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Planting the Future

Reuters reports that a group of British scientists is recommending an aggressive shift towards the planting of crops not for food, but for a wholesale replacement of petrochemicals. The combination of declining supplies of petroleum (used for much more than fuel) and a still-growing global population means that replacements will be needed soon -- and it's better to start planning now for that event than to wait until oil (effectively) runs out. "At a news conference, [plant reseracher Alison Smith] complained that in the past there had been a lack of coherent thinking, but that was now changing in the face of the looming crisis."


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» In Today's Reading from Glacial Erratics
Two somewhat related (think oil as that which motivates) things I read today that I wanted to remember: {nid 8TC} From [http://www.worldchanging.com/ World Changing], [http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/000856.html Planting the Future]: {nid 8TD} :R... [Read More]

Comments (3)

Stefan Jones:

This concept is a fave of Freeman Dyson's. See The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet.

He suggests that a profitable fuel-crop industry could lure people back to small villages.

I'm not sure I see why a profitable fuel-crop industry would be less-readily dominated by big agribusiness than current food-crop industries.

There should also be a corresponding shift in fertilizer technology; much of today's fertilizers are dependent on petrochemicals.

What might be more effective in the interim is approaching effectiveness of current crops; what happens to non-edible by-products of our existing crops? If they're not being used as sileage and green compost...??


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