Yet another massively expensive resource hungry project to grow food in cities. This time it’s in the form of a gigantic 100m (328ft) high glass dome with a spiral growing system. The estimated cost is €70 million.
The idea is that plants are introduced at the bottom of the spiral which rotates taking them to the top for harvesting. The rationale is that climate change will reduce the amount of productive agricultural land so we need new, high tech growing systems. Rising food prices are also said to make the system viable and the designers quote just three years to recover costs.
What they never mention is how the plants are fed. Once again I challenge them to say how the vast amounts of nutrients will be supplied to the hydroponic growing systems. They also are either ignorant of or ignore the looming world shortage of phosphate.
I am left with the feeling that they just don’t get it. Artificial fertiliser production uses a lot of energy and oil. Likewise glass, concrete and other construction materials. How will building such energy intensive greenhouses that rely on energy intensive plant food help to mitigate climate change? The answer is they will just make it worse.
When will there be a realisation that we need sensible, sustainable solutions to increase the World’s food supply? There are some superb projects around and I have said before that there are huge amounts of land and rooftops in cities that can be used for growing food right now with little or no capital investment.
We just do not need wacky and ridiculous ideas like this. What we do need is some honesty from governments and a common sense approach. As neither of these are likely to be forthcoming it will be left to ordinary people to fill in the gaps and grow their own food.
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