Last year, prices for a number of agricultural products, which are the basic components of the diet of people in many countries of the world, soared almost 100%. Hurricanes, droughts and floods became one of the reasons for the rising cost of grain crops and rice, but Western civilization, which actively developed biofuel production, also contributed to this phenomenon. Planting crops that are processed into ethanol occupy the area previously used for plants that served as human food.
Today, even corn and wheat are increasingly falling not into people's stomachs, but into the fuel tanks of cars, but already in the form of bioethanol. “He poured green fuel into the car and killed an African child,” many human rights defenders intimidate Western consumers, and thus deprive the average person of the pleasures of consciousness brought by “environmental benefits”. “The population of 22 countries of our planet suffers from chronic hunger. These countries are completely dependent on food imports. If the policy of subsidizing the production of biofuels continues in the Western world, this will lead to a further increase in the prices of food and hunger in developing countries, ”FAO warns in its report. Food Organization UN. Already, according to her, more than a billion people on the planet are undernourished. This is every sixth inhabitant of the Earth.
The poor spend half of their income on food.
Compared to 2000, bioethanol production has more than tripled. Today, its share in fuel for transport is only 2%. In 2030, according to FAO forecasts, this figure will almost double. Progress cannot be stopped: to slow down global warming, the growth of bio-fuel production, which will replace fossil fuels, is needed, and rich countries will continue to subsidize this promising industry. How to freeze the rise in food prices and reduce the number of hungry people on the planet? A partial answer to this question is given by the project of Plantagon, which decided to implement the invention of the Swede Oke Olsson.
The decision prompted by gardeners
“The idea of building a vertical plaster came to my mind almost twenty years ago,” said the 55-year-old inventor, who had received international recognition for the first time in his life, during a break in meetings of the Globe Forum. The prize of the Global Forum has just been handed over to him from the hands of Crown Princess Victoria, and representatives of fifteen large cities in Europe, Asia and America have expressed a desire to build a wonder-house.
- I myself am a gardener by profession. Many of my acquaintances have tiny plots of land for a third or half of a hundred in suburban horticultural associations. So they asked me to think about how to use their shreds with maximum efficiency, because put an ordinary parnicok there, and there will be no more room. ”
The natural solution for the inventor seemed the construction of a multi-storey greenhouse. There are many samples of such structures, but they all have one decisive drawback: high-rise buildings deprive the plants of light, especially in the middle part of each floor.
Oke built dozens of models until he solved the problem: the greenhouse should have the shape of a ball. From the greenhouse, he gradually came to the greenhouse, having developed a scheme for the industrial production of vegetables in super-efficient “balls” with a diameter of up to 40 meters and a height from a ten-story house. Greenhouses, according to Oke Olsson, can be stirred in the centers of large cities, providing their population with environmentally friendly fresh vegetables. Transportation costs are reduced to zero. The inventor intends to place the seed boxes at the bottom of the spiral conveyor going up. As the carrot or beet grows up, the boxes slowly move "toward the sky." On the tenth floor, you can harvest, on the first there is a vegetable "kindergarten". Care of vegetables is made from the railcar suspended at the bottom of the spiral escalator.
Irrigation and ventilation devices are built into the center column of the “ball”. When the greenhouse operates a vegetable shop.
Source of income for ethical business
However, no one wanted to implement the invention: the idea of the Oke Olsson seemed to entrepreneurs to be too fantastic for money to be taken from. The meeting with Hans Hassle, founder of Swecorp Citizenship, which offers the business community to implement the concept of “fair business”, turned everything around.
“It has always seemed absurd to me to oppose business as an activity based on maximizing profits without taking into account universal values, and so-called“ ideal organizations ”that do not earn anything, but serve the highest ideals. I thought that it was possible to combine pure business with “idealists” to their mutual benefit, ”Hans Hassle shared his thoughts on improving the world with the help of capitalists. - "Codes of conduct", which are available in many corporations, are in many ways an advertising gimmick. Really ordinary business seeks to maximize profits, despite ethical considerations. "Ethics" must be incorporated into the structure
the company. Thus was born the idea of creating a "humane AO".
The principle is as follows. A business idea is taken that will benefit people, after which a joint stock company and an ideal organization are registered at the same time, the members of which become the owners of the shares. The board of the ideal organization appoints half of the board members of the company. This is how a structure is created in which moral guidelines will go hand in hand with the desire for profit. ”
Oke Olsson and Hans Hassle, as they say, found each other. The first one got the opportunity to launch their project into a commercial orbit, the second one was a chance to vividly demonstrate the embodied concept of “fair business”, which will affect the fate of all mankind: according to scientists' forecasts, by 2050 up to 80% of the world's population will live in cities.
Greenhouse from the Iroquois
Soon there was a third partner. It turned out to be ... one of the leaders of the Iroquois tribe Oren Lyons, a professor of American history from the University of New York.
Oren Lyons - a man known in business circles, including the Scandinavian. He often comes to Europe with lectures on the need to protect nature and do business in harmony with it. “Iroquois, like other representatives of indigenous peoples, think more about the preservation of habitat than white people. In our culture, it is customary to look forward to the seventh generation, ”the“ eco-preacher ”from the United States enlightens the audience. This idea, however, does not harmonize well with traditional sources of earning Indians on reservations - the trade in tax-free tobacco and the casino device.
The “vertical greenhouse” could save the leader’s reputation by combining “word” and “deed”.
“I offered Oren Lyons 10% in business, but after consulting with other leaders of the Iroquois Confederation (Onondoga Nation), uniting six tribes in the USA and Canada, he said they want a 50% stake in Plantagon,” says Hans Hassle. We agreed without hesitation, because the participation of the Iroquois is beneficial for us for two reasons. First, the prototype of the greenhouse, which we will soon be building on a reservation in the state of New York, will be protected from possible copiers almost as if on a military base: the conditions for visiting Indian regions by outsiders are quite strict. Secondly, it is important to immediately create an ideologically strong trademark for a product, which, we are sure, will appear worldwide in a few years. Indigenous peoples in the mass Western consciousness are connected by their proximity to nature and ecological thinking.
"Greenhouse from the Iroquois" fits perfectly into the concept of our project. "
Winter gardens instead of parks
Although Plantagon received such attractive co-owners, it was still unclear whether the “ball” would withstand competition from manufacturers with traditional greenhouses in urban suburbs. Land in the "city" is so expensive that its rent can "eat" all the advantages in the form of high performance of the "ball" and the lack of transportation costs. The project was submitted for expert evaluation by a well-known Swedish consulting engineering company Sweco.
In April of this year, its experts gave an opinion:
"A comparative analysis showed that the Plantagon concept is competitive in the traditional greenhouse market."
Sweco, assessing the market value of land in the centers of the most expensive cities on the planet, concluded that the construction of a “chamomile” consisting of five “balls” with a diameter of 140 meters each, located around a technological building, would be ideal. In this case, the efficiency of the unusual complex can be ten times higher than the productivity of a standard greenhouse, which is spread over the same area. “The complex is capable of producing more than 90 thousand root crops a day, that is, one“ daisy ”is able to feed several hundred thousand people,” says Oke Olsson.
According to Sweco, the threat to the spread of “balls” in cities around the world is a joint lobby of farmers' organizations, transport workers and chain stores.
None of them want a competitor to emerge who will fill the market with cheap vegetables that do not require transportation.
"The situation is about the same as at the dawn of the automotive industry, when electric cars were ousted from the market by gasoline cars, because oil companies were interested in dominating them," Hans Hassle comments on the situation.
In his opinion, opponents of the “balls” will lobby the city politicians, convincing them that the giant greenhouses in the center will disfigure the image of the city.
“Fortunately, the latest trends in the development of urban planning in the West play into our hands,” says Hans Hassle. - Green areas in the center are rapidly shrinking, they are “eaten up” by dense urban buildings. Its apologists use ecological arguments: albeit closely and without parks, but the volume of traffic is reduced, which means less emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. But the townspeople can not, without the appearance of greenery, and our greenhouses will partly satisfy this craving. As for the "ugliness" of the cityscape, then see for yourself. The first “concept”, as it seems to us, will decorate any metropolis, and in a few years, other architectural solutions will probably appear. ”