Re: Solving World Problems: Hunger

From: Miriam English (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 17:25:07 MST

I think there is another problem, in Australia at least...
Some time ago I looked into the idea of getting councils to plant fruit
trees rather than decorative ones, and found out that it was either against
some law or against some set of rules or guidelines. (I can't remember
exactly... it was about 20 years ago that I looked into this.)

The point is that there must be some reasoning behind preventing this...
never found out what...
  - maybe it is to lessen the cost of cleaning up putrefying fruit
  - maybe it is because previous attempts to do this produced local squabbles
  - maybe people snuck around and stripped trees of fruit and sold it at
local markets
  - maybe moneyed interests in the local fruit trade were just afraid of
their profits going down...

It sounds like an interesting question. If I wasn't so busy I might be
tempted to look into it... unfortunately it will have to wait until after
my uploading. :-)

At 10:08 AM 29/01/2002, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>On Mon, Jan 28, 2002 at 05:15:02PM -0500, E. S. OTerick wrote:
> > We should replace the trees that don't bear fruit with ones that do.
> > Imagine for the next day that every tree you see is full of fruit
> > and imagine the savings on your grocery bill.
>Well, the proposal does have some difficulties. Looking out through my
>window on the Swedish tundra (OK, it's not *that* bad :-) I see one
>climatic problem. I guess people by now are getting better at modifying
>the seasonality of plants, so creating variants of the same species that
>set fruit in periods covering the entire year in a sufficiently warm and
>steady climate might be possible (modulo complications with variations
>in insect pollination). But what are the incentives for people to pay
>for and plant such varieties? While most people love orchards in
>general, fewer want to live in them or eat the fruit from the orchard
>along the superhighway.
>More seriously the problem of hunger is not really due to lack of food
>production but rather lack of distribution and buying power among the
>poor. Even a cornucopia tree won't help if local warlords tax you 100%
>at gunpoint. So the first step towards a solution to hunger may be less
>spreading modified tree seeds (I think that is part of the *second*
>step), but rather to spread satelite phones to make people able to
>communicate with each other outside local ruler's control.
>Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
>GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Virtual Reality Association

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:37 MST