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December 22, 2012

Farming the Sahara and the End of Malthusianism

Slowing population growth. The restoration of massive swaths of farmland to nature.

Increasing world food supplies. Lower food prices for billions of people. Massive water supplies beneath the driest deserts. Abundant oil and gas. The 21st century is looking like it will be a very different kind of place than the greens and Malthusians have warned us about. --| Via Meadia

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 22, 2012 12:00 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

If you could migrate big ag away from vast swaths of petroleum-based (fuels and fertilizers) farming (especially in the midwest), a more reasonable and sustainable model indicates there is enough land to feed a global population of 80 billion. (I speak as a social conservative who embraces ecologically sustainable farming methods for my market produce operation.)

Next time you drive by one of those giant (albeit beautiful) cornfields in the midwest, consider how much better that land could be managed by many small farms growing crops other than corn syrup and nutrient deficient animal feeds.

And, don't think for a minute that our government manages land-use policy better than they manage our financial, education, welfare, etc. systems.

Today, nutrients migrate from the fields to the cities where they are pissed and shat into the rivers, wending their way to our oceans. The nutrients, only in part, are replaced as petroleum-based fertilizers that are sprayed on each year.

On the other hand, farmers like me take the sea mineral (that's sea "salt" to most people) -- a combination in perfect balance -- and put it back into the soil to replenish nutrients and biological activity to great success.

Even with last year's high corn prices and drought conditions, I netted more on three acres than my neighbor did on 40 acres. In the United States, both Liberals and Conservatives have have it wrong on land-use and farming.

Posted by: edaddy at December 25, 2012 4:50 AM

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