VIDEO: [Aalborg CSP] Growing food in the Australian desert with sunlight and seawater – the Sundrop Farms project. [Mar. 27, 2017]
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10 NIV)
I was born in the middle of the twentieth century. I’ve lived through one of the most amazing advances in food production, poverty elevation, health, and longevity in several millennia. The green revolution, ever-bigger tractors and plows, nitrogen fertilizer, and plant-breeding advances all helped deliver the calories needed for the global population to grow from 2.5 to 6 billion. The massive scale of this revolution has led some to call this the industrial agricultural system; and it does have a lot of elements of industry. It is also hard to argue with the success it yielded in feeding (much of) the world in its time. It’s quite amazing if you think about it. Is this a glimpse at “the fullness thereof” Psalm 24 declares? Maybe.
It was not always like this. I remember stories from my grandparents about how far they had to stretch a sack of potatoes and a few heads of cabbage in the 1920s, in the Depression, and during World War II. These stories help keep thing in perspective: we live in blessed times, certainly here in North America, but also globally.
I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy when it comes to the future and our food supply. Today, however, almost twenty years into the next century, it sometimes sounds like Henny Penny has the loudest voice. Some argue that we have passed “peak food” in recent decades and that it’s all downhill from here. This thinking frequently assumes that people are the problem on earth and that we must curb population growth or be doomed. I don’t buy it. Is not human creativity what helped bring about the bounty of the twentieth century? Are we, as image-bearers of the Creator, to deny this creativity? Should not more people collectively be able to bring more solutions and opportunity? But how? Why? What might the contours of a twenty-first-century agricultural system look like?
This article continues at [Comment (Cardus)] Ploughing Contours