pondělí 28. dubna 2014

A Few Words About the Aquaponic's Philosophy

Here I will describe certain theories that led me towards home aquaponics. If you like catastrophic scenarios and conspiracy you will surely enjoy this article.

 Imagine, for a second, a total collapse. What is a collapse? It is a uncontrollable rapid decrease or failure that was caused by an overshoot. In other words, collapse is often connected to main economical parts of an infrastructure (e.g. transport, electricity, supplies, services).

In ecological speaking, collapse is preceded by constant overcoming of system's capacity that causes erosion (permanent decrease of material's basis) which leads to the collapse.

Oil peak is a time when the global production of oil reached its maximum potential from which it gradually and unstoppably decreases. This concept is based on an observation of the production capacities of oil wells together with an estimated amount of reserves.

Natural economical pressure pushes miners into less accessible places although no technology can prevent humanity from reaching the breaking point. Unfortunately, there is no product that can substitute fossil fuels. Not only gasoline, but also every plastic is made from oil, every tire contains 30 liters of oil and we even have no sustainable technology that can be used instead combustion engines.

Today agricultural crops are dependent on nutrients contained in the soil. Plants transform the energy from soil and sun into biomass that feeds humankind (whether directly or through farm animals). Nutrients cannot be just drained from the soil, they need to be replenished too. Centralized agriculture is dependent on artificial fertilizers that are made of oil. So are pesticides. Agro-machinery consume gasoline. Oil that runs out and the human population keeps growing. There is no question if there is a break point. Just when.

Humans will need to double the earth production of food until 2050 - most of us will still be alive by that time and there is no question that our childs certainly will. However, the simple doubling of cultivated soil is not an option as there is not enough of such soil on surface of our planet. Given the growing sea levels, available crop land will rather decrease than grow.

Therefore you should not be surprised by the growing price of food anymore – it simply copies the price of the oil. The fragile balance between those two factors can be easily broken as the demand of food will overcome the supply.

Most of us has grown away from the whole food and agricultural area. The production is heavily outsourced and centralized It is exactly when the role of distributors become so significant. Distributors ensure that certain goods arrive to place of their consumption. This distributions is run by oil. Somebody have to pack the good into plastic and transport it through series of warehouses into the shopping center You use car to get to the shop and back. The increase of oil price does not make food expensive just because of fertilizers, pesticides, tires and gasoline for machinery. The whole production chain causes the price of food going even higher.

Economical pressures and rising global demand of food does not only increase the price. Health risks are uprising too. Complex production chain of the centralized system leads to the loss of quality control and health sanitary of food. The numbers of artificial substitutes and pigments are bigger than ever before. We started to check the labels for chemical additives with horror. People are slowly learning to fear purchased food. The centralized system fails.

On the other hand, the failure of one system brings the opportunity for creating new one. The distributed system, which is the real opposite of the centralized one, ensures that food are produced close to the place of consumption, omitting the transportation, storage and packaging costs.

Application of the distributed food production system in form of a small aquaponic farm is an excellent solution. It is literally few steps from your house, it minimizes the reliance on fossil resources, it is energetically effective, it works efficiently with water and does not pollute the environment.

The end of the oil era will challenge the generation of our children the most. Therefore we should start gaining experience so we can then learn our kids how to produce fresh and quality food in the future. I also believe that this is a better investment than retirement savings. Now you know why you should cross your fingers for me and my experiment.

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