http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57962883

 

Right now it is not a problem for the west and other rich countries; they have a lock on the world’s resources. It is already a big problem for people at the other end of the scale though.

But some of the problems inherent in the western system are obvious. lack of biodiversity is one thing, but lack of diversity of crops and farmed animals is another.

Think of pig meat. I don’t know what the figure is world wide, but one breed of pig developed by an agribusiness corporation, has taken over because it is the most efficient pig converter of grain to meat. The loss of diversity is stunning. When I was a kid, we had a few pigs on our little farm. Large white for bacon. Berkshire for pork. Wessex Saddleback could go either way. Tamworth — a reddish color — generally for bacon, good converter, very good forager on poor country, a very hardy pig, still pretty close to the wild. At the Royal Agricultural Society Show held annually in Melbourne, I would see dozens of Tamworths. A few years ago, I was told by an expert in the field that there were just 300 Tamworth breeding sows IN THE WHOLE WORLD now and the number was falling (he lost several in a disastrous and unprecedented flood shortly after).

So what happens if we get a disease that hits the universal hybrid pig? If you are a vegetarian, you’re laughing; if you like a bit of bacon for breakfast you are in trouble.

Indeed, and this is the case worldwide.  Besides pigs, we have a lack of biodiversity in cows, bananas, etc.  Basically 99% of the world’s food comes from six species.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57962982

 

NASA has contributed vast sums for the upcoming manned Mars mission, and I feel like that is a good first step for where we need to go.  I think any planet bound species is doomed to extinction at some point, and history shows that to be the case.

Humanity at its very core are a species of explorers, being confined to one planet would not be in our nature- we always look for new environments to find and colonize.

As far as evolution is concerned, you’re entirely correct.  As a matter of fact, that is why our pesticides and antibiotics are failing miserably, the pests and microbes they are supposed to control are evolving beyond them while more complex creatures (like us) which evolve much more slowly, are suffering from the side effects. 97% of the species threatened with extinction can be linked to just three pesticides.

 

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