Sustaining Future

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Vertical Farming

The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. ...The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world's urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
  • Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)

  • No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
  • All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
  • VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
  • VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
  • VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
  • VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of evapotranspiration
  • VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible parts of plants and animals
  • VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
  • VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
  • VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
  • VF creates new employment opportunities
  • We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on earth
  • VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
  • VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
  • VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water and land for agriculture

  • Another potential design:


    Global Warming

    Here is the fact:


    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    How Much Land to Power The Whole World with Solar?

    "Solar power systems installed in the areas defined by the dark disks could provide a little more than the world's current total primary energy demand (assuming a conversion efficiency of 8%).

    From what I see, it is NOT that much area needed.
    See this table from the original article:
    Location / Desert Desert Size /
    km2 [5]
    Irradiation /
    W m-2
    Area required /
    Africa, Sahara 9,064,960 260144,231
    Australia, Great Sandy 388,500 265 141,509
    China, Takla Makan 271,950 210 178,571
    Middle-East, Arabian 2,589,910 270 138,889
    South America, Atacama 139,860 275 136,364
    U.S.A., Great Basin 492,100 220 170,455


    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Global Warming: "Three Times Faster than Worst Prediction"

    As reported in yesterday's edition of The Independent, a series of stunning and worrisome studies has just shown that global warming is accelerating three times more rapidly than initially feared. The rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions has tripled since the 1990s, the Arctic ice caps are melting three times as fast, and the oceans are rising twice as fast as had been originally forecast.

    Global warming, CO2 in particular, is a positive feedback loop. As greenhouse gas increases, ice at the poles are melting faster which leads to less solar energy being reflected back to space, increasing the heat trapped in the atmosphere. As the sea temperature increases, less CO2 is being absorbed by the seawater as well as less stored in the polar ice, again leading to higher concentration of CO2.

    While the politicians are still talking about reducing the rate of increase of greenhouse gas emission, we should be talking about reducing the TOTAL amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere BEFORE it is too late! As shown by "The Inconvenient Truth", what is use of economy if the human civilization is going to be wiped away from Earth? Can they get the priority right?