluchacontinua
You keep ignoring the point: who is going to finance this vision? And if someone is willing to finance it, why not just finance local agriculture?

And in what sense is a food skyscraper better than backyard/window/rooftop gardening? Why the love for the high-tech, most expensive "solution" to the problem you see?

Not to mention that you're not going to be growing a lot of grain (the calorie mainstay of the us population) in those skyscrapers.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #133
149. because gowing vertically is possible in urban areas where there is not enough
land avialable to plant horizontally.
vertical farming is taking off all over the world already. even in rural areas. It uses less land (less expensive), and less water.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #149
166. it doesn't use less water. plants have the same water requirement whether vertical
or horizontal.

but it *does* use more technology and labor for less production.
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
130. We do now.
The population will keep growing, however. Not to mention all the other benefits mentioned in the other replies. At this point, even if we don't eat them, the more plants we grow the better, considering all the CO2 we've got floating around.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #130
135. You do realize that the PTB have been saying the same thing since Victorian times, right?
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 11:40 PM by Laluchacontinua
OMG, there's too many people & not enough food!!!!

This time we really mean it!!!!!

There's always been enough food. Food skyscrapers won't enable starving people to eat anymore than the green revolution did, anymore than gmos are, anymore than any other technological fix has. Because the problem isn't with production or technology.

You do realize that the US has actually taken land *out* of production, right? Because we can produce soooooo much that it drags prices (and profits) down.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #7
137. Your post is uninformed.
FIrstly, the world's food production systems are horribly inefficient. They rely heavily on oil and oil-based chemicals, pesticides, etc., requiring food to be shipped long distances and thus increasing carbon output, not to mention the genetic modification that's used to facilitate these processes, which results in less healthy food and devastating environmental impacts.

This kind of urban farm has the potential to take transit, pesticides, and genetic modification out of our food production processes, while offsetting the heavy carbon impact of our cities.

That anyone would conflate this with Alex Jones or speculate that it is somehow more labor-intensive than the current models is depressing.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #137
143. Good info, thanks
I just wanted to add that a vegetable or fruit picked long enough before it's ripe so that it can be put in a container and shipped thousands of miles DOES NOT have the same nutritional value of one that is picked when it is ripe and ready to be consumed. That is why food tastes like cardboard nowadays. When I grow tomatoes in my backyard they have FLAVOR; when I buy a tomato from the store it usually does not, or not as much.

That is a big difference and may have a positive impact on childhood obesity: if a veggie tastes good they might actually eat it instead of the prepared meals or fast food.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #137
177. I can grow food in my back yard with no chemicals and a sack of manure once a year
Growing food in spaces like these would mean loads of chemicals to feed the plants, and probably quite a few chemicals to manage the kinds of infestations that plants in greenhouses are prone to.

I don't see how this is any kind of improvement on growing plants in soil.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. This circular design would also be more aerodynamic which I believe would improve the building's
chance of surviving the expected increased severity of hurricanes from global warming climate change.



Thanks for the thread, lunatica. :thumbsup:
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Building could be made to rotate so all sides get direct sunlight
Thanks for being positive. I was beginning to get discouraged with all the negative responses.

Imagine we could let a lot of the land go back to being wild.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. and lower transportation costs for fresh veggies right in the city.
Fruit could be picked when ripe, not months in advance for shipping.

It could even be a co-op with families having their own inner city garden.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. I believe with the increased development and usage of nano technology, you won't need to rotate
the building to get sunlight from all directions.

The energy will be able to flow from one side to the other and if need be out again.

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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. don't be discouraged, this is a beautiful thing.
a lot of people are just plain cranky.
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
65. A rotating building likely means the energy cost is higher than the food energy you'd get from it.
Farmland isn't the main reason for shrinkage of wild land -- suburbia & McMansion & mansions & vacation homes & ski areas, etc are.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
139. While I like the idea
Having a building rotate would be an engineering nightmare.

Easier to have windows and open spaces and direct the light with optics.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. I *really* hate to play the fear card, but
I cannot think of a softer terrorist target...

Still, I like the idea and hope they go forward with it anyway
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Can you think of anything that couldn't be a target for terrorists?
If terrorists are going to stop you then what's the use of doing anything?
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
49. How about every other large building in existence?
If people fearmongering about terrorist targets were right even a fraction of the time half the skyscrapers and every dam, power plant and prominently labelled orphanage on the planet would be a smoking ruin.
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
52. Those pesky terrorists ruin everything!
And especially sustainable living :sarcasm:
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soapboxtalk Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. There's a much easier way
Why build huge expensive farms like this building...it would be much easier and cheaper to build floating hydoponic farms. They could use ion pumps to maintain perfect salinity and dissolved minerals, they could easily build solar panels, and they could float in the ocean.

We wouldn't have to worry about growing seasons...when it's winter simply have a tugboat haul the floating farms to the southern hemisphere.

The overwealming majority of earth is water...why not start using it to grow food?
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. With skyscrapers the people working them can go home at night
But your idea is also a good one.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
50. Floating hydroponic farms on that scale somehow aren't huge or expensive? (nt)
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boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
22. seeing the farm animals in a sky scraper is a bit bizarre...
but everything else looks good to me.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
26. Why not just decrease world population? It solves all of the rest of the problems as well.
Why support something that is the root cause of all of our problems?

Carbon emissions, housing, medical, food, water, energy... All of it is directly related to the number of users. Ie, humans.

But then I'm just posting into the breeze. People don't like thinking about this subject. It's so negative. Such a downer.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. As societies develop; it has the secondary effect of lowering the birth rate.
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 04:12 PM by Uncle Joe
No one is suggesting that lowering the earth's population shouldn't be in the mix but the current model of nothing but dead, no use, concrete, steel and glass can't be considered to be the optimum model of efficiency by any stretch.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #26
36. You do know that we can do more than one thing at time don't you?
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #26
108. Because it's impossible without draconian measures and forced sterilization.
It's the very sort of non-starter idea that needs to be taken out back like Old Yeller followed swiftly by anybody who proceeds to zombie-reassert it.
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Abin Sur Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #26
147. How? Details, please.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. How will they get the cows way up there?



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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #27
37. Really?
C'mon. Really?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #37
74. I was kidding.
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 06:14 PM by Ian David
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #74
78. OK! LOL!
catapults!
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #27
53. Angel wings. n/t
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. Fair trade trebuchets. (nt)
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Fruitful Future Flingers. n/t
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #27
57. Wings, man, wings! Haven't you ever heard of GM cows?
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
64. Red Bull
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
67. Oh, ye of little faith....
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FrodosPet Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #27
76. That's easy!
Cowlevators.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #27
89. And most people won't want to live upwind from the cows
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #27
117. push the building under them when they jump over the moon, silly.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
30. This was featured heavily in the History Channels show 2100....
It was pretty cool stuff...
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
34. that certainly would be pretty to look at
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
40. Looks like something Walt Disney would have concocted for his E.P.C.O.T.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
41. rec.
:thumbsup:
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
43. K&R! Very cool ideas here! n/t
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
47. K and R
very cool.
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Xicano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
48. K&R
Thanks for posting lunatica.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
51. This should be tested out immediately in the Horn of Africa.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
58. It would be a lot easier to use the large buildings for apartment blocks and use...
land for farming.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #58
71. Some of the designs have them being used for both
It would be nice to see a lot of the land going back to being wild.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #58
145. That defeats the entire purpose of vertical farming
What's wrong with having crops growing outside? Pests, drought, fungi and weeds, it requires too much water, oil is needed to make chemical fertilizers and transport crops to the cities, etc.

Especially in parts of Africa where access to drinking water is less, these vertical farms would be a great idea. The best part is that one could farm 365 days per year, not just during the "growing season."
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booley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
61. Still a lot of technical problems
For instance, lots of crops that provide staples to most people's diets, like grains, won't seem to work in these.

There's also the CO2 and pesticide build up since these buildings are not hermetically sealed. And there are other issues.

I am not saying this can't be done. I would dearly love to see a working vertical garden that is practical and affordable.

But before we build them, we need to make them work.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #61
70. So isn't that understood?
I certainly understand it. I'm sure most people get it that things need to be practical and affordable. Unless they're Republicans who think they and their buddies ought to hold onto all the money because, well, every solution is just too expensive.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #61
146. Unfortunately you are wrong about everything in your post
1. Grains can't be grown? Where did you get that idea??? The fact is that grains grow in hydroponics very well. And dwarf varieties can be stacked in the same room to increase yields even further.

2. CO2 and pesticide build up? Wrong. Pesticide runoff is a problem caused by dirt farming, not by vertical farming. And CO2??? What do you think an entire building full of plants would do to CO2 levels. Decrease them, that's what.

3. Before we build them we need to make them work. Exactly right. There are now 5 vertical farms around the world, and another possible to be built in America. These will serve as testing facilities to make sure that the techniques are the most efficient and yields are highest while maintaining the food nutrition content.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #61
154. Dwarf grains specifically for use in spacecraft with hydroponics
"SELECTION AND BREEDING OF DWARF CROPS The Crop Physiology Laboratory has a long history of identifying, characterizing, and hybridizing "Super-Dwarf" germplasm of the crop plants. In 1996, we released "USU-Apogee" an early maturing, dwarf wheat plant developed for use in the confined environments of spacecraft. "USU-Apogee" wheat was grown to maturity on the Russian space station MIR in 1998, and was used in a series of studies on the International Space Station in 2002. We recently completed the development of a new wheat cultivar, "USU-Perigee", which has a similar yield to "USU-Apogee", but is only half as tall (25 vs. 45 cm tall)."

http://www.usu.edu/cpl/research_dwarf.htm
PS, 25 cm is about 0.82 feet tall (a little less than 10 inches).

You might think that making a wheat plant shorter would be a bad thing, right? Wrong:

"Dwarfing is an important agronomic quality for wheat; dwarf plants produce thick stems. The cultivars Borlaug worked with had tall, thin stalks. Taller wheat grasses better compete for sunlight, but tend to collapse under the weight of the extra graina trait called lodging from the rapid growth spurts induced by nitrogen fertilizer Borlaug used in the poor soil. To prevent this, he bred wheat to favor shorter, stronger stalks that could better support larger seed heads. In 1953, he acquired a Japanese dwarf variety of wheat called Norin 10 developed by Orville Vogel, that had been crossed with a high-yielding American cultivar called Brevor 14.<18> Norin 10/Brevor is semi-dwarf (one-half to two-thirds the height of standard varieties) and produces more stalks and thus more heads of grain per plant. Also, larger amounts of assimilate were partitioned into the actual grains, further increasing the yield."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug#Dwarfing


There are several hydroponic systems on the market that will make great use of the shorter varieties of wheat. This is but one of them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EURY89IHOoY&feature=rela...

It shows that 8 wheat plants of the "Apogee" variety can be stacked on top of one another.

Here's another example of "stacking" that uses aeroponics, a method where nutrient-rich water is sprayed onto plant roots. http://aerofarms.com/why/technology / The height of each level can be adjusted and it makes harvesting easy. There could easily be 8 or 9 stacks of Apogee wheat.

What stacking means is that each floor of a building can produce as much as a 9 story building. If you have a building 240 feet wide by 240 feet long (1 acre) with a 10 story vertical farm then you have, in effect, a 90 acre growing area.

And vertical farming is indoor farming so there is no "growing season" -- growing is year round. Here is a comparison of a crop grown outside, in a regular greenhouse, and in the AeroFarms system:
http://aerofarms.com/why/comparison / -- which shows that plants grow much faster as well, this means more crops per year:
"Growth Cycle 35 70 days -vs- 25 50 days -vs- 18 21 days"

So you have, with this example plant, instead of 2 crops per year and 1 acre of crops, we'd have 90 acres and 17 crops per year, thus the comparison: 2 acres worth versus 1,530 acres worth -- all in that same 1 acre plot of land.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
63. Here's my question: If the world's population doubles, How do we expect the world's wealth to double
to keep pace?

Has it since the sixties,

Or have we been simply drawing more and more resources from the Third World to keep pace with living standards due to population growth at home?
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
75. This reminded me of something from a few years back.....
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #75
77. That's cool!
A little imagination and beautiful things happen
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #77
81. Yes, thanks. Your post inspired me to do a search.
It took some doing. I tried many search words, but there it was.

First saw it maybe two years ago.

Didn't have it save, but found it for you.

Thanks a lot for this post of yours.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
82. Are those cows? Did I see a picture featuring COWS??? Um, that's just silly...
Big advocate here for vertical farming, we even have vertical gardens at work and are building a vertical ecosystem.

But cows don't fit in a sustainable world, not cows for food, and I'm not too keen on cows for grazing or for pets.

Cows as part of a compact sustainable low-impact food solution.

Nope. Sorry.



..

..
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. Is that a photo of your vertical garden at work?
That's really cool!
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #84
91. Almost, it's called a Solar Curve and it's the model for one we are building.
It has an aquarium and vegetation and the runoff of the vegetation water feeds the fish and the fish poo fertilizes the plants and the solar modules power the circulation pumps!

:bounce:
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #91
101. That way beyond cool. It's downright ingenious.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #91
148. Love it!
The only thing missing is scale. It could be made the size of a building... just kidding.

I love it!
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Moostache Donating Member (905 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
83. Better hope the Chinese are doing the research....
We can't get revenue increases to fix roads and bridges that are literally crumbling before our eyes...

The Plutocratic States of America are NEVER going to lead the world in key research of this magnitude again.
We simply have too many people in this country that care more about who their neighbors are sleeping with and how to ever get them to stop voting against human interests.

I really wish the Soviet Union had never collapsed and was doing this on a wide scale outside of Moscow right now...maybe, MAYBE, then we would have had enough gumption to unfuck our nation and actually pursue worthwhile pursuits again.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #83
138. So in other countries people don't care about who their neighbor sleeps with?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
85. But, But...
It isn't "natural' farming. Greens would never put a fork in produce from those factory farms. But great idea. It would actually solve hunger problems.
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Terry in Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
86. Nice to dream
However, I have to voice a certain amount of skepticism about whether it would scale up to "feeding the world".

With fossil fuels depleting and alternates only able to replace a fraction of the energy, it seems like a stretch to plan on directing enough of it to build and maintain a sizable fleet of high-tech food skyscrapers.

I assume the proposal includes the arithmetic for how many would be needed. I just don't see it penciling out to anything feasible.

Effective solutions can be a lot more humble.





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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. In time it would feed the world
When every country can invest in these farms the need for fossil fuels will fall. It will happen with every vertical farm and become more widespread as the farms proliferate. Produce will not need to be trucked across the country because your city can have any number of these where you can go to the built in store and buy fresh produce every day.
Things can be grown until they're ripe and then harvested and sold in the ground level supermarket right away. With the ability to control temperature no matter what the weather is like outside these vertical farms food can be grown all year. And as it's seen to have a wide range of effects on other problems we have, such as the need for fossil fuels for transporting.

And each vertical farm would have to have an army of people to work in it, from actual agriculture employees to start seedling, grow, maintain and harvest the food, to engineers maintaining the machinery, electricians, hydroponic specialists, janitorial services and clerks selling the food to the community at the local supermarket.
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Terry in Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #87
150. In time we're all dead. Not enough time, not enough energy.
All the "replacements" for fossil fuels might, in time, provide 20% of the energy we now have with fossil fuels. Meanwhile, we're looking at 4% to 8% annual oil depletion rates by 2020. How fast are these skyscrapers going to get built before cranes get scarce and cement kilns and steel mills start shutting down?

Do you have any idea of the sheer scale of a program to build and operate these facilities worldwide? These things won't just proliferate on their own without huge amounts of energy and capital. How soon do you think we'd see them in Lagos, Dhaka, Karachi, Manila? We might see a few in the more privileged parts of the world, but the world is very big.

I think your optimism and energy can be better placed.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
90. That is totall awsomeness. I see it's pissed the Luddites off, though.
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 08:31 PM by Odin2005
It LOOKS awesome, too!

The open-range cows are a nice touch!
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
92. This is very cool. I love this kind of ingenuity. Disappointing how many naysayers are here (nt)
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. We'll do it without them, then welcome them after proving it can be done.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
94. gucci food.
The cost of growing food this way would be very very high.. fertilizer, water, soil, pest control, labor, dealling with waste, maintenance of the facility, etc would be much higher than a traditional farm. Only the rich could afford to buy this gucci food. Its a fantasy.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
96. Yeah, one missile to those things and they're destroyed.
No thanks. No thanks.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #96
102. And, depending on their location...
One hurricane.

One decent sized tornado.

A freak freeze.

The one in the water...one tsunami.


But, I suppose in Fantasy World, things like that never happen. And anyone who brings up the possibility is just a big old party pooper. An evil burster of balloons.


I don't understand why spending billions upon billions of dollars is necessary when one very simple answer is to slow down or reverse the population growth.

What is the attraction people have for adding an ever-increasing number of human beings to the planet? Are people that lonely?

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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #102
104. Can you explain how controlling population growth is a simple answer
How does one go about doing that exactly?
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #104
109. Seriously?
Education.

Free distribution of birth control, especially to people in Third World countries.

Voting out politicians who don't believe in birth control (or Freedom of Choice for women).

An acknowledgement of the problem from other world leaders, and some measure of cooperation.

And I know I'll take some heat for this one, but I don't care...mandatory sterilization of people who run around indiscriminately having child after child they can't support. Like men who have kids with five different women they're not married to.

I'm sure there are other ways I haven't thought of, and I'll probably get a big "thumbs down" for even proposing such things, but clearly something has to be done.

If we don't do something, then Mother Nature WILL. And it won't be pretty.



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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #109
110. My point is about the 'simple' part of your statement
There's nothing even remotely 'simple' about getting billions of people to cut down on having children. And sterilizing billions of people would never be simple either.

But I agree with you that education and leadership would help. It will never be simple though.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #109
141. So you claim that mass, global forced sterilization is a 'simple
solution'? Wow. Just wow. Simple? Arrests, medical prisons, forced surgeries....so simple. Just disgusting.
Do you claim the US should impose this on the world, or what? Forced surgery will require, well, force. Violence, war to impose this regime that most humans would find repulsive.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #102
114. Or that I live in constant fear.
:eyes:

Before those things can be made, you have to figure out all of the potential hazards of having them.

And I advocate for less people in the world, not more.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #96
103. Living in constant fear must be hard
That's really sad.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #103
113. I'm not living in fear.
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 12:13 PM by Lucian
If we're ever in a war, or we have enemies, those things could be destroyed so easily and we'll lose our food.

That's not fear. That's reality.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #113
115. Objecting to innovations that could feed billlions of people on the basis
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 12:17 PM by lunatica
that our enemies can destroy them is indeed living in fear and actually quite unrealistic.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #115
116. Expecting those things to thrive and feed billions...
is quite unrealistic.

Population control is the key. Not skyscraper farms.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
98. Hydroponically grown produce could work this way.
The one with the cows is ridiculous. That "field" they have those cows in might support one cow for few weeks. Until it wandered off the edge, anyway.

With hydroponics, you can grow an unbelievable amount of food in a really small space. Planting and harvesting would be labor intensive, but everything in between could be automated.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #98
105. Labor intensive means people would have jobs doesn't it?
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
99. interesting


everyone with a green thumb should experiment this winter


Remember, they said the car would never replace the horse....



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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
100. Joke
Looks like 4th Yr Arch student submission. Urban hobby farming for those with a guilt complex over how fucking little they are doing to assist the planet.

Sustainable farming does not rely on chemical nutrients and a neverending supply of water.

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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
106. I've been obsessed with the sustainable living movement
the last few years (out of interest and necessity) and I just LOVE articles like this. It really is amazing how much food you can grow in really small spaces and I LOVE the rainwater capture and recycle idea. Anyway, thanks for the article.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #106
107. I've been very excited about this for years too
If somewhere in the world someone would start this and prove its viability it would grow.

I imagine big cities all over the world becoming self sufficient as far as food is concerned by having building like this for every dozens of blocks. It would create jobs too. Everything from engineering to growing the food. Building like these would need plenty of workers in them.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
111. It's inevitable.
And an old idea whose time has come.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #111
112. I hope you're right. This may be the time for that idea to take off.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
132. k&r n/t
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
144. Awsome...nt
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
151. Talk about VERTICAL. What if each floor of the skyscraper had one of these?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EURY89IHOoY&feature=rela...

Stacking systems similar to this will help to increase yields of the vertical farm dramatically. Must watch video
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humus Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. fortune of the land
To put the bounty and the health of our land, our only commonwealth,
into the hands of people who do not live on it and share its fate will
always be an error. For whatever determines the fortune of the land
determines also the fortune of the people.
--Wendell Berry

They claim this Mother Earth of ours for their own and fence their
neighbors away from them... They compel the natural earth to produce more
excessively and when it fails, they force it to take medicine to produce
more. This is evil.
--Sitting Bull 1877

It takes a rich land to support a democracy. Every time you see a dust
cloud, or a muddy stream, a field scarred by erosion or a channel
choked with silt, you are witnessing the passing of democracy. The crop
called man can wither like any other.
--Sterling North

When the land begins to be regarded, not as the primary source of
wealth, but as the plaything of gentlemen already rich, the economy of the
country is in questionable, if not dangerous condition.
--Gerald W. Johnson


Community isn't a sentiment. It has to do with necessity, with people
needing each other. If you allow the larger industrial system to
remove the pattern of needs, which is the force holding people together, you
lose the community.
--Wendell Berry


Not all landscapes should be inhabited by human beings, but each of us
is enriched to the extent that we can belong to, and participate in, a
well-ordered human community integrated into the natural landscape of a
particular place.
-- William Vitek



It is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity.
-- Albert Einstein


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
depends on the unreasonable man.
-- George Bernard Shaw

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite
of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
-- Niels Bohr


How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee;
kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch
whenever you bloody well feel like it.
-- Ed Abbey


To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
-Mahatma Gandhi














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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #152
153. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive
--- "The Professor" Gilligan's Island
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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #151
167. That is a system which probably uses more in inputs than it produces in food energy.
Edited on Mon Nov-07-11 12:24 AM by Laluchacontinua
1. The plants are rooted in what looks almost like plastic coffee cup lids and aren't able to reach full growth -- my backyard chard, for example, grown without any chemical inputs at all & no care, is at least 3 times that size. All those plants are small, not even enough for a single salad.



2. They're fed by (pumped) water containing fertilizer mix (made by chemical processes in factories). The fertilized water is changed daily and the waste water requires the same kind of processing that water in any agricultural operation does.

3. The rotation of the "beds" requires power.

4. The whole system is run by a computer (more power).

5. All the little plastic dohickeys that are used to produce minimal amounts of actual food.

6. Waste materials from the plants themselves (like root systems) are sheer waste. No way to compost in this system, no way to return the waste energy to soil.


The zookeeper says isn't it great, we can give them their missing nutrients in food instead of "chemical made supplements" by adjusting the nutrients in the plants. Um, what's in that fertilizer mix other than "chemical made supplements"?

Boy, that seems like a convoluted way to give vitamins to monkeys.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
155. we can already feed the world if ag giants and our crop subsidies didn't put Third World farmers out
of business.

But I'd like to live in a city with these farm towers next door.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
161. Gorgeous, inspiring, Creative. Sci-Fi movies need to start pushing this concept.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
164. If we all stopped (or vastly reduced) eating meat, we already could.
:popcorn:

That said, I like the idea. I like the rooftop gardens that some places are doing already as well.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #164
170. My wife and I have done just that
She hasn't had more than a nibble of beef in perhaps 3 years, she drastically reduced her consumption of pork as well.

We mostly eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains but chicken, turkey, and fish are still fair game.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
168. You don't need that to feed the world,
It would however be helpful if the white westerners who demand the developing world maintain neolithic agricultural practices would find another cause where they might do less harm.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #168
172. If we don't need vertical farms then how will we feed the people with global climate change near?
Or here already, depending on who you ask really.

Forcasted weather extremes, longer droughts, worse floods, stronger and more tornadoes, hurricanes and tropical storms, these are but a few of the things that people will face as they try to feed their families and their communities.

Then there are the pests that have heretofore been kept out of the formerly colder areas by the cold... when it is no longer cold.

What is the answer to the food and fresh water crisis that we all face, if not now then soon and for the rest of our lives.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
174. Texas drought has caused an estimated $5.2 billion in crop and livestock losses
This year's drought in Texas has caused a record $5.2 billion in crop and livestock losses... so far. And the harvest season isn't over as of the writing of the following article:
LUBBOCK, Texas The blistering drought in Texas has caused an estimated $5.2 billion in crop and livestock losses so far this agricultural season, a record figure likely to rise further, state officials said Wednesday.

Field surveys from November 2010 to Aug. 1 this year indicate livestock losses of $2.1 billion and crop losses of $3.1 billion in Texas.

...snip...

The previous record annual loss was $4.1 billion for the 2006 season, Texas agricultural officials said.

"This drought will have a lasting impact on Texas agriculture," said Travis Miller, an agronomist with the AgriLife Extension Service. "The most remarkable thing is the extent and the severity of the drought combined."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44177536/ns/weather/t/droug... /
Note: The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Too bad Texas doesn't have a few vertical farming skyscrapers to soften the blow of these droughts... which are only going to get worse from here on out thanks to climate change.
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