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Andrew Carnegie
Feb 21, 2021
In Final submissions
Designathon 2021 Final Concept Submission Group D21-26 1 Our Concept We started this project with the aim of building a foundation for which to encourage and reward sustainable engineering in agriculture. Currently, a staggering 50% of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture yet according to The Food Aid Foundation, “821 million people – one in nine – still go to bed on an empty stomach each night” [1]. Animal farming is the most detrimental form of farming to climate change as it accounts for 77% of the global farming land but only provides 18% of the world calories. As the human population increases exponentially, this will only develop the catastrophic crisis [2]. Our concept introduces a new agricultural law which benefits those who farm sustainably and morally; the less farming land used per kg of food produce, the more income tax breaks for that farmer. This concept would encourage farmers to farm more sustainably as it focuses on driving higher profits for farmers who are able to innovate and produce ethical, sustainable crops. 2 The Current System The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was launched in 1962 with the aims of allowing farmers to compete on a level playing field whilst protecting against volatility in agricultural prices [3]. The incentives of the CAP encouraged farmers to increase output with the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides causing problems for the environment with large agriculture businesses still receive the majority of subsidies. The UK has proposed plans to phase away from this out-of-date model and develop an eco-friendlier model of agricultural land subsidies, incentivising sustainable land use practices which aligns with our projects main goal. 3 The Role of Engineers As for promoting better engineering practice, there is no doubt some farmers and/or people will want to take advantage of this new law and grow their own crops to sell therefore there will be demand for the most efficient farming methods possible and engineers will deliver. Structured as governmental policy, this proposal would promote engineers from a wide range of diverse backgrounds to collectivize ideas and approaches to form more environmental and sustainable farming methods. 4 Funding & Support  Subsidies currently used to fund the oil and gas sector in the UK, which total 3 Billion each year [4], will slowly be transitioned to promote inspiring engineers to rise to the challenge and make a positive impact in the agriculture sector. With support coming from the Green Party and many climate change organisations, we can actively practice defending against the negative effects of modern agriculture and intentionally accelerating its positive ones through a greater communal responsibility. 5   Impact Our hope is this proposal will encourage farmers and corporations to innovate with their farming practices by making use of as little land as possible. Less animal farming and more crop farming would also aid in tackling the obesity crisis that also affects our planet. More land would also be available for housing which would improve the lives of over 8 million people in England currently living in unaffordable/unsuitable homes. References [1] https://ourworldindata.org/land-use [2] World Hunger Statistics - Food Aid Foundation [3] https://www.economicshelp.org/europe/disadvantages-cap [4] https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/advantages-disadvantages-vertical-farming.php #FinalSubmission #GroupD21-26 #WorldChangers
Final Concept Submission Group D21-26   content media
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Andrew Carnegie
Feb 11, 2021
In Concept notes
This submission describes our initial concepts, based on creating a greater global responsibility for engineers when it comes to sustainability and ethical obligation which we will develop and improve over the coming weeks. Engineering practice Currently, a staggering 50% of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture yet we are still constantly hearing about billions of people across the world starving every single day and as the human population increases exponentially, this will only become more of a problem the longer we do nothing to combat it [1]. The concept we have come up with is to introduce a new law which benefits those who farm sustainably and morally: the less farming land used per kg of food produce from that land, the more tax breaks for that farmer. This concept would encourage farmers to farm more sustainably because animal farming is the most detrimental form of farming to climate change today as it accounts for 77% of the global farming land but only provides 18% of the world calories [1]. Less animal farming and more crop farming would also aid in tackling the obesity crisis that also affects our planet. As for promoting better engineering practice however, there is no doubt some farmers and/or people will want to take advantage of this new law and grow their own crops to sell therefore there will be demand for the most efficient farming methods possible and engineers will deliver. There are already vertical farms which allow food production to be as efficient as possible with our current technology, providing year-round crop production that traditional farms are unable to provide and with minimal water usage [2]. Also, no chemicals or pesticides are used in vertical farms allowing the growth of far healthier foods with none of the occupational hazards [2]. Even entire skyscrapers dedicated to vertical farming have been proposed such as one by architecture firm Sasaki which would join Shanghai’s skyline as a magnificent building that helps tackle climate change while helping to feed the world’s most populated country [3]. References: https://ourworldindata.org/land-use https://cambridgehok.co.uk/news/the-10-biggest-advantages-of-vertical-farming https://nationalpost.com/life/food/vertical-farms-grow-amid-skyscrapers-in-a-plan-to-help-feed-chinas-largest-city #D21-26 #WorldChangers #Mentors
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