TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Session 9: Grow- Dickson Despommier

The rise of vertical farming. Pun quasi-intended.

We came from a biosphere. We’ve added the word “bio” to “geochemical”. We have a technosphere too. The world, life, it’s all cyclical.

Biosphere + technopshere = best of both worlds
His metaphor: that’s little getting your peanut butter in my chocolate…

All people are born entitled to these:
2.3 liters of drinking water
2000 calories of safe food

How do we do this?

The challenges are great. Population is growing wildly and he has NO problem with that, we just need to make sure we can all live healthily ever after…

We’re using too much of our resources to make food—herbicides, fossil fuels to transport food and food materials, fresh water run off… Then we don’t even use all of the food. Agricultural runoff is responsible for destroying estuaries and the oceans.

How can we make the world support the world? We’ve done so many things already, let’s grow food in another way. What if we did it without soil? 8,000 tons of produce in the South Pacific during WWII to support the troups. And then we forgot about that. But we have the technology to raise food in urban settings. Vertical Farming.

Advantages of Vertical Farm
1. no agricultural run off (all water used to farm is recycled)
2. year round crop production (no off-season)
3. no crop loss due to severe weather [how does he avoid that? Aren’t cities affected by weather?]
4. uses 70% less water. no use of fossil fuels b/c of no ploughing
5. restoration of damaged ecosystems

[chel’s big question: plants need air, plants get all sorts of things from the air. What about the plants “breathing in” smog?]

then the slide show of a kazillion beautiful ways to implement these. I hope NYC gets that kinda architectural jewelry, I’m a fan.

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