The top 8 commodities, such as corn, wheat, soy and rice, provide more than 80% of human calories.
All commodities have followed the same basic pattern. yields prices
These patterns put more marginal land into production -- and increase the use of chemicals, fossil fuels, and water. 19502000 Global Fertilizer Use
Since 1945, severe or extreme soil degradation has affected an area larger than India and China.
Stark warning that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted: Recommends radical changes in the way nature is treated at every level of decision-making. Source: Living Beyond Our Means: Natural Assets and Human Well-Being. Statement from the Board of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. March 2005 THE UN MILENNIUM ASSESSMENT, 2005 “Resilience and abundance can no longer be confused with indestructibility and infinite supply.”
1 Limits To Growth Study, 1972 & 2004 Natural Resources Industrial Output Food Population Pollution Source: Dennis Meadows, 2004
MODERN DAY MYTHS The earth is a subsidiary of our economies The earth has infinite resilience and productivity to meet whatever humans need “Externalities” are real, but because they are not on our P&Ls or Balance Sheets, they don’t exist and no one is accountable.
USA WASTES MORE ENERGY THAT JAPAN USES …… WORLD’S 3 RD LARGEST GDP
RENEWABLE ENERGY COST TRENDS Levelized cost of energy in constant 2005$ Source: NREL Energy Analysis Office (www.nrel.gov/analysis/docs/cost_curves_2005.ppt) 1 These graphs are reflections of historical cost trends NOT precise annual historical data. DRAFT November 2005 Cost of Oil In cents/kwh
RE-MOOABLE ENERGY Wanner Dairy Farm Navron, Pennsylvania, USA Anaerobic digester for manure from 600 cows feeds an electric generator Environmental benefits: Avoids methane emissions from manure Replaces local coal-generated electricity Eliminates propane and oil use on the farm Provides watershed protection from reduced runoff Economic benefits to the farm: Two new commodities for sale: electricity & carbon offsets Financial credits for reduced runoff Reduced and predictable on-farm heat and power costs Digested and dried manure reduces animal bedding costs Positive PR value for the farm
Sustainable agricultural practices –Cane is green harvested, not burned –Waste streams from production recycled for soil building or power generation –Biological pest control program uses beneficial insects and natural predators –Fields reconfigured to prevent soil erosion Payoffs –Green harvesting saves 40K tonnes CO 2 /yr & 3.5 million liters water/hr at mill –90% reduction in pest damage –Increased biodiversity (189 species of birds, reptiles, and mammals) –Increasing groundwater quality and volume BRAZIL SUGAR: A BIG ECOLOGICAL AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS STORY 10% increase in yields & 50% reduction in cost premium in 5 years