Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why We Use Modern Technology

China’s farms pollute as much as its factories, survey finds
The Hindu
By Ananth Krishnan

For every tonne of chemical effluents that factories dump into China’s rivers and lakes, a comparable amount of harmful waste finds its way into this country’s water bodies from green fields and farmhouses.

A first of its kind pollution survey has found that farms have contributed as much to a growing pollution crisis in China as its famously unclean factories and industries.

The study, released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests this week, indicated that widespread agricultural pollution caused by the overuse of fertilizers has led to a level of pollution far higher than what has been previously stated in official reports.

Agricultural sources were found to account for 43.7 per cent of all COD discharge. The pollution stems from widespread overuse of fertilizers, with farmers using 40 per cent more fertilizers than required, according to a recent Greenpeace report.

The use of fertilizers and pesticides has enabled China to increase grain production eight times in the past four decades. But the use of nitrogen fertilizers has increased by 55 times, and has begun to seriously impact water pollution, the Greenpeace study found.

Mr. Zhang said the prevention and control of pollution from agricultural sources had now become China’s “top priority for environmental protection to resolve the problem of water pollution in China at the root”. Read More

If only there was a way to ensure that farm fields don’t get over-fertilized. Oh wait, there is! It’s the modern technology that we have implemented in this country to ensure that doesn’t happen. These systems manage our fertilizer needs on a field down to the square foot or better. In addition to that, we use new varieties of crops that do a better job of utilizing the resources available to it in the soil. All of these great technologies are under attack though. We have people like Michael Pollan who actively promotes US agriculture use technology equal or even lesser to that being used in Chinese agriculture. His reckless ideas would put us right into the position China is experiencing.

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