• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

"Sustainable" agriculture is a concept born of....

Krazyhorse

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
a deep-seated dislike of human beings.

Discuss.
 

Kuciwalker

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
The idea of prioritizing the welfare of plants over the welfare of humans is disgusting :thumbdown
 

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
a deep-seated dislike of human beings.

Discuss.
Sustainable agriculture is a concept born of observing nature. Why create waste lagoons when you can fertilize your fields with it? Why resort to pesticides before planting when you can have your fowl get fat with no cost to you? Nature over millions of years has created a very efficent circle of life that wastes no energy.
 

Krazyhorse

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Sustainable agriculture is a concept born of observing nature. Why create waste lagoons when you can fertilize your fields with it? Why resort to pesticides before planting when you can have your fowl get fat with no cost to you? Nature over millions of years has created a very efficent circle of life that wastes no energy.
Nature wastes no energy? Are you completely unacquainted with the second law of thermodynamics?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
a deep-seated dislike of human beings.

Discuss.
Umm no. If you don't grow sustainable agriculture, then you CAN'T SUSTAIN IT. I would think that would be obvious. Unsustainable practices might work fine for a couple years or even several decades, but eventually the resource will be completely depleted. Look at the total collapse of Newfoundland's cod industry in the 1990s due to overfishing. Look at Haiti's slash-and-burn development that has left them almost entirely without forests.
 

Barbbtx

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
8,467
Reaction score
1,993
Location
W'Ford TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
Not sure why you would think sustainable agriculture is somehow anti-human.
It is of benefit to both the human and the land if I understand the meaning.
 

Kuciwalker

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Umm no. If you don't grow sustainable agriculture, then you CAN'T SUSTAIN IT. I would think that would be obvious. Unsustainable practices might work fine for a couple years or even several decades, but eventually the resource will be completely depleted. Look at the total collapse of Newfoundland's cod industry in the 1990s due to overfishing. Look at Haiti's slash-and-burn development that has left them almost entirely without forests.
FACT: we have been engaging in unsustainable agriculture for over a century. If something doesn't happen in that timeframe then it can't happen at all.
 
Last edited:

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
FACT: we have been engaging in unsustainable agriculture for over a century.
What practices, specifically, are you referring to, and why do you consider them unsustainable?

Kuciwalker said:
If something doesn't happen in that timeframe then it can't happen at all.
Of course that claim is ridiculous and short-sighted, but let's move beyond that and just look at your logical inconsistencies: You JUST SAID one sentence ago that our agricultural practices are unsustainable. Now you are saying that nothing will ever change because it hasn't changed so far (i.e. the practices ARE sustainable.) Which is it? Do you even understand what "sustainable" means?
 
Last edited:

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
Nature wastes no energy? Are you completely unacquainted with the second law of thermodynamics?
Well, you look like you're about to get hit with the ban hammer and thus not be able to respond, but yes the wasting of energy is low. What you described is inaccurate. I'm not talking about non-organic aspects. Thus why your post is irrelevant. Nature has evolved organisms that utilize the waste products of each other to grow and expand. That's pretty damn efficent. Essentially, everything feeds something else. The wasted energy from death is relatively low. Compare that to our method where we create vast waste lagoons which lets the vast potential of fertilizer go unused. And it creates bigger problems. We turned what once was cheap (almost free if you will and in some cases it still is) fertilizer into a pollution problem that costs millions to clean. How is that more efficent?
 

Ben L. Kenobi

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
You JUST SAID one sentence ago that our agricultural practices are unsustainable. Now you are saying that nothing will ever change because it hasn't changed so far (i.e. the practices ARE sustainable.) Which is it? Do you even understand what "sustainable" means?
I think his point is that current agricultural practices (which are labeled "unsustainable" by advocates of "sustainable" agriculture) are, in fact, completely sustainable, as demonstrated by their successful use for over a century to feed far more human beings than "sustainable" agricultural practices could ever hope to. It's advocates of "sustainable" agriculture who don't seem to understand what the word "sustainable" means.
 
Last edited:

Goshin

The Hammer of Chaos
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,504
Reaction score
50,052
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
While there are some practices grouped in with the concept that are laudable, the manner in which "sustainable" this and "sustainable" that has been used as an acceptible "Cover Word" for Deep Ecology Extremism makes me perpetually suspicious of anything bearing that label now.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I think his point is that current agricultural practices (which are labeled "unsustainable" by advocates of "sustainable" agriculture) are, in fact, completely sustainable,
Which practices would those be? This discussion is pointless if we're going to speak in generalities instead of about specific practices. Obviously there are some practices commonly described as unsustainable which truly ARE unsustainable, so that doesn't work as a general rule. Each agricultural practice would need to be evaluated on its individual merits.

Ben L. Kenobi said:
as demonstrated by their successful use for over a century to feed far more human beings than "sustainable" agricultural practices could ever hope to. It's advocates of "sustainable" agriculture who don't seem to understand what the word "sustainable" means.
The length of time we've been engaging in a practice has little bearing on whether or not its truly sustainable. The Newfoundland cod industry existed for hundreds of years before coming to an abrupt ecological collapse in the 1990s, for example.
 

Lord Tammerlain

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
19,664
Reaction score
8,492
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I think his point is that current agricultural practices (which are labeled "unsustainable" by advocates of "sustainable" agriculture) are, in fact, completely sustainable, as demonstrated from their successful use for over a century to feed far more human beings than "sustainable" agricultural practices could ever hope to. It's advocates of "sustainable" agriculture who don't seem to understand what the word "sustainable" means.
It is also unsustainable without massive amounts of external inputs into the crops


Without the large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides being added to fields the yield with todays monoculture farming would drop dramatically.

The aspect of sustainable agriculture is meant to indicate the ability farms to use fewer external inputs and instead use methods of farming that improve yields with more natural methods

Crop rotation is something that has dropped off dramatically, but can be used to replenish nitrogen and other nutrients (I believe Soy increases soil nitrogen, and so does alfalfa). Combined with having herd animals use those crops as feed will increase the production of other crops in those fields in other years. This will lower the requirement for fertilizers.

Reducing the amount of monoculture would also be a benifit. Having different vegatables being grown in the same fields will reduce the need for pesticides as many insects, fungus tend to prefer specific plants, having a mix will reduce the potential damage done by such pests
 

Ben L. Kenobi

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
It is also unsustainable without massive amounts of external inputs into the crops
So? The need for external inputs doesn't make a practice "unsustainable" by any reasonable definition of the term.

Without the large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides being added to fields the yield with todays monoculture farming would drop dramatically
You're right, which is exactly why proponents of "sustainable" agriculture could legitimately be accused of "a deep-seated dislike of human beings." If we stop using modern agricultural practices (including fertilizers and pesticides) across the board, millions of people will starve to death as farming yields drop dramatically.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
75,078
Reaction score
32,899
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
FACT: we have been engaging in unsustainable agriculture for over a century. If something doesn't happen in that timeframe then it can't happen at all.
Well... that's a pretty bizarre "fact" to assert.

edit: And when I say "bizarre," I actually mean "dumbest thing I've heard all day."
 

Flintlock

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Humans themselves are unsustainable. Environmentalists are at loathe to admit it but the only way we can keep the earth's population down is with tried and true methods. We won't be able to feed everyone without pesticides, this is perfectly true. So we need to figure out who to keep. I've been reading a bunch of interesting articles about how lesbians are leading the way in selective breeding programs and think this shows a lot of promise.

Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests - CNN.com
 

Goshin

The Hammer of Chaos
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,504
Reaction score
50,052
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Humans themselves are unsustainable. Environmentalists are at loathe to admit it but the only way we can keep the earth's population down is with tried and true methods. We won't be able to feed everyone without pesticides, this is perfectly true. So we need to figure out who to keep. I've been reading a bunch of interesting articles about how lesbians are leading the way in selective breeding programs and think this shows a lot of promise.

Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests - CNN.com

Great Scott, this is exactly the kind of environmental extremism I was talking about. :shock: :mrgreen:
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Agriculture that doesn't create a lot of excess, unusable waste and doesn't deplete the land falls under the sustainable category. If you need to use fertilizers after three years, regardless of what you are planting, then you are doing it wrong.

Most traditional farmers have knowledge passed down through ancestry that has sustained their same plot of land for generations without significant damage. It is this knowledge that has been paved over with modern standardization which is, by comparison, quite primitive. Yes, we can produce high yield crops, but at what cost to human health and our natural resources?

The way industrial, high yield farming operates now is very inefficient, despite claims to the contrary. If government and industry would start including environmental burdens and cleanup costs as part of the true input costs, then modern farming would not appear so cheap. For decades we have deliberately ignored environmental costs as part of the equation because until relatively recently we have been completely oblivious to them.

Also, how many food borne epidemics have there been in the past few years? They are on the rise. Listeria, salmonella, e. coli, and nova viruses are all increasing and becoming resistant to counter measures, thanks to modern agriculture.

What we have is a non-sustainable system. The Green Revolution looked good on paper but we are gradually reaching the end game of this era and new ways of thinking (or rather, reintroduction of some very old ways) will be needed to overcome the obstacles ahead while meeting the nutritional needs of the public. For instance, STOP growing so much damn corn and putting it in everything we eat.
 

Ben L. Kenobi

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
The Green Revolution looked good on paper

Tell that to the millions of poor people in Africa and Asia who wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution was good on paper and even better in execution. :cheers:
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Tell that to the millions of poor people in Africa and Asia who wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution was good on paper and even better in execution. :cheers:
Tell that to millions of people in Africa whose traditional farm land would still be in tact if the IMF hadn't come in under private subsidization programs to acquire their land and replace it with "modern" agriculture. Tell that to the millions in Africa whose crops cannot compete on the world market because of American subsidization of its domestic crops.

The world food market is ****ed thanks to our "modern" and "better" way of doing things. People don't starve just because there is not enough food. They starve because of politics and economists who are divorced from the common people.
 

Ben L. Kenobi

Banned
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Tell that to millions of people in Africa whose traditional farm land would still be in tact if the IMF hadn't come in under private subsidization programs to acquire their land and replace it with "modern" agriculture. Tell that to the millions in Africa whose crops cannot compete on the world market because of American subsidization of its domestic crops.

That is completely irrelevant to the issue of modern agricultural practices being vastly superior to "sustainable" agricultural practices in terms of yield produced per acre. Tens (and possibly hundreds) of millions of people would starve worldwide without the modern agricultural practices that "sustainable" agriculture partisans deride.
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That is completely irrelevant to the issue of modern agricultural practices being vastly superior to "sustainable" agricultural practices in terms of yield produced per acre. Tens (and possibly hundreds) of millions of people would starve worldwide without the modern agricultural practices that "sustainable" agriculture partisans deride.
Communities had more than enough to live on with traditional practices until infrastructure emphasis switched to urbanization. The Green Revolution happened in order to support the rapid growth of urban centres. I would hardly call it superior for those reasons. Urban centres themselves are non-sustainable. They are black holes for natural resources and hot spots for waste production. Naturally, the support mechanisms for such places would also be unsustainable.

I think you need to go back and do some basic research on what "sustainable" means. It doesn't JUST mean that it can meet the basic nutrition needs of populations continuously. It also means that it can do so without severely and permanently damaging ecology, or contributing to major human illness. Thus far industrial farming is failing miserably in both departments.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom