Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Future: by Matthew Sluman

Environmental Studies

 The future is in our hands and the earth contains plenty of recourses to sustain life in better fashion than we even know it now.  Sure the earth’s human population is of over seven billion and counting, but we use less than 32% terrestrial surface. This needs to change and through creativity we can change that. Man and nature can live together harmoniously. In fact they can cohabitate better and have richer more meaningful and fulfilling lives when living together if man can learn to be respectful of the environment. Man does not have to intrude on the ecosystem, man can harmonize with it.  We can feed all of the people of the world with plenty if we would just change our value system and concern ourselves with enriching our neighbors.

The current population of the world is now at 7.045 billion and according to the article, World Population Balance, the earth is already over reaching its limits by three times its ability to sustain, and is currently using more than 50% of the recourses that the earth is producing. The article claims that studies show that the earth is only capable of sustainability for about 2.0 billion at European rates of consumption (world 2014, p.1) In addition, according to official UN estimates the earth’s population will swell to around 9.1 billion by 2050 (press 2005, p.1).
Certainly this is a dilemma that needs to be addressed, and in short order as one can see. Science and socialist, environmentalist, and entire nations are all concerned with the emphatic truth staring mankind and the servile of the earth down, eye to eye.  It seems each group has their own way of describing the issues, and everyone has a different way of addressing the crisis. For example, In China fetal and gender genocide is an ethical method of controlling their growing population, as recognized by Wikipedia (Wikipedia 2013p.1).     
In the United States population control is looked at through urban renewal programs and urban reform to reduce urban sprawl. The idea is to move everyone into the inner cities to reduce the human footprint along with Planned Parenthood programs to reduce reproduction and eliminate unwanted births. In all of this I wonder how many young Einsteins have been systematically eliminated and how Thomas Edisons is the world missing out on. If only 3% of the population is produced is inherently evil than certainly these tactics are not the correct answer to the dilemma. Man must begin to look outside of his conventional methods, and I purpose that the conventional methods of population control are not the answer.   
I believe that the answer lies at least in part with education reform. According to Annenberg Learner only 37% of the earth’s terrestrial footprint is inhabitable, and available for agriculture (Annenberg 2000, p.1). That deems 63% of the earth’s land mass as unusable and I believe that the earths sustainability lies in the recourses yet untapped in those regions. Therefore, there is much more land available for utilization than is accounted for. We must educate ourselves regarding those recourses and discover methods of harnessing their bounties. This seems far more reasonable to me than the easy answer of killing off people who are deemed without purpose or value.
One example that comes to mind has taken place in Israel in recent decades, in which Jewish people have renewed their desolate homeland into a poetic gesture of agriculture wonder. It is truly an oasis created out of education and vision, as recorded in the following extract (Israel 2014 p.2).
Israel’s agriculture scientists have revolutionized the way farmers irrigate and store crops, protect plants from drought and disease, keep pests away naturally, and purify and reuse wastewater. The most advanced irrigation and fertilization technologies coming out of Israel will be presented at Agritech by Yuval Elazar, head of special training activities at the Cooperation. Based in Rishon LeZion, CINADCO implements Israel’s agricultural cooperation policies with more than 140 developing nations, working through MASHAV, the Israeli agency for international development. Multilingual training sessions in Israel and abroad cover water resources management, irrigation and fertilization, sustainable market-oriented agriculture, intensive livestock and dairy production.
There are numerous examples of how Israel has shared its agricultural technology breakthroughs practically since the founding of the state. Across the globe, countries use Israeli methods for raising crops and farm animals.
Israel’s breakthroughs only scratch the surface of what is truly possible for sustaining the earth’s future population, but it is one great example, and an excellent start. For, they have literally taken waste lands and converted them into viable recourses and renewed ecosystems in just over 45 years.
 My mind’s eye runs ramped with thoughts of how the earth can sustain its human population growth.  To begin with, so much of the land we consider uninhabitable is desert waste land. What if we took those kinds of regions and irrigated them with reverses osmosis seawater and created aqueducts that supplied water for fish farms which would then feed hydroponic vegetable gardens. We could recreate land sprawl in wasted zones and create inhabitable living arrangements that the inhabitants of third world nations could live in and manage.
We would create entire new communities and install educational systems to teach the people to manage and care for themselves and the land.  We could build huge community solar panels in the deserts that would feed power to all in a sustainable way with very low impact on the ecosystem. In fact the ecosystem and humanity and cohabitate better if they work together and when man is mindful of the environment (Jonson Creek). We have to put aside a little greed. Profits won’t seem automatic, but in time it will come, and the best pay out of all... people can lead vibrant harmonious lives. Using methods such as vertical farming helps save space on the ground by growing the crops vertically while drip irrigation saves almost 90 percent of water. These methods are revolutionary and by them WE CAN FEED THE WORLD if we would just care enough.
In addition to my above crazy scheme I think we can generate power by creating off shore storms in the Polar Regions. Here is my plan, I call it a storm in a can...pun intended, as in, we can put a storm in a can. What we would do is build huge solar panels like 15 x15 miles and place them in strategic cold locations over the sea. We would create high floating walls around the panels and when the magnified heat reaches the cold temperatures it would create a storm system inside of the circular pontoon. Then by using floating combines that serve as generators as they catch the storms power we can generate a lot of off shore power that way. 
Finally, I can’t pretend to know it all, obviously I don’t, and my ideas may seem simple and elementary, but I suggested saving rain water and runoff in barrels for irrigation when I was a kid because the sewer systems always overflowed and everyone was worried about conserving water.  I could see very early that we should be recycling metal paper and plastic, but they said it couldn’t be done. I thought about agriculture and I asked why don’t we plant gardens on the roof or collect sunlight on our roof tops they said it didn’t make any sense and that it would weigh too much.  I wonder why we can’t see that if we install cellular towers it makes a perfect location for large wind mills as well, why not diversify right where we are it seems to make sense to me.
I may not know much, but I know this, that the human will to survive is insatiable, and if we gave members of the third world nations a chance to survive in relative peace without hunger they would likely be willing to carry the irrigation water on their backs from the ocean to desert to sustain life. Know this, it can be done we just need a different value system and rewards need to be for those who promote life not exploit it. 
Works Cited

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