This talk seems timely since Jeff Bezos grabbed the headlines lately because of a statement he made about Amazon using drones to deliver packages within four or five years.
Andreas Raptopoulos, in this TED talk which follows, is promoting drones for regions in Africa where there is no road infrastructure.
Demonstrating a drone delivery during the TED talk, he told us that a delivery of 2 kilograms traveling more than 10 kilometers would cost 24 cents, and the energy required for the same delivery would only cost 2 cents.
The drone “infrastructure” would cost far less than road infrastructure and would be designed based on ideas of the internet, also operating 24/7.
Making drone deliveries would have a low ecological footprint, and could also be applied to the urban areas, which are rapidly growing around the world, as a new layer of transportation.
As the camera panned the TED audience faces, people looked skeptical. Many minds were filled with questions, I’m sure, ethical and otherwise.
Like they say, the genie is out of the bottle. Looks unstoppable to me.
Finally, here is Amazon’s Prime Air drone method demonstrated in this 1-minute video, if you’re interested.
This TED talk by French-speaking biologist Mohamed Hijri, is titled “A simple solution to the coming phosphorus crisis.”
The talk is a bit difficult to follow, but his message about mycorrhizal fungi’s ability to enhance nutrient uptake by plants is a good one. (This subject is not new to readers here. See this and this and this.)
I disagree with his fearful global food security outlook, and I also disagree with him about the imminent crisis at hand from running out of phosphate fertilizer, as I’ve discussed here before. (Incidentally, the phosphate and potash fertilizer companies have taken a beating lately, with double-digit profit declines of late and greatly falling stock prices on outlook.)
Hijri’s mycorrhizal fungi solution, while it is not the only farming practice method to enhance the availability of phosphorus for growing crops, is an important and excellent solution which will be embraced more and more in the future. He did oversimplify its use, however, as he didn’t mention its ubiquitousness, regional variances, soil types, and other soil microbiota and growing conditions. There are, and have been for a very long time, products on the market which tout mycorrhiza as a soil enhancer, and there is a valued reader here who is doing studies with conventional crops and a new such soil product, who hopes to be able to report results here on this site soon. (Stay tuned.)
The mycorrhiza part of the talk begins at about 8 minutes, if you choose to skip ahead.
One thing that we can all agree on is that farming inputs need to become more sustainable.