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Talk:Seawater into Food - Thomas Bjelkeman

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Less pesticies > unclear why[edit]

@theunk asked @bjelkeman seawatergreenhouses, nice idea! That could openup lost of growingspace. one little comment: less pesticides > unclear why.

The reason why we should be able to use less pesticides in a Seawater Greenhouse is the relatively stable internal climate in the greenhouse. This means that it is easier to keep a good and healthy population of natural enemies. We are still working on the numbers on this, but it is the opinion of one of the worlds most renowned biological control specialists, Prof. Joop van Lenteren, that this will be the case. Joop is working with us on this and we hope to be able to show this conclusively later on.

I will have a look at the essay to see if I can make this clear without significantly adding to the volume of text.

Bjelkeman

Potential 1st world landgrab?[edit]

@RooftopJaxx wrote .@bjelkeman ...The Future We Deserve, Seawater into Food http://bit.ly/theFWDbjelkeman1 #theFWD <hope won't turn into '1st world' landgrab

I agree with you. I think there are several issues here:

Food production is a major source of pollution in the world, it wrecks native ecosystems and generally is not good for our biodiversity. We have to figure out how to produce food for the 1st world, as well as everyone else, without completely wrecking the environment. The Seawater Greenhouse is part of the solution.

There is plenty of unproductive land, which can not be used for any food production. We have a major challenge ahead. We need to grow more food. Taking unproductive land, with a minimum of environmental impact and creating food seems like a good thing.

My intent is to make the technology as available as possible. In the long run, this type of technology will be available widely, which can only be a good thing. It may take a while, but just like mobile phones eventually is within reach of everyone, this will get to the same point too in the future.

Bjelkeman

Nutrients[edit]

"using only seawater and sunshine as inputs"- where do the nutrients come from? --Chriswaterguy 05:51, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd echo that. This, by premise, is going to be some pretty low nutrient areas. How do you manage fertiliser application, why wouldn't this approach be more intensive in artificial fertiliser use than existing systems? --BlueChris 12 Sept 2010

Of course we need nutrients. However, using drip irrigation systems in a hydroponic environment means that we can use less fertiliser than you would in conventional systems. As the system uses much less water than any other conventional system to grow a particular crop you also need less fertiliser. The fertiliser concentration in the water you feed the plants is the same, but we use about 1/4 of the water a conventional greenhouse would use. So we use less fertiliser for the same result.

-- Bjelkeman 2 Jan 2012

Who does it empower?[edit]

One of my favourite questions for any system is, 'Who does it empower?'. Now, it' not always fair to ask that question of a technology, but within existing systems this sounds like an investment heavy, knowledge heavy approach - unlikely to empower local people, and potentially set to undermine traditional agriculture. How do you make this pro-poor? --BlueChris 12 Sept 2010

Fair question. But, does every technological advancement need to be primarily pro-poor though? I actually think we can make a variant of this which works for those that aren’t rich. But for the poor I think it will be too infrastructure heavy. However, considering that the rich and the middle-classes are contributing the majority of the pollution and strain on our eco systems, technology which specifically helps to make the rich and middle-classes live with a lower environmental impact is a good thing.

-- Bjelkeman 2 Jan 2012

minor edit[edit]

minor editing of typos by Catlupton 16.8.11