SOLUTIONS TO OUR GLOBAL FOOD & ENERGY CRISES
UN estimates indicate that there are 86 food deficit nations, 35 nations currently in a food crisis, and 26 water deficient countries. About 39% of our world’s population is not served by any electric grid, with 25% without even emergency power. Christianity Today reported 25,000 people were estimated to starve to death daily in their Nov. 2008 article on world hunger.
One root cause is the agriculture that once produced food for direct human consumption has been industrialized and monopolized globally to now produce animal feed, luxury export crops, and global investment commodities out of both reach and benefit to the poor consumer and the small organic farmer alike. Even record yields don’t feed those who can’t afford their price. And the UN reports 41.5% of the world’s people have $2/day or less in spendable income, who are then squeezed out of the market to buy a subsistence plot of land for their survival.
Dr. Evaggelos Vallianatos has done an in depth researched investigative analysis of the global food crisis from a secular perspective in his book This Land is Their Land published in 2006 by the Common Courage Press of Monroe, Maine. R. M. Service & Associates ([email protected]) founder Robert Service, who is currently working on appropriate technologies in low cost systems for greenhouse farming and community electric power plants, believes there are 8 solutions for dealing with food and energy crises as outlined in the following paragraphs.
The first one is to build integrated electric power and greenhouse farming systems for serving communities and their surrounding small land holders, which is RMSA’s focus. A second is to construct single community electric power plants based on the site capabilities, site area’s free and waste fuels, and the project objectives and budget.
Third is called community-supported agriculture or CSA which has the people of a community or village pay farmers (usually organic growers using native seed) in advance or by contract for food they pick up from them weekly during the entire growing season. The fourth is for the community or village to purchase the local land for a greenhouse farm with additional plots if desired for lease or rental of equal shares to local consumers and growers.
A fifth and easy solution is to get prospective local small growers together to jointly purchase an agricultural tract, splitting its ownership at closing and possibly retaining equal shares ownership on some common ground for a greenhouse farm. Sixth is to pressure politicians to stop any cash subsidies to all farms over 20 acres in size, and just subsidize say a 10 acre plot/family for down-payments and/or producing strategic crops for local direct human consumption. Class action law suits might speed up this particular solution and certain others as well.
Seventh is to pass a family homesteading law to distribute a percentage (say 25%) of all federal and state owned conservation lands (such as Forest Service & BLM land in the US) to be completed in say a 2 years time maximum. The eighth solution is to require mandatory redistribution of all corporate farm holdings of 100 acres or larger in 10 acre parcels/family within 1 year. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt required the insurance companies to dispose of their acquired agricultural lands quickly in the period just following the great depression of the 1930s.
RMSA reports that producing the world’s human food requirements will use an amazingly small amount of land if greenhouse farming methods like theirs are applied. Based on their 1 acre planned food & energy demonstration model, a 9,486 square mile area irrigated in greenhouse farming under moderately intensive organic farm management will provide adequate fish, fruit, & vegetable protein and nutrition for 6.5 billion people. That area would occupy a square plot 97.4 miles on a side, being 16.86% of the state of Iowa’s size, or 1.4% of the US’s cropland area of 420 million acres. This area would equal 7 global square plots measuring 36.81 miles on a side.
RMSA also believes that the free fuels of hydroelectric power, solar thermal, and waste utilization can provide the world’s gridless areas with very affordable electric power without any high tech solutions and equipment. They report that 2,366.4 square miles of land (a square 48.65 miles on a side) could produce 3.029 billion gallons of ethanol transportation fuel per year for 302.9 billion transportation miles using a modern steam car version of the Stanley Steamer automobile (1897-1924). Allard Research & Development is working on a 100 gal/hour community ethanol plant that could pay for itself in less than 2 years at a capital investment of $150,000 (US).
The challenge is to implement these solutions and safeguards to our freedoms from underneath the special interest alliances already in place. Dr. Vallianatos has been perceptive to note these hidden self-serving corrupt alliances of land grant agricultural universities, federal governmental agencies, and their big corporate (sometimes multinational) supporters. If the present trend continues unchecked, it is possible that two dozen companies could control most of the planet’s food and energy resources very soon, and those having to buy from them.
Some individuals are undoubtedly already thinking on how to legally implement technology and equipment exchanges discreetly to secure their families and communities or villages.