Organic Farming Harms the Environment
One of things I object to about mainstream environmentalists is that they act as if there are no tradeoffs. For example, they simultaneously promote organic farming, argue for biodiversity , and lobby for more open space. Personally, I think the second and third are very important. In my value system, they are are very close to terminal goals. Which is why I avoid organic foods.
Reason has a short interview with Norman Borlaug that nicely sums up the tradeoffs required by organic farming. There is literally nobody who understands modern agriculture better. The bottom line is that if the US tried to produce today’s agriculture output with 1960s era technology, we would need on the order of 1 million square miles of additional farmland (assuming that the marginal productivity of the land decreases somewhat as you bring less productive ares into play). That’s a swath 1000 miles by 1000 miles. That’s about 1/3 the land area of the contiguous 48 states.
Replicate this calculation all over the world and you’d have massive deforestation and habitat destruction. Remember the unintended slashing and burning rainforests to plant oil palms for subsidized biodiesel? Now multiply that by 10. No thanks.