Pollution and Sustainability: Farming
Are there better, more sustainable ways to go about our daily lives than polluting our world, maybe we should start from the very root of the problem, farming?
Elon Musk stated during a World Energy Innovation Forum that “It is quite worrying, the future of the world”. There are many forms of pollution, however, despite this, it seems that these pollution's in general are collectively dominating our world, and arguably, it is due to our immoral and rapid development. Obviously, we can’t blame one individual or organisation, because this is just how humanity was taught and influenced to grow. We crave perfection, but at the same time we have damaging, lazy and cocky attitude towards the health of our world. Is our desire really the thing we should be focusing on?
Mother Earth has provided many methods to overcome our issues and so has humanity’s own innovations, however, we never really seem to be applying these at an efficient rate. And you can provide your own viewpoint and even criticize me but I for one do not believe that our efforts should be focused elsewhere, there are many useless things that we are currently putting our efforts into, menial things that don’t seem to have any real purpose.
Hold on though, don’t get me wrong, its all good and fun, there’s nothing wrong with working, providing and fulfilling your own and your friends and families’ needs. But when doing all these, we should be mindful and responsible in our actions and approaches. Because Mother Earth isn’t just our own home, its home 1 trillion different species at least with 99.999% of these species just waiting to be discovered, these statistics are according to a study conducted by biologists at Indiana University.
There are various apparatus’ we can use to save our world; however, we must press the restart button on our previous inventions, to build them up again, and in order to do this we must start small then work our way up, steadily advancing on the changes we can currently make. This would mean changing the most fundamental industry into a more renewable version of itself, this industry being farming. The notion of Farming extends to the sea and the land, how we farm is fundamental to our future sustainability and virtually our and other species’ future survival.
Seafood farming has proved to be the single most damaging thing to our oceans and thus, our world. How? Well, oceans actually absorb about 40% of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, and by oceans, I mean the plants in the ocean, specifically phytoplankton, these species are at the bottom of the food chain and get preyed on by smaller fish, fish who will through the food chain eventually get eaten by us. You might be asking at this point, how exactly eating fish contributes all of this, well, phytoplankton actually are, for a lack of a better term fertilised by the faeces of larger fish, fish which we have as part of our dietary requirements, without this fertilisation occurring the amount of phytoplankton decreases rapidly and hence the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, thus, climate change becomes evermore apparent as time progresses. Not to mention how the hotter temperatures from climate change increases the temperatures in the sea, essentially extinguishing organisms that live in that biome.
Furthermore, did you know that the method of farming we use currently on land is not even close to sustainable, instead it is even more damaging environmentally speaking. According to ABC News, in a Mining conference in Wollongong, a coastal city in Australia’s New South Wales, the founder and director of IBIS World, Phillip Ruthven (a company which provides “business information, forecasting and strategic services”), revealed that “agriculture is also more damaging to the environment than mining.” It seems that the way we farm is slowly killing our environment and virtually no attention is being directed at this issue.
Most of these issues have been explored by documentaries that are available on Netflix, Ali Tabrizi’s Seaspiracy, Rebecca and Josh Tickell’s Kiss the Ground, and David Attenborough’s: A Life on Our Planet.
For the issue on seafood farming, Seaspiracy provided alternative food sources that won’t harm any fish but will still give you that seafood taste, this product being Faux Seafood, this is basically, as the name implies, fake seafood that provides all the flavour that people enjoy without the negatives of polluted fish or fish abuse.
And in terms of land farming, the issue could be managed to somewhat of a better standard, if we use the methods that ‘kiss the ground’ provided. These methods were referred to as regenerative agriculture, currently humanity uses what is called conventional farming, this provides no time for the soil to regenerate and there is no, this is in simple terms, the swapping of what is farmed on a certain area, to increase biodiversity.
A certain aspect of regenerative agriculture, which proved to be important is regenerative grazing, now, this is when grazing livestock or animals are swapped out of an area. Each time, the animals leaves a grazing area to move onto another spot, it has either eaten, trampled or fertilized the soil, this allows the plants to grow much more efficiently and also intake amounts of carbon dioxide. This is done by the plants, due to them having certain periods of their lives where they accumulate the most biomass, from the CO2 in the atmosphere, meaning the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere decrease, imagine this process largescale. The amount CO2 in the atmosphere will decrease expeditiously.
Additionally, there are hydroponics which pump water into plan every once in a while, and each time whenever there is excess water, it will leak back into the area which is pumped into the plant, this is an efficient manner in which plants can flourish with minimal or no water loss. Furthermore, the pipes which contain the plants and all the necessities for the equipment to function can be made out of recycled plastics, reducing amount of plastics in our oceans today.
All of the solutions I provided, reduce the amount of workload on our farmers and provides new areas for our fishers to explore, in the faux seafood industry. It is cost-effective, and also going to positively affect our climate.
Like with Attenborough “it seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
Sure, we can always move to Mars, but, “it is that range of biodiversity that we must care for — the whole thing — rather than just one or two stars.” (David Attenborough) Because where else can we enjoy such fulfilling permanent lives than here, our birth place and hopefully the place where we and other species we share this place with can survive for centuries to come.
So, Let’s live up to Sir David Attenborough’s expectations in which “Young people…care. [And] know that this is the world that [we’re] going to grow up in, that [we’re] going to spend the rest of [our] lives in. But, [as he thinks] it’s more idealistic than that. [That we should]…believe that humanity…has no right to destroy and despoil regardless.”. Let us bring light to this proclamation but instead of just young people, let’s hope that the entirety of the generations on our planet Earth, someday (hopefully soon) others will follow and learn to adopt a mindset with similar ideals as these.