We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Bamboo Culture Campaign
Without question bamboo culture needs to be widely exploited and
propagated, not so much as a plantation crop, but as a wasteland crop.It is capable of holding soil and suppressing
other growth that is not wanted.Any
river valley would benefit from the emergence of bamboo forests building up the
It grows well in temperate climates such as the Pacific
personally grown a patch of timber bamboo.My biggest problem for a small planting was to defend against hungry
squirrels who love the young shoots.
Obviously rodent damage would need to be controlled.
Planting an otherwise unusable waste land would provide an annual crop of
young bamboo canes and a large supply of bamboo leaves and thin branches which may
serve as fodder for cattle and deer in particular.
Of course a market would have to be developed for the large canes, but
smaller cane varieties could simply be fed to deer and cattle.
There are plenty of places where the plant would prosper and should be
As a side note, protect bamboo shoots with a small cone of chicken wire to avoid rodent damage in the spring and leave it on to prevent later damage.
Fight climate change with bamboo,
says campaign group
World leaders pondering the conundrum of climate change should think of bamboo,
a group promoting the versatile grass said at the UN talks in Cancun
and immensely strong, bamboo provides an answer to surging carbon emissions,
generates income for the rural poor and helps tackle housing shortages, the
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) said.
"Bamboo is a
remarkable resource for driving economic development, and is readily available
in many of the world's poorest countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America," said Coosje Hoogendoorn, INBAR's
"It helps support
the livelihoods of more than 1.5 billion people, generates more than five
billion dollars in annual trade and can grow up to one meter (3.25 feet) a
has been around for centuries, but many people don't understand its full
potential and still see it as the poor man's timber," said Alvaro Cabrera,
INBAR's regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"In fact, bamboo
is stronger for its weight than steel, it's cheaper than timber, uses far less
energy in processing than concrete and can dance in earthquakes... Bamboo
should be referred to as the wise man's timber."
INBAR, a 13-year-old
organisation based in China,
is an inter-government organisation, gathering 36 countries under a treaty,
that also fosters fair-trade and development schemes involving bamboo and
It made its pitch on
the sidelines of the November 29-December 10 UN talks in Cancun,
where countries are wrestling for solutions to climate change.
In addition to
providing livelihoods for people, bamboo forests would be an invaluable weapon
against carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas, through
photosynthesis, INBAR said.
Some species of bamboo
can suck up CO2 at least as fast as Chinese fir and eucalyptus, among the
swiftest-growing commercial species of trees, according to a scientific report
presented last month.
In addition, bamboo
roots reduce soil erosion, preventing hillsides and riverbanks from washing
away in floods and landslides.
Hoogendoorn told AFP
that the group was working on a certification scheme whereby bamboo would be
sold with a label proving that it came from a sustainable plantation and
allowed other species to thrive.
Even so, certification
"is complex and very difficult," she admitted.
One of the biggest
destroyers of biodiversity is monoculture crops grown on huge
spaces on soil treated with pesticides and fertilizers.
forests, as opposed to plantations, are a haven for many species of wildlife,
including the giant panda.
World trade in bamboo
and rattan is more than five billion dollars a year, with China, Indonesia
and Vietnam the three biggest sources, INBAR said.