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In Age of Extreme Weather, Industrial Farming Threatens Us All


#1

In Age of Extreme Weather, Industrial Farming Threatens Us All

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Extreme weather is damaging to crop production and threatens food safety worldwide, according to a new study published in Nature on Wednesday.

And the most developed nations like the U.S., which rely heavily on industrial monocultures for food production, are particularly vulnerable.


#2

It worth pointing out that an estimated 15 to 20 percent of food grown is neither by the small farmer or by the industrial farm.

This 15 to 20 percent comes from urban gardens.

With that in mind this leaves those large scale industrial farms providing some 15 percent of food grown yet we are given this spiel that they needed to feed the world.

With them requiring far more land to grow things on along with higher input costs of fuel, pesticides herbicides and machinery and with the environmental destruction they cause, they are in fact vastly inefficient and exponentially destructive.

Their only purpose is to generates profits in the least expensive wAy they can which means they only serve Capital and the investor class and are not about growing food.

This just another example of what a bogus thing this so called "free market" is.


#3

We can feel the effects of overpopulation on food production and most everything else affected by resulting global warming. But some countries like Russia, China and Germany are decrying the effects of declining populations on their economies. Instead of basing peoples welfare on economic growth, these countries might consider basing it on ecological health.

A healthy environment provides for everyone.


#4

Quote from the article:
"That model (large, intensively cultivated fields sown exclusively to one crop) works really well when the climate is stable, but it may not work so well when there is an extreme weather event."

Quote fixed:
"That industrial, petro-agricultural model works really well at generating profits for the top agro-chemical and commodity corporations when the climate is stable and you externalize all your ecological costs, but it may not work so well when the industrial assault on the Earth destabilizes the climate and dis-integrates the ecology."


#5

World War II Victory Gardens produced 40% of USA vegetables. But, we are a different culture now and gardening is a lot of work. It keeps you close to home just when you might want to be out traveling or working on your lifestyle. We'd rather get our veggies from Mexico or wherever.


#6

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#8

Hello tcarlson & SuspiraDeProfundis11h

The home gardening movement now is growing like kudzu. What is key is getting neighbors TOGETHER to educate and help each other. For food gardening but also for other kinds of mutual aid. ALL skills and interests.

For 4 years I ran "Neighborhood Vegetables" in Berkeley and Oakland.

Here's our leaflet and our sign-up form.


NEIGHBORHOOD VEGETABLES

We Can Grow Food and Community
Here Where we Live

Back Yards, Front Yards, Empty Lots.

If you need help in your garden
We can arrange a volunteer
GARDEN WORK PARTY
Expert advice and perhaps a steady helper

As food prices rise,
We can grow our own good food,

IF WE COOPERATE
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR
With our skills, land and labor.

Whether or not you have a yard,
We can garden together

If you are interested, call
510-652-7442, or write
Laurenceofberk@aol.com

Tell us where you live so we can connect you.
Include phone & email
level of garden skill, if you have a yard,
And if you need garden help.


NEIGHBORHOOD VEGETABLES
Working with Neighbors to Grow Food

Name _________________________________________________
Email _________________________________________________
Phone (H) ______________________________________________
Cell or Work ___________________________________________
Address or Cross Streets _______________________________
_______________________________ City ____________________
Garden Skill: Some ____ Skilled________
Can Mentor Others? ______ How? ______________________
Have Yard? ____ Fruit Tree? ______ Extra Veggies____
Want a Work Party in your yard?___________________
Garden needs ongoing helper _____ Want garden to work in ______
Join Local Committee___ Make phone calls___ Door to door___

Right now it's in suspension, but this spring we hope to start again with The Neighborhood Village, for ALL skills.
The next civilization begins in our neighborhoods.
We can do it.


#9

Machine monocropping is destructive to the soil in the best of times. Even without climate change, we only have a fixed number of years left with this capitalist insanity. Global warming instability just speeds up the inevitable.


#11

I didn't mean to imply that I wasn't a gardner, myself. My 800 sq. ft. plot here in Santa Fe grows most of our seasonal produce. And, we share with our neighbor who also gardens. We have a great farmer's market here, too.

I was talking more about people in general who are addicted to travel and the middle-class lifestyle. They can't be bothered to put some seeds in the ground.


#12

I'll add a reminder that crop rotation, including fallow seasons, was the THE model for sustainable agriculture before sustainability was "cool".


#13

For those who still have gardens - if they are lucky enough to live where that is possible - the climate and weather has a huge effect on those gardens as well. The only things that my garden produced the last two years were some green onions and weeds because of the severe drought. Using water over the allowed allotment produced fines which of course is understandable.

I suppose people in other areas have similar problems with too much rain, floods, ice etc. Extreme weather effects everything not just the large food industry.


#14

That is a great post.

Not only was nestle allowed to continue to extract water in an extreme drought stricken area, the fracking industries were also allowed to continue their dirty work with using water which should have been used for drinking and growing. The rich also continued their gold games and building of swimming pools. they just paid the fines.

Speaking of the White House - the occupant was golfing and talking about climate change during the height of the drought. Not to mention that the super jet used lots of fuel just to fly from one coast to the other coast to fund raise for the elite politicians.


#15

For some reason, raised (contained) gardens use 1/10th the water. Haitians use old tires and hang them, or put them on benches, I use 4'x8' platforms on cinder blocks, perhaps that is called 'drip irrigation' but there are no drips. Just a lot less water use.


#16

It would be nice to see a source. Or is this a personal idea of yours?


#17

It is important to remember that corporatist agriculture only accounts for about 30% of production.

Traditional eco agriculture still produces 70% of the food people eat on land that has been producing since the first human stood on two feet. US corporatism has washed away the top soil and is killing the people with war industry poisons converted to pesticides and fertilizer.


#18

We have for the most part been growing food sustainabley on plots large and small since the 70's. This country could use a resurgence of the Victory gardens for health reasons both human and environmental.

The comments in the piece about weather being a major factor i.e....." Western farmers may need to start thinking differently as climate becomes less and less predictable, Ramankutty said."That model works really well when the climate is stable, but it may not work so well when there is an extreme weather event" cut to the core of the issue. That has to be the biggest challenge to growing food today. We are having to rethink the how and the when. Not to mention spending much more time in damage control and implementing plans B, C and D. It's getting very interesting out there in the garden.


#20

Is it not a time to consider three kinds of agriculture? First mixed-use hydroponic greenhouse attachment to residences and commercial spaces? Second to mixed-use polyculture practises. Third to growing mixed-use forests? So let's turn some intelligence to logistics and calculate the land use proportions to for all these activities for a family of four. Surely this will posit a different village, town and city development urban planning. Will the synthesis create a better quality of life and attachment to Nature?


#21

I am very glad that more and more people are deciding to grow their own food. I would like to play a bit of Debbie Downer or something like that for a minute... IF/WHEN things really fall apart... and there is NO FOOD IN THE GROCERY STORE AT ALL... what we grow now, is no where near what would feed people.... I grow my food too. While working, it was very difficult to keep it up really well. Been doing it now for 11 years.. but also grew up doing it... I'd be good till about end of July... then, the weeds would begin to take over ( yes, we did try some tricks like newspaper inbetween etc..)... then, I would never be able to do up all the food... so yeah, I gave some away... I usually have to let many of my beans go to dry beans.. .I always want to make my own tomato sauce, but still haven't done that... but....... this year... I am not working in the same way... so, I am looking forward to it all....
Now... my biggest fear?.... I have now heard that China is building Nuclear Power plants all over the place..
and here in the U.S. we aren't just building two as I thought, but 6.....
This gives me no hope at all...
....and for all you pro nukers.... why would a civilization build multiple suicide contraptions...all over it's planet?... even IF nothing here "disturbs them" what about meteors?...
But, actually, I can see plenty of scenarios in which these suicide contraptions become DESTABLIZED... it could be economic, natural disasters... or terrorism...
You see, even with Climate Change, we would have a chance to at least try to save some life on this planet.... IF IT WEREN'T FOR THOSE DAMN NUKES.... that reality really reduces the chance that we'd save even one damn bacteria....