Posts Tagged ‘hunger’

Automated Greenhouses – Soon to be a Reality!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Picture a greenhouse that continually produces food all by itself, with little to no human interaction. This autonomous mechanical marvel – built from low cost materials and powered by renewable energy – could truly mean a sustainable source of fresh food all year round.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is right now. But not for much longer. Automated greenhouses are fast becoming a reality, and these seemingly magic structures will give humankind a permanent solution to world hunger.

Consider the Horto Domi project, which aims to take the labor out of running a garden at home. Their working prototype can regulate soil and atmosphere conditions, runs on the economical Arduino micro-computer, and can be monitored remotely via web App.

So it’s not yet a magical box. But over the coming years, teams will hash out the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Atmospheric water collectors will provide all the fresh water needed to irrigate the crops. Wind and solar will provide the necessary energy to heat and run the system. The structure itself will be built from some kind of abundant material, shaped into whatever form works best. And all that will be left is to figure out how to mechanize the entire crop cycle safely and effectively.

The implications of this will be astounding! No one will be starving anywhere on the planet. Incredible, right?

If you think about all the wars and chaos in our world, so much of it is rooted directly in poverty. People in desperate situations are willing to do desperate things. When no mouth goes hungry, when everyone’s needs are met, there won’t be this fundamental drive towards violent conflict.

Automated greenhouses – and the incredible boon they’ll offer- give us one more reason to believe that world peace is just around the corner.

Ending Hunger Worldwide

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here are some interesting facts from the Sept 2009 issue of The Rotarian, showing where we are in the struggle to alleviate starvation around the world:

  • Nearly One in Seven people around the world – about 963 million – do not have enough food to maintain healthy, active lives.
  • About 25,000 people die every day from hunger related causes.
  • More than 60% of hunger stricken people are women.
  • Every 6 seconds, a child dies from hunger
  • Seven Countries: India, China, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia, represent 65% of the world’s starving people.
  • Malnutrition contributes to more than half of the 9.7 million annual deaths of children under 5 years.

But the news isn’t all bad:

  • Scientists predict that global food production will outpace population growth by 2030
  • Between 1970 and 1997, the number of hungry people worldwide dropped from 959 million to 791 million.  (but between 2007 and 2008 ,the number of undernourished people in the world increased by 115 million, due to the skyrocketing cost of food and oil).

So, clearly humankind’s efforts to alleviate this scourge from our planet have been working, yet we still have a long way to go.

It should be noted that we do not have a global food shortage…  researchers say there is enough food in the world to feed every human.  The issue is not so much that we don’t have the food… its more that we don’t have the will.  Profits are more important than children dying, so food is destroyed instead of being shared with those in need.

Also, it should be noted that it would take about 5-10% of the world’s annual military budget to eliminated extreme poverty around the world.

So as the world comes more together, as we become a tighter knit world, we will spend less and less on war, and more on more on peace and making the world a better place.  It won’t be long until we have eradicated extreme poverty and starvation from our planet for good.

*Source – Facts of the Matter: Hunger.  Jason Grotto.  September 2009, The Rotarian.