1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

A Sustainable Economy? Ideas on how to get there.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Frozen Canuck, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Keep in mind - that LED light is just recycled sun light. (if not natural sun, it takes tricity to make light (which can be made from sun)).

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    [
    If you get it from nuclear power the sun is not involved in any way. Just about every other source of electric involves the sun. IF we were to experience a severe cooling event it would be one of the few ways to grow food.
  3. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,125
    Loc:
    NH
    there is some axiom or such that dictates that whenever we create higher efficiency, or production, we then find a way to use up that gain...through growth, or other form of exploitation. We could probably think out, to some degree where the theoretical tipping point is, but like Jags says, its a moving target. In the end, there are a lot of cultural shifts that need to happen to really acheive "sustainability"...I'm a big fan of raising the cost of things, to encourage less waste, rather than find new, fancy, technology based ways to increase production.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    Don't forget that those plants need nutrients to grow which we are currently not returning back when we consume them. Right now we use artificial fertilizer to fill that gap made among others from natural gas. Sustainable farm yields look different IMHO.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Thats right ,until the cost of gas goes over $5 you wont see a sustained effort to get off it. THe people that control it know that:and try to keep it low as to "addict" as many of the worlds people as possible before demand intersects the downward curve of production.
    firebroad likes this.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Fertilizer is not really a concern of mine. We are literally full of it.;em
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    In the case of aquaculture the fish are providing the nutrients. ANd the plants in turn are purifying the water for the fish. All natural.
  8. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    That is called Jevon's paradox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox
    It can be seen e. g. in cars. Car engines have vastly increased their efficiency compared with decades ago. However, those achievements were mostly offset by heavier cars with more features. The effect on average mpg has been minimal.
    Delta-T likes this.
  9. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    So you are not planning on eating any of the fish or the plants then?
  10. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    I guess you got my point. That human "fertilizer" needs to go back to those fields where we grow our food. Right now it goes to the dump or in the water treatment plant.
  11. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    From the article:It's a finely tuned animal-plant balance that produces 40,000 fish and 460,000 edible plants a year, in an area the size of four semi-trucks.
    The farm could be replicated anywhere -- cities, mountains, deserts, in cold or hot climates. So Roeser dreams of building farms around the world. Winter and summer, it produces more than 100 fish and 1,200 edible plants a day, like clockwork. Even with a foot of snow on the ground outside.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Not only that, but if the market required (price point allowed), we could be harvesting fertilizer from places like the dead zone in the delta of the Mississippi. Several other options are also available, just not financially feasible at this time.
  14. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    To become sustainable we also would have to use a sustainable energy source to carry the food to us and the manure back to the fields. Plus, current "human waste" is full of contaminants like chemotherapeutics, antibiotics etc. plus other stuff we collect in the same waste stream. That is also the reason (beside financials which may actually not look so bad) why the waste from the water treatment plant often goes to the dump instead of being used as compost.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Another plus here is the product is vegetables and fish,part of a healthy diet. The guy is not growing cheesburgers and fries. This could be done in a cave along with mushrooms ,another healthy food. (if need be)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  16. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,740
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    Not saying it is a bad idea but when you take those amounts of food out you need to put back in the same amount of matter just in a different form. You cannot have a bag of sugar, take out 1 cup at a time and only put 1/2 cup back and think that is sustainable. Material input and material output must be the same; only energy can be supplied in excess (mostly thanks to the sun).
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    The feedstock here is electricity and fish food pellets as opposed to chemical fertilizer,pesticides,herbicides,diesel fuel ect. on a farm.You would have to compare this method of food production with conventional farming to see if its cost effective at todays food prices. It may be more cost effective already.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    What trees grow fish food pellets? (I know that was being a smarty pants;)). Point is - still has to be manufactured with a feed stock and shipped to the "farm".
  19. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,125
    Loc:
    NH
    i dont think there's much of a "technology" hurdle to designing fairly closed loop agro-animal protein systems...the hurlde is financial. We could rescue the worlds deserts through mass plantings and irrigation, but its pretty pricey. We're still a "low hanging fruit" group. We pretty much wait until the 23rd hour of the day to create action. Biodome type experimants have been done, and though there are some shortcomings, we know they are pretty feasible. I dont know that we'll even need to go to the extent of a movie like Silent Running, but I don't think something like that is impossible, and if we stay on course, with space exploration, we might even find ourselves proving it out.
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Can be recycled from fish or animal slaughter waste.If the goal is sustainability in the food supply this may be more sustainable and long term cost effective than bleaching topsoil with chemical fertilizers and then polluting it with pesticides to grow unhealthy food. Plus i think we need to get away from hauling our food as much as 3000 miles from the source.IMO
    As a bonus you get 2 for 1 with this method. Both fish and vegetables.
  21. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    903
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Chickens. gotta work chickens in there somehow. Yum.
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    And watermelons!!!
  23. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    903
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    A Chicalapilon, yum!
  24. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada
    I took that as being the larger point of the audio discussion (maybe it's just me). The reference in the audio was to oil prices however the same thing applies to all goods. Price goes up, usage goes down & folks get thinking about conservation rather than consumption. Possibly because oil is the linch pin for just about everything that was the focus of the audio.

    I like Jags & others was raised on a multi generational family farm & in my lifetime I have seen us get so upside down on so many issues re: sustainability. When I sit & ponder it I often think if oil were not so cheap & easy would it have been different?

    Too late to go back & change it now, I just wonder how big the mess is/will be, that we will leave to others.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,812
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Centralized systems tend to favor power, profit and often destroy diversity and sometimes communities. Locally we are shifting from centralized, shipped agriculture to local farms. Part of that is rescuing great crop land from development. Another part is a switch to keep much more of the economy and the flow of money local by switching to local credit unions that are more amenable to loans for local projects and housing.

Share This Page