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Peak SOIL

Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 16 Jun 2018, 19:11:27

I’ve already posted this on another thread but probably more properly below bye here.


Arable land (million). Population (million). Hectare/person
USA. 175 hectare. 327. 0.54
India. 160 hectare. 1,354. 0.12
China. 103 hectare. 1,415. 0.07
Russia. 122 hectare. 144. 0.85
Canada. 46 hectare. 37. 1.2
Mexico. 25 hectare. 131. 0.2
UK. 6. Hectare. 67. 0.09
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 16 Jun 2018, 19:30:48

The FAO is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

The minimum amount of agricultural land necessary for sustainable food security, with a diversified diet similar to those of North America and Western Europe (hence including meat), is 0.5 of a hectare per person. This does not allow for any land degradation such as soil erosion, and it assumes adequate water supplies. Very few populous countries have more than an average of 0.25 of a hectare. It is realistic to suppose that the absolute minimum of arable land to support one person is a mere 0.07 of a hectare–and this assumes a largely vegetarian diet, no land degradation or water shortages, virtually no post-harvest waste, and farmers who know precisely when and how to plant, fertilize, irrigate, etc. [FAO, 1993]



1 hectare = 2.47105381 acres 
.07 hectare= .17 acres per person 
about 7500 square feet per person 

While this figure produces a result of around 5-6 people per acre, there are plenty of caveats to consider. If the soil is not ideal, increase the land. If the growing season is short, increase the land. If inputs are natural instead of industrial, increase the land. If conditions are anything less than optimum, increase the land. Bear in mind that the above figures are derived with global statistics that include much food production using mechanized/industrial methods. While these methods greatly reduce labor, they do not necessarily promote the most efficient production rate per unit of area. Intensive growing methods can produce a great deal more food per unit of area. Permaculture methods can take more area but deliver food while increasing the fertility of the land and reducing labor. The trade off is the time required to establish the systems. The biggest advantage is the promotion of a resilient ecosystem, capable of continuing indefinately. 

https://permies.com/t/12422/Amount-land-person
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Yonnipun » Mon 18 Jun 2018, 10:18:58

The minimum amount of agricultural land necessary for sustainable food security, with a diversified diet similar to those of North America and Western Europe (hence including meat), is 0.5 of a hectare per person. This does not allow for any land degradation such as soil erosion, and it assumes adequate water supplies.

Just looking in the past confirms that each and every civilization eventually ended because of the land degradation. Simple as that. Without fertilizers we would be starving right now. Eventually the soil is going to be eroded away anyway so using fertilizers is a very short term solution. 0,5 hectars of land is a very small piece of land, 50mx100m. It takes atleast 4 times more land to support a single cow. So a claim that only 0.5 of hectares per person is needed for sustainable food security is simply ridiculous.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby M_B_S » Tue 03 Jul 2018, 16:37:06

Very HOT :

https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/ ... ter/76626/

Soil erosion looms as potential humanitarian disaster
Harry Ridgewell and 1 contributor
Started 03 Jul 2018 |

Over 50 percent of earth's land surface is "under considerable pressure"
Shift to animal-based diets partly to blame
Societies that degrade their topsoil do not last
The ability to feed 10-12 billion humans by the end of the century is one of the great challenges facing humanity – and the world may not be capable of living up to it. This stark forecast comes from a new edition of the World Atlas of Desertification, which finds that 4.18 million square kilometers of land – an area half the size of the European Union – are being degraded each year.

Degradation of the globe’s land surface caused by human activity is already negatively impacting the well being of at least 3.2 billion people, and eating up more than 10 percent of the planet’s annual GDP (IPBES).
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Damm something is going damm wrong:

"Scholes told WikiTribune land degradation is “highly likely” to be a contributing factor to future wars, noting the IPBES study found that in dryland areas, years with extremely low rainfall have been associated with up to a 45 percent increase in violence."
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 03:49:44

Surely animal manures improve and grow soil.
Doubt there are too many animals running around on arable land that arent improving it.
There would be plenty of zero animal input, mono culture, industrial farms, growing vegetables that are are destroying the soil though.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 06:55:06

Ever read “The Omnivours Dilema”? One section of the book talks about a farm with tire land the guy is trying to improve using some of the same techniques.

For a while when I was a kid I wanted to work a piece of land and improve it. Life didn’t turn out that way for me but I admire the effort. The best I could do was save a piece of land from development.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 07:54:52

Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said on Friday.

About a third of the world's soil has already been degraded, Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told a forum marking World Soil Day.

The causes of soil destruction include chemical-heavy farming techniques, deforestation which increases erosion, and global warming.

Soils play a key role in absorbing carbon and filtering water, the FAO reported. Soil destruction creates a vicious cycle, in which less carbon is stored, the world gets hotter, and the land is further degraded.

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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 12:32:41

iirc, in the archeological record, about the only cultures who actually improved the health and productivity of the land they inhabited were those living near the ocean who brought shell fish and other ocean products inland where they otherwise would not have easily been taken, and left them around to be worked into the soil, thus bringing scarce micronutrients back into otherwise depleted soils.

No matter what else you do to manage your soil, if you are taking nutrients out (by selling the meat, dairy, eggs... as in Newfs example), you are necessarily depleting the soil, unless you are shipping in artificial or organic fertilizers of some sort.

That's just physics...conservation of matter, and the darn, stubborn unwillingness of most elements to suddenly turn themselves into more needed elements. :-D (Except for in the innards of certain stars, and occasionally a few other places in the natural world...)
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 12:50:56

What is the climax community?

In ecology, climax community, or climatic climax community, is a historic term for a biological community of plants, animals, and fungi which, through the process of ecological succession in the development of vegetation in an area over time, have reached a steady state.

So, this you can say is the ideal state. When we clear cut vegatated areas to create monoculture plots of land and pour in our poisions ie. synthentic fertilizers and pesticides and plow the fields we are disturbing and degrading this soil climax community. We are killing the biotic ecosystem. The soils in many places is dead. It needs our IV of fertilizers and pesticides. So beyond the desertification and soil erosion which are themselves huge problems is the demise of the Soil.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby M_B_S » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 01:50:38

Maybe there exist a techno fix: printing the food ?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWOVvSfSjCM

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5225 ... ied-foods/

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food ... nted-meals
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To be fair if we want to restore/save natural habitat for our brother/sister species (population decline is not wanted), we have no other choice or do we?

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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 08:53:47

Rough numbers.

The USA and India have about the same amount of aerable land. 4x the population.
India and China have about the same population. 4x the land.

India has 1/4 the aerable land per person we do.
China has 1/16.

If the USA was populated to the same ratio we would have 4x as many people.
If the same as China 16x as many people.

The USA heavily criticized China for its 1 child policy, it violated human rights.

Who is the idiot?
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 09:30:57

Well China rescinded its 1 child policy. Somebody is gegting dumber
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/worl ... olicy.html
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 20:54:00

Not to go too far into off topic debate here, but iirc Chinese couples were already more and more just voluntarily choosing to have no or few kids, so the policy became rather redundant.

People who have studied these things find that indirect measures--like insuring that women have easy access to birth control and to abortions...--are generally more effective than attempts at imposing rigid bans on numbers of children.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 09:23:48

Methodology is not the question, arguing against an attempt to limit growth is the question. The USA should have been supporting their efforts, perhaps offering advice on how to do it better. They sure as hell did better than India.

We have a lot to fear from China simply because we have what they want-LAND.

Their goal, prompted by reading LTG, was to stabilize their population at 700 million by 2030. It’s now looking like double that.

What is the USA goal?
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 09:45:03

And of course neither country is doing anything to try to limit consumption per capita, which is the other crucial factor in the equation. Far from it!
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 10:40:03

True but evasive.

What do you think the maximum population should be? +/- 20%.
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Re: Peak SOIL

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 13:35:46

50,000 or so
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