Re: Sustainable UK population
- From: Jane Gillett <j.gillett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2006 08:15:29 +0100
In article <4hajdrF1qibbrU2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Jim Webster <Jim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"John Beardmore" <wookie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
In message <c3Nrg.23066$eQ.16056@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Toby Kelsey
Because of our better purchasing power the UK can avoid
problems for a while
but for how long? Less than ten years? Twenty?
purelyby for example importing food, but even from a
bynationalistic POV we need to adjust our population to a level supportable
It's tempting to agree with that, but where should the boundary be
'Survivalists' tend to draw it around their own veg patch and pig.
Cites tend to draw it around their surrounding countryside, islands tend
to draw it around their coasts, the EU is minefield of conflicting
interests, the world is incapable of collective action, and greed and
politics seem likely to keep it that way.
While none of these contenders for 'system of interest' seem that that
great, the UK coast seems fraught because of EU integration and
administrative frameworks. No doubt a number of people in u.b.a have
strong views on this, so I'll cross post it there... If you want to
know about food production, ask a farmer...
it really depends upon what you decide is a sustainable population. We could
probably be about 85% self sufficient in stuff that can be grown in our
climate without too much trouble.
But if you are going for sustainability and cutting down on inputs then
things will have to change. One big thing that could be done would be
stopping our current silly sewage system and revert to what we had a over a
hundred years ago where sewage was collected and much was returned to the
land. This would replace a lot of fertiliser.
Similarly a lot of scraps and waste could be better used by having a house
pig rather than having them centrally collected, composed etc.
In a world where you need an exemption licence to collect your hedge
trimmings this seems to be rather a big change......
I am not saying food trade will stop, but we need food
Would seem a good idea.....
But not in the WW2 sense. It's not likely that U-boats will stop
Dunno but what about AQ making a gesture of hitting the US grain production
- wouldn't take much, maube only a rumour of the type which it is not
practical to disprove..........or unsuitable weather/locusts - something
"natural" (Mt Helena is natural).
but maybe our suppliers will decide to export elsewhere when
the price is right, or see their own productivity fall !
These are big problems.
Note that we now have biofuels coming on the horizon as a major force. To
quote from Farmbrief again, over the last eight years UK feed wheat price
has averaged £67 per ton.
Contracts to start supplying bioethanol plants from 2008 average £92 per
Whilst the UK government may be fannying about paying lip service to
bioethanol and similar the rest of the world isn't and because we are now on
the world market, we have to pay world prices. It is estimated that about
half of Brazils sugar production (15 million tons) is going to biofuel, and
about a quarter of the US maize crop will go into fuel this year.
It is highly probable that we will see food prices going up with a bang in
the next few years. Fuel price rises will hit imports, especially stuff
flown in, and high fuel prices have made biofuels economic which takes a lot
of stuff off the market again driving up prices.
The fact that the EU is now operating at world market prices means that the
major retailers are no longer being subsidised, they no longer have captive
suppliers. UK producers can now export, or even better sell onto a non-food
market where prices are linked to energy costs.
If wheat and sugar production are maintained by selling into the energy
market rather than for food what is the situation should we run short of,
say, grain if there should be a significant loss of grain supplies and the
UK cannot get enough for food? Would the govt be able to force grain to be
used as food instead of energy production. If legally possible, is there
enough kept on UK soil to fill a gap between harvests?
Ie, is this a way of keeping a food material in production instead of
losing it because it is not economic to produce as food in the interim?
Pat Gardiner, now in the sixth year of raving about bent vets and still no
Jane G : j.gillett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx : S Devon
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