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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking up numbers and doing math on calories of oil as opposed to calories of food. After a SHTF scenario I would like to have a better understanding of how to more efficiently use and fit in with the natural ecosystem around me.

I have all kinds of calculations I could put down here, but I would bore everyone to death them. In the process of looking up information and numbers I ran across this article entitled "The oil we eat". This is a great article and showcases just the position we are in globally with food and oil. Here is a link to the article, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915
 

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I spent quite a bit of time reading and digesting the story. I'm sure it is full of facts.

However, It is also a liberal rant.....................................

If we were all vegetarians we would consume much less fossil fuels. Should we feel guilty for consuming a steak that depleted the world of fossil fuels in the making? This is the articles Philosophical point.

Modern technologies make modern farming methods possible. As availability of fuel or modern fertilizers diminish things will change, regardless of Philosophies.
 

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It struck me as a pile of Bravo Sierra with a load of political masturbation tossed in.

I have several issues with the vegetarian mantra. The first is the crops they advocate -- six simple carbs crops -- are behind most of the illnesses of modern man. It is also access to simple carbs that sustains poverty. More so, increases in carb crops does not mean better health. It just means more people and more people still eating poorly. Less people, better food is the solution, not more fuel to the roaring fire.

As for opils... fat is essential for survival. You can live without carbs as long as you have access to protein and fat. Every survival scheme has to include fat of some kind in some manner. Animal fat, nut oil, kernel oil. Without them life is not possible.

Oh... If there is a SHTF situation vegetarians will be the first to die, which leave more food for everyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't get the vegetarian comments....?


The guy blasted vegetarians in the article... and is not a vegetarian himself.... the last of the article is him shooting an Elk which supplys his familys meat for the year...


Did you actually read the article?...


The whole point was basically that when we moved as a species from hunter gatherer to "Farming" we started this process of destroying our own eco system.

The next point is that we are currently using 10 calories of petroleum products to produce every 1 calorie of food. Within a limited system of energy that spells certain undeniable mathematical doom...

Each and every U.S citizen uses many times the energy needed, this causes a great imbalance within our ecosystems. Provided a SHTF scenario does at some point happen this gives the opportunity to make a change. Will you have enough knowleadge to make a change or will you go right back to destroying your own environment.

I have spent thousands of hours educating myself on this one point alone, I understand the math and numbers well, the practical end of it seems a bit more illusive. Where do you draw the line how much is acceptable, do we need to live as cave men or is certain degree of technology a good thing for the environment around us.

This article very well states the position we are in, it does nothing for an answer... I want to know the answer... My mind is good at figuring things out, but I have my specific perpective, I need the perspective of others to temper and modify my own perspective. If you could put in some intelligent comment relating to this great. Dissing on vegetarians, which the article was "not" about makes no sense.
 

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The whole point was basically that when we moved as a species from hunter gatherer to "Farming" we started this process of destroying our own eco system.
Man has "altered" the ecosystem from the earliest days of farming. So has natural disasters, extinctions, Ice Ages,etc.
 

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The next point is that we are currently using 10 calories of petroleum products to produce every 1 calorie of food. Within a limited system of energy that spells certain undeniable mathematical doom...
I would think this 10 to 1 ratio varies wildly according to geographic area and farming methods. But yes, a lot of energy and mass goes into making the crops.

I didnt see sludge accounted for anywhere in there, in essence this can be recycled fertilizer for some crops.

The market determines what can be used on crops to get them to grow. The energy is currently abundant, from a financial perspective.

Things will change, most likely slowly.
 

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Each and every U.S citizen uses many times the energy needed, this causes a great imbalance within our ecosystems.
Yep, Americans are still living the high life, some would say rightly so. We have modified our ecosystem to a artificially stabilized ecosystem.
 

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I have spent thousands of hours educating myself on this one point alone, I understand the math and numbers well, the practical end of it seems a bit more illusive. Where do you draw the line how much is acceptable, do we need to live as cave men or is certain degree of technology a good thing for the environment around us.
Supply and Demand will take care of this for us. How much are you willing to pay for your food, before you grow/raise your own.
 

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Dissing on vegetarians, which the article was "not" about makes no sense.

Re-read the part on "Vegetarians". In theory they could say "not me". But in reality this is usually not so.

It takes less "energy" to produce a pound of vegetables than a pound of beef. Why dont we all just become vegetarians and do the planet a favor :rolleyes:

We are now into Philosophy, I think my body was designed for Omnivore operation, others will disagree.
 

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Quoted from the link
The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.—Balzac
Your first clue that it was a sack of crap was the BallSack quote it started with.

Which translated means "all wealthy people are crooks".

Then there's the title about oil from Iraq. We get most of our oil from Canada and Mexico.

The rest was just a sad boring read, about how man has damaged the earth by plowing it. To this dweeb an field full of weeds feeding grasshoppers is more valuablethan a field full of wheat to feed people.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re-read the part on "Vegetarians". In theory they could say "not me". But in reality this is usually not so.

It takes less "energy" to produce a pound of vegetables than a pound of beef. Why dont we all just become vegetarians and do the planet a favor :rolleyes:

We are now into Philosophy, I think my body was designed for Omnivore operation, others will disagree.


Yes, he states that is what vegetarians claim, and states that is true, but then goes on to point out the damage we are doing to the environment to create that vegetarian food and the fact that it in the end the math ads up to an abrupt end at some point in the future.

His whole point was that in the end the hunter gatherer was much less destructive to the environment, that farming was the beginning of our downfall as a species. Personally I agree with that completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Supply and Demand will take care of this for us. How much are you willing to pay for your food, before you grow/raise your own.

I already grow and raise my own food, I also produce around 80 tons of grain each year for the rest of the country off of this place as well.
And all that grain is based solely on oil products....
 

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His whole point was that in the end the hunter gatherer was much less destructive to the environment
Destructive to what the previous environment was like. I would somewhat agree.



farming was the beginning of our downfall as a species. Personally I agree with that completely.
I'm not sure how you define "downfall"
 

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I already grow and raise my own food, I also produce around 80 tons of grain each year for the rest of the country off of this place as well.
And all that grain is based solely on oil products....
I admire your contribution to the breadbasket :thumb:
 

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His whole point was that in the end the hunter gatherer was much less destructive to the environment,
Hard not to agree with a fact. But the earth cannot support however many humans there are on it by hunting and gathering.

Not sure how many acres you have that you raise that 80 tons of grain on, but if it were allowed to go wild, how many people would it feed?

Also a hunter gatherer society would still be at the technological level of the American Indians, if not at a lower level.

That lifestyle would not support the many people who would be required to work in labs and factories that make all the things we call technology. As the rest of us would have to hunt and gather for them while they worked there, and that would probably not be possible.

It was agriculture that gave us the time to do other things besides spend our every waking moment hunting and gathering, and thus create the society we have now, one where we have penicillin and modern medicine and most people can live in an air conditioned house instead of a mud hut.

While it is true that a hunter gatherer society did less damage to the environment, in order to return to that life, about 80% of the human race would have to die off. So as attractive and romantic as the notion is, it's not even worth considering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hard not to agree with a fact. But the earth cannot support however many humans there are on it by hunting and gathering.

Not sure how many acres you have that you raise that 80 tons of grain on, but if it were allowed to go wild, how many people would it feed?

Also a hunter gatherer society would still be at the technological level of the American Indians, if not at a lower level.

That lifestyle would not support the many people who would be required to work in labs and factories that make all the things we call technology. As the rest of us would have to hunt and gather for them while they worked there, and that would probably not be possible.

It was agriculture that gave us the time to do other things besides spend our every waking moment hunting and gathering, and thus create the society we have now, one where we have penicillin and modern medicine and most people can live in an air conditioned house instead of a mud hut.

While it is true that a hunter gatherer society did less damage to the environment, in order to return to that life, about 80% of the human race would have to die off. So as attractive and romantic as the notion is, it's not even worth considering.

This being my exact point..... where do you draw the line if we were to start over again... How much technology and energy usage can you use before you go to far and hurt your environment..

I know everyone loves there gadgets and energy gobbling devices but they are not needed for basic survival. How does one go about figuring out what they can do without ill affect upon thier environment. If humans as a species continue as we are, technologically advanced as we are, we will go the way of the dinosaurs, and then our technology will have meant nothing.

We could have technology, but we cannot have the amount that we do now or the lifestyle that we do now. Somewhere between cave man and modern high tech society there is a solution but where along that line is it? How do I guide a community in post SHTF scenario to where we do not go down the road to destroying our own environment that gives us life in the first place, without living like cave men. This is my question, there is going to be a median somewhere, but where?


Almost forgot to answer the question...... I am on 200 acres... as far as how much it would produce if it were in a natural state... around 4 tons per acre not including the tree wieght, just grass, brush and weed growth included in this number. Wheat produces around 500 to 600 pounds per acre here as long as you put enough fertiliser on it. Barley produces around 1500 pounds per acre here and oats around 5,000 pounds per acre of oat hay. It actually produces a lot more food naturally than it does being farmed. The natural growth rate comes from my cutting down grass and weed growth from forest areas and that amount is actual weight not pie in the sky guesswork.
 

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This being my exact point..... where do you draw the line if we were to start over again... How much technology and energy usage can you use before you go to far and hurt your environment..



We could have technology, but we cannot have the amount that we do now or the lifestyle that we do now. Somewhere between cave man and modern high tech society there is a solution but where along that line is it? How do I guide a community in post SHTF scenario to where we do not go down the road to destroying our own environment that gives us life in the first place, without living like cave men. This is my question, there is going to be a median somewhere, but where?


The natural growth rate comes from my cutting down grass and weed growth from forest areas and that amount is actual weight not pie in the sky guesswork.

I guess the real question is, when we plow a field to plant wheat, are we destroying the environment, or improving it to better fit our needs?

When we build a city full of artificial caves, are we destroying or build a better environment for ourselves?


Yeah, man has done damage to the environment. But is everything man does damage? Is the simple act of cutting the earth with a plow damage?



The natural growth rate. It that usable mater such as food? Or does that include all organic matter that grows there?
 

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Re-read the part on "Vegetarians". In theory they could say "not me". But in reality this is usually not so.

It takes less "energy" to produce a pound of vegetables than a pound of beef. Why dont we all just become vegetarians and do the planet a favor :rolleyes:

We are now into Philosophy, I think my body was designed for Omnivore operation, others will disagree.
I think our teeth prove that we were meant to be omnivores.
 
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