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Seneca Cliff

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:18:38

If Brad Pitt can grow food on Mars in the movies then perhaps we will all eat GMO cactus here on earth after AGW disrupts global agriculture.

I doubt it will happen but it’s not impossible

Cheers!


That was Matt Damon, but I enjoyed the movie. As he said; "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this."

Not so sure our science is going to save us in this case. As for GMOs saving us from starvation, I've seen it posited that GMOs provide nature with new vectors to unleash plant diseases; viruses, fungus, and such, into our food chains, especially when mono-cropping is becoming so prevalent. That was the basis of another scifi movie; "Interstellar".

From yet another scifi movie, one with Brad Pitt; "Mother Nature is a Bitch...."
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Cog » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:38:12

The lack of understanding and outright panic over GMO's tells me the fear mongers truly have no clue about them.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:49:41

Cog wrote:The lack of understanding and outright panic over GMO's tells me the fear mongers truly have no clue about them.


And hubris in the face of Nature tells me people conveniently ignore very real consequences. Antibiotic resistance and climate change are two major examples. Panic and concern aren't the same thing, and ignoring possible consequences is the epitome of human arrogance. That fits you to a tee, Cog. Now go back to bragging about your stocks.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:54:14

Plantagenet wrote:
Tanada wrote:Indeed, there have even been proposals for adding Cacti genes to food crops to allow them to maintain function in the Tropics as the temperatures creep upward. Given the GMO hysteria that is a hard sell right now, but in the back ground you can presume that all the big GMO developers are playing around with the technology. If they succeed then it drives a pretty big stake in the 'we will all starve' meme you can see so often.


If Brad Pitt can grow food on Mars in the movies then perhaps we will all eat GMO cactus here on earth after AGW disrupts global agriculture.

I doubt it will happen but it’s not impossible

Cheers!


It may seem like semantics to you, but there is a world of difference between inserting Cacti genes that use different photosynthesis pathways into traditional crops to make those crops resistant to higher heat levels and engineering a cactus subspecies into an abundant food crop.

Sure some Cacti have tasty bits like the flower buds of the 'Strawberry Cactus', or the fruit of the Prickly Pear, or even the leaves of certain other species. What they all have in common is the genetic blueprint for enzymes that are not broken down by the high desert temperatures which is what kills our traditional crops if they get exposed to too much heat for too long of a period during their growth and reproduction phases.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:06:34

Tanada wrote: there is a world of difference between inserting Cacti genes that use different photosynthesis pathways into traditional crops to make those crops resistant to higher heat levels and engineering a cactus subspecies into an abundant food crop.

Sure some Cacti have tasty bits like the flower buds of the 'Strawberry Cactus', or the fruit of the Prickly Pear, or even the leaves of certain other species. What they all have in common is the genetic blueprint for enzymes that are not broken down by the high desert temperatures which is what kills our traditional crops if they get exposed to too much heat for too long of a period during their growth and reproduction phases.


Its a great idea. Heres hoping this technological fix to help crops cope with global warming works out.

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We'll put the GMO heat-tolerant apple trees right here, and the GMO heat-tolerant corn is going in over there....
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:31:11

Plantagenet wrote:
Tanada wrote: there is a world of difference between inserting Cacti genes that use different photosynthesis pathways into traditional crops to make those crops resistant to higher heat levels and engineering a cactus subspecies into an abundant food crop.

Sure some Cacti have tasty bits like the flower buds of the 'Strawberry Cactus', or the fruit of the Prickly Pear, or even the leaves of certain other species. What they all have in common is the genetic blueprint for enzymes that are not broken down by the high desert temperatures which is what kills our traditional crops if they get exposed to too much heat for too long of a period during their growth and reproduction phases.


Its a great idea. Heres hoping this technological fix to help crops cope with global warming works out.

Image
We'll put the GMO heat-tolerant apple trees right here, and the GMO heat-tolerant corn is going in over there....


Temperature is just one of the factors affecting crop production. Plants also thrive in certain 'bands' of photo-periods, need a range of temperatures (cool nights, warm days), soil temperatures for germination vs. growth phases, humidity affects a range of diseases, and pests thrive in different conditions. In our area, a warm winter with limited periods below freezing can insure a very significant increase in certain pests. Warm, humid nights mean increased crop losses from molds and fungi. Differing soil conditions due to changes in humidity and temperatures affect soil biology in ways many crops are sensitive to.

As a longtime grower, I could go on about chasing changing conditions with a variety of cultivars. Success requires experience and a lot of luck, perennial crops can take years to establish, and seasonal/annual crop success is often hit-and-miss without some form of climate control/moderation. This is why greenhouses and hightunnels can pay for their higher up-front costs. For open-field growing, weather weirding can be very challenging, especially at scale.

Meanwhile, the natural world fights back. See Glyphosate resistant weeds like "Super Pig Weed" (Palmer's Amaranth) as just one example; something I've been battling for years even though I don't use herbicides in our gardens. I suppose I could just give up and harvest the amaranth, eh?
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