Monday, August 24, 2009

Farming for answers

Ok class, how many of you read the Op Ed 'A Farm on Every Floor'? What a wonderful concept. Let's see, "in roughly 50 years, farming as we know it will no longer exist"; "changes in rain patterns could diminish India's agricultural output by 30 percent by the end of the century"; "the amount of arable land per person.... is projected to decline to about a third of an acre by 2050 (from an acre person in 1970").

The piece goes on to extol the potential financial benefits of vertical farms, "we have the technology now we need the money", contending that "the iconic building could generate significant tourist dollars, on top of revenue from sale of its produce". This is literally pie in the sky farming, where our economic and food goals are satisfied through 21st century concepts of indoor agriculture.

It is suggested that "part of the financing should come from the city government, as a vertical farm would go a long way toward achieving Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s goal of a green New York City by 2030."

The author concludes by saying that "when people ask me why the world still does not have a single vertical farm, I just raise my eyebrows and shrug my shoulders".

Guess what, I have the answer. Are grandma and grandpa in harm's way? Is the baby unable to eat today? Is there any money in it for me at a time when cash is no longer growing on those trees you may want to plant?

Wake up and smell the Republican messages that are stinking up the airwaves. We are a country that responds to immediate threats. Are we at code red, or not? Is the virus entering my town today? Is the stock market collapse taking everything out from my account as we are conversing? Is someone pulling the plug on grandma?

The Democrats have not learned to speak in soundbites, with an urgency that captures the attention of the public. Ice caps melting sounds like something rather interesting to watch. Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" does not show that next year the condo in Florida will be gone, or that we will be forced to wash our cars only on odd days. Rising oil prices almost sounds like a sign of economic promise.

The message is getting lost on its trip to our ears. We are inundated with information. To move forward, you have to be able to capture our attention, not our imagination.

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