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Space food...cure to world hunger?

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posted on May, 7 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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As the ever increasing saturation of the world's population continues, something else occurs: the destruction of the world's farmlands to make room for new housing and the destruction of the world's tropics to make room for new farmland. It is an epidemic which could unleash cataclysmic events. Cutting down dense tropical lands in South America and Africa could disrupt global climate and cause fluxuation in the world's fresh water supplies and lead to the next ice age prematurely. So how do we stop this before it becomes apocolyptic?
Terraforming another planet seems the only feasible course, and as of right now we have a few robotic bugs probing the red planet just for this purpose. But how long will this take? 30, 40, 50, 100+ years? It is about time for us to draw up a plan for future generations to deal with this.
The only altertanitve answers to this are mass hydroponic gardens in large fresh water bodies or space farms. The moon is one possible location for such a constuction. Even in the near zero gravity of space between the moon and earth is another. But either way, time seems to be running out. Sooner or later the ratio of people to farmlands will turn deadly.
Is NASA or any US government agency currently behind such operations? If no, is it necessary to incure their creation?



apc

posted on May, 7 2005 @ 01:04 PM
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For a second I thought you meant freeze-dried pizza could solve world hunger.


30, 40, 50, 100+ years?

Actually the terraforming process would take a few thousand years if not significantly longer.
Mars would be good farmland if it were just warmer.. the soil and atmosphere will support plant life (with added nutrients) but it's just too bloody cold. Maybe a few biodomes to serve the sole purpose of containing heat.
Unfortunately it doesn't look like there's really going to be a whole lot we can do about the issue of diminishing airable land. In the US alone this is a severe problem that is barely talked about.. high density crop techniques and such have evolved that can produce immensely greater amounts of food per square yard of soil, however they require a greater initial investment and hand construction of special planting-zones on a large scale. It is not easily done by machine, yet, nor have these techniques been considered by most agriculture. We're making progress, but the last leap forward was 80 or so years ago, with the rise of chemical fertilization and improved crop rotation.
The price for a loaf of bread is going to continue to rise, and people are going to die. There is little we can do at this point to avoid this. All we can do is be prepared.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 02:36 PM
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What if NASA sent out a ship to either take an asteroid towards it or pus it off cause into the course of mars, then they hit and possibly have 100 or 200 years of a greenhouse effect, making it warm enough to grow plants and food. Or what if we could force Olympus Mons to erupt, and what if this caused a chain reaction erupting thousands of underground volcanos and geysers, forcing a warmer atmosphere.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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How do you get a volcano on another planet to erupt? Could you throw nuclear waster down the mouth of the volcano? I always thought that igniting a fussion reaction on Jupiter could help bring about a quicker terraformation of Mars. Basically turning a nearby planet into a star could help this process of 'warming' it up.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 03:02 PM
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Throwing nuclear waste down the mouth of a volcano is like praying for an eruption.
Even if it didn't erupt right away, any time within a few hundred thousand years, and you just blanketed X square miles with radioactive sludge. I wouldn't put my name to that idea, personally. And if you decide to go ahead, lemme know where, so I can far upwind.
Edit: Ohhhh, other planets.
Oops. Well, I think it's kind of rude to polute the universe, there is probably a better way to dispose of waste, like bacteria for example.

Your idea about hydroponic facilities in fresh water bodies has a lot of merit, it's an excellent idea. I don't think it would be cost effective in the current economy, where low price foreign products crush opposition, but I love the idea nontheless.

Salt water platforms are a possibility as well, consider commercial desalination and the amount of sea we have to work with. Signifigantly greater than the fresh water sources.

I love the idea of hydro food, it will be the future, IMO. With advances in automation, you could operate huge facilities with just a skeleton crew of engineers and such. It would increase profitability over the long term, while fueling the robotics and plastics sectors of the economy. You'd be better off doing it now, while plastic is still reasonable in cost, when the oil gets scarce, plastics will NOT be cheap. Of course, if you operate a platform in international waters you can grow hemp, and use it to create resin/plastic, strong as any other plastic. Could work quite well. You could also burn hemp seed oil (biomass) in the generators to get more use out of the crop. And you can eat it, and wear it....

So, a huge, sprawling hemp field in open waters would be almost completely self sustaining. Grab a little extra energy from solar and hydro power, and your energy needs would be met. Use whatever space remains to grow vegetables and fruit, both for consumption and export.

It's an idea worth considering.



[edit on 7-5-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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I think in the future there will be factories that transform the organic atoms of Jupiter/Saturn or their moons into edible molecules. Perhaps using solar or nuclear power to run the process.

I imagine catalytic boards that assemble sugars and starches from input streams of various kinds of atoms [small molecules]. Im guessing at first what is produced will be pretty boring, but if you are hungry, you probably won't mind. With time cost-effective techniques will be developed so it will get better interms of varieties of textures and flavors.

It may even be that smaller more intricate [hand-held/pocket] versions can be programmed to produce small amounts of any pharmaceuticals for people needing medications.
.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 03:49 PM
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Prophetic Slank!


Molecular printers should be very interesting when they develop and become miniaturized. There are already a few companies working on producing both industrial construction-grade units, and home based units.

The large ones would be used to build houses and such. The small ones would be great for cups and bowls, silverware, basically anything small and simple made from plastic. Toys would be possible, maybe even circuit boards using new technology...

I know I want one.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 04:16 PM
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A lot of this stuff is in the works. They have printers that can build objects like cups and the such. We've even "printed" food as it were. Nowhere near that kind of level, slank and WyrdeOne, but it's one thing that IS in the works.


I'd give a link, but I saw it all on television and I'm not getting any from google right now.


apc

posted on May, 7 2005 @ 04:31 PM
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I always thought that igniting a fussion reaction on Jupiter could help bring about a quicker terraformation of Mars. Basically turning a nearby planet into a star could help this process of 'warming' it up.

Search the board for info on this.. it is not possible for Juiptor to become a star, and if it were (by adding a metric buttload of mass), it would destroy the solar system.

Floating farms on the sea and molecular printers are nice ideas, but unless we figure out something and impliment it on a global scale within the next 25-50 years, it really isn't going to matter as it will be too late. Oil, food, water, air, etc etc... we've reached saturation. Finding a solution for one problem does little. Finding a solution for all the problems? Well people have been trying for a long time, without much success. Unless we can cut the global population in half within the next quarter century, the planet will no longer be capable of supporting our growing numbers. Doubling rate is 40 years and dropping. The issue at hand is not how do we feed the growing number of mouths, but how do we decrease that number. China has been experiencing this for a long time, and their solution was government regulated population control. The rest of us must either follow suit or die.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 05:04 PM
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Actualy the best solution is to control the population to where there is ballance. Too many mouths to feed and not enough land. Eventualy a plague or some other natural event will do the trick ... or we will kill each other off. BOOM plenty of land now err a bit radioactive and bio/chem posioned but the mutants will love it and ohh what a lovely view of the glowing sky.

Actualy, terraforming Mars would not be that dificult. It is jus a matter of getting started. In the meantime we could build habitats on the surface and underground to live on Mars. I'm ready, just let me pack my bags and I'll sign up. While we are there, will someone dump a bunch of blue/green algae into the atmosphere of Venus to eat up some of that CO2 and turn it into O2. Thanks.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by Terapin
Actualy, terraforming Mars would not be that dificult. It is jus a matter of getting started.


And time. Lots and lots of time.

I dunno how great a population control system is, or how popular it would be. I'd personally rather just be a whole lot smarter than we're being right now and not knock off a billion people. It's much better for the human race as a race to not have that sort of thing on its hands.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 09:05 PM
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I know y'all are talking about hydroponics and terraforming, but I can't resist pointing out that only NASA could spend $45,000,000 reinventing Mexican mazapan (space food sticks).

Ever asked yourself why we mostly grow annual plants for food, when tree crops only require initial planting for years of yield?

And why 'un-natural' food plants like corn show signs of genetic manipulation?

I think maybe this has been tried before- by a previous technical civilization trying to ride out an ice age. Just a hunch.

Annual plants make good greenhouse subjects- underground, undersea, and on the moon, mars, and beyond.

Take a close look at a northern Army base sometime- thar's greenhouses in them woods. An Army travels on its stomach.

Back to Mexico. South/Central Americans already invented the cultivated hydroponic lake thingy. It works great- Mexico City was like this, filled with fish and corn when Cortez showed up. Excellent idea.


apc

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 12:28 AM
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I'd personally rather just be a whole lot smarter than we're being right now and not knock off a billion people.

This is essentially what population control now would be. No need to 'knock off' anyone, just restrict pregnancy. Chinese are allowed 1.5 kids right?
If everyone else did the same, or less, we could reach a stable population level after just two generations. Sucks this would require the cooperation of everyone on the planet, which would only happen under a world government.. which would probably trigger a nuke fight anyway so who knows..
Yeah... nature is very good at finding balance, and being a part of nature, we will be 'balanced' one way or another.



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 03:45 AM
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Space food?


Well ok.what kind of space food you talkin bout Willis?

I mean after all....."SIOLENT GREEN WAS PEOPLE!!!"



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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While the notion of terraforming and farming on Mars has quite a great deal of merit, one thing that we must consider about Mars is that it does not have a protective magnetic field like Earth does. This is one of the most common theories behind why Mars appears to once have had life and running water, yet no longer does. Without the magnetic fields surrounding the planet, any body in space that comes within close proximity to the planet can actually "steal" the atmosphere on the planet. Moreover, any body crashing into the planet can send much of the surface matter into space. This is how we've been able to find asteroids that are apparently from Mars, here on Earth. While the Martian surface may be suitable for farming, we would need some means of protecting the farms from matter in space. Magnetizing an entire planet is an incredible feat to tackle, and not even close to possible with the technology we have now. The biodome idea holds more merit, though it would need some form of protection against meteor hits, which are far more common on Mars because of its lack of magnetic fields (The magnetic field surrounding Earth deflects most small asteroids that would otherwise impact the surface - those that make it through the magnetic fields often burn up before impact).

I still think it's a great idea with the prospects of visiting Mars in the next couple of decades. It could feasibly be implemented and operational within the next 100 years (of course, by then, who knows? We might have Star Trek style food replicators, and this entire discussion is moot).



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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Some have a theory that ceasing the farming of cattle n sheep to free up land for growing crops may stave off hunger! Personaly i think a few billion dollatrs would be better spent on desalinsation plants on the worlds coasts and pumping sewage into deserts instead of the seas!
Imagine how much food you could in the worlds deserts if they weremade fertile! not to mention the jobs created, extra space for housing. planting trees by the millions would hold the newly fertilised soil together.
no doubt some fat cat would say "its not $$$ feasible" yet they'll spend trillions in space, go figure!

[edit on 023131p://03052 by instar]



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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I think people living longer lives is more the cause of the problem than people having babies.
It's one thing to deny humans the right to reproduce and I wonder when China...er, who will be the first to deny them the right to live...
That technology is easily available.



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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A movie called "logans run" comes to mind. futuristic sci-fi in which folk are "terminated" at 30 yrs when an implanted device in there hand goes off! scvarey though! Maybe we can populate the oceans aka "waterworld" (kevin costner)



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