The other inconvenient truth | Jonathan Foley | TEDxTC

Translator: Michele Gianella
Reviewer: Lara Garau Tonight, I want to have a conversation about this incredible global issue
that’s at the intersection of land use, food, and environment, something we can all relate to, and what I’ve been calling
“the other inconvenient truth”. But first, I want to take you
on a little journey. Let’s first visit our planet,
but at night and from space. This is what our planet looks like
from outer space at night time, if you were going to
take a satellite and travel around the planet. And the thing you would notice first,
of course, is how dominant the human presence
on our planet is. We see cities, we see oil fields, you can even make out
fishing fleets in the sea. We are dominating much
of our planet, and mostly through the use of energy
that we see here at night. But let’s go back
and drop it a little deeper and look during the daytime. What we see during the day
is our landscapes. This is part of the Amazon Basin,
a place called Rondonia in the south center part of
the Brazilian Amazon. If you look really carefully
in the upper right hand corner, you’re going to see a thin white line, which is a road
that was built in the 1970s. If we come back to the same place in 2001 what we’re going to find
is that these roads spurred off more roads
and more roads after that, at the end of which is a small clearing
in the rainforest, where there are going to be a few cows. These cows are used for beef. We’re going to eat these cows,
and these cows are eaten basically in South America,
in Brazil and Argentina. They’re not being shipped up here. But this kind of fish bone pattern
of deforestation is something we notice
a lot of around the tropics, especially in this part of the world. If we go a little bit further south on our little tour of the world, we can go to the Bolivian edge
of the Amazon, here also in 1975. And if you look really carefully, there’s a thin white line
through that kind of seam, and there’s a lone farmer out there in the middle of the primeval jungle. Let’s come back again a few years later,
here in 2003. And we’ll see that
that landscape actually looks a lot more like Iowa
than it does like a rainforest. In fact, what you’re seeing here
are soybean fields. These soybeans are being shipped to Europe and to China as animal feed, especially after the Mad Cow Disease scare about a decade ago,
where we don’t want to feed animals animal protein anymore,
because that can transmit disease. Instead, we want to feed them
more vegetable proteins, so soybeans have really exploded, showing how trade and globalization are really responsible for the connections to rainforest and the Amazon. An incredibly strange,
interconnected world that we have today. Well, again and again what we find as we look around the world
in our little tour of the world is that landscape after landscape
after landscape have been cleared and altered for growing food and other crops. So, one of the questions we’ve been asking is, how much of the world
is used to grow food, and where is it, exactly? And how can we change that
into the future, and what does it mean? Well, our team has been looking at this on a global scale using satellite data and ground based data
kind of to track farming at a global scale. And this is what we’ve found,
and it’s startling. This map shows the presence
of agriculture on planet Earth. The green areas are the areas we use to grow crops like wheat,
or soybeans, or corn, or rice, or whatever. That’s 16 million square kilometers
worth of land. If you put it all together in one place, it’d be the size of South America. The second area in brown
is the world’s pastures and rangelands where our animals live. That area is about 30 million
square kilometers, or about an Africa’s worth of land, a huge amount of land.
And it’s the best land, of course, is what you see. What’s left is like the middle
of the Sahara Desert, or Siberia, or the middle of a rainforest. We’re using a planet’s worth
of land already. If we look at this carefully, we find that about 40 percent
of the Earth’s land surface is devoted to agriculture,
and it’s 60 times larger than all the areas we complain about: our suburban sprawl, and our cities
where we mostly live. Half of humanity lives in cities today, but its 60 times larger area
is used to grow food. So, this is an amazing kind of result, and it really shocked us
when we looked at that. So we’re using an enormous amount
of land for agriculture, but also we’re using a lot of water. This is a photograph flying into Arizona, and when you look at it you’re like,
what are they growing here? It turns out, they’re growing lettuce
in the middle of the desert using water sprayed on top. Now, the irony is it’s probably sold on our supermarket shelves
in the Twin Cities. But what’s really interesting is this water’s got to come from some place, and it comes from here,
the Colorado River in North America. Well, the Colorado on
a typical day in the 1950s – this is just, not a flood, not a drought, kind of an average day –
looks something like this. But if we come back today
during a normal condition to the exact same location,
this is what’s left. The difference is mainly
irrigating the desert for food, or maybe golf courses in Scottsdale. You take your pick. Well, this is a lot of water. And again, we’re mining water
and using it to grow food. And today, if you travel down
further down the Colorado, it dries up completely and no longer
flows into the ocean. We’ve literally consumed an entire river in North America for irrigation. Well, that’s not even the worst
example in the world. This probably is, the Aral Sea. Now, a lot of you will remember this from your geography classes. This is in the former Soviet Union
between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, one of the great
inland seas of the world. But there’s kind of a paradox here, because it looks like
it’s surrounded by desert. Why is this sea here? The reason it’s here is because
on the right hand side you see two little rivers
kind of coming down through the sand,
feeding this basin with water. Those rivers are draining snow melt from mountains far to the east,
where snow melts, travels down the river,
through the desert, and forms the great Aral Sea. Well, in the 1950s, the Soviets decided to divert that water
to irrigate the desert to grow cotton, believe it or not,
in Kazakhstan, to sell cotton
to the international markets to bring foreign currency
into the Soviet Union. They really needed the money. Well, you can imagine what happens: [if] you turn off the water supply
to the Aral Sea, what’s going to happen? Here it is in 1973, 1986, 1999, 2004, and about 11 months ago. It’s pretty extraordinary. Now, a lot of us in the audience here
live in the Midwest. Imagine that was Lake Superior. Imagine that was Lake Huron. It’s an extraordinary change. This is not only a change in water and where the shoreline is, it’s a change in the fundamentals
of the environment of this region. Let’s start with this. The Soviet Union didn’t really
have a Sierra Club, let’s put it that way. So what you find at the bottom
of the Aral Sea ain’t pretty. There’s a lot of toxic waste, a lot of things were dumped there,
they’re now becoming airborne. One of those small islands that was remote and impossible to get to was a site of Soviet biological
weapons testing. You can walk there today.
Weather patterns have changed: 19 of the unique 20 fish species
found only in the Aral Sea are now wiped off the face of the Earth. This is an environmental disaster
writ large. But let’s bring it home. This is a picture that Al Gore
gave me a few years ago that he took when he was
in the Soviet Union a long, long time ago showing the fishing fleets of the Aral Sea. You see the canal they dug? They’re so desperate to try
to kind of float the boats into the remaining pools of water
that they finally had to give up, because the piers and moorings simply couldn’t keep up
with the retreating shoreline. I don’t know about you, but I’m terrified that future archeologists
will dig this up and write stories about our time
in history and wonder, what were you thinking? Well, that’s the future
we have to look forward to. We already use about 50 percent of the Earth’s fresh water
that’s sustainable, and agriculture alone
is 70 percent of that. So we use a lot of water, a lot of land for agriculture – we also use a lot of the atmosphere
for agriculture. Usually when we think
about the atmosphere, we think about climate change and greenhouse gases,
and mostly around energy. But it turns out, agriculture is one of the biggest emitters
of greenhouse gases, too. If you look at carbon dioxide
from burning tropical rainforest, or methane coming from cows and rice, or nitrous oxide
from too many fertilizers, it turns out agriculture is 30 percent
of the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere
from human activity! That’s more than all our transportation, it’s more than all our electricity, it’s more than all other manufacturing,
in fact. It’s the single largest emitter
of greenhouse gases of any human activity in the world, and yet we don’t talk about it very much. So, we have this incredible presence today of agriculture dominating our planet, whether it’s 40 percent
of our land’s surface, 70 percent of the water we use, 30 percent of our greenhouse
gas emissions. We’ve doubled the flows
of nitrogen and phosphorus around the world simply
by using fertilizers, causing huge problems of water quality from rivers, lakes, and even oceans. And it’s also the single
biggest driver of biodiversity loss. So without a doubt, agriculture is the single most powerful force
unleashed on this planet since the end of the Ice Age, no question. And it rivals climate change
in importance, and they’re both happening
at the same time. But what’s really important
here to remember is that it’s not all bad. It’s not that agriculture’s a bad thing. In fact, we completely depend on it. It’s not optional, it’s not a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity. We have to provide food and feed, and yes, fiber, and even biofuels to something like seven billion
people in the world today. And if anything, we’re going to have the demands on agriculture
increase into the future. It’s not going to go away: it’s going to get a lot bigger, mainly because of growing population. We’re seven billion people today heading towards at least nine, probably nine and a half
before we’re done. More importantly, changing diets as the world becomes wealthier
as well as more populous – we’re seeing increases in
dietary consumption of meat, which take a lot more resources
than a vegetarian diet does. So more people eating
more stuff and richer stuff, and of course, having an energy
crisis at the same time where we have to replace
oil with other energy sources that will ultimately have to include some kinds of biofuels
and bioenergy sources. So, you put these together,
it’s really hard to see how we’re going to get
to the rest of the century without at least doubling global
agricultural production. Well, how are we going to do this? How are we going to double global agro production around the world? Well, we could try to farm more land: this is an analysis we’ve done
where on the left is where the crops are today. On the right is where they could be, based on soils and climate, assuming climate change
doesn’t disrupt too much of this, which is not a good assumption. We could farm more land,
but the problem is, the remaining lands
are in sensitive areas: they have a lot of biodiversity,
a lot of carbon, things we want to protect. So we could grow more food
by expanding farmland, but we’d better not, because it’s ecologically a very, very dangerous thing to do. Instead, we maybe want to freeze
the footprint of agriculture and farm the lands we have better. This is work that we’re doing to try to highlight places in the world where we could improve yields
without harming the environment. The green areas here
show where corn yields – just showing corn as an example – are already really high,
probably the maximum you could find on Earth today
for that climate and soil. But the brown areas and yellow areas are places where we’re only getting
maybe 20 or 30 percent of the yield you should be able to get. You see a lot of this in Africa,
even Latin America, but interestingly, Eastern Europe, where Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc
countries used to be, is still a mess, agriculturally. Now, this would require
nutrients and water. It’s going to either be organic,
or conventional, or some mix of the two to deliver that. Plants need water and nutrients. But we can do this,
and there are opportunities to make this work. But we have to do it
in a way that is sensitive to meeting the food
security needs of the future and the environmental
security needs of the future. We have to figure out
how to make this tradeoff between growing food and having
healthy environment work better. Right now, it’s kind of
all or nothing proposition. We can grow food in the background – that’s a soybean field –
and in this flower diagram it shows we grow a lot of food, but we don’t have a lot of clean water, we’re not storing a lot of carbon, we don’t have a lot of biodiversity. In the foreground, we have this prairie that’s wonderful
from the environmental side, but you can’t eat anything.
What’s there to eat? We need to figure out
how to bring both of those together into a new kind of agriculture that brings them all together. Now, when I talk about this,
people often tell me, well, isn’t – blank – the answer,
or organic food, local food, GMOs, new trade subsidies,
new farmvilles? And yes, we have a lot of good ideas here, but not any one of these
is a silver bullet. In fact, what I think they are is more like silver buckshot. And I love silver buckshot: you put it together,
and you’ve got something really powerful. But we need to put them together. So what we have to do, I think, is invent a new kind of agriculture that blends the best ideas
of commercial agriculture in the Green Revolution with the best ideas
of organic farming and local food, and the best ideas
of environmental conservation. Not to have them fighting each other, but to have them collaborating together to form a new kind of agriculture, something I call terraculture, or farming for a whole planet. Now, having this kind of conversation has been really hard. We’ve been trying very hard
to bring these key points to people to reduce the controversy
and increase the collaboration. I’m going to show you a short video that does kind of show
our efforts right now to bring these sides together
into a single conversation. So let me show you that. (Music)
[Environment.] [Institute on the environment –
University of Minnesota] [Driven to discover] [The world population is growing] [by 75 million people each year.] [That’s almost the size of Germany.] [Today, we’re nearing 7 billion people.] [At this rate, we’ll reach
9 billion people by 2040.] [And we all need food.] [But how?] [How do we feed a growing world
without destroying the planet?] [We already know climate change
is a big problem.] [But it’s not the only problem.] [We need to face
“the other inconvenient truth.”:] [a global crisis in agriculture.] [Population growth, meat consumption,
dairy consumption, energy costs] [bioenergy production
=stress on natural resources.] [More than 40% of Earth’s land
has been cleared for agriculture.] [Global croplands cover
16 million square kilometers.] [That’s almost the size of South America.] [Global pastures cover
30 million square kms.] [That’s the size of Africa.] [Agriculture uses 60 times more land] [than urban and suburban areas combined.] [Irrigation is the biggest
use of water on the planet.] [We use 2,800 cube kilometers
of water on crops every year.] [That’s enough to fill 7,305
Empire State Buildings every day.] [Today, many large rivers
have reduced flows.] [Some dry up altogether.] [Look at the Aral Sea,
now turned to desert.] [Or the Colorado river,
which no longer flows to the ocean.] [Fertilizers have more than doubled] [the phosphorus and nitrogen
in the environment.] [The consequence?] [Widespread water pollution] [and massive degradation
of lakes and rivers.] [Surprisingly, agriculture is the biggest
contributor to climate change:] [it generates 30%
of greenhouse gas emissions.] [That’s more than the emission
from all electricity and industry.] [Or from all the world’s planes,
trains and automobiles.] [Most agricultural emissions
come from tropical deforestation,] [methane from animals and rice fields] [and nitrous oxide from over-fertilizing.] [There is nothing we do that transforms
the world more than agriculture.] [And there’s nothing we do that is more
crucial to our survival.] [Here’s the dilemma…] [as the world grows
by several billion more people,] [we’ll need to double, maybe even triple,
global food production.] [So where do we go from here?] [We need a bigger conversation,
an international dialogue.] [We need to invest in real solutions:] [incentives for farmers –
precision agriculture -] [new crop varieties – drip irrigation] [gray water recycling
– better tillage practices- smarter diets] [We need everyone at the table:] [advocates of commercial agriculture,] [environmental conservation,] [and organic farming…] [must work together.] [There is no single solution:] [we need collaboration,] [imagination,] [determination.] [Because failure is not an option.] [How do we feed the world
without destroying it?] Jonathan Foley:
And so, we face one of the greatest grand challenges in all of human history today: the need to feed nine billion people and do so sustainably
and equitably and justly. At the same time, protecting our planet for this and future generations. This is going to be one
of the hardest things we ever have done in human history, and we absolutely have to get it right. And we have to get it right
on our first and only try. So, thanks very much. (Applause)

Comments 100

  • The inconvenient truth is that humans are breeding too fast and too many.

  • Reduce human population! Therefore less agriculture, less animal husbandry. I personally feel that humans are not meant to be vegan but more omnivorous. granted there's too heavy a consumption of animal protein. But seriously if humans are so arrogant as to feel they are responsible for climate change, even eclipsing (!) the sun as the cause, then stop having so many babies! Those who congratulate themselves as being really wonderful Christians and have 19 children and counting, are a huge problem. Insert any religious zealots btw

  • One planet in our solar system has an atmosphere having mainly CO2. What are the conditions are there?
    It is hotter there as on the earth because the planet is closer to the sun!
    It is getting hotter there because the heat does not escape, due to CO2!
    The name of the planet is Venus.

  • You know humanity is going to just keep on exploiting the earth until we have widespread catastrophic environmental collapse. Famine, resource wars, and mass die-off will be the result. That's how mother-nature self-regulates. Personally, I think forced sterilization after one child would be more effective.

  • Fully half of American corn is used, not as food or animal feed, but to make ethanol, to avoid fossil fuel use, and thereby supposedly to "fight climate change." That's about 50 million acres, which is more than the land area of the nine smallest American States, combined: Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

    That's 50 million acres devoted to growing Roundup-Ready monoculture corn. So the question to ask is, how much environmental damage should we accept, to "fight climate change?"

  • The problem is overpopulation. The solution? Very simple! stop making so many kids. Why isn't anybody saying it the way it is? Not politically correct?

  • He's dying to yell GO VEGAN!!!

  • I'm thinking large scale hydroponics would be idea.

  • Hmmm, not having kids would help. And then there's the even more obvious solution, as voiced by the president of the united states, "America first". Which is now starting to sound like, "Kill everyone else and take their oil."

    I don't think we will get it right and get it right on the first shot. There are just too many competing interests and too much greed.

  • Its not new ag, its the oldest form Ive ever heard of. The early people in N America practiced a form of it. Monoculture, plowing, clearing, all of that gone. Encourage whats there naturally , and get some stuff comming to prime at different times of the season and year. Little impact on the land and other creatures while gleening a large varity of foods.

  • To all the people talking about going vegan. There is new type of meat made in the lab. Search for it. No one needs to go vegan. Children need meat when growing up otherwise their brain doesn't develop, which says something about meat. Also, the reason why we are the top species on the planet is eating meat. If our ancestors ate only salads, they would've never developed their brains enough to make your life as easy as it is… vegans… =)

  • A lot of problems but not one practical solution.

  • 6 years later and the treehouse gases made by agriculture is 51% damn! it went from 30% to 51% in 6 years! wonder whats gonna happen in 2025!

  • Remember zero population growth from the 70's?

  • yeah but…meat…IE. bacon….steak….enjoy your soy

  • YOU can say Peeramid right. How about VVmid. argh is Toria.

  • We are so f***ed.

  • It all comes down to population growth. My neighbor has over 100 grandchildren. You can't reason with the religious. I am not optimistic.

  • omg im just now seeing ive been rong all along . lord help me

  • There is a single solution (besides reducing the number of people before population growth levels off)– veganism.

  • We must control the population growth by all the dreamers and do godders of this nonsense volunteer for euthanasia. I am dead serious.

  • Can you explain if the baby boomer population around the world has been considered into the population growth rate as they make up around 17%, in your time frame that will obviously lead to a higher then avg mortality rate of a population which is not reproducing.
    Also as we progress as a race we are producing less children for various reasons. Is that factored in? How long can we sustain ourselves as we are now? Without the increased population over the next 25 years if we maintained it now.
    If we use technology to reduce bio pollution from animal agriculture say reduce it by 30%, reduce emissions from fossil fuels as planed, maintain the current population or reduce over generations,put "quality" controlled limits on fishing and eliminate any more land use towards animal agriculture will your opinions or facts change?

  • Stop talking and start opening vegan markets many people will make the right choice!

  • 9 billion people is too many, as a species we should strive to a lower global population, around 2 billion and there's plenty of room for nature and everybody to have a good life.

  • Well Jon, you lost me after stating that I should remember studying the Aral Sea in geography. I didn’t and nor did anyone else. You fabricated that so I figured everything else you said was also either embellished or just not true. Bye Bye

  • "global discussion on global population growth"
    There was a time, way back in the 60s when this WAS a topic to be discussed. Verboten today! Politically incorrect!
    Without a limit to human population, there is no solution!

  • neomalthusianism

  • And Humanity is getting richer, so we can take better care of our environment. This is already happening in Western nations, Japan etc. Agriculture is using less land to grow more food and that trend is increasing. Health outcomes are improving globally. Climate change is not a problem.

  • Vertical farming, hydroponics and aquaculture, would seem to be an answer. The caloric yields per acre are astounding, much of the energy can be delivered via solar on the roofs, and it isn't weather dependent.

  • Обрабатывают население , готовят к искусственному мясу …

  • we have snow in July, August we must leave our cars running for hours to warm them up as it is so cold in canada. september now we have blizzards and freezing temperatures . winter is now 11 months of the year and seldom do we see a summer if ever ! where is the global warming? the earth was to heat up and long summers, droughts ! yet our fields are soaked with melted snow, rain, hail slush ! where is the warming?? we were told for the past 22 years that the earth is heating up by 2C per year , and we are freezing rather. its all a lie.

  • The talk concludes, audience claps, 7 years pass and nothing has changed.

  • Our presence on Earth is no more prolific than many other species such as many types of microbial life forms, insects and some other larger beings.

  • He also fails to address food waste. 50% of our global food production is wasted due to the high volume of production and the “Just in Time” food delivery. So much food is bought and paid for by the supermarkets in advance that they have to clear shelves to take the new fresher supply that will arrive. This results in short “Best Before” and “Use Before Dates”. This disguises the truth that food is still good to eat in most cases well beyond those dates and allows Supermarkets to throw good food away. Lots of food fails to even leave the farm because of some cosmetic failure, late harvesting, or over production. Throwing away over production is a tool by manufacturers to keep prices inflated. A tremendous amount of food is also wasted by consumers over purchasing and the use of the “Best Before” and Use By” dates causing them to discard what could be highly edible food. The “Just in Time” food chain depends on waste. Without this scheme good food will be seen to rot at the farms and the doors of the supermarkets and not at the consumer end of the supply where it is politically more acceptable. It also artificially inflates prices.

  • The obvious solution is something no one is willing to admit… We need to reduce the population of our planet. At this rate of growth, I'm afraid innovation and implementation simply can't catch up and it's going to be very difficult to achieve sustainability. But reducing population is controversial and methods to achieve it may be deemed unethical. I sometimes really think, is it even fair to talk about ethics and human rights, when the situation concerning the survival of all species on the planet is so dire? What makes humans more worthy than all other organisms? If one species – humans – could slash and burn a rainforest to make room to grow crops to sustain human lives, why can't we slash and burn a city to make room for the habitat of wild plants and animals?

  • The US alone produces enough food to feed the world yet people still go to sleep at night hungry. My point: The speaker never touched the amount of food waste only stating that we have to find away to produce more food to feed a growing population…. so what are we looking at for future food waste and future greenhouse gas emissions?

  • I remember reading an article about how many humans the earth could sustain indefinitely. this was in the 1980's and the number they came up with was about 1.5 billion. We now have 7 billion and rising. The problem is obvious.

  • This is why I'm an anti-natalist… there's too many of you people on this planet

  • I remember when toxic waste dumps were bad.
    Now farms are bad. Sheeeeeesh

  • Could we possibly stop, abandon, the idea of putting alcohol in gasoline? It’s a horrible waste of resources. If you want alcohol in your gasoline, you purchase it, yourself, either in a store, or at a special pump. 1% alcohol in gasoline is beneficial, b/c it absorbs water, allows your engine to burn the water, but 10% is nonsense, only beneficial to farmers who grow too much, b/c they are greedy, and so are companies like Monsanto, who promote this nonsense.

  • The DNC is counting on poor, large family minorities to hold power. They can't talk about overpopulation.

  • People who provide ludicrous arguments…please leave solution-making to actual thinkers.

  • So, the underlying issue is … overpopulation?

  • Want to hear another Inconvenient Truth?
    The first Inconvenient Truth written by Al Gore turned out to be a complete and utter hoax and this Inconvenient Truth is actually a half-truth. Yes deforestation occurs as a matter of Agriculture what he's not telling you is that they also plant trees in other parts of the far as rebuilding the jungle in the area he's also not telling you about land animals yes we consume land animals and yes we put them on pastures but that doesn't mean that we're not adding more forest in other areas we use what arable land we can and even the deserts can eventually be made back into grasslands through terraforming this guy isn't telling you the whole facts. As we all know a Lie by Omission is still a lie

  • Don,t worry nature will solve its human problem very soon,beginning with the overpopulation problem.

  • Probably better for the galaxy that they not be infected with humanity and our destructive ideals.

  • Quit breeding muther furkers

  • go vegan!

  • The "smarter diet" is plant-based. If we stopped raising crops to make into livestock feed, that alone would free up enough land to feed 11 billion people. Now factor in all that pasture land and there is enough for people and enough to rewild some to give back to the wild animals we've displaced and pushed towards extinction. Add in better, more natural farming practices and problem solved plus climate change would be reduced or even reversed. He needs to update this talk. The REAL inconvenient truth is that ANIMAL agriculture due to rising demand for meat and dairy products is what's destroying the planet.

  • His mistake is: There is no WE. And nobody has the goal of feeding the world. Food is a product and thus a means of profit. Such moral approaches only blur and distract.

  • CHANGING CLIMATE'S going to do in us Primates.
    Also the birds, though they can't read these words.
    The dodo was doodoo we flushed down the loo, too.
    And the trees and the seas and the bugs and the pugs.
    And not just the plants and the animal zoo …..
    the tiniest planktons that make the O2.
    It's so terribly sad when ONE species ….. just ….. ceases.
    You'd think we'd
    had a special plot,
    "Exterminate the bloody lot!"
    Deniers and liars and industry hires, weave and deceive us, their gullible buyers.
    So now we have the great distinction of bringing on our own extinction.
    And know what's really, really funny?
    We're FOSSIL FOOLS in love with money."
    The End??????

  • THE sugar coated problem is not what we eat.There are too many people,plain and simple.What shall we do about that?

  • The map is encouraging as far as pasture since most of the world's pasture land is natural prairie where grassing is part of the ecology and crop farming is not. The main thing is that we gather our food in a way that works with the local natural environment i.e. get forest food from forest, prairie food from prairie and desert food from deserts etc. This is not to say that we can't have a garden or a greenhouse in any of these areas and victory gardens should be the norm, but we need to minimize steping out of the natural eco system. We also need to understand that capitalism depends on waste as a built in feature. Production production production. This waste must also increase as a main part of capitalism and the psychosis of viewing the world as a commodity instead of a relationship. Since a third of the world's food is wasted and untold land is contaminated with radiation and petroleum just to make a few rich people richer i don't know if the world can be saved.

  • Commercial Ag is out of control. GMOs and Glyphosate is killing everything, including people. The silver bullet is the trend that seems to be taking off, and that is GROWING OUR OWN FOOD in urban and rural areas. Most of the food being mass produced, shouldn't be eaten by humans or animals. We all need to eat less meat and dairy and at least grow some of our own veggies and buy other foods locally. We need to get back to community living and sharing. I am working on creating a sustainable intentional community. Houses made in the earthship design style surrounded by permaculture, food forest, indoor year-round hydroponic, ground crops, fruit & nut trees, and some livestock. Abundance could be provided to those living within the community and to the outer community. If every neighbourhood tried cooperating and setting up this type of strategy, we could disrupt the entire food distribution system and be healthier, happier, and more connected.

  • Go vegan, that’s how.

  • There are too many humans on the planet. You disagree? Then tell what the right number is. 7 billion is clearly making a mess of the environment. Do you think 10B will improve things? 20B? No? What number then?

    And what logic leads you to conclude that more population is better?

    And don't kid yourself that engineering will save the human species. When species go extinct there is NO science or engineering that can reverse or fix the situation. And I'm thinking of insects which fertilize our crops, which are in decline.

    The essential question, the magic number, what is the right size for the human population on this planet, and why?

  • Videos: Greening the Desert, Back to Eden, people: Allan Savory, Geoff Lauden….

  • It looks like Asia will be the most problematic area in the world for self sustaining.
    Some parts of the world can do fine, like the American continent. Focus on self sufficiency instead of for exporting food.

  • I recommand watching this video in 1.5 x speed

  • 2:45 over and again, landscape after landscape have been cleared/altered to grow food/crops. 3:20 map shows green farm areas, brown wildlife areas. 4:25 using enormous amount of land for agriculture. 4:35 mining water to farm lettuce in middle of dessert which dries up river beds.

    5:35 aral sea bw kazakstan and ubekistan. in 1950s soviets diverted river water to irrigate desert to grow cotton which dried up the aral sea by 2009.

    8:15 we use a lot of land water and atmosphere for agriculture, agriculture is 70% water use and 30% emitter of greenhouse gasses, more than all other human activity. it is also primary driver in biodiversity loss.

    14:25 world pop growing by size of germany each year so 9B by 2040. how do we feed us all? 15:55 agri is the biggest contributor to climate change. meta message: we cant feed 9B the same way we did 7B. in short, get ready to eat insect protein.

  • How do we feed the world without destroying it? You don't, you feed your family and mind your own business!

  • Wow. Thanks. This shows us we should have built only Tower cities connected to maglev Trains worldwide 1,000 years ago, or maybe 2,000, or even 4,000+ years ago. People could have gardens inside their own homes, grow many of their own vegetables with rich soil, and no fertilizers. So every home/habitation can’t be very small. Ending capitalism would make it possible to get every person to live in a Tower city, because when we have unequal wealth, most people can’t afford to live in a Tower city.

  • In 1900 America had 30 million small farms, and today we have 3 million…. which never should have existed. T&T were always needed. Yes nearby every Tower city we’d have small fields and all people share the work and ownership. I’ve read KJV Revelation and I see that one 7 headed beast is 7 corporations, and another 7 headed beast is the top 7richest nations that are destroying the earth, especially USA AND UK. Then the last 2 chapters are about how many nations start building Towers and Trains, and doing it alongside the greedy rich capitalists for a while, until someday in the future, God only knows when, there won’t be any more capitalists or unequal wealth on earth!

  • We are also depleting the oceans.

  • what happened to zero population growth?

  • Growth is not sustainable, we cannot keep feeding a growing population, growth must & will END.
    Stop working to grow more food per plot of land & instead, work to stop population growth & reverse that growth down to what can be supported without fossil inputs.

  • CO2 is not a pollutant. It is not even a major greenhouse gas. Human activity has raised CO2 levels by 12%. CO2 is said to be responsible for only 1% of the 1 degree C rise in global temperature. Therefore human activity accounts for 0.0012 of that 1 degree C rise. Added to this, each person exhales 2.3 tons CO2 each year. Once again the real message of resource depletion, habitat and species destruction is being confused with man made global warming. Regenerating habitats is a priority. Better use of resources is vital, especially if we need to produce 50% more food to feed the 11 billion people by the end of this century. Cutting CO2 emissions is not important. There is no correlation between CO2 levels and temperature over geological time. Moving to electric cars in the UK would cost 21 times our annual military budget, and to prove something for which there is no evidence

  • A lot of this video is misleading….

  • More Gloom and Doom scenarios from a Maxist Socialist as a pretext
    for Governments to gain more and more control over the lives of people.


  • Lost me when he started waving the climate change flag.

  • Global warming is a con

  • It's a shame, as we continue to destroy this planet, our planet will retaliate and destroy us.
    Nature rules, not man.

  • There is lots of water, we just have to remove the salt. If we double atmospheric CO2 a couple of times, plants will grow faster, in more areas, and with less water.

  • Please stop referring to “greenhouse gases”.
    If there are such things, which it seems there are, such as methane (?), they definitely are not what the NWO climate scammers claim are greenhouse gases, and the climate changes are no way caused significantly by human activity.
    Otherwise this is a good TedTalk badly marred by lacing it with falsehoods from the Global Climate Scam (GCS).

  • I thought was going to a talk on how none of the doomsday predictions of the first inconvenient truth were even remotely true. My mistake.

  • Deforestation caused by foreign companies spoiling the natural resources of Latin America, once their elected governments are placed in their political, financial noose! The JUGGERNAUT of FREE TRADE!

  • One man's opinion…

    We do not have to make fuel from our food. If land producing fuel were forests, CO2 would go down…not sure how much.

    Solar and wind power will never produce over a few % of our power and are often detrimental to the environment because they are intermittent. They also require a backup system which often is very polluting because they are not the main source of energy. Small private sources may make sense but they are an awful waste of national economic resources. Water, nuclear and fossil fuels are the only real long term energy solutions.

    GMO can yield fantastic quantities of food.

    Greenhouses increase CO2 from 400ppm in the atmosphere to 1500ppm.

    Clouds is the biggest unknown in climate change. The debate is obviously not over.

  • Quit building cities on the best agricultural land and protecting the non- productive areas from development.

  • Damn, and think, 2/3 of the planet is water and uninhabitable for humans, but still water that can be processed for human consumption. . Progress is so terrible…………lol. But let's keep our heads high as we will surely be gone well ahead of running out of land from heat exhaustion or heat stroke from the .058 of a degree increase Celsius in surface temperature on the planet. Whew, I'm sweating already. Clean Nuclear for energy and we ain't ever gonna run out of water. I'm finished with Governments using scare tactics to control the human population. STOP THE BS!!!!!!

  • I love how he talks about animals stealing all the water and then points out that the lettuce farmers are draining the Colorado river..Hahahahaha

  • I love this "what were you thinking" line people keep throwing out… I hope they're directing it to the some odd hundred to thousand individuals on Earth that could have done something and didn't.

  • I am participating in a project with my neighbourhood. We plant potatoes, tomatoes, etc…lot of work but free organic food in exchange…and if what we have too much we can sell and re-invest and maybe grow?!

  • To correct all of this imbalance we will need to adhere to the 'Georgia Guide Stones' and reduce the population   to under 500 million.    This is best done by the four times 'overkill' capability that nuclear destruction affords us.I will gladly be the one to 'push the button' and launch us into a better future.    Sorry , your children and you wont be a part of the new future world.     You had it coming, all you useless consumption pigs.

  • The United States does not buy meats from Brazil? sorry dear friend but read more news, both the united states and asia in general are the biggest consumers of Brazilian meat

    if the Amazon forest is being cut down to produce meat, it is because there are a lot of people buying (meat and wood).

    and in Brazil the houses are built of bricks and concrete, and the country that consumes the most wood of the Amazon is the United States, in the Brazilian furniture uses mdp and mdf originated from the production of pine, Brazil does not have money to use furniture of rare wood , nor does he eat meat like the Americans.

    I am not saying that Brazil is right, on the contrary this is completely wrong, however, we pollute 1/6 of what the United States generates of co2, and 1/12 of what China pollutes.

    I ask what countries do the United States do about it? to preserve the Amazon, since criticizing is the cheapest method? What does China do for Brazil to maintain its forest?

    what kind of political influence they make.

    I'll tell you what to do, help put presidents who do not believe in climate change, encourage extensive agriculture and indiscriminate agriculture, keep an eye on oil reserves in other countries to do what they already do more and more pollute.

    this is going to continue to criticize a lot and do absolutely nothing. and live the demagoguery

  • One big problem is that the entire world bought the rockefeller zionist chemical farming agenda where farmers are tricked into believing that 3 growth stimulating nutrients can produce the same quality high energy, great tasting, bug resistant crops as say azomite's 80 or so minerals.
    I am a farmer before and have proven for years to others that growing food with my system of whole plant nutrition produces highest quality tasting food.

  • Bhosdike awaz sahi nahi dale jaati kya.
    How can one listen to this video on mobile or laptop speakers.. Too low volume.

  • This is socialist propaganda.

  • It's interesting how people who have the degrees and social approval necessary to do a TED talk and who are good at mixing tense music into good looking impactful info-graphic art laden videos and the people who are awarded tickets to TED talks all seem to think they have the right to moralize and control the rest of us, right down to what we can eat and what we can do with our land. There are other people on these TED talks saying we should all be forced to live in cities and not allowed to live in rural areas between the cities. Then where is the food going to come from?

    Sure, there needs to be a big discussion on this, and all parties need to come to the table, but the fact that this is being presented as a TED talk comes off as 'everybody needs to be dragged kicking and screaming to our table so we can moralize at them and lay down the law on how things are going to be done so as to satisfy OUR constituency.' Right now we have food production input providers and food producers (farmers) and land owners and food processors and food retailers all squabbling and suing each over over things like intellectual rights and seed patents and shelf space rights and at the consumer end we have a bunch of environmentalist intellectuals and 'mother earth religion' whackos preaching that we need to convert everything to urban-ag growing potatos in window boxes and organic this or that, all of which everybody else lower down on the food production ladder knows is complete nonsense. Anybody attempting to speak about this subject is automatically assumed by the rest of the world to have some undisclosed alterior motive and be pushing some agenda unrelated to the subject being controlled that the rest of the world may not agree with.

    The solutions for this problem are bigger than anything the self-perpetuating intellectual class (that has nothing to do with agriculture other than they consumer food and like to moralize on people about what they should eat) can come up with. The solutions may require a global consensus. But will have to be implemented by individual nations, by individuals, in a manner that makes sense to each party involved.

  • Not mentioned? Exporting food, poluting area, using up water, depleating soil, increasing prices here shipping food out of country. Plus forign countries buying farm land and production here to secure food in their country. Time to limit sale of our natural resources to other countries. It's what third world countries do. Now things are reversed they manufactur and we sell resorces. Good for big business bad for our population.

  • Finally, after fifteen out of a seventeen minute video, we brush past the other other inconvenient truth. Over population. Failure is an option.

  • IQ ?

  • "Human sacrifice, such as… found in the plant-dominated… domain… identification of human destiny… model of the vegetable world… we do not find among hunters unless there has been some very strong influence from the other zone… The proper sacrifice for the hunter is the animal itself…"

    [The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell, 1991, Part 4: "…"]
    "Sacrificing" [the] Earth is the ultimate religious devotion to the people who cling to planters' primitive metaphysical beliefs. It amounts to "sacrificing" one's mother; the one from whom you received your body [parts]… for a modern connotation, think Thanos [Thanatos] having to "sacrifice" his "favorite" daughter to obtain, or receive, the "Soul" Stone (End Game, 2019)…. i.e. Abrahamic Monotheism….. And there are reasonable alternatives; there are other ways to LIVE; there are other ways to THINK (and thus FEEL)…. But it will cost you your life and their power.
    "The planter's view is based on a sense of group participation; the hunter's, on that sense of an immortal inhabitant within the individual which is announced in tasks of ontology to rationalize and define. The two views are complementary and mutually exclusive, and in their higher stages of development, in the higher religions, have yielded radically contrary views of the destiny and righteousness of man earth."

    [The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell, 1991, Part 4: "…"]

  • Elephant in the room: eat less meat

  • There isn't a looming food shortage: the last time I calculated, the US along produces enough corn each year to give every human being on earth 77,000 lbs. of corn. If there are starving people in this world, it isn't because there isn't enough food being produced; it is because some countries are hoarding what they produce or too much corn is being diverted for biofuels. Food is a requirement for life, not something optional like jewelry; so why is it something from which large corporations are allowed to make excessive profits?

  • Audio on this was too weak to listen to

  • how about algae farming, algaeculture? that could be done anywhere near the sea/ocean (or maybe even directly on the sea, if we develop proper technology), do not require fresh water and it produce healthy nutrients.

  • Thank Jonathan for great knowledge, we build an environment org called No Waste Vietnam

  • Turn Vegetarian…..restrict water, electricity and all natural resources consumption. Grow as many trees as you can. We are already lagging behind the nature destroyers. Let's make it faster to save our beautuful earth.

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