by Lorin Kenney
(Santa Monica, California)
The relationship between water, energy, agriculture and climate is a significant one. More and more, that relationship is falling out of balance jeopardizing food, water and energy security.
Effects of Agriculture
Agricultural practices can impact the climate. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are widely used in agriculture, and are often made from fossil fuels.
Manufacturing and transporting these chemicals uses significant quantities of energy and produces greenhouse gases.
Not surprisingly, studies have shown that chemical farming uses considerably more energy per unit of production than organic farms, which do not use these chemical inputs.
In addition, the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in soils produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is approximately 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Even organic produce can have an impact on the environment if it is not grown and consumed locally.
Impact of Droughts
Drought is also a very serious complication of climate change.
Clean water is a precious resource to be wisely utilized and conserved. Irrigation claims about 70% of the water that we use.
The excess water leaving farms is often contaminated with silt, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers making it unfit for reuse.
Climate change is a phenomenon we can no longer deny as its effects have become increasingly evident worldwide.
Growing Our Own Food
This is a heavy problem with seemingly no solutions or at the very least, costly and time-consuming solutions.
We have to start growing our own food so that we can ensure that we're not ingesting genetically modified foods, chemicals or pesticides and we have to find a way to do it using less water and fewer resources.
Hydroponic and aeroponic systems could be our best friend in this battle. The amount of soil and water required is none and significantly less, respectively, using these growing methods.
A Water Efficient Garden
One new system being crowdfunded
right now is called Pyramid Garden.
This pyramid raised bed structure (hence the name) is an aeroponic home vegetable growing system that uses 80% less water than growing in soil and grows produce 30% faster.
No yard or greenhouse is required as this system can work anywhere. Another plus of a system like this is that it allows for more yields on more types of produce.
Pyramid Garden gives you the ability to grow 136 plants at once. It's these kinds of innovations that will give us a fighting chance against the evils of GMO's, greenhouse gases, chemical farming, factory farming and other environmental concerns.
The only way we can know for sure what we're putting into our bodies is to grow our own food. In harsh climates and urban areas, it's not so easy to do that.
But, like minded people have started innovating ways around these barriers. As a society, this is what we need to do to spur real change.
Our future depends on it.
For more information about Pyramid Garden, head to their website at PyramidGarden.com