The Green Revolution refers to a transformative 20th-century agricultural project that utilized plant genetics, modern irrigation systems, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase food production and reduce poverty and hunger in developing countries. The Green Revolution began in Mexico, where scientists developed a hybrid wheat variety that dramatically expanded yields. Following its introduction, hunger and malnutrition there dropped significantly.
The model was subsequently extended to Asia, Latin America, and later Africa to increase food production for growing populations without consuming significantly more land. Over time, however, the techniques and policies of the Green Revolution were questioned as they led to inequality and environmental degradation.
Ahem. Such language. But being mindful of these transformations is important, especially as we seem to be on the verge of several others happening simultaneously and at terrific speed. For instance, which kind of battery will follow lithium-ion? In early 2023, we heard about iron-air batteries that use a water-based electrolyte and store energy using reverse rusting. Now, that’s the sexy tech we need. Companies are being funded and manufacturing facilities built. The storage needs changing, not to mention the problematic issues around mining lithium, are driving this ongoing series of shifts. Like the earlier Green revolution, it’s less important to cheer these development as good or bad but rather to see them in a kind of continuum and consider how each new standard performs under these changing market conditions. Yes, market – the economics as well as the social and physical constraints.
Climate tech is on-again, off-again as we get jaded accustomed to shiny new things, seek improvements and various strategies win out. But as the pressure continues to push costs down and use up, the newer green revolution can usher in a more stable form of societal improvements for everyone.
That, we should expect.
Video: the great Arthur Blythe (Thanks D!), with Bob Stewart on Tuba, doncha know.
The Khaju Bridge (above) is one of the five historical bridges on the Zayanderud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau, in Isfahan, Iran. Both a bridge and a weir, it links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayanderud.
The Khaju Bridge was built around 1650, under the reign of Abbas II, the seventh Safavid king (shah) of Iran, on the foundations of an older bridge. The existing inscriptions suggest that the bridge was repaired in 1873. There is a pavilion located in the center of the structure, inside which Abbas II would have once sat, admiring the view.
Beneath the archways are several sluice gates, through which the water flow of the Zayanderud is regulated. When the sluice gates are closed, the water level behind the bridge is raised to facilitate the irrigation of the many gardens along the river upstream of the bridge. Because of a sustained drought, and of course related management issues, the sluice gates and riverbed are now the site of gatherings of people worried about these many gardens, as well as crops and more general concerns about sustenance. Compare and contrast
Pictures, 1000’s of words, etc. 2022 is on the way and we need to do better. Soon.
Insight on the new Honda Insight (hybrid automobile) from a climate change skeptic, whose cruel sense of humor almost circles back around to making sense. Sample.
The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour.
Why doesn’t he just buy a Range Rover, which is made from local components, just down the road? No, really — weird-beards buy locally produced meat and vegetables for eco-reasons. So why not apply the same logic to cars?
Reminds me of L.F. Celine’s Bardamu in Journey to the End of the Night, when the doctor-cum-mal vivant spends some time working at a Ford Plant near Detroit.
When we’d put on our clothes again, we were sent off in slow-moving single files and hesitant groups towards the places where the vast crashing sound of the machines came from. The whole building shook, and oneself from one’s soles to one’s ears was possessed by this shaking, which vibrated from the ground, the glass panes and all this metal, a series of shocks from floor to ceiling. One was turned by force into a machine oneself, the whole of one’s carcass quivering in this vast frenzy of noise, which filled you within and all around the inside of your skull, and lower down rattled your bowels, and climbed to your eyes in infinite, little, quick unending strokes. As you went along, you lost your companions. You gave them a little smile when they fell away, as if it was all the greatest fun in the world. You couldn’t speak to them any longer or hear them. Each time, three or four stayed behind around a machine…. The little bucking trolley car loaded with metal bits and pieces strives to make headway through the workmen. Out of the light! They jump aside to let the hysterical little thing pass along. And hop! There it goes like mad thing, clinking on its way amid belts and flywheels, taking the men their ration of shackles.
Since we cannot but ask for more, seconds all around.