Fed up with energy hungry agricultural landscapes
Taylor, Liza Thomas
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The 2014 world population is over seven billion and growing rapidly. Food production to feed this population relies on dwindling supplies of subsidized fossil energy. Experts agree that the potential of renewable energy is minimal and inadequate when compared to current global fossil energy use. The goal of this research is to aid in the transition to a post-industrial world by providing simple, effective ways to design productive farms by applying the laws of thermodynamics. The research question is: “How can the laws of thermodynamics influence landscape design and reduce direct and indirect energy inputs in rural agricultural systems to achieve energy independence?” Through a review of the energy laws, an analysis of modern agriculture, classification of agricultural inputs, and historical precedent studies, this thesis develops energy-based design guidelines intended to reduce the energy required for food production in order to foster a safer, healthier and more secure future.