Farms Use 60 Times More Land Than Cities: It's Time to Develop Terraculture

Farming transforms our planet photoTEDx/Video screen capture

When I posted on Jonathan Foley's 5 point plan for feeding the world, I focused on his suggestion that we need a LEED-type certification system for sustainable farming.

But there's much more to Foley's work than certification systems. He has been extremely influential in drawing attention to agriculture's astounding impact on our climate, our water and our land surfaces. In this TEDx talk, he demonstrates how farming has now taken over 40% of all available land from the Amazon Basin to the fields of the Midwest, and has grown to be the single biggest driver of climate change.

But what to do about it?

From small-scale agroecology, through high-efficiency industrial agriculture to massive urban rooftop agriculture and hydroponics, there are plenty of good ideas out there. But Foley says its time to abandon ideological fundamentalism, and to blend the best of all approaches for a farming system that puts the big picture planetary needs first.

He calls it Terraculture. Here's a taste.

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