Turning points essay global

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turning points essay global

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Despite recent advances in predicting the occurrence of these natural processes by an extensive network of ground-based weather stations and remote sensing satellites (36 2-dimensional farming remains a precarious way to make a living. Significant deviation (e.g., drought or flood) for more than several weeks from conditions necessary for insuring a good yield has predictable, negative effects on the lives of millions of people dependent upon those items for their yearly food supply (37, 38). Climate change regimens (39) will surely complicate an already complex picture with respect to predicting crop yields (40, 41). In addition, other elements conspire to take away from the harvest for which we worked so hard to produce. Despite the best application of modern agricultural practices, an unavoidable portion of what is grown rots in the fields prior to harvest time, or in the worlds storage bins afterwards. Every year, depending upon geographic location and intensity of El niño events, crops suffer from too little water and wither on the spot, or are lost to severe flooding, hailstorms, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, fires, and other destructive events of nature. Many of these phenomena are at best difficult to predict, and at worst are impossible to react to in time to prevent the losses associated with them. In sub-Saharan Africa, locusts remain an ever-present threat (42 and can devastate vast areas of farmland in a matter of days.

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As far as is known, none have been constructed as multi-story buildings. Other food items that have been commercialized by indoor farming include freshwater fishes (e.g., tilapia, trout, stripped bass and a wide variety of crustaceans and mollusks (e.g., shrimp, crayfish, mussels). What is proposed here that differs radically from what now exists is to scale up the concept of indoor farming, in english which a wide variety of produce is harvested in quantity enough to sustain even the largest of cities without significantly relying on resources beyond. Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and other large farm animals seem to fall well outside the paradigm of urban farming. However, raising a wide variety of fowl and pigs are well within the capabilities of indoor farming. It has been estimated that it will require approximately 300 square feet of intensively farmed indoor space to produce enough food to support a single individual living in an extraterrestrial environment (e.g., on a space station or a colony on the moon or Mars 35). Working within the framework of these calculations, one vertical farm with an architectural footprint of one square city block and rising up to 30 stories (approximately 3 million square feet) could provide enough nutrition (2,000 calories/day/person) to comfortably accommodate the needs of 10,000 people employing. Constructing the ideal vertical farm with a far greater yield per square foot will require additional research in many areas hydrobiology, engineering, industrial microbiology, plant and animal genetics, architecture and design, public health, waste management, physics, and urban planning, to name but a few. The vertical farm is a theoretical construct whose time has arrived, for to fail to produce them in quantity for the world at-large in the near future will surely exacerbate the race for the limited amount of remaining natural resources of an already stressed out. Expected benefits of vertical farming, year-round crop production in a protected, managed environment: The main advantages of vertical farming are summarized in Table. Currently, maximizing crop production takes place over an annual growth cycle that is wholly dependent upon what happens outside climate and local weather conditions.

This migration is largely caused by the plight of the farmer. people move to the city for various reasons, but the most significant reason is economic—when a citys economy is prospering it attracts people. The promise of jobs and comfort, glamour and glitter, pulls people to cities. There are also push factors: droughts or exploitation of farmers can cause extreme rural poverty and that pushes bill people out of the country-side (33, 34). What is meant by vertical farming? Farming indoors is not a new concept, per se, as greenhouse-based agriculture has been in existence for some time. Numerous commercially viable crops (e.g., strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs, and spices) have seen their way to the worlds supermarkets in ever increasing amounts over the last 15 years. Most of these operations are small when compared to factory farms, but unlike their outdoor counterparts, these facilities can produce crops year-round. Japan, Scandinavia, new zealand, the United States, and Canada have thriving greenhouse industries.

turning points essay global

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All of this may sound too good to be true, but careful analysis will show that these are all realistic and achievable writing goals, given the full professional development of a few new technologies. High-rise food-producing building will succeed only if they function by mimicking ecological process, namely by safely and efficiently re-cycling everything organic, and re-cycling water from human waste disposal plants, turning it back into drinking water. Most important, there must be strong, government-supported economic incentives to the private sector, as well as to universities and local government to develop the concept. Ideally, vertical farms must be:. Cheap to build;. Durable and safe to operate; and. Independent of economic subsides and outside support (i.e., show a profit at the end of the day). If these conditions can be realized through an on-going, comprehensive research program, urban agriculture could provide an abundant and varied food supply for the 60 of the people that will be living within cities by the year 2030 (32).

Allow large tracts of land to revert to the natural landscape restoring ecosystem functions and services;. Safely and efficiently use the organic portion of human and agricultural waste to produce energy through methane generation, and at the same time significantly reduce populations of vermin (e.g., rats, cockroaches. Remediate black water creating a much needed new strategy for the conservation of drinking water;. Take advantage of abandoned and unused urban spaces;. Break the transmission cycle of agents of disease associated with a fecally-contaminated environment;. Allow year-round food production without loss of yields due to climate change or weather-related events;. Eliminate the need for large-scale use of pesticides and herbicides;. Provide a major new role for agrochemical industries (i.e., designing and producing safe, chemically-defined diets for a wide variety of commercially viable plant species;. Create an environment that encourages sustainable urban life, promoting a state of good health for all those who choose to live in cities.

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turning points essay global

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Farming is an occupation fraught with a wide variety of health risks (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20). Numerous infectious disease agents (e.g., schistosomes, malaria, geohelminths) take advantage of a wide variety of traditional agricultural practices (irrigation, plowing, sowing, harvesting facilitating their transmission (Table 1) (21, 22, 23, 24, 25). These diseases take a huge toll on human health, disabling large populations, thus removing them from the flow of commerce, even in the poorest of countries. Other health risks to farmers include acute exposure to toxic agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides and fungicides) (26 bites from noxious wildlife (27 and trauma injuries (28, 29). The latter two risk categories are particularly common among slash and burn subsistence farmers. It is reasonable to expect that as the human population continues to grow, so do these problems.

Consensus among demographers regarding estimates of the rate at which the global human population will increase is difficult to achieve, but most agree that over the next 50 years, the number will increase to at least.2 billion (30). It is also conceded by some of the worlds leading agronomists that they will require an additional10 9 hectares of land (roughly the size of Brazil) if they are to produce enough food by conventional methods someone's to meet their needs (31). Since there is essentially no high quality land remaining for this purpose, it seems obvious that a major crisis of global proportion may well be looming on the very near horizon. Limited resources (food, water, and shelter) are some of the major causes for civil unrest and war throughout the world. Vertical farming practiced on a large scale in urban centers has great potential to:. Supply marathi enough food in a sustainable fashion to comfortably feed all of humankind for the foreseeable future;.

In 2003, nearly 33 million head of cattle were produced in the United States, alone (3) In order to support this large a scale of agricultural activity, millions of hectares of hardwood forest (temperate and tropical grasslands, wetlands, estuaries, and to a lesser extent coral. The advantages of farming are obvious enough from a human perspective, but even our earliest efforts caused irreversible damage to the land. For example, some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, the fertile, silt-laden soils of the floodplains of the tigris and Euphrates river valleys were rapidly degraded below minimum food production limits due to erosion caused by intensive farming and mis-managed irrigation projects that were often interrupted. Today, primitive farming practices continue to produce massive loss of topsoil (5, 6 while excluding the possibility for long-term carbon sequestration in the form of trees and other permanent woods plants (7). Agrochemicals, particularly fertilizers, are used in almost every major farming system regardless of location (8 largely due to the demand, year in and year out, for cash crops that extract more nutrients from the substrate that it can provide. Mono-crops are extraordinarily vulnerable to a wide range of insect pests and microbial disease agents due to the very nature of farming (i.e., growing large numbers of a given plant species in a confined area).


To mount a counter-offensive, we have invented pesticides and herbicides. Their use has become routine in many situations, particularly in factory farms. Agricultural runoff, which typically contains all of the above-mentioned classes of chemicals, and is also often laden with unhealthy levels of heavy metals, as well, is generally acknowledged as the most pervasive and destructive form of water pollution, degrading virtually every freshwater aquatic environment that. Many of the earths most impacted regions (i.e., those with the highest population densities) are generally conceded to be unhealthy places to live (western Europe and North America excepted with infant morbidity/mortality rates many times greater than those found in Europe and North America (11). These are the same places from which new kinds of emerging and known varieties of re-emerging infections are found (12). Many of them are zoonotic and their life cycles would not normally include humans were it not for encroachment, an activity driven by the need to expand farming into the natural landscape (13). Nonetheless, there is at present a wide variety of produce available, and in quantity (table 3 for those that can afford. Ironically, many millions of people living predominantly throughout the tropics and sub-tropics are severely malnourished, while living within countries many of which export large amounts of agricultural products destined for the markets of the developed world.

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Produce would be available to city dwellers without the need to transport it thousands of ions miles from rural farms to city markets. Spoilage would be greatly reduced, since crops would be sold and consumed within moments after harvesting. If vertical farming in urban centers becomes the norm, then one anticipated long-term benefit would be the gradual repair of many of the worlds damaged ecosystems through the systematic abandonment of farmland. In temperate and tropical zones, the re-growth of hardwood forests could play a significant role in carbon sequestration and may help reverse current trends in global climate change. Other benefits of vertical farming include the creation of a sustainable urban environment that encourages good health for all who choose to live there; new employment opportunities, fewer abandoned lots and buildings, cleaner air, safe use of municipal liquid waste, and an abundant supply. Introduction, as of 2004, approximately 800 million hectares of land were in use for food production approximating an area equivalent to Brazil (1 and allowing for the harvesting of an ample food supply for the majority of a human population approaching.3 billion. These land-use estimates include grazing lands (formerly grasslands) for cattle, and represents nearly 85 of all land that can support at least a minimum level of agricultural activity. In addition, farming produces a wide variety of feed grains for many millions of head of cattle and other species of domesticated farm animal (2).

turning points essay global

Modern agriculture employs a multitude of chemical products, and exposure to toxic levels of some classes of agrochemicals (pesticides, fungicides) have created other significant health risks that are only now being sorted out by epidemiologists and toxicologists. As if that were no enough to be concerned about, it is predicted that over the next 50 years, the human population is expected to rise to at least.6 billion, requiring an additional 109 hectares to feed them using current technologies, or roughly the. That quantity of additional arable land is simply not available. Without an alternative strategy for dealing with just this one problem, social chaos will surely replace orderly behavior in most over-crowded countries. Novel ways for obtaining an abundant and varied food report supply without encroachment into the few remaining functional ecosystems must be seriously entertained. One solution involves the construction of urban food production centers vertical farms in which our food would be continuously grown inside of tall buildings within the built environment. If we could engineer this approach to food production, then no crops would ever fail due to severe weather events (floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc.).

urban dwellers in just 10,000 years. Today, over 800 million hectares is committed to soil-based agriculture, or about 38 of the total landmass of the earth. It has re-arranged the landscape in favor of cultivated fields at the expense of natural ecosystems, reducing most natural areas to fragmented, semi-functional units, while completely eliminating many others. A reliable food supply was the result. This singular invention has facilitated our growth as a species to the point now of world domination over the natural world from which we evolved. Despite the obvious advantage of not having to hunt or scavenge for our next meal, farming has led to new health hazards by creating ecotones between the natural world and our cultivated fields. As the result, transmission rates of numerous infectious disease agents have dramatically increased- influenza, rabies, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, trypanosomiasis, hookworm, schistosomiasis and today these agents emerge and re-emerge with devastating regularity at the tropical and sub-tropical agricultural interface.

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turning points essay global
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