Hydroponics vs. Climate Change – Part 2: Land of the Lost Food…

     It’s us versus the world. We’ve poisoned, polluted, attacked, neglected, and abused the planet almost as long as we’ve existed upon it. Eventually, the planet started to change and fight back. We’re like the schoolyard bullies who are finally experiencing what it’s like when someone fights back with a vengeance. We need to change our ways, repair the damage that is able to be repaired, and slow down the damage that is irreparable. Climate change has become Earth’s defense mechanism. It’s a coping strategy against our abusive behavior and our passive attitude towards its well being.

     In the past, one of the most important aspects of the agricultural sector was suitable land for the growing of crops. Suitable, as in the quality of land and soil, as well as in the amount of quality space available. As mentioned previously, one of the most negative effects of climate change is the destruction of suitable land for crops.

     Longer and more intense heat waves will lead to more excessive droughts. This in turn damages the quality of the land and requires more water usage (if the land itself is salvageable to begin with). The extreme, lengthy heat can sometimes damage the land beyond repair. Extremely arid climates will become more arid and have even less chance of sustaining crops. Other regions will experience insane amounts of rainfall and severely damaging floods, once again, damaging the little bit of suitable land so it cannot be used.

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     Also, regardless of climate change, our population keeps increasing at rapid rates. This means more land is being used up for places for people to live. This takes away more suitable crop land. The constant population explosion also causes more food to be required, but there’s less land available for said food. The destruction of land (through climate change and population) will also decrease quality land that could be used for pastures and feed supplies, which means less food for livestock, which means less livestock, which means even less food when even more is required.

     The extreme intensity and destructive nature of vicious storms is on the rise too. This is directly a result of climate change. These storms also cut short growing and harvest seasons and damage suitable land as well.

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     Hydroponics can be climate change’s kryptonite. (https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Hydroponics-Could-Offer-Solution-for-Climate-Change-Effects-on-Farming-509601141.html)

     Hydroponics can be grown in rural AND urban environments. Whether it’s a small setup for personal use, a large greenhouse for mass consumption, or even vertical setups in giant urban skyscrapers, the growing can be done basically anywhere and by anyone. So even if we’ve damaged the Earth too much so as to not be able to reverse the extreme changes in weather, we can at least not be completely reliant on “suitable land” in order to produce food for us and the rest of the world. (https://www.dw.com/en/feeding-the-world-of-the-future-is-hydroponics-the-answer/g-43838731)

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     This also means that more land is available to house our ever-increasing population, as well as leaving quality pasture land to be used as pastures. Being able to feed livestock without sacrificing crop land will also increase the food required to feed the obscene amount of people that inhabit this planet.

     Hydroponics can also recycle the majority of the water they use, which means that they can end up using only around 10% of the water that conventional farms use. This means that less water goes to waste so it can be used in other important ways. It also means that if (or unfortunately more than likely when) climate change causes irreversible damage to our natural water supplies, less of it will be required for us to survive and thrive. Using less water for crops also hopefully allows for more water to stay where it should be – which allows fish and other water-based creatures to thrive. Once again, allowing more quality food for consumption.

 

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