Read that again and get the gist of it. I'm quoting Schumacher btw. My point is that the system we have today, while very nice and comfortable (but perhaps not so fulfilling) for us in the rich west, is not that great on a global scale. Sure there were, is and will probably always be starvation.HFat wrote:Please consult actual historians. In the absence of a welfare state or plentiful food aid, inequality means some people eat while others die. Cathedrals were built during a long period. During that period, there were striking population collapses on a decadal scale in many areas. The "great leap forward" famine in Maoist China was small potatoes in comparison. People did starve and then they died from epidemics, as starving people are wont to do. Going by the church records, infants in particular apparently died in droves as you'd expect when people are starving.
The problem with proper studies are that they seldom get all the details. Reality does. Sure unsustainable fertilizers work, otherwise they would not be used. They only work in the short term though and that is an enormous problem.HFat wrote:Or you could look at proper studies comparing farming techniques in which other variables are held as constant as possible.
Then you'll understand why so many farmers have abandonned sustainable techniques long ago for many crops. No factories or huge corporations were involved back in the day.
Fertilizers actually work. People used unsustainable fertilizers before synthetics. Even fertilizers which are called sustainable actually compete with food grown for human consumption.
There is no way to feed billions of people sustainably with current tech. And so I've never seen a single professional farm that was anywhere close to sustainable. Sure, people raise livestock sustainably on marginal land (or worse). People also grow a bit food sustainably on the side but that won't feed very many.
Why could we not feed billions of people using sensible technology, sound energy principles etc? Sure, with the current political and economic system it's difficult, which is why you find little of this stuff in the market.