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Aquaponics On Display

By 29 June 2011 11

Event Schedule
  • 2 July 2011

Food consumption constitutes a whopping 24% of Canberra’s greenhouse pollution.  With predicted changes to the way our economy will operate in a post-peak oil world, not to mention our territory’s ambitious emission reduction targets, delivering a sustainable food supply to Canberra is going to be a challenge during the next decade.

Luckily, there are ways to maximise the food-producing potential of any area.  Aquaponics is an extremely efficient method of food production, and Alfred Deakin High School is holding an open day between 10 am and 1 pm this Saturday, July 2nd to tour its aquaponics facility.  For more details, and to RSVP for this event, please visit www.see-change.org.au

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11 Responses to Aquaponics On Display
#1
bitzermaloney9:58 am, 29 Jun 11

Easier solution…. “Don’t Eat!”

Cuts down on greenhouse gases and you lose weight. It’s a WIN – WIN solution for everyone (except maybe the anorexics).

#2
neanderthalsis11:29 am, 29 Jun 11

bitzermaloney said :

Easier solution…. “Don’t Eat!”

Cuts down on greenhouse gases and you lose weight. It’s a WIN – WIN solution for everyone (except maybe the anorexics).

Or Soylent Green.

#3
breda12:40 pm, 29 Jun 11

“Food consumption constitutes a whopping 24% of Canberra’s greenhouse pollution.”

What does this mean? Where does the 24% number come from? And since the focus of the aquaponics facility is food production, not food consumption, how is it relevant anyway?

BTW, what percentage of the ACT’s CO2 emissions (I refuse to describe it as ‘pollution’) are generated by humans breathing out? It never seems to appear in the statistics.

More junk science from greenies with a weather eye on our tax dollars in the hope of a further handout, methinks.

#4
Postalgeek1:49 pm, 29 Jun 11

neanderthalsis said :

bitzermaloney said :

Easier solution…. “Don’t Eat!”

Cuts down on greenhouse gases and you lose weight. It’s a WIN – WIN solution for everyone (except maybe the anorexics).

Or Soylent Green.

Still don’t get why he got so upset over soylent green. Some people are fussy eaters.

#5
pajs1:50 pm, 29 Jun 11

I’m guessing that 24% figure comes from some kind of environmental footprint study. There’s US-wide data (US EPA) for 2006 that attributes 13% of US national greenhouse gas emissions to the provision of food. I wouldn’t be surprised if an ACT-specific value for the food system in terms of greenhouse emissions was about 24%, but would like to know the source. Going from paddock to plate, depending a lot on transport distances, manufacturing processes and refrigeration, can add up emissions pretty quickly.

US EPA study: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/ghg_land_and_materials_management.pdf

In industry sector terms (different from a systems analysis), on 2005 data, stationary energy was 72.3% of ACT ghg emissions, 23.5% transport fuels, 3.3% waste, then a few tiny bits and pieces.

#6
pajs1:57 pm, 29 Jun 11

And Breda, humans breathing is not counted in greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Which is why you won’t find them in statistics on greenhouse. The carbon involved cycles quickly in and out of biological systems, not adding anything to the carbon cycle, so is not capable of making a net contribution to atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

#7
Skidbladnir3:24 pm, 29 Jun 11

Since your argument opens with a claim of fact implying accuracy of two significant figures, you’ll surely be able to provide an ISO14000 series audit of the entire ACT that confirms that, right?

(Also, food consumption causes pollution?)

Or did you mean to use the word ‘estimate’ in that paragraph?
As in …Sources believe an estimated 24% of Canberra’s gross greenhouse pollution contribution is derived from food production and supply, but are unable to support this claim…

#8
pajs4:59 pm, 29 Jun 11

Skid, I agree the original post is poorly worded and should have been sourced. If you read the first sentence with the second though, you can make a fair guess that they are saying that the emissions associated with getting food to Canberrans is what they are on about. Not that the act of eating directly causes pollution.

Not convinced by aquaponics, personally. Prefer to see stuff growing in healthy soil than in tanks, plastic pipes and gravel beds.

#9
nobody5:26 pm, 29 Jun 11

The Office for the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment has released a study of the Ecological Footprint of the ACT, and figure 2 in the 2008/09 report shows it is about 24% for food.

http://www.envcomm.act.gov.au/publications/fact_sheets

#10
Skidbladnir5:47 pm, 29 Jun 11

pajs said :

If you read the first sentence with the second though, you can make a fair guess that they are saying that the emissions associated with getting food to Canberrans is what they are on about.

And in contrast, I take the approach that while emissions might be the current awareness trend, ‘environmental management’ is a lot larger than carbon and should not be marginalised because food economics and supply-chain logistics is just one of those things that people rarely pay attention to until they don’t work properly, then suddenly they get quite excited about.

Transport from producer to consumer (ie: farm gate\slaughterhouse door to dinnerplate) ordinarily only makes up somewhere between 4 and 9% of energy input and greenhouse gas output.
The majority of emissions and energy consumption throughout the western world comes from production of fertilisers and input feed (base chemistry->fertiliser->grain->feedgrain, etc) or indirectly fro mthe consumption of those organisations which facilitate each logistics step.

In any case, Canberra was never really known as, nor is ever likely to be called “Cornucopia of the Southeast”.
Basic supply cost premiums are givens.
Environmental management best-practice is what the ISO14000 compliance series is for; tip-to-tail environmental impact auditability, rather than well-intentioned but underperforming policies (which is exactly what this sounds like, in the absence of data)…

TL;DR: Numbers were claimed to be information in this case. I’m asking for the base data they’re drawn from (oie: Show me the ISO14000 audit, or at least a hint of source). Things that look and smell like bullshit tend to get called bullshit.

#11
downindowner8:17 am, 30 Jun 11

Forgive me if I don’t quote or reference other commenters according to convention – I’m a bit new to all this.

I admit I am guilty of not including my source, which was:
http://www.acfonline.org.au/consumptionatlas.
I do suspect that no matter what sources are provided, what arguments are produced, there are some people who won’t take carbon pollution seriously unless Alan Jones, Tony Abbott, Cardinal Pell and the entire NSW Rugby League say it’s true.

I think the link between consumption and production is implied.

I know there’s a general mood of humour and ridicule on the-riotact, but there’s actually some truth to the idea that not eating and breathing would be an effective solution – there are simply too many humans on the planet. However, I tried starving and holding my breath and it wasn’t to my taste.

Besides which; there are just too many interesting ways to improve how we do things. I think social change is coming (that’s a nice way to say ‘the collapse of western civilisation’) and I’d like to see how it will turn out when people transform how they live. If that’s not your take on things – whatever. I wouldn’t presume to waste your time trying to convince you to see the world how I do – although I’m impressed that you care enough to comment about it.

I’m not hoping to imply that aquaponics is a solution to Canberra’s food requirements, or that we will ever become a ‘Cornucopia of the Southeast’. Looking for ‘handouts’? No. This is about sharing knowledge. If you want it, here it is. If not, then please return to whatever does interest you and the brave few can worry about how we’ll feed ourselves in 50 years time.

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