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vertical farming for feeding the world of the 21st century

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster? the solution is a very nice idea worth spreading.... I would like to have a TED Talk on this...


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  • Apr 18 2011: A general question for all, since I am not into farming but very interested in sustainable methods. Could you talk a bit about the energy needs. Can they be run entirely from solar/wind etc without the need to tap into the electrical grid? Has anyone used geothermal for supplementary heating? Thanks.
    • Apr 18 2011: Julie
      Geothermal can and is used in some horticultural nurserys with the water going round fixed pipes on a closed loop system. Small units can be run by wind and solar but there is a need for large battery back up.
      Also as I found out the Magnets used in wind turbines are derived from Mongolia and the metal used to make them is killing thousands of people as it has polluted the land and the main river which feeds the local farm land. So although we are energy saving and saving the planet to do this we are killing thousands of innocent people. we just do not make this point public.so for every solution there is pollution.
      • Apr 18 2011: Thanks Grahame. I know of commercial and research facilities that use geothermal energy but I have heard comments on it being very expensive. I saw a writeup on the production of neodymium magnets in Inner Mongolia - appalling situation. As you say, it seems for every step forward in one place, there seems to be a step in the wrong direction somewhere else.
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          Apr 18 2011: Julie Ann, There is a winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario on Hwy 55 that is entirely heated by geothermal energy.
        • Apr 18 2011: Julie
          I saw it first hand as I went out to see if there was a way in which we could get them producing food again, as you say it is disgusting that we as so called civilised treat the third world in this way and cover it up.
          When siemans make huge claims on there wind farms how can they justify the loss of life .
          Well time to get of my soap box no one listens and I can not change the world.
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          Apr 18 2011: I have been researching geo thermal..very efficient and effective but I worry about the need to replace undergorund parts....the key parts....
      • Apr 19 2011: Thanks Debra. I did notice that and it is worth looking into.

        Grahame, I guess there is a lot of blame to go around. We demand clean, renewable energy, the company's bottom line is profit, the governments of the manufacturing countries do not have regulations or do not enforce the regulations. The same scenario is played out in other places as well. I understand your frustration. But congratulations on the work you do, it makes a difference.

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