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The monoculture economy

Farming monocultures are dangerous -- narrowing everything down to one too-important-to-fail crop can be devastating when it actually does fail (consider the Irish potato famine).  

Now take that monoculture -- corn, in our case -- and extend it throughout our economy, for food, but also as feed for livestock, and as a foundation for biofuels (30% of corn goes to that) -- and think of what going to happen this year as drought devastates that crop.

And, as +George Wiman notes, "Tell me again how it would be too expensive to mitigate climate change."
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Al Hunt's profile photoDave Hill's profile photo
Al Hunt
 
As I understand it, the corn mono-culture is often taken to extremes. Aren't crops no longer just a single species, but often a single genetic entity? It doesn't take a macro-event like climate change to wipe that out. An attack exploiting a single weakness will find that weakness conveniently duplicated across an entire crop.
 
Yup. Bananas (as clones) are an extreme of that -- and we're seeing the world banana varietal dying out because of a fungus (it, in turn, had replaced an earlier banana version in the 60s).

But, yes, the marginal successes of one crop varietal over another, esp. given Big Agribusiness pushing their one "patented" variety, leads to even more hazardous monocultures.
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