Ordinary Sunday Brunch


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Fo1: When I see the various proposals for enclosed farming, I have a couple of standard things I look for. (1) More than half the world population’s calories come from grains and tubers, which require enormous acreages. That doesn’t include the grain that goes into producing meat. You almost never see anyone who says, “This is a good way to grow potatoes!” (2) Despite the efficiencies of LEDs, there’s a lot of electricity going into such operations. Colorado has found that internal grow operations for just marijuana is significant enough new electricity consumption to affect planning for carbon emission targets. I hate to think what would happen if the brewing industry’s barley and hops were grown indoors.Report

    • I wonder about that. To use an example at home, the New River gorge and Gauley river area’s of my native WV are full of old mines, and both have existing hydro-electrical facilities in a, comparatively, low population area. These are smaller plants than their western cousins, Hawks Nest on the New River being 120 MW and Summersville on the Gauley being 80 MW, but you are talking a population area of something like 60K that’s very spread out and doesn’t use nearly the capacity of either, especially Summersville.Report

      • Sanity check, because I’ve learned not to trust my intuition about really big numbers…

        Kansas plants about 40,000 km^2 in wheat in recent years (less than 25% of the US total).
        Solar insolence in Kansas wheat country is about 5 kWh per meter^2 per day.
        That’s spread over an average of perhaps 14 hrs/day during growing season.
        5 kWh and 14 hrs/day is about 0.36 kW average power per m^2.
        10^6 m^2 per km^2, and 10^-6 GW per kW.
        So, 40×10^3 x 10^6 x 0.36 x 10^-6 is 1.44×10^4 GW.

        14,400 GW. Assume a 10:1 improvement and it’s 1,440 GW. That improvement is not unreasonable, since tunnel farming would get multiple crops per year, wouldn’t suffer weather losses, might benefit from being selective about light wavelengths, etc. Currently total US summer faceplate generating capacity is about 1,200 GW.

        Alternatively, calculate the total length of tunnel. Assume an average usable tunnel width of 5m, so 200 km of tunnel to get 1 km^2 of area. 40×10^3 x 200 is 8×10^6 km of tunnel. Eight million kilometers. Assume a 5:1 improvement for multiple crops per year, no weather losses, etc, and it’s 1.6 million km. To the moon, and back. Twice.

        Repeat for Iowa’s soybeans. Again for Illinois’s corn. And you’re still way short of total US grain production.Report

        • That’s too much math for me…

          I was just thinking outloud about an impoverished area growing more food locally for consumption as well as reclamation and potential revenue, not replacing all staple crops, which as you point out would be impossible.Report

          • Maybe. The only grow operations that work here are marijuana ($12.50 per eighth-ounce or so) and fresh greens/herbs for high-end local restaurants. Legal marijuana is a modest job creator, from grow and curing operations, preparation of other products, and retail. At least so long as interstate transport remains illegal so the locals don’t have to compete with big operations elsewhere.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I think Warner Brothers used to portray Bing Crosby as a Parrot in their cartoons. They did in at least once. Frank Sinatra was a rooster and they were competing over swooning hens.

    This is a memory of my childhood.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Mu1 – To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand why payola is illegal. I understand that you would need to alter the metrics used to measure industry performance, but paying someone to broadcast your content is a fairly regular thing in most media. Though I suppose, ethics normally dictates it needs to be marked as such. But, also, you generally want people to pay *you* to broadcast your content.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Kolohe says:

      I may be wrong but I would guess that the main problem was who was being paid? I.e., the disc jockey rather than the owner of the radio station? And then that extra airplay would have generated royalty revenue back to the record company from the radio station? So it was sort of like a kickback scheme on a contract.Report