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1 What is INFO? FEA, Unicamp Enrique Ortega Ecological Engineering Lab. Fourth Emergy Conference University of Florida Gainesville, January 19-21, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "1 What is INFO? FEA, Unicamp Enrique Ortega Ecological Engineering Lab. Fourth Emergy Conference University of Florida Gainesville, January 19-21, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 What is INFO? FEA, Unicamp Enrique Ortega Ecological Engineering Lab. Fourth Emergy Conference University of Florida Gainesville, January 19-21, 2006 in agriculture.Information role INFO Agro-eco- systems A report of a work in progress

2 2 As shown in Figure 1, information could be a external force that affects the processes of an economic system. Figure 1. Emergy diagram of Argentina (Ferreyra, 2001)

3 3 But even that information is recognized as a force and its symbol is drawn in systems diagrams, until now, as far as we know, its role in agricultural systems has not been explained nor measured. Valuable discussion on general aspects has been made (Odum, 1976; Odum, 2000; Brown, 2005) but in the case of agricultural systems, as it can be observed in next figure, obtained from Folio 4 (Brandt-Williams, 2001), the main reference for emergy calculation does not include the symbol and does not discuss the issue.

4 4 Figure 2. Emergy diagram of inputs evaluated for products of Florida Agriculture (Brandt-Williams, 2001)

5 5 The concept of information After reading several authors, I think that human information can be defined as the stocks, flows and processing of signals, data, codes, symbols, ideas, concepts, images, emotions, feelings, smells, memories, knowledge structures and life-style. Information is emitted by a system and can be interpreted, used and transformed by other one.

6 6 The concept of information The sequence of processes through raw data become information, knowledge, science, technology, know-how, local public policy, foreign policy and finally norms and laws within a country or in other regions is shown in the next figures. Please remember that our main focus is information for agriculture or food production.

7 7 Infra- structure Processing& consumption $ Investments Innovations, INFO:ideological frame Soybean production unit Local atmosphere Soil and local biodiversity inputs Local Sustainable Forces Output for External Consumption $Money stocks and flows Atmosphere Regional biodiversity $ International Debt($) Integrated diversified production Agriculture fields R

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9 9 The concept of INFO

10 10 At least two kinds of INFO

11 11 Social and environmental impacts of knowledge in Capitalism Social and environmental products of dominance INFO Local and global environmental degradation Raw information Information processing structures Knowledge for dominance Human Values for Dominium of Nature Wealth concentration, Loss of Ethical frames, Excessive consumption, Waste Social exclusion, Jobless,Misery, Violence Knowledge for dominance structures Human Values for Economical Domination Dominance INFO

12 12 Biosphere and culture recovering knowledge Renewable resources Brazilian production $ International Monetary Fund (IMF) $ International enterprises investments Animal products and wastes Industrial processing for oil and feed Human values and explanations for Domination Local non-renewable resources External non-renewable resources Monetary resources ($) Economic production Europe&China consumption Subsoil water eutrophication, air and river pollution Monetary resources ($) Local banks and investors ($) External Public Debt($) Private Debt($) Internal Public Debt($) Human diet use Local government actions Forest destruction Public services reduction Human industrial activities Local governs ($) Rural exodus &Immigration Non renewable fossil fuel resources and minerals Ecological and social Debt($) Ecological and social Debt($) Ecological and social Debt($) How?When? Whom? To whom? Local enterprises investments ($) Pandora box and the hope Hope is the name of a girl … that does not accept the system and makes questions!

13 13 The information system in detail for measuring (next step)

14 14 The force of information or knowledge is not neutral; it is linked to the ethical values of the scientific and economic frames where it is created. Within the Capitalism INFO usually means new technology but behind that image there is an ideological and military force used for its expansion all over the world. The force of knowledge is not always positive to the system that receives it; usually at present circumstances, it has a negative impact because it will transform the system for the benefit of that one that generates the information.

15 15 But INFO can be, also, a positive force if the knowledge belongs to a correct scientific framework. I can constitute a clear perception of how the world and how its ecosystems work. It can be also an unbiased and beneficial knowledge. So, there are at least two kinds of information; lets take care with this great force.

16 16 The concept applied to soybean farming In capitalist agriculture, INFO is the external technological, political, ideological and economical coercion force used to control an agricultural system for the benefit of chemical and biotechnological industries. But, as Capitalism is not completely monolithic, in Brazil besides that INFO another information forces act in the agriculture and they provide support for ecological, organic and old-agricultural tradition farms.

17 17 The concept applied to soybean farming Table 1 was built to show the links between type of farming with main Scientific Approach and Consumption System for the Brazilian Soybean Production Systems.

18 18 Type of farm, number of farmers, size and supporting INFO. Chemical systems Biotechnological systems Ecological family-managed small farm (25 000) haAgroecology and forestry and cattle husbandry; Local markets; Payment of environmental services. Organic producer (500)300 haOrganic Agriculture, Permaculture and Slow Food Movement; Organic foreign markets. Chemical inputs small farm (500000) 5-30 haAgrochemistry; Local markets. Chemical inputs medium farm (20000) 300 haAgrochemistry and Biotechnology; Commodities foreign markets. Chemical inputs big farm (5000) 3000 ha or more Agrochemistry and Biotechnology; Commodities foreign markets. Biological systems

19 19 Recently in Brazil, when important political and economical decisions concerning the use of transgenic soybean seeds were taken by federal government, at Congress audiences the discussion did not consider the biological farming only the chemical and biotechnological farming. That kind of production was not considered even the small farmers are responsible for almost 20 % of production.

20 20 But, as we are going to show in the next paragraphs the biological systems give the bigger benefits for the producing country. The information of biological farming was completely omitted! And the information of the biotechnological option was overwhelming. Maybe because the main concern was to obtain money (to pay debt) from sales to foreign markets and from this perspective it is more effective to deal with big size farmers that could have rapid answers.

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22 22 Inputs classificationEquation EcologicalOrganicChemicalBio-tech. 1,0E+13 sej/ha/yr Renewable resources from NatureR=Max(Renewables)253,1252,9251,5 Non renewable resources from NatureN=Sum(Non renewables)2,327,4380,862,9 I = R + N255,4280,3632,3314,4 Materials from EconomyM=Sum(Materials)26,352,6169,3200,7 Local LaborL=Sum(Labor)22,918,08,74,7 Services from EconomyS=Sum(Services)13,214,615,715,8 ExternalitiesX=Sum(Externalities)4,127,896,2133,2 F = M + L + S + X66,5113,0289,8354,5 Emergy usedY= I + F321,8393,3922,1668,9 Mass of productskg dry matter/ha/yr2968,0 3500,03430,0 Mass of env. productskg dry matter/ha/yr685800, ,0 Total mass of outputkg dry matter/ha/yr688768, ,054865,0 1,0E+10 J/ha/yr Energy of products 7,2 8,58,4 Energy of services 0,3 0,0 Output energy 7,6 8,58,4

23 23 Sales of productsDollars592,0 620,0 Value of Env. ServicesEm-dollars100,7 7,6 Value of output if env. services were paid692,7 627,6 Costs 168,6230,5523,3598,1 Private Profit 423,4361,596,721,9 Externalities 11,075,0260,0360,0 Social Profit 412,4286,5-163,3-338,1 Area of farm Monthly profit / Farm 529,39037,82418,15476,2 Real monthly profit / Farm 641,49680,8-3893, ,3 Real monthly profit / haProductivity42,832,3-13,0-27,5 Emergy IndicesEquationEcologicalOrganicChemicalBio-tech. Transformity (sej/J)Tr=Y/E=Emergy/Energy4,3E+045,2E+041,1E+058,0E+04 Transformity (sej/kg)Tr=Y/M=Emergy/Dry Mass4,7E+095,7E+091,7E+111,2E+11 RenewabilityRen=(100)*(R/Y)78,6%64,3%27,3%37,6% Emergy Yield RatioEYR=Y/F4,843,483,181,89 Emergy Investment RatioEIR=F/I0,260,400,461,13 Emergy Exchange RatioEER=Y/EmS1,812,214,963,60 Emergy Sustainability IndexESI=EYR/EIR18,68,66,91,7

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30 30 Area of farm Monthly profit / Farm529,39037,82418,15476,2 Real monthly profit / Farm641,49680,8-3893, ,3 Real monthly profit / ha42,832,3-13,0-27,5

31 31 Monsanto research and marketing costs; Political Lobby and Military costs; Specific subsidies for certain farmers; Biospheres opportunity costs! It is still necessary to include as INFO:

32 32 Final considerations There is a biosphere need of a new culture and, as part of it, a economy based in expanded emergy analysis; It is important to understand the information process to promote Auto-Organization; (a) Develop efforts between Open Science, Open Religion, Open Social Movements; (b) Maintain Conscious Courage and Creativity and keep Patience and Hope.

33 33 Sub-systems The future! NR R The present ! Agenda 21 World Social Forum Collective Intelligence Oil producing countries Industrialized countries Raw-materials producing countries Global System World System R Open religion movement Social movements Ethical Renascence

34 34 Just a pair of the cited references: Maria Cecilia Ferreyra, 2001.Emergy perspectives on the Argentine economy and Food production systems of the rolling pampas during the twentieth century. Master of Science Thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. Sherry L. Brandt-Williams (2001) Folio #4 (2nd printing): Emergy of Florida Agriculture, August 2001, Revised September Center for Environmental Policy. Environmental Engineering Sciences, Box University of Florida, Gainesville,

35 35 Thanks for your attention! More of these at:

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