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smokeyjay
Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

I wouldn't say that.  Back in the early 70's, I remember doomsday prophets saying we would all run out of food by 2000 AD., or sooner.  They were trying to get everyone on board with ZPG (zero population growth).  We were also supposed to run completely out of oil by now.  Today, we have more proven reserves than ever before.  The US has reserves in North Dakota alone rivaling Saudi Arabia.

 

Let's say for discussion that population control is the choice to make.  Who will implement it?  Which nation will lead the way?  Do we make abortion mandatory for those non-compliers?  Who will tell the poor countries to stop reproducing?  Mandatory birth control?  What about our civil rights?  Do we suspend the Constitution?  What do we do about our religious beliefs and freedom to practice according to their precepts?  What about wealthy families becoming the exception to the rule while poor families are selected for those prevented from having any children?  Is my child worth more than yours and more deserving to a chance at life?

 

It's a can of worms, alright.

 

If we had listened to those naysayers back then and throttled our technologies, we would now be facing real starvation and a real energy crisis, and only have ourselves to blame. 

 

In someone else's post, they talk about food waste.  I saw a report that said Japan wastes as much as half of their food.  Much of it is thrown out after preparation.  If one is an opportunist, surely someone can think up new ways to take advantage of that "problem" and turn it into an opportunity. 

 

Access to water is another opportunity for technology advancement.  The oceans are full of it.  No pun intended. 

 

You see problems while others see obtacles to overcome.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

Obstacles can certainly be re-cadt as opportunities. There are limits, though.

Yes, ZPG was the mantra of educated people in our generation. I guess it does fall into a quantity v. quality debate. Of course, population control can be accomplsged through various mans, from the good to the downright awful...China proved that, too.

Still, if we accept that more people will eventually mean less for each one of us, we will never solve the distribution problem that plagues virtually all resources. Ths is the estate planning problem for the entire human race, isn't it?

We haven't so much solved energy problems, as we have priced some formerly too - expensive options into feasibility right now. Ethanol, oil sands, etc..., it is all only going to work at certain price points.

we still haven't greatly boosted capture efficiency for solar, for example, and I read now the EPA is out to shut down renewable and affordable wood burning. If so, we will get mighty cold here at our house! How is a tree that grows in my forestland a less acceptable alternative to fossil fuels than corn - based ethanol?
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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

PS: Food waste?

Your example of the Japanese makes me mindful of my belief that waste is a cultural phenomenon. It is less acceptable in some places...starving children in Africa invoked to urge children to clean their well-filled American plates, for example.

My upbringing said when one ate out, it was deemed polite to leave a forkful of food on the plate. This signified that the meal was enjoyed, and also that the portion served was more than enough. If you had a sic -ounce portion, and left an ounce behind, to be polite, that is almost 17% wasted...or was it a waste?

Waste, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I could give some examples of it, recalled from certain menu days in school cafeterias both as a student and a teacher. That made a great opportunity for feeding slops!
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buckfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

After considerable thought.... The prize means nothing to me. If the people who receive it are somehow motivated for this type of recognition we might have a problem. On the other hand it sounds like the conference, educational opportunities, and networking is a great thing.
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smokeyjay
Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

If we would continue to look at life with the thought that there's only one size of the pie that will remain forever, we would still be riding horses and traveling across the U.S. in Conestoga wagons.

 

Henry Ford was an insightful man, looking into the future and realizing that change can be positive.  He not only made cars, but created an entire emerging middle class that could afford to purchase his cars.

 

Alternative energy is still an emerging technology.  EPA needs to be throttled by legislative action.  Unfortunately, the radical groups are nuetralizing Congress.  It's time to "kick the bums out" and get people in that are serious about actually governing.

Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

You get no argument about the lack of leadership we suffer from now.

Smokey, I would love to get involved in new developments in energy. Tried to lease some solar arrays on our land, but we are too far from existing substations to connect cost-effectively. Guess we will just have to settle for converting sunlight to grass and trees for now. If you have any other ideas, give me a few, please.
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smokeyjay
Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

Perhaps you can drum up interest in creating a solar gateway with a dedicated line through a corridor to the substation.  It's a lot of work, I know, to get other land owners interested in such a project.  Just a thought.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

We are probably among the few who are not row croppers around us, in both states. I got vetted this summer for locations for a solar company, but it was just too far be feasible. The limit they cited was two miles. I don't think a straight line bpnearly that short could be drawn from usto them.
One can only hope that technology might allow more remoteness from the grid's punctuation points, I suppose. We are too far inland for wind acquisition, but we get tons of sun.

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belarus
Senior Contributor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

We've had a government that has highly subsidised carbohydrates and hydgrogenated oils.  Our society got what it asked for....or should I say for the government that is bought and paid for by corporate and foreign special interests got what it asked for.  The food deserts in the USA continue to get larger.  Vast portions of the country the overwhelming majority of the calories comes in a snack bag or pop can.

We shouldn't all have to know how to raise a hen, plant and tend a garden, run a presuure cooker for canning or even how to make sauerkraut but lots more of us should.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: World Food Prize starts today: What's it mean to you?

I have to go with smokey's thoughts.  Pesimism destroys people.  The idea that the only way a person can be successful is by taking away wealth from someone else.  You hear it a lot.  The low remark about someone that has had success, that he had to cheat, or accomplished because he got a big government check, or his parents paid off the school to let him in.  And usually it is a brash vocal comment made in front of his own children, locking them into a mindset that misses the opportunity to witness the interesting things going on around us.

 

Jeff this prize is one of those things I would have drug my children to see.   Afew years ago one of our sons met us at the Wisconsin Journalism awards in Milwaukee.  I went for 2 reasons, one of which was the keynote address on the potential of genetic research.  That trip changed my perspective on agriculture and my farming decisions.

yesterday

I listened to a young girl explain in detail the declaration of independence.  She should have finished high school.  Her absolute knowledge was a rehash of a Nick Cage movie. --------- point is,  we are all going to spend our time thinking about something, why not something that improves life and makes us feel good about our time.

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