Added by on 2015-07-29

Dickson Despommier describes how vertical farming may be the solution to overpopulation. Don’t miss new Big Think videos! Subscribe by clicking here: Transcript: As of this moment WHO and the population counsel estimate that about 50 percent of us live in cities. And the other half, of course, lives somewhere else. The other thing we can learn from NASA of all places is how much land those seven billion people, half urban, half rural, actually need to produce their food every year. And it turns out to be a size of South America. So the size of South America in land mass is used just to grow our crops that we plant and harvest. I’m not talking about the herbivores like the cows and the goats and the sheep. So when you think about how much food is consumed by cities, let’s say half, it takes half of the size of South America just to produce it. Now if the human population continues to increase which we expect it will — so over the next 40 years you might have three billion more people to feed. And you look around for the land where that’s gonna come from in terms of traditional farms and you don’t find it. It isn’t there. So the biggest problem facing us as a global species is where will the food for the next three billion people come from? So it could come from someplace other than a traditional farm and the question is, could vertical farming solve that problem. So by vertical farming and a vertical farm I mean any building that grows food inside of it or in which you grow food which is taller than a single story. There are many examples of vertical farms out there which are not traditionally […]

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