Creating arable land.

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by Brett Nortje, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Brett Nortje

    Brett Nortje Well-Known Member

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    In Ethiopia - that is what this is based on - there is only fifteen percent arable land to feed more than a hundred million people. That means that there needs to be more land to feed people domestically, yes? Of course. It is safe to say that most of Ethiopia is a desert!

    Typically, farmers will drape their livestock around the outside of the area to create poop on the land to make it arable over time. Previously I have found spewing sewerage onto the non fertile land will make it fertile. Now, we need something faster and relatively cheap.

    If we were to 'heat the land,' there would be condensation and bacteria would grow. This means, of course, that if we were to observe global warming, there eventually would be plant growth in the desert for a while before it became inhospitable, yes? This is all very good and well, problem is we need the 'biomass' now! Who says life can only come from life - we can generate life with heat and water, the founding blocks of life.

    So, we want to simply heat the sand in patches and hope for rain. If something 'grows' now, it will remain in the soil until the rains falls and new bacteria grow to use the rain and debris as fuels. This means we could use 'radio waves' to heat the desert, a messy way to cheaply 'regenerate' the desert.

    These waves could carry radiation, like little creatures that are alive to revive the desert areas. These 'little things' would grow bigger and into something that seeds could 'eat,' along with rain and sunlight, we will have much arable land!
     
  2. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There is so much wrong with this I do not even know where to start.

    Let's just say your hypothesis is flawed.
     
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  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  4. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Arable land will soon be irrelevant. Greenhouse agriculture is 5-10 times as productive as open field agriculture per unit area, and can be done almost anywhere except at very high latitudes and altitudes. All that's needed is the greenhouses and workers, and robots will soon be able to supply both.
     
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  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, but the use of a greenhouse will dramatically raise the cost of food. Do you have any idea how expensive greenhouses are compared to open fields?
     
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  6. Brett Nortje

    Brett Nortje Well-Known Member

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    That is why I encourage 'a living wage.'

    Things like bread are rather cheap though... That is all we need! That and vegetables... oh, and cake!
     
  7. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Deserts are caused by Hadley cell circulation. If the globe warms they will move a little further north. You will not be able to change that.
     
  8. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    It will reduce the cost of food because greenhouses built by robots out of materials produced by robots will be cheaper than the land to put them on. In some parts of the world, a large fraction of the fresh fruit and vegetables is ALREADY being produced in greenhouses BECAUSE it is cheaper than open field agriculture: you don't have to suffer pests or weather. This trend will only accelerate.
     
  9. mamooth

    mamooth Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Most desert locations are unsuitable for greenhouses. Greenhouses need water. There isn't any. End of story.

    Desert greenhouses are only viable near a coastline, where they can desalinate seawater (in a low-energy-consuming manner), and also use the seawater to cool the greenhouses during the day.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seawater_greenhouse
     
  10. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. Modern greenhouses can use very little water -- orders of magnitude less than open-field agriculture -- and there is always water, even if it is only atmospheric water vapor. It's just a question of how hard it is to get it. Again, robots and solar power will make the cost of water effectively zero within a few decades.
    Wrong again. Future greenhouses in hot desert areas will simply use part of the incident sunlight to grow the crops, capturing the rest for conversion to electrical power. Instead of glass, they will use hybrid panels that are part transparent, part solar cells. To control temperature, they will use heat pumps and reservoirs of water as thermal ballast.
    Failure of imagination.
     
  11. mamooth

    mamooth Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Not even close. It's more like half of open-field agriculture. And that's a lot of water.

    With no "cold sink" such as ocean water available, it requires electrically-driven refrigeration to pull water vapor out of air. To get the necessity water for a greenhouse would require massive amounts of electricity. Nobody in deserts uses refrigeration to pull water out of the air now, because of the high cost. Counting on a techno-miracle of near-zero-cost solar power is not being realistic.
     
  12. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    No it's not:

    https://www.thenational.ae/uae/envi...armers-90-per-cent-on-water-unveiled-1.131702

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3044103...ouse-waters-itself-and-then-makes-clean-drink

    You're just wrong.
    Solar powered. In the desert, soon maybe the cheapest power ever. The cold sink can be created by using the chill of the desert night to cool a cistern full of water. It's just a question of arranging things to take advantage of desert conditions rather than fight them.
    Not necessarily, as proved in the link above.
    Standard refrigeration technology is not appropriate for the purpose.
    Actually, it is, because AI is on the trail of near-zero-cost everything.
     
  13. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    So, we are going to replace over 900 million acres of farmland with greenhouses. And that is just in the U.S. It aint gonna happen. At least not in your lifetime.
     
  14. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    As I understand the problem in Ethiopia isn' t a shortage of arable land, or even a shortage of food overall but a way to get the food to the people. The food rots waiting to be transported, I've heard that over and over, there and other places.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  15. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    That's not what I said. I said greenhouses can grow food where open-field agriculture is not feasible.
    It's not needed in the USA, and won't be in my lifetime. But in other countries it is.
     
  16. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    A desert greenhouse is part of the solution for feeding the starving in the third world. But I honestly think politics starves more people than anything else. I can just imagine building greenhouses and drilling water wells only to have them destroyed or taken over by some Warlord or religious nutcase.
     
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  17. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    Or some nutcase in general, be it a liberal, conservative, socialist, progressive, communist, collectivist, or something else?
     
  18. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Yes. The imbalance of power between producers and destroyers is a fundamental problem that only responsible, democratic government seems able to solve.
     
  19. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    And what would that democratic government policy entail? Practical detail would be nice.
     
  20. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between the policies democratic governments choose and the ones they would be best advised to choose. Practical detail will always depend on the specific political environment, so advocates of better policies can only offer principles and general strategies.

    One principle would be that money should not be created by private banks for profit (interest), but only by an independent Mint whose sole mandate is price stability. As a strategy, the Mint would deliver newly created money to the Treasury to spend into circulation, price stability would be measured by a delivery-value-weighted commodity price index, and the amount of money issued would be determined by a publicly known equation.

    Another principle would be that public revenue should be obtained by recovering publicly created value rather than appropriating privately created value, and directed to recouping costs imposed on the community by private activities. The strategy would be to focus on location rent recovery, market rents for exclusive use of natural resources like mineral deposits and broadcast spectrum, and Pigovian taxes on activities like pollution and alcohol consumption.

    A third principle would be to get the benefits of competition where possible, and prevent private exploitation of natural monopolies. The strategy would be to rely on markets to provide the services and infrastructure the community wants to buy where competition can yield efficiencies, and on public ownership where market failure and natural monopoly conditions make competition ineffective.
     
  21. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    What the heck is this guff? Reads like "lets have a Bank of England", but then implies some reinvention of what we mean by the money supply. Have you any credible macroeconomic source that supports your view in a coherent way?

    Is this a poorly written attempt at referring to Georgist land tax? The bobbins on Pigovian tax is okay if you want to go all neoclassical on me, but certainly regressive and of little importance (e.g. they have been next to useless in reacting to climate change)

    This is just neoclassical market failure dressed up as something more substantial. Natural monopoly is relatively rare and the selective use of nationalisation is already common practice.
     
  22. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    You already have one.
    No.
    https://www.michaeljournal.org/arti...ce-our-country-debt-free-say-three-economists
    No, it's a well-written explanation of morally defensible and economically beneficial taxes.
    <yawn>
    I have no qualms about imposing nominally regressive taxes that benefit the poor. Regressive taxes on cigarettes have discouraged smoking among the poor (though less than among the more affluent), and that is a public policy win.
    Taxes on alcohol and cigarettes have been quite effective in reducing their consumption.
    That is just a gratuitous sneer without content.
    Nationalization has been used where it is not appropriate, such as in education, and not used where it is, such as in payment clearing and money issuance.
     
  23. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a simple reaction against monetarism and a call to return to more coherent macroeconomics, free of the baggage associated with neoliberalism. However, you have wrong suggested some radical policy.

    Only well written in terms of trying to hide the Georgist land tax.

    Clearly equity is a concern beyond you! And Pigovian taxes have not been effective in reducing consumption of cigs and alcohol. Taxes have had to be implemented that are significantly above the externalities (often governments using them to revenue raise at the expense of the poor). Reductions have been achieved by ratcheting up regulations (E.g. no smoking in pubs)

    You've taken a policy that has been adopted for donkey years. You've then pretended you have something more than Econ 101.

    You achieve two outcomes here. First, you show that your understanding of externalities is skewed. Public sector provision of education is rational, given it is a merit good (and both efficiency and equity issues support it's use). Second, you demonstrate how you're prepared to be less than honest in your argument. You referred to natural monopolies. You then shift away from that when you're caught out referring to a policy that is already widely adopted.
     
  24. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what that last "sentence" might mean, or what you would call radical, but empowering private banksters to issue all the money has certainly had radical effects. Rescinding that privilege would indisputably be radical.
    Your nose is getting longer again.

    Though obviously similar in concept, justice, and efficiency, what I propose is not a Georgist land tax. The principal differences are:

    1. the universal individual exemption,
    2. purchase rental value exemption as a transition measure,
    3. direct computerized calculation of current rental value rather than use of exchange value as a proxy,
    4. use of fiat money issuance for national revenue with location subsidy repayment for junior government revenue, and
    5. inclusion of Pigovian taxes.
    You disgrace yourself again with such disingenuous filth.

    It is revealing, though, that you would advocate a higher incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome in the children of the poor, as it is a major contributor to their substandard life outcomes.
    They most certainly and indisputably have:

    https://openknowledge.worldbank.org...g0sin0and0virtue00.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/policy_june2015_tax_pricing_briefing.pdf

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3735171/

    Etc., etc., etc.

    As usual, I provide peer-reviewed evidence, you provide nothing but your baseless bloviation.
    False. The externalities of cigarettes and alcohol are far greater than the taxes on them. "Studies" to the contrary have simply failed to consider the bulk of the externalities, such as sub-clinical FAS.
    Again, flat false. Such regulations have barely made a dent without taxation, while taxation without regulation has been effective. See above.
    <yawn> Please quote a previous proposal resembling mine.

    Thought not.
    Please provide evidence that Econ 101 describes or supports the public revenue system I have proposed.

    Thought not.
    No, that's just you being objectively incorrect again.
    Wrong again. Public FUNDING of education is rational, but monopolistic state PROVISION of education gives up the advantages of competitive private provision. Education is not a natural monopoly, and public sector provision is grossly inefficient. See the USA.
    No, you are just, inevitably, accusing me of the sin of which you are yourself most guilty.
    Of course, you have to claim that stating facts of economics is "less than honest."
    Such claims are a filthy, despicable disgrace to your family's name. I never claimed that everything I propose is radically different from existing successful policies, so supporting wise policies that are already widely adopted is not being "caught out." You just had to make that false accusation to evade the fact that I have proved you wrong again.
     
  25. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    That you pretend the reaction against monetarism provides any new policy demonstrates how your position is pie in the sky fed by hot air.

    Thus made me laugh. You do everything you can to avoid disclosing a Georgist position. However, you really can't help yourself.

    You've bolted on some orthodox policies which are already widely adopted. The only question is whether that reflects your efforts to hide the Georgist tax approach, or because you are genuinely innocent about the economics involved. Reference to natural monopolies and Pigovian tax does suggest that you lack any economic insight.

    You do get terribly emotive when you struggle with sense.

    Your misinformation only highlights the dishonest tactics you've been forced to employ. I have no problem with the use of Pigovian tax. There just needs to be considered application. First, referring to the Coase Theorem, is there a property rights solution. Second, if such solutions aren't available (given Coase was ultimately describing the importance of transaction costs), how can progressivity elsewhere be ensured to ensure that equity issues are eliminated.

    You've referred to Pigovian taxes as if there are something novel. They aren't. They are already widely adopted.

    You clearly do not understand what peer reviewed means. For example, you have provided a pressure group report and suggested it does something that it does not. A Pigovian tax must refer to the internalisation of an externality. Instead you refer to evidence that refers to revenue raising. It is simple factual to note that cig and alcohol taxes which are ratcheted up every year are not Pigovian taxes. They are revenue raising taxes.

    Let's look at Britain. Of a packet costing £7.35, £5.37 went on tax. Please present one peer reviewed source that finds that tax burden is lower than the externalities involved. Good luck!

    So the British government did not need to make it illegal to smoke in pubs? It has no need to effectively make smoking illegal in public places? Wow, you should have mentioned it to them.

    The Pigovian tax us a classic example. That has been understood, and applied, for donkey years.

    Econ 101 has referred to the false debate between bastardised Keynesianism and Monetarism for yonks! All of your tag one have been mundane stuff which have been merely used to disguise the Georgism.

    This is low brow prance. Monoplistic outcomes merely refer to heterogeneous product. The reference to private provision is also a red herring. That continues to exist, including home schooling.

    There's a reason that public provision is the norm: education is crucial for a country's success. That's advertised, for example, in how growth theory has evolved (with human capital a critical element). Of course there are also equity issues. You again highlight how you underplay these issues in your Econ 101 argument.

    More emotive rant! You've taken neoclassical economics and pretended it is something more than it is. This informs me that you need to improve on your economics education.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018

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