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By Carl F. Jordan

Modern business agriculture isn't sustainable as a result of its heavy reliance on petroleum, a non-renewable resource of the strength utilized in farming, and thanks to pollutants brought on by petroleum items akin to fertilizers and insecticides. A platforms research of farming means that agriculture might be extra sustainable whilst prone of nature, comparable to nutrient recycling by way of soil micro-organisms and normal controls of bugs, exchange the prone now supplied by way of strength from petroleum. Examples are drawn from the Southeastern united states, yet classes discovered will be utilized all over the world.

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Extra info for An Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Agriculture: Energy Use Efficiency in the American South

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Systems respond by oscillating beetles into the system, and they decrease the population of aphids to a negligible level. That is a stable system. But then assume that many of the lady bird beetles fly away, and only a few are left. The aphid populations begin to increase. But the increase in aphids results in a population increase of the remaining beetles, and they again begin to control the aphids. That is an unstable but bounded system. Now assume that for some reason, the beetles all disappear.

For example, most jet airplanes have several independent hydraulic systems because aircraft control is dependent on a functioning hydraulic system. If one system fails, backups remain and the plane lands safely. Often each hydraulic system will be different in order to ensure that a problem that causes one to fail will not incapacitate the others. Redundancy and diversity of structure and function in a aircraft system are related to the reliability of aircraft performance. 19 For this reason, it might have been wiser for Congress in 1973 to pass an “Endangered Ecosystem Act” rather than the “Endangered Species Act” that finally was approved.

As rates of energy input increase, power output increases rapidly, at least for a while. But at a certain point, the increase in power output as a function of energy input rate begins to slow down (Fig. 2). The speed of trucks provides an illustration. At a low speed (40 mph), fuel use efficiency (miles per gallon of gas) is high, but the generated horsepower of the truck is low. At high speeds (100 mph), fuel use efficiency is low, (a lot of the fuel energy is lost as heat and carbon pollution) but generated horsepower is high.

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