Scientists Disagree on Solutions

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There is no disagreement among scientists that the following 3 issues are of vital importance. However, there is significant disagreement on solutions.

  1. Americans are statistically among the unhealthiest in the world with epidemics of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and out of control health care cost.
  2. In 2011 we experienced record oxygen dead zones and sediment intrusion in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. These Watersheds representing over half of the Nations land area are facing ecological collapse.
  3. Excess greenhouse gases mostly coming from food animal production threatens global warming, and tidal level increases with unknown ramifications.

Recently as posted earlier, we had an e-mail debate between leading agronomists, and environmental scientists and a leading nutritionist. The agronomists and environmentalists proposed various solutions including increasing the uptake efficiency of corn, reduced fertilizer application rates, cover crops and etc. The lead nutritionist at Harvard University proposed significant dietary changes. Reducing consumption of grain based red meat and reducing corn based sugar would solve all three Issues. He suggested a healthier Italian diet, which would cut grain production and fertilizer application in half. Vaclav Smil writing about the glut of world nitrogen in his book “Enriching the Earth” published in 2004 reached the same conclusion. He suggested that a healthier Mediterranean diet would solve the world glut of nitrogen. The USDA “my plate” initiative as modified by the Harvard School of Public Health website is a big step in this direction. Will Americans modify their diets or will major restrictive dietary regulation be required as recently instituted in Denmark? Doing nothing is not an option.

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7 Responses to “Scientists Disagree on Solutions”

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