[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Jeffrey Winter JeffreyWinter
Thu Jul 7 05:57:49 PDT 2005



>> Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) writes:
>> > Oil isn't just used to produce energy and power SUVs.  It
fertilizes  
>> > soil, produces plastics and synthetics, and probably is a key  

> Most of organic farming (biologisch/biologisch-dynamisch) requires
little
> fertilizer input (fixating nitrogen is expensive, but
legumes/rhizobium
> bacteria do it at RT and normal pressure, just using sunlight). And
you 
> get sustainability for free, instead of slowly killing your soil and
> contaminating your water table.

I agree in the long term, however our current world population 
requires artificial fertilizers, in fact, the increase in world 
population is directly tied to the increase in the availability
of nitrogen fertilizers.  Vaclav Smil demonstrated this in the
most stark terms in an article in Scientific American several
years ago:

"... at least two billion people are alive because the proteins in 
their bodies are built with nitrogen that came from a factory 
using [the Haber-Bosch] process." [1]

Until the world population drops significantly, the kind of organic 
farming you are describing is untenable (even though I 
would like to see this come to pass eventually)

[1] http://www.xefer.com/2004/02/nitrogen



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