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Old 08-26-2013, 05:01 AM   #881 (permalink)
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One application - preventing the production of lignin in woodlike plants, yielding glucose instead - can have enormous implications for food and ethanol production.
It could end famine. It could be a renewable source of cheap fuel. The stakes are high.

That said, there may be other ways than genetic modification to block the enzyme that produces lignin in plants. Who knows.

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #882 (permalink)
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GMO have dubious benefits and the risks are fairly large:

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides are totally unsustainable - because they use finite resources, and they kill off the natural processes in the soil *that we completely depend on*. This method of farming causes huge erosion problems and it poisons our water and causes dead zones in the ocean and contribute about 20% of our overall greenhouse gas emissions. And, we are using up the available deep aquifers, as well.

We cannot continue factory farming; for many reasons. GMO's are case-in-point to what we are doing wrong.

Climate change is forcing our hand, by making it obvious that we are farming in an unsustainable way.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #883 (permalink)
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Nitrogen fixing bacteria will enable all plants to get nitrogen without fertilizer
Quote:
Nitrogen fixing bacteria will enable all plants to get nitrogen without fertilizer
A major new technology has been developed by The University of Nottingham, which enables all of the world’s crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilizers.
 
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #884 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
GMO have dubious benefits and the risks are fairly large:

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides are totally unsustainable - because they use finite resources, and they kill off the natural processes in the soil *that we completely depend on*. This method of farming causes huge erosion problems and it poisons our water and causes dead zones in the ocean and contribute about 20% of our overall greenhouse gas emissions. And, we are using up the available deep aquifers, as well.

We cannot continue factory farming; for many reasons. GMO's are case-in-point to what we are doing wrong.

Climate change is forcing our hand, by making it obvious that we are farming in an unsustainable way.
Again, though... resistance to chemicals is only one use of GM techniques... and any issues with the chemicals is not limited to GMOs. Neither are they used exclusively with GMOs.

GM has the potential to "fix" issues with current crop breeds, whose natural resistances to diseases, toxins and harsh environments have been bred out over millenia of overbreeding.

Don't blame the technique for issues with industrial farming in general.
 
Old 08-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #885 (permalink)
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If we make methane from sewage or farm waste (plant and animal) in anaerobic digesters, after the methane comes out, the remaining slurry is a fixed nitrogen fertilizer.

Think about that for a second.

We get pure methane from a renewable source, and we get a high quality natural fertilizer. So, instead of an energy sink that kills off the life in the soil, we get energy out that we can use AND we get living constantly improving soil.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:58 PM   #886 (permalink)
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Oh, I totally agree with that. In fact, one of our business subsidiaries is a farm that has a methane generator. Saves them two or three thousand dollars a month in electricity. Pretty good investment.
 
Old 08-26-2013, 10:12 PM   #887 (permalink)
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And, it should also replace the fertilizer. The best part is because it is fixed nitrogen, it does not dissolve and wash away in the first rainfall or watering.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:38 AM   #888 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
GMO have dubious benefits and the risks are fairly large:

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides are totally unsustainable - because they use finite resources, and they kill off the natural processes in the soil *that we completely depend on*. This method of farming causes huge erosion problems and it poisons our water and causes dead zones in the ocean and contribute about 20% of our overall greenhouse gas emissions. And, we are using up the available deep aquifers, as well.

We cannot continue factory farming; for many reasons. GMO's are case-in-point to what we are doing wrong.

Climate change is forcing our hand, by making it obvious that we are farming in an unsustainable way.
The thing is GM are just techniques, tools if you like. Just because it is possible to hit your thumb with a hammer doesn't mean the hammer shouldn't be used to drive in a nail.

Industrial farming the way it is currently done is indeed unsustainable. Whether or not a version of it will still exist in a world that doesn't use fossil fuels and, ultimately, with a steady state economy, I don't know.

Even small scale urban farming could see benefits from using GM crops though. Possibly, because the environment is different from industrial farming, a lot.

Methane from sewage or food waste is a good thing but the energy embodied in the methane is relatively small. Enough to run the sewage plant plus a bit is usually about it.

GM has potential there too, in creating more efficient micro-organisms for the sewage-to-methane-plus-fertilizer conversions.
 
Old 08-27-2013, 05:08 AM   #889 (permalink)
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I sure am glad I never got in on this thread. When i saw the thread title, i knew it was going to take off like a rocket, and sure enough it did.
So, yah I sure am glad that i never posted anyt.....
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:38 PM   #890 (permalink)
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Article related to the original topic... US could reclaim role as net energy exporter - Features - Al Jazeera English

 
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