Can We Fuel Nine Billion People?

Maureen Wilmot's picture

Has it really come to this?  A trade-off between feeding or fueling our world?  Apparently so.

Recently, I’ve noticed a crop *ahem* of articles addressing the growing debate of land use.  The Feb. 3, 2013 Sunday NY Times featured a story how Western Colorado Valley’s new economy, based on tourism and organic peaches, is now being threatened by polluted water and toxic chemicals as a result of hydraulic fracturing.  The day before, I read of California’s Central Valley ‘solar farms’ are taking over v

aluable agricultural acres.  While increases in corn-based ethanol production may be shrinking farmland, growing corn ethanol will remain strong with predictions of “approximately 35 percent of total corn us is expected to ethanol production through 2022”. (Ethanol Producer Magazine, Feb 12, 2013)  Someone has to produce the fuel to run those Dodge Rams, right?

Can feeding and fueling a growing population be a common goal?  At what risk?  Urban areas are seeing a greater interest in electric vehicles and are placing charging stations conveniently within their community.  Hey… I have an idea!  How about we develop electric farm equipment and place charging stations directly on the farm?  Or, maybe we should consider wind and solar generators to run farms and outlying communities?

At the end of the day, we are only as healthy as our land. And, as any organic farmer will tell you, stewardship of the land reaps energy for years and years.

How can we place the health of America’s farmland and energy conservation on equal footing?

To read more about fracking our food supply, check out this article.


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