The USAF cemetry at Maddingly, Cambridge UK. What kind of world are we handing on to our children?
Globally, we are on the edge of a renewable energy revolution. It is not that we did not have the technology, what is different is that the technology, bit by bit, is becoming economic. This bodes well for the human race. However, there is a problem in that much of the economically attractive solutions, especially solar panels, need land. There is a problem with land – they have stopped making it. So we need to use alternatives including never making a roof out of tiles or inactive sheet and, instead, making it of solar panels. We need the land to produce food, fibres and timber – but in a different way. Instead of using mineral Nitrogen which costs at least 21,000 kWh per tonne of N to deliver, we need to feed those crops on urban wastes. It has been done and can be scaled up safely. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H63EQX0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Nest discussion on this blog; Farming off-grid
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, December 17
Global population and human survival are issues not just for our children but for this generation. There will be a global collapse. When?
The British people and government would do well to look to food security. Note the graph; there will be . repeat WILL be, a global population collapse. The evidence is compelling. (See “Survival”). There was a discussion on Radio 4 today about whether a woman could or should be able to get IVF on the NHS. We already have twice as many people on this earth than is, by reasonable thought, sustainable. There are plenty of kids already here who need a family. For everyone’s sake, don’t make any more!
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 October 2017
“The crop on the right was not worth harvesting and abandoned. 4000 people dies as a result.
I have shown a picture of this farm field before but I now have a further reasons to visit it again. The farm appears to have abandoned harvest and it appears that the crop yield would not justify the charges by the contractor brought in to combine the crop. The farmer claims to farm “organically”.
Now, according to the UN, over 100,000,000 people in central Africa are on the edge of starvation. Most will actually die and it would be kinder to actually shoot them – starvation is not a very nice way to leave this earth. The farm in the picture has, at the time of writing, over 100 ha apparently abandoned. How many people would that feed? Well, each ha of that land would yield 8, maybe 10 tonnes of wheat, let us say 8, year in, year out. So, 800 tonnes per annum. How many would that support? Well, it depends on the dietary level. To survive without getting fat but having enough calories to work, probably around 5 people for a full year on each tonne is a reasonable guide.
That means that if the farmer of the land in the picture had been employing current UK technology, he could be saving the lives of 4000 people, maybe more. So by farming badly, he has murdered 4000 people? Too harsh? Maybe but the observation does underline two things that are as relevant today as they have ever been;
- We who farm the land have a responsibility to the global human population to use its productive capacity for everyone’s benefit. Good, safe food is needed and a lot of it.
- The question about organic v. technology and chemicals is a real one but we need production. Acceptation of reduced production by any method of farming, really does condemn others to death. So, there is a question of the balance of risks. Certainly, there are risks in using pesticides and mineral fertilisers. The risk of starvation is very real to some. So, provided these risks are continually managed which option? Well, British farming probably does produce the safest food in the world. Technology in responsible hands is the only solution to reducing starvation.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, September 17
Population growth will always result in adjustment. How much and when is predictable.
According to the UK government Office of National Statistics, UK population grew by 538,000 in 2017. That is what we know about. That does not take into account the shift in skills or ethnicity. That makes Brexit an irrelevant diversion.
The Lilliputian antics of our elected politicians and the incompetence of the Civil Service in controlling the population growth will have fundamental and possibly catastrophic effects on everything from housing to Health Service, from skills supply to Welfare Services. In my own field, the possible contribution of recycling wastes to farmed land will, inevitably, get buried in a sea of regulation.
Where is the leadership? Read chapter 1 at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reversing-Global-Warming-Profit-environmentally/dp/1904312810 and write to your MP asking for meaningful, urgent action.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 5 July 2017
We are loosing thousands of ha of farm land. every year. Setting up wetlands is very nice but “we have a problem, Huston”.
If I have remembered it rightly, the BBC in their Western News program on BBC1, 27 June 17, reported that the Environment Agency had, with assistance, spent £20 million deliberately flooded this area of Steart Marshes which had previously been farm land. The Wildlife and Wetlands Trust claim, “Hundreds of hectares of saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands buffer homes and businesses from rising sea levels ….”
Put on one side for a moment that a few generations of farmers had spent their lives winning the area from the sea and produced food. Also put aside the fact that most of the global population does not have enough to eat. Now look at the following report.
A satellite survey by a research team at the University of Leicester (UofL) found that between 2006 and 2012, 22,000 hectares (54,ooo acres) of green space was converted to “artificial surfaces” – mostly housing. More than 7,000 hectares of forest was felled, 14,000 hectares of farmland concreted ……..to make way for urban sprawl. That’s a landscape twice the size of Liverpool, transformed forever, in just six years.
Now add in that because of recent news, many people might think twice about living in a tower block.
There is a real crisis here about land, wild life and people. We really do have to choose before nature does it for us. The choice is simple. Build sea walls. Stop people breeding. Think about it.
Land Research Ltd
27 June 2017
Farming is the fundamental key to removing Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and giving back our Oxygen.
A UK-based development programme has shown that a wide range of urban and agricultural wastes can be recycled as fertilisers, to the exclusion of manufactured mineral fertilisers, to produce sustainable, high-yielding agriculture and increase bio-diversity and populations. The programme has shown how that technology can be used to develop sustainable worldwide agriculture and dramatically reduce irrigation requirements including in arid and desert soils. This, in turn, closes the loop on recycling potentially significant amounts of global Carbon dioxide by changing the hydrological cycle, and increasing the global soil Carbon sink and releasing Oxygen back to atmosphere. Click here.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 16 May 17
Courtesy of “The Furrow” (John Deere) this shows global farmed area shrinking and population exploding. Now ad water and forests. This is dynamite.
It is worth clicking on the link (WRI – the World Researches Institute) below for a clear view of how forests affect our water supply. The authors point out that “The world’s major watersheds lost 6 percent of their tree cover on average from 2000-2014. Today, about 31 percent of the world’s watershed area is covered by forests.”
The problem is a tension between the facts they point out and the needs of an expanding global population to have food, energy and occupy land. The tension between the two is an exponential curve related to population growth. Something will give. Unless, that is, we control population growth and very urgently.
Click here for an expansion of this discussion, and what to do about it,
Land Research 12 May 2017