Local food production does not always produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the 2005 DEFRA study found that British tomato growers emit 2.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide for each ton of tomatoes grown compared to 0.6 tons of carbon dioxide for each ton of Spanish tomatoes. The difference is British tomatoes are produced in heated greenhouses. Another study found that cold storage of British apples produced more carbon dioxide than shipping New Zealand apples by sea to London. In addition, U.K. dairy farmers use twice as much energy to produce a metric ton of milk solids than do New Zealand farmers. Other researchers have determined that Kenyan cut rose growers emit 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per 12,000 roses compared to the 35 tons of carbon dioxide emitted by their Dutch competitors. Kenyan roses grow in sunny fields whereas Dutch roses grow in heated greenhouses.
-- I had a brilliant idea. Since the most efficient sources of food seem to be in Africa and certain southern hemisphere locations such as New Zealand, why not turn those areas entirely into farms for the nourishment and support of the rest of the world? It would cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, slow or eliminate global warming, and make lots more space available for condominium development closer to home.
What do you think?
With thanks to Jonathan Swift.