“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Friday, November 12, 2010
How do you Feed Nine Billion People?
Radio Netherlands Is one of my favorite resources for objective and interesting coverage of world events. It is well worth bookmarking. Listen to their discussions. It is a rich resource for intelligent and topical subjects.
This week on Earth Beat: by the middle of this century, there will be nine billion of us on the planet. That's a lot of mouths to feed. So how should we do it? Some experts say we should keep farms small and sustainable and grow and eat locally. Others say farms need to scale up to meet the needs of the millions of people squeezed into mega-cities. To find out how farms are changing we visit urban farms, ocean farms and desert farms.
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The future of farming Host Marnie Chesterton visits a conference in The Hague and meets agronomist David Howlett from Leeds University, who explains how climate change will affect what food we produce.
Vertical farm If there isn’t enough room to continue farming the way we have been, we’ll need clever new ideas to get more food from the same piece of land. One idea wants to turn the old system on its head, or rather its side. Kevin Frediani, curator of plants at Paignton Zoo in England, has set up a vertical farm filled with stacks of plants. He talks to Marnie about how it works. The vertical farm is manufactured by Valcent Products. Video: Paignton Zoo's Vertical Farm
Homegrown in Mumbai There are also smaller-scale solutions for feeding the world and many individuals making their own contributions. Jyoti Bhave lives in a ground floor apartment in Mumbai and started growing organic fruit and vegetables after taking part in workshops and volunteering at a community garden. She talks to Marnie about her plant pot allotment.
Debating the future As the world’s population soars, demand for food will grow – is the only solution an industrial approach, or can small-scale organic farms meet our needs? Séan Rickard, a lecturer at Cranfield School of Management and Peter Melchett, Policy Advisor for theSoil Association, debate what’s in store for the future of farming.
Envirominute Takes a 60 second look at which of your veg is best to buy organic and which isn’t worth the extra cost. Link - The world's heathiest foods Click on image for slideshow