On Senders of Mixed Messages…..

26 10 2014

Dr Julian Cribb

Lately, I have come across more and more ‘experts’ who appear to be very well informed on the state of the multifaceted predicaments we face.  yet they seem unable to tell it like it really is, and send mixed messages about how ‘we’ll be saved’ if only we apply such and such a technology. Even Nate Hagens in the last video I published here surprised me with a few of the things he says at the end of his presentation.  I have just come across another… his name is Dr Julian Cribb.  The video below starts off discussing all the things you’d expect to find here.  He even mentions the Egyptian revolution being caused by food shortages and rising prices, and that alone makes him almost unique among ‘media operators’.  He praises Permaculture principles, and makes much about the state of our soils and how degraded they are and how the produce therefrom are very low in actual nutrients.

Plantagon project in Sweden

Julian Cribb, however, seems unaware of the Energy Cliff.  He mentions Peak Oil and Peak Phosphorus, water table depletion, and the way agriculture utterly relies on oil for food production, but then goes off at a tangent predicting cities will grow to 30, 40, even 50 million, and could become so green they could be designed to produce 30% to 50% of their food.  Yet, at an earlier stage of his presentation, he tells us that each person on Earth, at current agricultural efficiency levels, require 1.5 hA of land to produce the food they eat.  So a city of 30 million (like Tokyo today – which is actually 37.8 million, but let’s stick to round numbers here…) requires 45 million hectares of land to feed it.  Even 30% of its food requirement would therefore demand the use of 10 million hectares, yet Tokyo has an area of 218,800 hectares…..  something does not add up.

Cribb deploys images of ‘green cities’, including a dome under development in Stockholm, Sweden.  I’m frankly underwhelmed by such projects.  The surface area under food production doesn’t seem that great, and I can’t help wondering how many dwindling resources obtained with ever shrinking amounts of ever lower ERoEI energy is needed to feed what is simply just another unsustainable city.

And no mention of taking control of population growth either.  It’s a given that we will hit 10 billion within 25 years, and that’s that.

This youtube clip has only had 352 views, even though it’s been on the interweb for almost a year.  Just goes to show how interested people are in Peak Farming…..