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Lecture #6 Murray State University Contemporary Issues In Agriculture.

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1 Lecture #6 Murray State University Contemporary Issues In Agriculture

2 High School Students Today is about issues that negatively contradict high yield farming. Before we begin, I must say that it is the position of Murray State University School of Agriculture to be in support of Agricultural methods that sustain life for the entire planet. This includes high yield farming! Throughout today’s lecture, I would ask that you continually ask yourselves the question, how is this going to help us with the year 2050 approaching?

3 Also before we begin: I am listing a couple of websites where you may pull articles that I have gathered this information from. Please read these articles. The attitudes conveyed in these articles are symbolic of the general opinion of the rest of the world that is anti- agriculture. Please note, they may raise some validity, however, ultimately we must ask the question: “Do we want large-scale farming? Or do we want large-scale starvation?”

4 Articles to print and read: I also understand that you may need to take a day to read these articles before discussing. This will be up to you and your teacher. Have fun! griBizClimate4-8short.pdf griBizClimate4-8short.pdf growing-concern-for-rural-residents growing-concern-for-rural-residents 10/08/when-is-wind-energy-noise-pollution 10/08/when-is-wind-energy-noise-pollution

5 Issues To Discuss Agriculture and Noise Pollution Is Noise Pollution Comparable to Odor? Agriculture and Air Quality- Are chemicals in the air unsafe? Chemical Drift Michael Pollan- Who he is: What he stands for: Why is writing the president? What three problems does he link to the industrial food system?

6 Does Agriculture Cause Noise Pollution? What is Noise Pollution? -annoying and potentially harmful environmental noise

7 Do Ag. Practices contribute to noise pollution? "When does wind become an unacceptable source of noise pollution?" “Since Fox Islands Wind installed 3 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines on the island community last fall, a group of residents within a half mile of the turbines have complained that the turbines are not only too loud, but sometimes psychologically disturbing.”

8 What does that mean? Psychologically disturbing? Is it possible that wind turbine noise may be psychologically disturbing? Is it possible to link wind turbine noise to hog or chicken barn odor?

9 Windmill’s create unpleasant noise “Experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have gone to the island to study both objective sound levels and subjective reactions to the turbines.”

10 Medical Illnesses? “Industrial Wind Turbines, Infrasound and Vibro- Acoustic Disease (VAD): May 31, 2007...Documented in a press release dated May 31, 2007 from the Vibro-Acoustic Disease (VAD) research group in Portugal, people living in the shadow of industrial wind turbines have moved a step closer to understanding the nature of the Wind Turbine Syndrome many of them experience and complain about.” (Save Western NY, 2007)

11 Why are we using wind anyway? A cost effective source of energy Technology already exists and is in place It is renewable and pollution free Other sources of energy are more environmentally damaging Other sources of energy are in dwindling supply Read more at Suite101: Wind Power As a Green Energy Source: Today's Energy: Clean Environmentally Friendly Wind Generators power-as-a-green-energy-source#ixzz0yKuC8OvyWind Power As a Green Energy Source: Today's Energy: Clean Environmentally Friendly Wind Generators power-as-a-green-energy-source#ixzz0yKuC8Ovy

12 Thus- An issue Though clean energy, wind energy still proposes a problem: NOISE. Thoughts? Should individuals living close to windmills have to deal with it? Should we take down windmills? Which is the lesser of two evils? Dirty energy or noise pollution?

13 Chemical Drift EPA will reconsider ban on chemical drift “The original proposal that EPA put forward on spray drift was a zero tolerance—essentially saying that if you sprayed any sort of chemical that had an adverse effect, that it would be a violation of the label.” (Brownfield Ag News, 2010) will-reconsider-ban-on-chemical-drift/ will-reconsider-ban-on-chemical-drift/ Please click on website and read the first few paragraphs. Thanks!

14 Zero Tolerance Should there be zero tolerance on chemical drift for agriculture chemicals? Why or why not? Is it too much to ask? Is it ridiculous? Are agriculture chemicals that harmful?

15 From the article from Isolated instances against drift. "My vineyard was burned real bad this spring. I can't tell the extent yet, but it's bad," Hahn said. "All my neighbors know I have grapes, and they all know what 2,4-D (drift) does to grapes, but someone used it.“ “Cal Snow, a retired high school teacher, has watched chemical drift from a nearby farm field billow over children playing in his subdivision south of Lacon.”

16 Discuss these cases: Should we do away with chemical spraying? Across Illinois Route 26 from Snow's subdivision, Gary Barnes, a retired minister, has filed complaints about chemical drift with the Illinois Department of Agriculture for 14 years. (PJ Star, 2009)

17 Is Agriculture a Contributor to Greenhouse emissions? “The largest single factor stoking global warming may be the industrial food system.” “The average meat-eating American devours 200 pounds of meat each year and contributes 2,520 grams of CO2 to the atmosphere every day.” (A Harvest of Heat, 2010)

18 Issues with the Green Revolution: “The Green Revolution, featuring “miracle seeds” fueled by an elixir of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, was supposed to end to world hunger.” “Turned out that injecting artificial accelerants into the ground was slowly destroying soil fertility (and spilling CO2 into the air).” (A Harvest of Heat, 2010)

19 Market Driven removal of forestry “In Latin America, deforestation is driven by the pressure to raise and export beef, soybeans and agrofuels.” “In Southeast Asia, large landowners are turning forests into palm oil plantations for cheap consumer products and agrofuel export.”

20 More Production = More CO2 “This market-driven devastation unleashes CO2, destroys self-sustaining rural communities and undercuts local food security.”

21 Inefficient “United States Farming practices typically require 10 calories of fuel to produce each calorie of food.” “In the US, meat, grains and produce travel an average of 1,500 miles before reaching the dinner table.”

22 The Agrofuel “Solution” “In 2005, the Global Forest Resources Assessment reported that tropical rainforests were vanishing at the rate of 100,000 acres every day.”

23 Rainforests are vital to the U.S. “One of the greatest threats to the world’s great forests — in the Amazon, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea — is the expansion of soy and palm oil plantations to produce cheap consumer goods (from body lotions to lipstick), animal feed and agrofuels.”

24 Agrofuel Boom “The agrofuel boom triggered by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act has fueled the expansion of large grain, biotech and oil companies.”

25 Michael Pollan’s Take on Agriculture Who is Michael Pollan? Author of: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto The Omnivore’s Dilemma Also- Professor of Journalism at University of Cal. Berkley Also- Co-Director of the movie Food, Inc. You will need to know these facts. (hint, hint)

26 Farmer in Chief “Make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change.”climate change (Pollan, 2008)

27 Continued Pollan: “After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent.“ “And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study.”

28 “1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy” “now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food” Activity: How many fossil fuel calories in a box of twinkies?

29 Healthcare issues: “Four of the top 10 killers in America today are chronic diseases linked to diet: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.” “national spending on health care went from 5 percent to 16 percent of national income, spending on food has fallen by a comparable amount- from 18 to 10 percent”

30 Organic Foods: “There is a gathering sense among the public that the industrial-food system is broken.” “Markets for alternative kinds of food — organic, local, pasture-based, humane — are thriving as never before.”

31 Sunlight Farming: “There are many moving parts to the new food agenda I’m urging you to adopt, but the core idea could not be simpler: we need to wean the American food system off its heavy 20th-century diet of fossil fuel and put it back on a diet of contemporary sunshine.”

32 Wartime Weapons become Farming Inputs: “After World War II, the government encouraged the conversion of the munitions industry to fertilizer — ammonium nitrate being the main ingredient of both bombs and chemical fertilizer — and the conversion of nerve-gas research to pesticides.”

33 Ambitious Goals: “These goals are admittedly ambitious, yet they will not be difficult to align or advance as long as we keep in mind this One Big Idea: most of the problems our food system faces today are because of its reliance on fossil fuels, and to the extent that our policies wring the oil out of the system and replace it with the energy of the sun, those policies will simultaneously improve the state of our health, our environment and our security”

34 3 Problems: What three problems would change, according to Michael Pollan, if agriculture could be “fixed.”

35 Big Questions on Michael Pollan 1. Can organic farming sustain life on the planet in the year 2050? 2. How do his proposals mimic the way we farmed 100 years ago? What was the American health like in 1910? 3. Is there validity to Michael Pollan’s ideas? 4. How does Michael Pollan contradict Norman Borlaug’s philosophy? 5. Who would win in a fight? Michael Pollan or Norman Borlaug? Or Chuck Norris?

36 Comparative Analysis: Activity: Grab a partner On one side of the page put Norman Borlaug. On the other side put Michael Pollan. Draw a line down the center. Now compare and contrast the two. How are they alike? How are they different?

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