TED Conversations

Mark Hurych


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Imagine a scenario this century that is very bleak for agriculture. What do you think we should do to address humanity's thrivability?

Suppose two things:
Suppose that the food producing carrying capacity (the number of people that can be fed from arable land) of the Earth within this century becomes less than one billion due to climate change, what do you think we should do to address thrivability? Suppose that you had all the necessary resources to act. For full credit, apply empathy, logic, and self-integrating system properties. Yes, this might be on the final exam.

Jeremy Rifkin,

Paul Gilding,

Ray Kurzweil,

Michelle Holliday,


Closing Statement from Mark Hurych

Thanks to everyone that participated. I apologize to anyone who might have felt slighted.

The answer I got here is that people are on many different islands of being about humanity's current reality. We all have hopes and fears but our paradigms I've found are unexpectedly different. Our perspectives and priorities sometimes don't even seem to have common ground.

I very much want to find that common ground, across cultures, across the globe, across everything that separates and isolates us. One way I plan to address this yearning is by tuning my questions to be more inclusive and collective.

I feel that art does this, pulls us together and gives us common ground, even across language barriers and across time. I want to be good. This sounds so strange but I want to be a good ancestor. I don't see myself as an artist but I would very much like to do something for the greater good the way a composer or an artist might leave behind an inspiring artifact.


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  • Dec 29 2012: When things get bleak people tend to individualize. For example; in WW II families grew thier own small garden plots. Then they would share/trade with neighbors. They would give it other advise on how to make things last longer and nothing was wasted. It's survival and respect for each other at its best.
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      Dec 31 2012: Before things actually get bleak but while the predictions are considered as a possibility, what would you do to avert them? Would you grow a garden for food? Would you promote this idea? What other ideas do you have?
      • Jan 2 2013: Yes, incourage the growing of food. Also, since the 1920's food distribution has always been a problem. We grow and throwaway more food then we can consume, even today. So, this needs to be addressed. Some mentioned that it takes time to grow food, but many plants that are out there have never been used for human consumsion (sic). I have traveled the world and believe me cultural differences has created various appetites for unusual items. For example; grubs, insects, certain grasses and plants such as dandilion (in your own back yard). People will find and eat things they never would have thought about. History has proven that.

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