Feasibility of Hydroponics

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderator: Alyrium Denryle

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Feasibility of Hydroponics

Post by Norade » 2010-12-21 03:11am

They should take this time to start trying to community size nuclear reactors and multilevel hydroponics farms on at least some of the land. With all this sudden space so close to existing infrastructure it seems like to perfect spot if only somebody could ram the idea through.
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-21 05:48pm

I'm curious as to why so many people push "hydroponics" when clearly there is sufficient land area now open in Detroit for traditional in the ground farming.

There is also the problem of who is going to pay for these proposed "community size nuclear reactions" and hydroponic set ups, particularly since I don't see how small size nuclear plants are in any way inherently better than large nuclear plants with the power being sent over lines as it already is these days.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
General Zod
Never Shuts Up
Posts: 29205
Joined: 2003-11-18 03:08pm
Location: The Clearance Rack
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by General Zod » 2010-12-21 06:00pm

Broomstick wrote:I'm curious as to why so many people push "hydroponics" when clearly there is sufficient land area now open in Detroit for traditional in the ground farming.

There is also the problem of who is going to pay for these proposed "community size nuclear reactions" and hydroponic set ups, particularly since I don't see how small size nuclear plants are in any way inherently better than large nuclear plants with the power being sent over lines as it already is these days.
Click me.
The small energy modules were originally designed by Otis "Pete" Peterson and other scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Now, the technology is being commercially developed by Hyperion Power Generation, which recently announced that it has taken its first orders and plans to start mass production within five years.

"Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world," said John Deal, CEO of Hyperion. "[The nuclear plants] will cost approximately $25 million each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home."

Because of their small size, the mini power plants can be assembled relatively quickly and transported by truck, rail or ship to remote locations, even places that currently do not have electricity. The power plants provide an alternative to current nuclear plants, which are large, expensive, and take about 10 years to build. Also, large-scale power plants don´t fit the needs of small populations or areas without available land. Hyperion´s modules can be connected together to provide energy for larger populations, as well.

In addition, the Hyperion modules have no moving parts to wear down, and never need to be opened on site. Even if opened, the small amount of enclosed fuel would immediately cool, alleviating safety concerns. "It is impossible for the module to go supercritical, ´melt down,´ or create any type of emergency situation," the company states on its Web site. Because the Hyperion plants would be buried underground and guarded by a security detail, the company explains that they´ll be out of sight and safe from illegitimate uses. Further, the material inside wouldn´t be appropriate for proliferation purposes.
"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

Image

ImageImage

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Norade » 2010-12-21 06:29pm

Broomstick wrote:I'm curious as to why so many people push "hydroponics" when clearly there is sufficient land area now open in Detroit for traditional in the ground farming.

There is also the problem of who is going to pay for these proposed "community size nuclear reactions" and hydroponic set ups, particularly since I don't see how small size nuclear plants are in any way inherently better than large nuclear plants with the power being sent over lines as it already is these days.
I push them because both technologies will be needed when we make the jump to space and the more efficient and well known the technology is at that stage the better.

Also, in this case they have the land to experiment a little and demonstrating that you can get more out of a land footprint with nuclear and hydroponics would be great if you could ever get the funding.
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-21 08:54pm

Have you ever tried doing hydroponics? I have.

I seriously question if doing hydroponics is either more efficient or more energy conserving than traditional in-the-ground farming assuming you have land and adequate rainfall which Detroit certainly does. Why? Hydroponics requires refining, transport, and mixing of chemicals. You have to monitor those chemicals for adequate concentration. If you're going for all-out efficiency on the level required for commercial operations you need to monitor nutrient levels closely, and pH. You will have to battle algae (not the worst of all evils but it eats your nutrients), fungus, and mold. You will need pumps that require maintenance and power. Depending on your set up, you may need air pumps to keep roots aerated. When the crops are harvested you'll need ot dispose of organic waste. You'll need to keep things relatively sanitary to limit pathogens so, again, chemicals to clean the equipment. And you'll still need to deal with insects and vermin who will get into wherever you're doing the hydroponics.

Yes, there certainly is a market for hydroponic fruits, vegetables, and herbs. And you pay a premium for them, for the luxury of having year round fresh produce produced in that manner.

What it comes down to is that in hydroponics (or airponics, or whatever variant you choose) you are doing on your own what nature provides for free in traditional farming - watering, provision of nutrients, and waste disposal. Doing that requires technology, knowledge, and energy. I think it's a useful technology, I even make use of it myself. I have a hydroponics set up going right now, in partnership with another person, with him supplying the materials and capital and me supplying the knowledge and seeds. We had fresh radishes produced by it with our dinner tonight. It's still more costly than the garden I grow in spring-summer-fall, and more time and labor intensive as well.

I realize that things don't always scale up, but ANY hyrdoponic set up is going to have certain features and requirements. Fact is, my current set up is not as productive per square foot as my dirt garden. It's just not. Partly, that's because we don't have the money to purchase the necessary equipment to make it so, nor do we want a situation where we're sampling nutrient fluids several times a day (part of the appeal of our set up is that we can let it run on it's own for a few days without attention - our time being a priority with us) for optimizing growth. It has produced a quantifiable uptick in energy costs for the building it is in. Very small, but persistent, that would not be incurred if that set up was not up there. We also skimp on the heat (which limits us to cool tolerant plants) which if we didn't would, again, cost more energy. As it is, this week I have to treat the set up to prevent fungus and mold growth - more time, more chemicals.

It would make more sense to utilize this technology where we can't grow food naturally. McMurdo Base in Antarctica, for example, or on nuclear subs (where power is plentiful enough to extract freshwater from seawater and the crew would probably love fresh food - IF you could find space aboard for a set up), or in skyscrapers in densely built up urban areas - which Detroit no longer is. From my viewpoint, using viable ground for traditional farming for hydroponics is a poor utilization of land and resources.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Temujin
Jedi Master
Posts: 1300
Joined: 2010-03-28 07:08pm
Location: Occupying Wall Street (In Spirit)

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Temujin » 2010-12-21 09:13pm

Norade wrote:I push them because both technologies will be needed when we make the jump to space and the more efficient and well known the technology is at that stage the better.

Also, in this case they have the land to experiment a little and demonstrating that you can get more out of a land footprint with nuclear and hydroponics would be great if you could ever get the funding.
I have to agree. And a lot of the technologies and practices that would be needed for a functioning space habitat would also potentially be applicable on Earth to help establish a more sustainable society; resulting in less pollution and environmental impact, and less resource depletion. I personally think we should develop these technologies and utilize them anywhere and everywhere we can. Widespread use will help develop and refine the technologies as well as driving down costs. It would also get us in the practice of living in a more sustainable way, something our species desperately needs to learn how to do.
Image
Mr. Harley: Your impatience is quite understandable.
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry... I wish it were otherwise.

"I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe.
If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other." – Frankenstein's Creature on the glacier[/size]

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-21 09:19pm

But adding expense and energy costs for farming technologies in areas where traditional farming is actually MORE sustainable and less energy intensive does not make sense!

Building an elaborate machine - and that's what a hydroponic farm is, it's a machine - to replicate the natural soil and water cycle in a place suitable for farming does NOT contribute to sustainability or conservation. Better to use dirt farming and manage that in a manner that is sustainable (which is entirely possible and commonly done prior to, say, 1950) than to build a high tech barn to house a high tech, energy-sucking farm.

You're applying more technology than is necessary to solve the problem at hand. That's wasteful.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
aerius
Charismatic Cult Leader
Posts: 14419
Joined: 2002-08-18 07:27pm
Location: YHM

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by aerius » 2010-12-21 09:27pm

Hydroponics is great for certain crops such as tomatoes and marijuana, you can grow way more of them way faster than on a traditional farm and get more yield per plant at the same time. For stuff like wheat or corn it's about even or only slightly better, all other crops are somewhere in between.

One thing I do wonder about with Detroit is soil contamination, it was Motor City with a ton of industry and some of the supporting industries for the auto companies probably weren't the most enviro friendly businesses. There's a ton of plastics, paints, chemicals, and other toxic stuff that goes into making cars, especially in the past when these things weren't as well regulated as they are today. You gotta think there's a few toxic chemical spills or lead contaminated dumps lying around somewhere amid all those abandoned buildings.
Image
aerius: I'll vote for you if you sleep with me. :)
Lusankya: Deal!
Say, do you want it to be a threesome with your wife? Or a foursome with your wife and sister-in-law? I'm up for either. :P

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-21 09:53pm

Of course, you'll have to check for that - but it's not like rural farms don't have dumping problems, and modern farming uses chemicals that can be hazardous in concentration (a couple years ago my area had a would-be fertilizer thief hospitalized - apparently he was clueless about handling modern farm chemicals. He lost both feet to severe chemical burns.)

They're planning to put the farms in former residential areas, where the problem of contamination should be much less than at the former factory sites.

I'll also note that even in crops where higher yields are possible it STILL takes more energy to produce those higher yields. One way cops find out about the indoor hydroponic marijuana growers is by checking utility records - those operations use and order of magnitude more power than a home used for living in.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

split in progress

Post by Norade » 2010-12-22 01:50am

Broomstick wrote:But adding expense and energy costs for farming technologies in areas where traditional farming is actually MORE sustainable and less energy intensive does not make sense!

Building an elaborate machine - and that's what a hydroponic farm is, it's a machine - to replicate the natural soil and water cycle in a place suitable for farming does NOT contribute to sustainability or conservation. Better to use dirt farming and manage that in a manner that is sustainable (which is entirely possible and commonly done prior to, say, 1950) than to build a high tech barn to house a high tech, energy-sucking farm.

You're applying more technology than is necessary to solve the problem at hand. That's wasteful.
You're missing the point. The point is to get this method of farming down and to get the small sized reactors to a perfected science for use in places that have no soil such as spaceships, Mars, and Antarctica. Nobody in Detroit should have a leg to stand on about pollution.
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-22 07:00am

Again, who is going to pay for that? Are you YOU going to front the money for that project?

Do that sort of development where it makes sense - in a PROSPEROUS highly urban area where land value is at a premium and the surrounding population has the resources to buy your product. Detroit is too poor to provide capital for such a project. Launch something like that in, say, New York City where a vertical farm makes sense. Or Chicago. I think I recall hearing about a project like that in Milwaukee. The point is, launching a project like that makes much more sense one of those settings.

And if you think Detroit is somehow a leader in polluted environments you're sorely mistaken. Yes, the Rouge River Plant was legendary (if you've seen Robocop you've seen Rouge River) but it was, geographically, only a small portion of the city. Most of the land area is NOT contaminated.

Really, the idea of carpeting Detroit in hydroponic farms is technowank. It's not a solution for the city's immediate and serious problems, it's a SF masturbation fantasy. Using traditional dirt farming is viable because what Detroit now has is open land, and it's relatively less capital intensive and a known technology. There is less risk of entrepreneurial failure using dirt farming.

The point YOU are missing is that what Detroit is doing is NOT to develop space habitat technology, it's to improve Detroit. The point is to benefit a city on life support and make it a viable living space again, be that urban or farm. The people involved do not share your agenda. They do not exist to serve your fantasies and needs.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Norade » 2010-12-22 07:36am

Broomstick wrote:Again, who is going to pay for that? Are you YOU going to front the money for that project?

Do that sort of development where it makes sense - in a PROSPEROUS highly urban area where land value is at a premium and the surrounding population has the resources to buy your product. Detroit is too poor to provide capital for such a project. Launch something like that in, say, New York City where a vertical farm makes sense. Or Chicago. I think I recall hearing about a project like that in Milwaukee. The point is, launching a project like that makes much more sense one of those settings.

And if you think Detroit is somehow a leader in polluted environments you're sorely mistaken. Yes, the Rouge River Plant was legendary (if you've seen Robocop you've seen Rouge River) but it was, geographically, only a small portion of the city. Most of the land area is NOT contaminated.

Really, the idea of carpeting Detroit in hydroponic farms is technowank. It's not a solution for the city's immediate and serious problems, it's a SF masturbation fantasy. Using traditional dirt farming is viable because what Detroit now has is open land, and it's relatively less capital intensive and a known technology. There is less risk of entrepreneurial failure using dirt farming.

The point YOU are missing is that what Detroit is doing is NOT to develop space habitat technology, it's to improve Detroit. The point is to benefit a city on life support and make it a viable living space again, be that urban or farm. The people involved do not share your agenda. They do not exist to serve your fantasies and needs.
Where else in the US could you put down a small scale nuclear reactor and not get lynched? Hell manufacturing them there would create jobs for the people that are there and then people could go work the hydroponic farms that they power. At only $25 Million per small reactor plus say $25 Million for a hydroponics plant they could likely get funding for this start-up easily enough, even more so if jobs assembling the reactors pop up. If that doesn't work raises taxes by 0.1% even assuming that each person in Detroit only earns $10,000/year that nets you the extra $50 Million you'd need to build a new plant and farm each year at the cost of literally a few bucks from each resident.

Also, where are you getting the idea that blanketing the city in these plants would be the ideal? I was more thinking you could alleviate the fear of the reactor by putting it away from people but still close enough to the city for people to be easily able to reach the farm.
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4781
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by LaCroix » 2010-12-22 08:03am

have you only the inkling of an idea how much traditional farming can be done for $50 million? At current land prices, you would be able to buy half the county(I know, but it's a fucking huge lot!) and start farming there. This would produce more jobs in the community - because your reactor and the hydroponics need mostly specialized people and well-paid (technicians, chemists) that Detroit lacks, and few peons.

All these peons would be used in a traditional agriculture, and this would also need no huge amount of additional energy to raise the crops, thus no nuclear reactor, and will be cheaper, as it needs less chemicals to raise the plants in dirt.

After all, for the same investment, you get much more crop, more 'peon' jobs and all at low upkeep cost (less chemicals, nearly no electricity, no sophisticated water pump system, etc).

It's just that you try to find a scenario for your pet project (mini-nuke plants) to be viable, forgetting that in most environments, there are better and cheaper alternatives. No one is going to throw 50$ on a pet project that does nothing but fulfills your "we'll need it when we build the United Stations of SPACE!" dreams... People have more pressing needs in Detroit than to build a fucking nuclear reactor and a hydro-farm in gang county!
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

User avatar
Mayabird
Storytime!
Posts: 5970
Joined: 2003-11-26 04:31pm
Location: IA > GA
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Mayabird » 2010-12-22 08:40am

Norade, honestly, your proposal sounds nearly as ridiculous as LionElJonson's thing about not allowing gender reassignment surgery until we have magic nanowank for rebuilding bodies/brains, that twit who said that Russia should make uber-tech out of wishful thinking and pixie shit, and anything that Sarah Palin says, though the latter might be going a bit far. Detroit can't pay for basic things like schools, police, and road maintenance so why are they going to throw money at hydroponics, which is a LUXURY to them? People are already wanting to spend their own money to buy the land for traditional farms, which won't end up costing the city anything. There are plenty of other places that can handle that sort of thing, like Japan, with its wealth, high land prices, and need to import almost all raw materials.
DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

SDNW4 Nation: The Refuge And, on Nova Terra, Al-Stan the Totally and Completely Honest and Legitimate Weapons Dealer and Used Starship Salesman slept on a bed made of money, with a blaster under his pillow and his sombrero pulled over his face. This is to say, he slept very well indeed.

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-22 08:50am

Norade wrote:Where else in the US could you put down a small scale nuclear reactor and not get lynched?
Here's another factoid under "people are dumb herd animals, and bigots to boot": Detroit has the highest population of Middle Eastern immigrants in the US. Combine "Arab" and "nuclear" and people are going to freak. I realize this is not a hard, science-type fact but social factors DO count in these circumstances. The kneejerks willing be screaming SECURITY RISK! no matter how many times you assure them there isn't one.
Hell manufacturing them there would create jobs for the people that are there and then people could go work the hydroponic farms that they power.
Again, the people in Detroit do not exist to serve your fantasies.

But let's look at your potential work force (based on the 2000 Census and the 2010 results have not yet been published). Recall that the population of Detroit plummeted during the past few decades, with those remaining largely being those who were unable to move elsewhere.

1/3 of all resident are under the poverty line, and if consistent with such demographics elsewhere, most of those will not have advanced education suited to such a high tech endeavor as assembling mini nuclear plants.

34% are under 18. They MIGHT be a future workforce.... IF the public education system in the city is vastly improved. You were planning to invest in that, too, weren't you?

Another 10% are elderly and probably won't be in the workforce. That's 44% of the population who won't be working for anyone.

I can't find stats easily on how many have past felony records, but such people will never be permitted to work at a nuclear facility whereas they will certainly be permitted to work on farms.

Of the remaining pool of potential employees, many are already employed at vital jobs such as police officer. That doesn't really leave a whole lot with which to start building nuclear plants, aside from the fact most will need to spend years learning useful skills for that purpose. Most likely the talent pool will be drawn from the surrounding suburbs, many of which are well to do and full of highly educated people but that will not benefit Detroit itself if you do it that way because Detroit suburbanites do not spend their money inside of Detroit proper, with the rare exception of a sporting event or the like held downtown.
At only $25 Million per small reactor plus say $25 Million for a hydroponics plant they could likely get funding for this start-up easily enough, even more so if jobs assembling the reactors pop up.
Did you pull those numbers out of your ass or do you have an actual basis for them?
If that doesn't work raises taxes by 0.1% even assuming that each person in Detroit only earns $10,000/year that nets you the extra $50 Million you'd need to build a new plant and farm each year at the cost of literally a few bucks from each resident.
You're sort of ignoring the fact that people are really resistant to raising taxes, especially in times such as these.

Also, your thinking about business is ass-backward. If you have to raise taxes and provide a government subsidy for the business to run at at your business is not viable. You can't run at a continual loss. What you have just proposed is taxing an already impoverished area to support your technowank fantasy. This does not help Detroit. You're supposed to be INCREASING wealth in the city, not bleeding it to fulfil your schemes.
Also, where are you getting the idea that blanketing the city in these plants would be the ideal? I was more thinking you could alleviate the fear of the reactor by putting it away from people but still close enough to the city for people to be easily able to reach the farm.
WHERE are you going to put it, then? You do realize Detroit is surrounded by urban suburbs, yes? It's not isolated on a desolate plain. The suburbs exist in a ring 20-30 miles thick all around the city itself. The only place to put it is within the city limits itself.

Meanwhile, dirt farming is an already proven business mode in the area (there are numerous farms and orchards in Michigan) that can employ even people with minimal education AND brings fresh food to a food desert. Granted, a hyroponic farm would do much the same, but is much more capital and energy intensive. Which means the resulting produce is more expensive than dirt-grown and thus the local would be less able to buy that product. If they were making widgets maybe that wouldn't matter, but Detroit is deficient in healthy, fresh foods and part of the rationale here is also to improve local diets as a by product of making a viable business. One of the reasons why pot is grown hydroponically (there are actually several) is that people already pay so much for the shit that the small uptick in price from producing it hydroponically isn't even noticed.

My issue with your technowank is that you seem to have no real knowledge of the geographical area or the population, nor are you considering very real social factors that will be present. You've bluntly stated that this project is so important to you that you feel justified in taxing people to support it, yet the whole idea in the first place was to bring a viable business to the city to increase wealth, not drain it away.

I have also asked if anyone here has actual experience in growing things hydroponically other than myself and have heard only resounding silence. Let me state it again - I am a supporter of hydroponics and right now have a hydroponic garden which supplied food to my table just yesterday, so I do have some real world experience in the matter. And my experience informs me that hydroponics is not as easy as dirty farming. It's certainly possible but it requires MUCH more time and human energy, constant monitoring and intervention, a higher level of knowledge of chemistry and plant nutrition than dirt farming does (which in no way diminishes the fact that commercial dirt farming requires such knowledge as well, along with soil analysis and other surprisingly sophisticated technologies), and more energy from the grid or some local generator than relying on sun and rain.

There is also the small complication that Canada might have something to say about a nuclear factory so close to its border, but compared to the other problems your scheme presents it's a pretty small wrinkle.

Meanwhile, dirt farming in Detroit

1) puts land back on the tax rolls (increased revenue for city service)

2) employs people of even minimal education (these people need JOBS - one reason there is so much poverty is that there are not enough jobs in the city. That's why I left Detroit 25+ years ago and it's only gotten worse since then) which puts the unemployed back on the tax rolls

3) makes better food available locally, presumably at the same or lower price as dirt farming elsewhere and then having to pay to transport the food to the city.

4) is a proven technology that will provide results within a year of start up.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
DudeGuyMan
Jedi Knight
Posts: 587
Joined: 2010-03-25 03:25am

split post

Post by DudeGuyMan » 2010-12-22 12:56pm

Norade's wonderfully hilarious tech-wank aside, this consolidation plan sounds like a good one. The city simply can't carry on as it is now, or eventually it'll just collapse completely and turn into some kind of Thunderdome shit.

I don't know much about this Bing guy who's mayor now, but I hope he's a straight arrow. The only non-crooked mayor Detroit has had in my lifetime was Dennis Archer, and he was only around for two terms before getting fed up with fighting with the crooks and bolting for the private sector.

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Norade » 2010-12-22 06:16pm

I had a big long post typed up, but my PC crashed and ate it so here's the short version.

I don't actually care for the people of Detroit, I've never lived there and from the sounds of it the city is just a bunch of poor crooks. I'd love to say I have faith that we can, in a reasonable timescale, educate kids that might otherwise go towards gangs enough that they get jobs instead, but I doubt that's realistic. I'd much rather see Detroit used as a testbed city for future technologies and city planning so that other worthwhile places can benefit. Frankly though I know that others think of the people that are suffering in Detroit and care, I don't.

Instead I see a city where 1/3 are on welfare and many of those have no hope of upwards mobility, a city where crime is off the charts, and a city decaying so fast that even the core is likely only marginally worth saving. What are these people doing for the rest of the world, and for the future? Why shouldn't the city start to slowly switch from coal and oil to nuclear power one small plant at a time until the technology gets cheap? Because they'll have to tax the already poor and make their lives less than a dollar a month less rich, I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to care.

If Detroit pioneers small reactors and hydroponic farms at least they're giving back to the rest of the state and country and putting out a bit less carbon. If they make a huge mass of farmland for cash crops, or even just for wheat, beef, and corn they add nothing. Sure a few more people have jobs and gang violence lessens, but what does that do for anybody else and how does it begin to pay for the money dumped into the city that went towards just keeping these people alive?

Now before you ask, what have you done for the world, I'll have you know I keep my carbon footprint low by not driving and using the most energy efficient appliances I can afford and that I'm going into the field of robotics after I'm done school with the goal of replacing construction workers with robots within my lifetime. What are you doing?
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

Flameblade
Youngling
Posts: 137
Joined: 2007-02-02 12:08pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Flameblade » 2010-12-22 06:25pm

Broomstick wrote:I have also asked if anyone here has actual experience in growing things hydroponically other than myself and have heard only resounding silence.
I've grown food both with hydroponics and in a normal dirt garden. I'll take soil-gardening any damned day of the week. Hydroponics are just too damned finicky on anything but an industrial scale -- the exact opposite of the situation in Detroit and Norade's demented fantasy.
Norade wrote:I don't actually care for the people of Detroit.
And this explains it all. You don't care about whether or not something will actually help the people there, you're just furiously masturbating your "glorious technofuture" bullshit. Fuck off and die, you sociopathic shit eating hatfucker.
"Saying science is retarded on the internet is like dissing oxygen out loud." --- Rye
The plural of anecdote is not data and the plural of datum is not proof.
The act of burning up in the Earth's atmosphere is simply your body's effort to dispute the Earth's insistence that you travel at the same speed. The ground is the Earth's closing argument.

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Norade » 2010-12-22 06:30pm

Flameblade wrote:
Broomstick wrote:I have also asked if anyone here has actual experience in growing things hydroponically other than myself and have heard only resounding silence.
I've grown food both with hydroponics and in a normal dirt garden. I'll take soil-gardening any damned day of the week. Hydroponics are just too damned finicky on anything but an industrial scale -- the exact opposite of the situation in Detroit and Norade's demented fantasy.
Are you suggesting that soil farming will work places like space or Mars? Or that Detroit wouldn't benefit from industrial scale hydroponics?
Norade wrote:I don't actually care for the people of Detroit.
And this explains it all. You don't care about whether or not something will actually help the people there, you're just furiously masturbating your "glorious technofuture" bullshit. Fuck off and die, you sociopathic shit eating hatfucker.
Please explain why I should care about them? What are they doing for anybody besides making them not want to visit, work, or live in Detroit?
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

AniThyng
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2663
Joined: 2003-09-08 12:47pm
Location: Took an arrow in the knee.
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by AniThyng » 2010-12-22 06:34pm

On the tangent of Hydroponics versus dirt farming, is there any significant difference on the enviromental impact up the chain e.g. for the manufacture of the fertilizer and chemicals needed? Is hydroponics superior, equal or worse in that regard?
I do know how to spell
AniThyng is merely the name I gave to what became my favourite Baldur's Gate II mage character :P

User avatar
Starglider
Miles Dyson
Posts: 8662
Joined: 2007-04-05 09:44pm
Location: Isle of Dogs
Contact:

Further split

Post by Starglider » 2010-12-22 06:41pm

Norade wrote:I don't actually care for the people of Detroit, I've never lived there and from the sounds of it the city is just a bunch of poor crooks. I'd much rather see Detroit used as a testbed city for future technologies and city planning so that other worthwhile places can benefit. Frankly though I know that others think of the people that are suffering in Detroit and care, I don't.
Having stated outright that you are a clinical sociopath, why would you expect anyone to care about your opinions? What possible use it is spouting off nonsense plans that there is zero chance of any area accepting? Most outright invasions have better PR and more chance of being accepted by the local population than your plan.

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-22 08:01pm

Norade wrote:I had a big long post typed up, but my PC crashed and ate it so here's the short version.
Probably for the best anyway, since if it's like your other posts it's just more of the same technowanking.
I don't actually care for the people of Detroit,
That's glaringly obvious.
I've never lived there and from the sounds of it the city is just a bunch of poor crooks. I'd love to say I have faith that we can, in a reasonable timescale, educate kids that might otherwise go towards gangs enough that they get jobs instead, but I doubt that's realistic.
Crime rate in Detroit has actually been going down over the past few years. Possibly because the gang bangers were too efficient at killing each other. Possibly because there is little left to steal. Possibly for other reasons that aren't clear.
I'd much rather see Detroit used as a testbed city for future technologies and city planning so that other worthwhile places can benefit. Frankly though I know that others think of the people that are suffering in Detroit and care, I don't.
In other words, you're saying you'd quite happily obliterate everyone currently living in the city to serve your fucked up techno-fantasies and masturbation?

You DO realize you're talking about human beings, yes?
Instead I see a city where 1/3 are on welfare and many of those have no hope of upwards mobility
No, you ignorant moron - it's 1/3 below the poverty line. You can be below that line and still NOT qualify for welfare. In fact, welfare barely exists anymore in this country. Only people with dependent children can collect welfare, and that for only five years per child. That's IT. That's lifetime limit. After that you're cut off regardless of your situation. Food stamps are the only benefit that you can get outside of that, but it won't pay your rent, won't even buy toilet paper.

So no, 1/3 of the city of Detroit is NOT on welfare. That is not what that statistic means. Educate yourself, asshat.
a city where crime is off the charts,
Based on FBI crime statistics:

St. Louis, Missouri actually has a higher violent crime rate per thousand than Detroit.

St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana both have higher murder rates per thousand than Detroit.

There are 34 cities with higher rates of rape per thousand than Detroit.

5 cities have higher robbery rates than Detroit (Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Oakland, California; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Washington, DC)

I could go on, really, but the point here is that while Detroit sucks as a place to live it is NOT, in fact, the most dangerous city in the nation. Unless you're willing to flush St. Louis down the toilet along with Detroit, and maybe New Orleans, a couple cities in Ohio, and so forth your position is unjustified and based on ignorance of the actual facts.
and a city decaying so fast that even the core is likely only marginally worth saving.
Actually, the core is pretty dead, it's the margins and the east side that are still viable. Again, you display your ignorance.
What are these people doing for the rest of the world, and for the future?
What are you doing, other than costing your parents the money they spend on food and occupying space in mama's basement?
Why shouldn't the city start to slowly switch from coal and oil to nuclear power one small plant at a time until the technology gets cheap?
Because they haven't go the money to do this.

You are also apparently unaware that Detroit (actually, the greater South East Michigan area, also known as "Metro Detroit" encompassing the suburbs) gets 15% of its power from nuclear energy right now, from the Enrico Fermi nuclear power plant located near Monroe, Michigan. In 2008 the facility applied to build a third nuclear generation plant on the site. In other words, they're already doing it, which you'd know if you took ANY trouble to research reality at all.
Because they'll have to tax the already poor and make their lives less than a dollar a month less rich, I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to care.
I got a better idea. How about we strip you of money and assets. I mean, if it's THAT important to you won't mind throwing all your resources towards it, right? By the way - Detroits's Eastern Market is about the only place to buy actual food in the city, and they do accept foodstamps. This will be important, since all your money will be going to your scheme and thus you will have no means purchase food other than foodstamps.
If Detroit pioneers small reactors and hydroponic farms at least they're giving back to the rest of the state and country and putting out a bit less carbon.
How fucking much carbon do you think they're putting out now?

And no, they are not "giving back to the rest of the state", by depriving them of what little they still have left via taxing them for a non-viable business scheme what you're really proposing is exploiting the poor to benefit your own petty schemes and interests. You're justifying it by regarding them as less than yourself, and therefore not deserving of what little they have. You're advocating robbing the poor to amuse the rich.
If they make a huge mass of farmland for cash crops, or even just for wheat, beef, and corn they add nothing.
On the other hand, if they can feed themselves they also take less. Hell, the might even become self-sufficient. A state you are apparently unacquainted with.
Sure a few more people have jobs and gang violence lessens, but what does that do for anybody else and how does it begin to pay for the money dumped into the city that went towards just keeping these people alive?
I'm not sure how you translate "jobs" into "gang violence" lessons. Perhaps you're just stupid rather than ignorant.

I'm also sure it escapes your pea brain that if 1/3 of the city is below the poverty line that logically it follows that two thirds of the city is ABOVE the poverty line - in other words, self-sufficient, employed people who are NOT sucking money from anyone else. But, apparently, you are willing to destroy 2/3 of the city to punish the impoverished bottom third because... well, I don't understand why that is necessary. I have never understood the rather vindictive attitudes that exist towards the poor.
Now before you ask, what have you done for the world, I'll have you know I keep my carbon footprint low by not driving and using the most energy efficient appliances I can afford and that I'm going into the field of robotics after I'm done school with the goal of replacing construction workers with robots within my lifetime. What are you doing?
I take mass transit wherever feasible.

When I must drive I use a car that gets 40 mpg in the city and 48 on the freeway, which is the best gas mileage I can obtain at the moment.

I grow a significant portion (1/2 to 3/4) of the vegetable food I eat, rather than depending on commercial produce that requires long distance transportation to reach me. I also have a compost heap for natural fertilizer.

Other than a refrigerator and a stove, and using a commercial laundromat, I pretty much have NO appliances. No dishwasher, for example - washing dishes by hand has a much smaller carbon footprint than any "efficient" dishwasher.

I recycle. In fact, I not only recycle edible kitchen scrap into compost, I also recycle aluminum and steel, usually 20-50 pounds at a time, about every other month.

Replaced all the lightbulbs in the home with CFL's - which, of course, have a small disposal problem (I drop them off at the monthly hazardous home waste collection event held by my county). Next time we need to buy new lights we'll be getting LED's - we've already replace three CFL's with those.

I give my unwanted good clothes to charity. I buy many of my "new" clothes from second-hand stores - because I'm reusing clothes I don't increase resource use. (I do have to buy my shoes new, however, as I just plain wear them out). As a bonus, I save a shitload of money.

That's just off the top of my head.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26529
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Broomstick » 2010-12-22 08:13pm

AniThyng wrote:On the tangent of Hydroponics versus dirt farming, is there any significant difference on the enviromental impact up the chain e.g. for the manufacture of the fertilizer and chemicals needed? Is hydroponics superior, equal or worse in that regard?
I'd love to answer that as a factual question, however, Alyeska has asked that we stop that tangent. If, however, some wonderful person with mod powers over this thread wants to split this out, or if someone such as yourself wants to start a thread about hydroponics elsewhere (perhaps in SLAM) I'd be happy to take a shot at it.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Norade
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2005-09-23 11:33pm
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Detroit to be shrunken and bulldozed

Post by Norade » 2010-12-23 01:32am

Alyeska wrote:This article is about Detriot. Either stay on topic or I will HOS your off topic hydroponics rambling. This is your only warning Norade.
Am I able to respond to Broomstick, or should that be split before I say anything?
School requires more work than I remember it taking...

User avatar
Alyeska
Federation Ambassador
Posts: 17490
Joined: 2002-08-11 07:28pm
Location: Montana, USA

Re: Feasibility of Hydroponics

Post by Alyeska » 2010-12-23 01:50am

Split from here.
"If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If neither is on your side, pound on the table."

"The captain claimed our people violated a 4,000 year old treaty forbidding us to develop hyperspace technology. Extermination of our planet was the consequence. The subject did not survive interrogation."

Post Reply