Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

41 - 60 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
I think there is a fundamental problem with borrowing from the future to pay for unsustainable growth. Fossil fuel and fertilizer is not a renewable resource. It is not cheap energy. We have been using it like it is though. Depending on future developments to bail us out for present bad decisions does not make a credible plan going forward.

I think we can live with the very slight mortality that may be induced by petro chemical food production: actually our fecundity and longevity has a high chance of being the worst endangerment of our existence! I really dont think we are moving toward more sapience. We are getting more clever though at ways of stealing the lunch from other life forms on the planet.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Governments are political bodies and the ban was most certainly a political manifestation -- not a scientific one.

Want proof? There has been a ban on neonic use on pollinator-attracting crops in the EU since 2013. That is 7 years ago. A total ban went into place in 2018, after the EU report ADMITTED an inconclusive causal connection, but moved forward with the complete ban anyway.

Shouldn't 7 years of data reflect vastly improved colony health in the EU if neonics were a primary cause of colony collapse? Do you not believe the politicians would be crowing from every mountain top over there if the data actually showed ANY improvement as a result of this 7 year ban?

Nothing. We are not hearing anything. Because the "belief" was not founded in the facts.
Political Manifestation, now that is an interesting idea. Makes me consider the other potential Political Manifestations, like Global xxxxx

Shouldn't 7 years of data reflect vastly improved colony health Ok I'll bite, was all comb with potential Neonics removed the year it was banned? was it removed from the soil? Was any genetic alterations unwound? What was it replaced with? Does that also affect bees? Ban one chem is not going to cause Vastly Improved any thing. Most of the Chems used in the US come from wal mart or tractor supply and are dumped on Lawns/gardens by non-pesticide trained home owners, so it is some what the combined effect of many things, some used properly some not..

IMO Politicians will only Crow if they can induce fear, because only fear will allow more control to be exerted over the "people" or pockets emptied by the ones blamed.

Lively conversation :) I am not for or against Chems BTW, I would be, I guess,, Pro "think before you act, take responsibility for your actions".

BYW what is proof? what we are shown by the pro or against side. Is it ever tainted?? Look at the public show trial of Trump on no proof, Hey make it up if you need it,, right.
We are in a time where emotion trumps data.
look at the internet, can we believe every thing we see on the net.

Here is another one I'll help you all with, As I can. We now have the technology (I help install it) to take a video of a "Speech" for example, and with AI Artificial Intelligence)change it , synthesize parts not there and smoothly take away parts. We will as a country soon see something on TV that looks true but is fabricated. Like a combination of altered photographs, and spliced Audio tape. We make movies of animals talking, right. in 2020 this will happen, so be careful of what you think you see is all i am saying. proof now can be created. I do not necessarily Like where we are as a society but it is what it is. Thru it we should all strive to be Civil.
Have a great V day
GG
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Come on, now. The thinking statement had nothing to do w/ the hazards of round-up but referred to the fact that some seem to think it is used everywhere for the " uniform maturation of the crop" statement. This shows the poster has no idea what the chemical is used for or the mode of action. Round Up is one among a whole suite of herbicides.

Being a part of the DoD pest management community for the last 20 yrs, I know for a fact that round up does not cause feet amputations. No disrespect to the Monsanto jury, but they have no scientific background on the chemical in question, only the emotional pleas of a prosecutor who is making the case. Would be willing to bet plenty of Juries gave verdicts of witchcraft back in the day.

And don't get me started on the lack of scientific rigor involved in EU/WHO processes. It has been shown that the IARC cherry picked data to label glyphosate (the AI in round up) a potential carcinogen. That being said, Monsanto has also been accused of data shenanigans in attempts to renew registration in the EU.

All this being said, I personally, am for a return to small farm economics and currently pay a lot more for my food to support local producers who utilize sustainable methods. However, this is not a viable answer unless you can get everybody to pay a lot more. And this is the crux of the problem--everybody wants high quality but at the dirt cheap cost. Farmers can't make a living that way. Most I know need a second job just to keep the farm (the mountains of PA are not amenable to competitive commodity cropping of vast acreage).

I have my own 100 acres to retire to here in a few years and plan to produce most of what I need for myself. And for the chicken/sheep/pig feed comment, i'm planning to grow/raise/milk food for them too.
good comment JClark
best of wishes on the future farming, it is a good way to wile away some retirement time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Here is another one I'll help you all with............
Thanks but we have already been made aware of this..
"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see"- Benjamin Franklin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I'll bite on another side of the bagged apple(!). Suppose chems were banned and suppose that made yields per unit fall and therefore prices increase. Any dissent so far? Many suburban lawns would become "ugly" with weeds. Then the price shock would set in and they would become beautiful with vegetable gardens. This would reduce transportation costs. And we would stop burning corn in our gas. And (shudder) there would be a lot less cheap (cheep?) meat (chicken haha) on the market. People gardening and working to produce their own food would increase health and decrease obesity (which I believe is mostly caused by bad diet....). So Frank, I predict an increase in quality of life and a decrease in health problems! For moderate populations in temperate climates with excess aerable land and water. I'm not sure this would be such a sunny picture in overpopulated desert regions....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
I agree that much of our human activity could be redirected if properly motivated. Hunger is a good motivator. Problem is to achieve the motivation without creating other destructive behavior. That is what I fear. If people grow up into conditions requiring most of their time producing their own food, it is the norm. Trying to get them back there after experiencing the leisure that "free" fossil fuel has supplied, may be another thing.

I was inoculated by the philosophy of Masanoba Fukoaka's "One Straw Revolution" but the reality of actually living that kind of life is a lot more work than humans will willlingly put out. I think it would take a unified cultural shift that would not be easily achieved in our fragmented society. We have been strongly conditioned to acting as individuals and that to work communally and "tame the self" is somehow not admirable. Some things do not scale up well.

I dont think we are ready for it yet!;) Just think of all the wasteful things we could eliminate or repurpose; golf courses, professional sports (those guys and gals sure have a lot of energy that could be redirected into agriculture).:rolleyes: Just a figure to kick around about the energy slaves we are living off of and what it would take to wean ourselves: It takes one hundred and sixty hours of human labor to replace the energy contained in one gallon of oil

We have become dependent, (addicted) to our present path but at the same time there are credible predictions that it is not sustainable when projected very far into the future.

I agree with the thoughts about food viability of moderate populations on temperate climates vs the viability in less hospitable areas where the majority of the population lives. Here is what is going on in Kenya at the moment.
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappen...-of-locusts-devour-crops-in-seconds-1.5462979

Would they use the pesticides? Tough questions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Now consider that---

For the US:
>>>50% of US population lives on 20% of the land mass (excluding Alaska)
>>>52% of the population lives in coastal counties (excluding Alaska)
>>>319 average population density/square mile in coastal counties (excluding Alaska)
>>>61 average population density/sq mile inland counties (excluding Alaska)

Then there are cities and a aging population and a enormous disconnect from basic agriculture and hard work.

Sure looks like something will give with banning ag chems.

Maybe going forward the front yard garden greenhouse assemblyman, pine box maker or industrial oven technician will be attractive careers.

https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/08/coastal-county-population-rises.html
https://www.livescience.com/18997-population-coastal-areas-infographic.html
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/population.html
https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_04/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
"Then there are cities and a aging population and a enormous disconnect from basic agriculture and hard work."

Yes, and if the food supply into the city falters for even a few days:rolleyes: This on top of the acquired sense of entitlement would be a dicey state of affairs. In Cuba after the collapse of the USSR, city people were trucked out into the fields to hoe, however they were not generations removed from that as a reality and being a dictatorship took care of a lot of minor details.

Yes statistics support that health improved and obesity disappeared!

Hopefully we can come up with alternatives to these dark visions but they won't come with simplistic solutions.
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
Many suburban lawns would become "ugly" with weeds. Then the price shock would set in and they would become beautiful with vegetable gardens.
Utopian dream, but somewhat removed from reality. Enter in the reality part. The bulk of the population lives in the city, and the bulk of the city population lives in multi story complexes. They have no ground to work with, so no gardens there.

Now move out into the burbs, and you'll find the size of the average lot after you take out the house and the driveway, doesn't leave enough space to grow any substantial amount of vegetables. Yes, get a few token meals out of the garden, pat yourself on the back on how good it was, but, there isn't a year supply of potatoes, carrots, peas and beans in that small garden.

Now the issue of transportation, saving there is actually a false economy. While it's true a few meals worth of veggies dont get trucked in, but, sacks of fertilizer for that garden will replace those veggies on the trucks. You may get a year, maybe even two out of a converted lawn, but after that, if you want stuff to grow you are going to need to amend the soil considerably year over year. If you want economy in shipping, ship in the finished product, vegetables, not raw materials required to make that produce, fertilizer in this case. Location and climate also make a huge difference. If you live somewhere that has water metered at residential rates, that veggie garden is going to get very expensive, very fast.

We live on 2 acres, have substantially more space than average city lot for growing stuff. Use the tomato patch as an example, wife tries to grow enough tomatoes to last us 2 years. In the fall she will be canning and making tomato sauce, lots of it. And it's a good thing she goes for a 2 year supply, twice out of the last 5 years we have had fall rains arrive before the fruit is ripe so it all rotted on the vine, we got no useable harvest. Take your tiny little postage stamp garden in the burbs, factor in an occaisional crop failure, and you start to see how insignificant it really is.

We do a large veggie plot every year, we have more than enough space. But your average city lot is not going to produce enough veggies to keep a family of 4 fed for a year, not by a long shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
You just can't please a crowd that decides to dictate complex things for which they have little knowledge or experience. Besides the dwindling population that would work in an exterior environment, one of the primary factors in the switch to a "Chem based production model" in agriculture, was the concern about erosion, both wind and rain. So much concern, that to participate in any govt programs, it was mandated that much farmland had to maintain acceptable organic matter surface levels, thereby eliminating most tillage. So much of the current "chem culture" is a direct product of the environmental movement.

We can debate the worth of the govt programs, and as a recipient of said payments, I can say that I despise them, but as any govt program, they are designed in such a way as to provide control, and resistance will make you uncompetitive and put you out of business, while your neighbors that continue to receive line up to purchase your bankrupt operation. There are a few great programs, but they are overshadowed by many that are unnecessary, or do more long term damage to the industry in an attempt to correct a short term issue.

Without the programs, farming could/would be just as productive, as farmers would raise what was best suited to raise balanced with what was needed geographically. But the urban centers with their wonderful environmental examples(smog, concentrated excrement and garbage, acres upon acres of concrete, etc) would not be able to prevent rural America from "ruining" the global environment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
I also like how, just like this thread, we only hear of the "ag chems". We let the people in their home gardens illegally cover everything with stuff like Sevin dust without ppe, without preharvest intervals correctly followed, etc, but because it's not applied by a large, calibrated, industrial-looking machine, it has to be safe. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I read somewhere that the largest use of the dreaded neonics was for termite treatments. How does that affect those flowers that get planted in the beds beside the house? Is there a study that shows neonic exposure to pollinators due to flower beds alongside structures?

It's always seemed better to solve a problem by passing a law to make somebody else change, then pat yourself on the back and go enjoy your tee time feeling like you've saved the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I couldn't let that slide grozzie. Just because you don't know or won't believe does not stop people in the real world from developing innovative organic systems. Targeting developing countries where food shortage is an issue, a friend of mine grew all his food for a year (for 2 people) from 1/4 acre. Including all the green manure to keep it sustainable. (part of their plan was not to use animals as they take more resource and space per person fed.) So no trucking of anything and yes it does take water. He was one of many experimenting with small scale intensive gardening to "export" the ideas into less spoiled parts of the world. And the water would be more available because less poluted. (and I agree, ag chems are only a small part, esp with GPS aplicators; certainly homeowners and industrial chems cause a lot of problems... and for something as dumb as a lawn!) Most suburban lots have 1/4 acre available. Obviously, the northern lots would need to be bigger as the season is shorter. So if suburbia became food independent then the farms would produce food for the cities. I agree, not all parts of the world are ideal for this. The biggest part of this that is utopian is getting the people to believe that it is podsible, it works, and it is better. We have become very spoiled, esp in the US, because of cheap energy and our ability and willingness to exploit others into abject poverty. And no, I am no better: I am sitting in a warm house without a care in the world, knowing that when I need more of something the grocery store is open 24/7. And we raise meat because we like having the animals more than the vegetables....
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
a friend of mine grew all his food for a year (for 2 people) from 1/4 acre.
All food for a year from 1/4 acre. Are you telling me that they never once went to the store for milk, eggs, meat, a loaf of bread, sugar, salt, pepper, coffee, tea. How about a beer or bottle of wine ?

I know it's very possible to do so without ever going to a grocery store, just requires a lot of meals in restaurants....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Correct. There are a few details I never asked about. Such as non native spices. I don't know if he drank black tea. I know they did not drink coffee or alcohol. They did have herbs for tea and things like oregano and garlic. I have not yet heard of people growing salt in their gardens. He was not keeping bees at that time and I don't remember anything about sweeteners. I know we did not have any in our tea. I know they went to his parents house for thanksgiving, though they were vegetarians.... They may well have gone to some restaurants and they did come to potlucks, with food, and had people over to their dinners as well. They are normal people leading a normal life.
I can understand that many of us would need some significant retraining, especially in our thinking. As I said before, the utopic part is convincing all the nay-sayers it is possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #56
It certainly would be easier to do at a community level just for variety. I followed some of the trials and tribulations of the group that founded a back to the land movement in Tennessee "The Farm". It was not easy even with approaching 1400 people. Getting them to play well together takes ongoing effort.

Yes a few people can do demonstrations but to put together the mechanism necessary to scale it up and keep it running chem free seems like quite a project. Some of my ancestors were quite good at growing potatoes and making hootch but the potato blight was a game changer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
I used to be big into 'Self Sufficiency' (on a bit more than 1/4 acre !) until I woke up one morning with the sudden realisation that what I was engaged in was the ultimate in selfishness - because I wasn't interacting with the rest of the world at all (except when it suited me, and only then on my terms). But I still expected the doctor and dentist, and the ambulance service and so on, to be provided for whenever I might need them. I still expected there to be diesel on tap, and for nuts & bolts and clothing to be available, and all the other things even a self-sufficient smallholder has need of from time to time.
I now see that lifestyle as being a form of protest against the dehumanising industrialisation of so many aspects of life within a first-world country. Heavens, there are so many parts of the under-developed world where people don't 'play' at living off the land - they're forced to exist like that as there is no other choice for them, and many of whom would gladly swap their back-breaking impoverished lifestyle for that of the developed West. Perhaps we're all much luckier than we realise ?
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
There are about 450 million acres of arable land in the USA.
Lets say about 300 million people. 3 people per family leaves us with 100 million families living on 4.5 acres each.
Each family needs a water supply and waste disposal at a minimum. Cooperation must ensue. Here we go again, the new beginning of the same old thing. If it were somehow possible to place everyone on their own plot of land on the same day, the need for community would be apparent on the first day. It doesn't take much imagination to see how things would get confusing and messy very quickly.
There is nothing new under the sun.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I agree with the need for community. The human is after all a social creature. And there is more than plenty aerable land in the US to feed everyone here, and more. We just need to learn to waste less And otherwise be more efficient. And in this sense meat is wasteful, though we have enough land to support meat for a while still. (and I have not checked out the numbers for the entire world....) And plenty of environmentalist ideas are silly: I had a friend in California running a small 40 acre csa. He wanted to use biodiesel, then he wanted to produce his own and be "sustainable," then he found out it would take a bit more than 40 acres to meet his energy needs....!
Back to crofters original question, I think that if we paid the real cost for food in the grocery store (no subsidies, good wages for the workers, any environmental clean up necessary....) the cost would go up significantly. (Last I checked in NY, which was 2008, the average cost to produce 100# milk was $21. The average price per cwt? $13.) Then if ag chems were banned, the whole industrial ag system would implode. Then reeducation and decentralised farming would have to take it's place. Things like carbon sequestering would replace herbicides (and fertilizers). And the cost tri the consumer would be much the same -- in the hypothetical, already rebalance food market. I am not suggesting that everyone should go back to the land and ban ag chems. This is all theoretical, which I think was crofters question. But I can't imagine that anyone would look at our ag system and claim it is a free market where the informed consumer drives production. We are asleep with our heads up our *** and the wool pulled over our eyes.... with subsidies for everything, from land, to seed, to chems, to transportation/fuel. And with all the misleading advertising.... We do not have to pay for what we get, until we get diabetes etc and have to pay in other ways....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
Yes a few people can do demonstrations but to put together the mechanism necessary to scale it up and keep it running chem free seems like quite a project. Some of my ancestors were quite good at growing potatoes and making hootch but the potato blight was a game changer.
This is what GreenCoverSeeds is trying to demonstrate, that sustainable farming can be done on a large scale and be profitable as well.
I stumbled upon them searching for Hubam Clover seeds.
Although I am not a farmer, I found their approach interesting and educational.

Alex
 
41 - 60 of 68 Posts
Top