Earth Now Needs Agricultural Worlds

In their recent Living Planet Report for this year, the World Wildlife Federation is suggesting that this planet's resources won't be enough for us.


(Living Planet Report [pdf])

The Earth’s biocapacity is the amount of biologically productive area – cropland, pasture, forest, and fisheries – that is available to meet humanity’s needs.

Since the late 1980s, we have been in overshoot - the Ecological Footprint has exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity - by about 25%.

Effectively, the Earth’s regenerative capacity can no longer keep up with demand – people are turning resources into waste faster than nature can turn waste back into resources.

A moderate business-as-usual scenario, based on United Nations projections of slow, steady growth of economies and populations, suggests that by 2050, humanity’s demand on nature will be twice the biosphere’s productive capacity.

SF writers have worked out the answer - agricultural worlds like those envisioned by Isaac Asimov's 1951 classic Foundation:

Daily, fleets of ships in the tens of thousands brought the produce of twenty agricultural worlds to the dinner tables of Trantor....
(Read more about agricultural worlds)

Larry Niven came to the same conclusion in his awardwinning 1970 novel Ringworld. In the story, creatures called Puppeteers are herd animals; they number in the hundreds of billions on their homeworld. There is only one way to feed that many beings:

"We moved our world to a tenth of a light year's distance, keeping the primary only as an anchor. We needed the farming worlds and it would have been dangerous to let our world wander randomly through space. Otherwise we would not have needed a sun at all."

"We had brought suitable worlds from nearby systems, increasing our agricultural worlds to four, and setting them in a Kemplerer [sic] Rosette."
(Read more about the Kemplerer (Klemperer) Rosette.)

Of course, an alternative to finding and developing additional planets and their resources would be to more intelligently and conservatively use the resources of the one planet we have.

From WWF via io9.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/2/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )

Related News Stories - (" Food ")

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.' - Robert Heinlein, 1949.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...' - Anthony Boucher, 1943

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.