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Perennial rice

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Rice regrowing from rhizomes
Rice regrowing from rhizomes

Perennial rice are varieties of long-lived rice that are capable of regrowing season after season without reseeding; they are being developed by plant geneticists at several institutions. Although these varieties are genetically distinct and will be adapted for different climates and cropping systems, their lifespan is so different from other kinds of rice that they are collectively called perennial rice. Perennial rice—like many other perennial plants—can spread by horizontal stems below or just above the surface of the soil but they also reproduce sexually by producing flowers, pollen and seeds. As with any other grain crop, it is the seeds that are harvested and eaten by humans.

Perennial rice is one of several perennial grains that have been proposed, researched or are being developed,[1] including perennial wheat, sunflower, and sorghum. Agronomists have argued that increasing the amount of agricultural landscapes covered at any given time with perennial crops is an excellent way to stabilize and improve the soil, and provide wildlife habitat.[2]

Perennial rice breeding was initiated at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines[3] and are currently being developed at the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, People's Republic of China, and other institutions, but are not yet available for distribution.

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Good evening. Hi. My name's John Peterson. I'm the curator of the Loeb Fellowship. This is a lecture that features a Senior Loeb Scholar. For the last several years-- I don't even actually know the year it started, because I wasn't here-- we've been inviting one or two Senior Loeb Scholars each year to spend an extended period of time with us, something beyond a lecture, something less than a year as a typical Loeb Fellow. This was the brainchild of our dean, Mohsen, who had this idea to bring someone here of note, someone that the student body and faculty could gain more access to than normally a lecturer might bring. I want to thank all the folks that make this sort of thing happen. Sally Young, the program coordinator, Shantel and the events staff who are supporting this event but also supporting other activities throughout the week with this year's Senior Loeb Scholar, David Harvey. There's a seminar tomorrow. You can see that on the Events page on the GSD website. But I'm here only to introduce this as a part of the GSD experience, this program. And Dianne Fainstein is going to-- Susan I'm sorry? Oh, Susan. I was thinking about getting Susan's last name correct. And I missed Susan's-- uh, Diane's first name-- Susan's first name. Who's sitting very close to Diane Davis, of course. So Susan Fainstein is a scholar in her own right-- is going to be here today and tomorrow as part of the seminar. And she's going to be introducing our Senior Loeb scholar this year, David Harvey. Thank you, Susan. [applause] Well, that's the closest I've gotten to being a senator. At any rate, it gives me great pleasure to welcome David Harvey back again to the GSD, and great pleasure for me to be here tonight too. As some of you know, I taught here for a number of years. At any rate, David is the distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at the City University of New York Graduate Center. And he's also taught at Johns Hopkins and been the Mackinder Chair at Oxford University. Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Social Justice and the City, I think it's fair to say that David Harvey revolutionized the discipline of geography and, more broadly, the disciplines involved in urban studies. He did this by bringing a Marxist analysis to the study of the city, but also injected into Marxism, which really had lacked a theory of space and social space, so that he really brought a spatial understanding to the associated disciplines of urban studies. His long list of publications-- and I think they're enumerated in the announcement for this lecture. I'm not going to go through them. But it includes, among many others, books on environmental justice, on neoliberalism, on the transformation of Paris, on the development of urban consciousness, and on Marx's Capital. In linking the question of social justice to urban development, Professor Harvey has broadly influenced the multiple disciplines concerned with the physical, social, and economic development of cities. His concern with Lefebvre's "Right to the City" runs through all his work. And it's of crucial importance to the design professions that are represented here at the GSD. So please join me in welcoming David Harvey. [applause] OK, so thanks for inviting me. And it's a sort of a pleasure to be here in Harvard. It's not often I get invited to Harvard. And actually, I'm quite proud of that fact. But-- [laughter] --in this instance, I'll forgive you. I want to start with a simple fact, which astonished me and continues to astonish me. Between 1900 and 1999, the United States consumed 4,500 million tons of cement. That's in one century. Between 2011 and 2013, China consumed 6,500 million tons of cement. That is, in three years, the Chinese consumed 50% more cement than the United States had consumed in the whole of the preceding century. Now that is a scale of magnitude of spreading cement around which is quite unprecedented. And you can just imagine what the environmental, political, and social consequences might be. So the question I really want to ask is, why did that happen? In so doing, I want to make a mild complaint about how the social sciences work these days. When I first got into the social sciences, we were very much trained to try to answer the question, why? And we spent a lot of time on it and made some pretty flamboyant suggestions as to why. And sometimes totally unsubstantiated, but at least asking why it was what we did. From the 1970s onwards, there's been a gradual erosion. Less and less do people ask the question, why? They ask the question, how? And the question "how?" has helped a great deal, I think, in unraveling a lot of the intricacies of what goes on so that you no longer talk about the compelling force of class struggle or something great like that. You talk about how it is that the developers get together with the lawyers, get together with the construction companies, and they create a mess. And then this happens, and then that happens. But I think we've had a bit too much concentration on the question, how? Because whenever I ask somebody who's been very deeply involved in a "how?" story, well, why did it happen? The answer always comes back. It's the same. It's complicated. And I say, well, yeah, I know it's complicated. But you've got to tell me why. No, you can't because you've got to deal with the complications. And I kind of go-- I get a bit impatient. So I want to ask why that happened, all of that cement being spread around. Well, of course, if it was cement being spread around, it's obviously being used in construction. It's obviously about the creation of built environments and urbanization and infrastructures and all the rest of it. And there has to be an immense amount of that going on. But of course, it's not only cement that's involved in construction. So if you turn to the steel industry, you suddenly see an enormous expansion of steel production in China and China consuming half of the world's steel output. You also need all sorts of other things. You need copper. You need minerals of all sorts. So China's been consuming about 60% or 70% of the world's copper supply. So you go across the board. And you see a huge amount of raw materials. And suddenly, of course, raw material prices are relatively high. And raw material mining activity is erupting all over the world. And in strange places, all of a sudden, whole mountains are being shifted. And all sorts of consequences of that sort are occurring. So the question is then, well, why was China involved in such a huge, huge expansion of its urbanization infrastructural investment? And what do we want to say about it? Now in this, I have to go back a little bit, in the first instance, to 2007, 2008, when there was, as you're aware, a crisis which originated, interestingly, in this country and, therefore, was defined as a global crisis. Other crises could occur in Southeast Asia in 1997, '98. They were regional crises. But you know, the United States has a World Series. So it has to have a world crisis. And actually, it was quite localized. It originated particularly in Southwest United States and the South of United States. And it was, of course, in housing markets and property markets that it was largely focused. Now, again, I'm going to go back to that in a minute. But the consequence of this crisis was, of course, that there was a foreclosure crisis. There was widespread unemployment in this country. And people who've just been foreclosed upon or are about to be foreclosed upon and people who are unemployed don't really go out and buy things. And so the consumer market in the United States basically collapsed. And of course, the primary supplier to that consumer market was China. And so China suddenly found its export industries diminishing rapidly in a very short period of time, disappearing down by about 20%. And it's very difficult, of course, to figure out with the Chinese statistics what's real and what's not. But by some accounts, something like 30 million jobs were lost in China. This is a huge job loss-- in late 2008, that kind of period. And one thing we do know about the Chinese government is that it is very, very nervous about potential unrest. And with 30 million unemployed people, this is a rather rough situation to be in. Now by the end of 2009, there was a report that came out from the IMF and the ILO which talked about what the net job loss had been in the crisis. And the United States had the largest net job loss during that period. China, which I would've expected to have had a huge net job loss given that it lost 30 million, actually only had a net job loss of about 3 million. And what this suggests is that China somehow or other managed to absorb 27 million people in the labor market in the space of about 1 year. Again, a bit like the cement statistics, this is an astounding performance. Well, here you do come back to the question of, how did they do that? And how they did it was the central government basically told everybody to get out and lend and create as many projects as you possibly could. So everything from regional to local to national endeavors were put to work. The banks were told to lend. And unlike the United States, when they gave money to the banks to lend, the assumption was that the banks were going to do it. But there's no power to do it. But the Chinese banking system is not arranged on such a principle. If you tell the bankers to lend, they lend. And they did. So China developed this huge urbanization program and infrastructure development program, building whole new cities, integrating the space economy of the nation, connecting southern and northern markets in a much stronger way, developing the interior of China so that the coast and the interior were much more matched together. And when I was looking at this, I was reminded very much of what the United States had done after World War II. Which is, faced with the problem of coming out of the Depression and a huge increase in productive capacity during World War II, the United States was faced with a problem. How do we not go back into Depression? How do we actually absorb all of that productive capacity in ways which are going to be profitable? And the general answer was, well, we've got to develop the US economy. And there's a lot of talk about US imperialism. And that played a role. And there's a lot of talk about the Cold War. And that certainly played a role. But the big thing they did was to suburbanize, to create huge, kind of, investments. The interstate highway system to pull together the West coast and the South and to integrate the US economy. And of course, the 1950s and 1960s were, in many respects, the golden years of capital accumulation. Very high rates of growth, very satisfactory situation. And so the Chinese, effectively, did the same as the US had done after World War II, but did it much faster and at a much huger rate. And I was struck, when I was thinking about all of this, that I'd seen this kind of game of using urbanization to solve economic and political problems. I'd seen it before. And of course, my favorite case is Second Empire Paris and Haussmann. And how Haussmann was brought, in the wake of 1848 Revolution and the massive unemployment of capital and labor, to rebuild the city of Paris. And this is one of the ways in which all that labor and capital was absorbed. So by 1855, everybody's back in full employment. Napoleon, who's declared himself emperor, is secure because the economy is going well and everything. So they've solved the problem. But you solve the problem, of course, at a certain cost. And in both the Paris case and the United States case after World War II, and of course in the recent Chinese case, the cost is that you go heavily into debt. So one of the things that the Chinese did was to debt finance all of this. But unlike Greece and other places, they didn't debt finance using dollars. They didn't borrow from the United States. They had enough surplus from the United States. So they borrowed in their own currency. And the great advantage of that is you can always inflate away and deal with the problems of-- but actually, China moved from a fairly low debt to GDP ratio. It doubled its ratio of debt to GDP in about five years in this huge, huge urbanization and infrastructural investment. Now you can then start to look at this and then say, well, this is the Chinese answer to what might have been a very serious depression in 2007, 2008. But it wasn't only the Chinese answer, because several other places saw what the game was and did the same sort of thing. Turkey, for example, went through a crisis in 2001, but pretty soon got out of it through a kind of huge expansion in its urbanization and had the second highest growth rate, after China, during this post-2008 period. And anybody who was supplying China with those raw materials, like copper, iron ore, and the like, came out of the thing pretty well. So most of Latin America, which was kind of full of raw materials, including soybeans and all the rest of it-- so Latin America turned itself into one vast soybean plantation, basically, for the China trade. Latin America switched its kind of allegiances in terms of global capital flows to the Pacific and to Asia. And the depression, which affected very much the United States and elsewhere, didn't really affect Latin America to the same degree elsewhere. It was relatively mild. Though, of course, what's interesting is, in the case of Brazil, they did the same thing as the Chinese had done. Lula, when the crisis hit, said, we're going to build a million houses, low-income houses for the poor. And so that program, Mi Casa Mi Vida, became part of the Brazilian answer to what was a rather shallow depression in 2000, 2008. But unfortunately, as often happens in these cases, what the Brazilians did was basically give the money to the construction companies. And they didn't ask them to actually urbanize in any sensible kind of way. So construction companies just built shoddy housing in bad environments without any kind of infrastructures. They didn't build a city. They didn't build urbanization. They just built houses and dumped them down wherever they could find a place to put them. And of course, that did absorb capital and labor. But it didn't actually create a decent living environment for anybody very much. So you then look at the world, which is kind of very interesting. There is this vast expansion going on in China, which has ramifications all around the world. And in the United States and Europe, partly for ideological reasons, we find this commitment to austerity, and we've got to get out of the debt, and all those kinds of things. So you find, if you like, a neoliberal orthodoxy, which has kind of upped the ante during this depression, phase which is contrasting with what really was a sort of a Keynesian style expansion of China. So the world is divided into two camps, sort of. But as happened to Haussmann in 1867 and as happened to the grand suburbanization spree at the end of the 1960s into the 1970s, all good things come to an end. And so there was, in China, and has been in China not only signs of crashes over the last few years, but increasing signs of, this is now no longer possible. It's no longer possible to continue this, with the result that all of a sudden-- two or three years ago, if you were in Brazil, everybody was running around like they had plenty of money. And they could do what the hell they liked. And then this time you go, and it's total chaos because the money has dried up. I spent some time in Ecuador. And Ecuador was doing great. They were building highways. They were building all kinds of things. I couldn't figure out how it was that their great new idea that you were going to build in terms of Buen Vivir is actually satisfied by building highways and suburban tract housing. But nevertheless, that's what they were doing. But all of that's come to an end in Latin America, all over the place. And so Latin America now is a bit of a disaster zone economically and politically. So you see these aspects of how the crisis is moving around. Now one of the theses that I've been looking at theoretically is the theoretical question, why do crises move around in the way they do? They move around geographically. And they move around sectorially so that you have a housing crisis, which creates a financial crisis, which is solved by sovereign debt activities. And you get a sovereign debt crisis. And then, all of a sudden, the sovereign debt crisis is in Greece. And you say, well, how did it get there? And next thing you know, Dubai World has gone up. Gulf states have gone crazy. So all sorts of things-- and it was a very peculiar kind of story about how the crisis tendencies get moved around. But you can see also, as they get moved around, some of them get reinterpreted as having different causalities. And so the Greek crisis occurred because-- the fight with the Germans occurred because the Greeks are lazy. It didn't occur because of any of all this other stuff going on. And you then get these very simplistic notions. The crisis in this country is due to immigrants. You've heard that one, I guess. So we have to actually deal then with the way in which the crisis unfolded. And in order to do that, we have to look at the trajectory. The main thesis that I'm working on these days is not only how crises get moved around, but how crises are actually embedded in the very structures of what capital accumulation are about. And one of the more interesting insights I would have, and sort of don't have time to go into here, is I've been looking at Marx's theory of value, and value creation and value production. And going back through Marx, as I usually do, for about the 19th time-- or maybe it's the 99th time. I can't remember. And it turns out that Marx is interested not only in value, but he's also interested in anti-value. And in fact, there's as much in Marx about anti-value as there is about value. And I was suddenly struck by this great metaphor. The physicists can only explain the universe by having matter and anti-matter. Actually, you can only explain all this dynamic that's going on in terms of value creation and value destruction and anti-value activity. And actually, capital thrives on the anti-value as much as it thrives-- and it has to produce the anti-value in order to get the value. And this is kind of a fascinating aspect of Marx's theory which most people have not really looked at, I think, closely enough. So one of my future projects is to put that all together. But this notion, however, of crisis formation has-- moving around. Of course, we see that the crisis that occurred in 2007, 2008 had its roots, in many respects, in the way that the crisis of 2001 was resolved, that the stock market crashed, the kind of new economy, as it was called, the electronics. The dotcom economy crashed. And money flowed out of the stock markets. Nobody knew where to put their money. And Greenspan dropped the interest rates. And so everything started to flow into property markets. So there you're looking at capital flows. Now this is a story then that says, the reason that this is occurring is because there is, deep within capitalism, this struggle going on between value creation and value destruction and anti-value. And that the anti-value is actually fundamental to the value, that you cannot do without one. And one form of anti-value-- and you'll be surprised when you hear me say this-- is credit and debt. Because what debt does is to say, you have to now create value to this amount. And if you can't create it to this amount, then you go bust. So credit and debt is one of the ways in which you actually foreclose upon future value production. And this is terribly important to capital. Because if we had an open situation where we could actually do what we wanted, we probably wouldn't do all of those things that they do. What we would do is do something completely different. But actually, it's all foreclosed. We've got to do this now. We have actually imprisoned ourselves into certain structures of value production because we have committed ourselves by virtue of the nature of the debts we've assumed. This is true of homeowners. And this was well understood back in the 1930s when all of those reforms came in in the mortgage market, which was that debt encumbered homeowners don't go on strike. So, OK, we'll debt encumber as many homeowners as we possibly can after World War II. And then they don't go on strike. Furthermore, we'll put them in the suburban country, out there where revolution is hardly going to be on the agenda. And we give them a car. And we give them a nice home and a swimming pool and that kind of thing. And they're going to be completely-- and we suddenly find that, actually, the formation of political subjectivities by environmental reconfigurations and urbanization plays a very, very important role in social stability. And actually, people have code words for this. For instance, the World Bank keeps on going on, and the IMF keeps on going on about how home ownership creates social stability. No, it doesn't. It doesn't. What about all the foreclosures? I mean, they wrote that in the middle of all the foreclosure crisis. And you're saying, what? And now, of course, you've got an interesting political thing where that political control has broken down. And suddenly, a lot of those foreclosed homeowners and those people who feel under threat are doing all kinds of crazy things politically, both on the left and the right. And everybody is surprised. And you kind of go, why would you be surprised? I mean, this is thoroughly, thoroughly predictable, that actually, you create a situation where, actually-- and this is kind of-- I lived in Baltimore for many years. And so when Baltimore sort of went up in its customary riots, I was reminded of the fact I arrived in Baltimore in 1968, just after the assassination of Martin Luther King. And all of the riots that went on, and Baltimore burned down. And then, of course, here it is all this time later. And we get a sort of repeat performance. But when you look at the foreclosure data, you know that, actually, a lot of the stability in Baltimore that had been created-- particularly most African American populations had been destroyed, totally destroyed. And here we have now a situation of social instability. And you wonder how, systemically, it's going to be responded to and in what dimensions it's going to be responded to. Now this then raises a kind of interesting question. What is it that the Chinese are going to do, given their current difficulties? Well, I have another theory that I'm very fond of. And it's called the spatial fix, which says, when there are surpluses of capital and labor somewhere or other, then one of the things that happens is people start to take it. And they start to spread it around elsewhere. This is what real economic imperialism was about from the mid-19th century onwards. Surplus capital and labor from Britain came to the United States, or went to Australia, places like that. And imperial activities can take two forms. And the British Empire, I think, was an interesting one, to the degree that Britain tried to keep India as a captive market. It didn't actually help resolve the problems of overaccumulation of capital and surplus labor in Britain because the demand from India was not very strong. The Indians were being forced to produce all kinds of things, including opium to sell to China, which kind of is an interesting thing about capital. It's pretty neutral about those sorts of things. So you wonder what's going to happen in the drug trade in the near future. But on the other hand, Britain didn't control the United States. And the surplus capital from Britain and labor from Britain coming to the United States could create an alternative center of capitalist development, which actually created a huge amount of demand, which actually absorbed much more of British goods. And it was much more of a better solution to Britain's overaccumulation problems. The only problem was, at some point or other, the United States became stronger than Britain. And so it too had surplus capital-- wondering what to do with it. Now the Chinese have got a lot of surplus capital. And this is what makes me particularly fearful. Because the capital could be in monetary form, or it can be in physical production form. And one of the surpluses of capital they have is huge surplus capacity in making cement and steel. So how are they going to deal with it? Well, they're trying to actually bring down-- deal with the overproduction capacity a little bit within China itself. But at the same time, they're looking outwards to say, where can we actually spread this cement around? And they've come up with a number of answers. One of them is internal. For instance, I don't know how credible this is. But the Financial Times has reported on several occasions that the Chinese are now proposing to create one city of something like 130 million people. There is one city which is basically going to contain the whole population of Britain and France. It's going to be centered on Beijing. It's going to be all high-speed stuff and everything, which will take up a lot of steel and concrete, right? Huge amounts of steel and concrete. So that's one way of dealing with the problem-- create a city of 130 million people. Do you want to live in a city of 130 million people? I don't know about that. But that's not enough. So one of the things you find is that, of course, China is spreading out and wanting to put cement everywhere. It wants to put it in East Africa. It's building railroads and building highways and building things in East Africa. And of course, it's all Chinese cement and steel which is being used in all of that, and a lot of Chinese labor, even though there's plenty of labor there. They're doing the same in Latin America. There is this whole kind of thing about transcontinental rail lines running from Pacific to Atlantic so that you can get from a port in Peru to Sao Paolo in one and a half days or something of that kind. Shooting it over the top of the Andes and down the other side. And there are several proposals of this kind that were laid out some time ago. But nobody took them that seriously until the Chinese came along and said, hey, we got enough steel and-- so they're doing that. There's the other report coming about about how they're going to rebuild the Silk Road so that you can get from Shanghai to Istanbul on a high-speed rail network that runs through Central Asia. And actually, already, those Central Asian cities are building like crazy. So suddenly, this is becoming a big urbanization spot. This is a program, which is simply about-- would not occur were it not for the fact that the Chinese have all of this surplus capacity in cement and steel production. And of course, this is one of the ways in which they can actually stabilize what might be a rough landing in the Chinese economy through a crisis in China, as opposed to a gradual tailing off and managing to deal with the surplus capital accumulation by using this sort of technique of the spatial fix. But this is actually doing something that I think is really very interesting. And one of the things that I have commented on-- so forgive me if I restate it-- is that if you look at the scale of Haussmann's project in Paris, it was about the city. There was some stuff that went on elsewhere. They were building railroads throughout France as well. If you look at what went on in this country after World War II, it was a sort of metropolitan level. Moses was the kind of figure. You move from Haussmann to Moses. And it's a transformation of scale at which the urbanization process is understood. But now you look at it, and you say, this figure of how much cement got consumed is indicative of another change of scale. And it is of an enormity that I find deeply troubling. And we should ask the question, why? Why is this happening? Why does it seem inevitable? Why is it that we're not sitting and saying, no, no, we don't want that? Well, it has a lot to do with the nature of what capital accumulation is about. Capital accumulation is, of course, about expansion. It's about growth. It's always about growth. It has to be about growth. And for a very simple reason, which is a capitalist starts the beginning of the day with a certain amount of money, goes into the market, buys labor power and means of production, creates a commodity, and sells it at the end of the day for more than at the beginning of the day. That is, value has to increase. And in a healthy capitalist economy, all capitalists are actually increasing their value at the end of the day, which means there has to be a lot more at the end of the day. So when you look at the history of capital accumulation, what do you see? You see that it has been increasing at a compound rate. Now compound growth rates produce exponential curves. And exponential curves go like that. And there's always inflection points in exponential curves. They sort of seem to dawdle along pretty mildly for a little bit. And then they go up. And then they go up. And then they go, voom. It's like the famous story of the guy who invented chess and asked the king to give him a reward. He put one grain of rice on the first square and doubled it for every square. And by the time you get to about the 46th square, all the rice in the world is used up. And how you get to the 64th square, nobody knows. This is the nature of compound growth. And there are some wonderful stories about it. There was a fascination with compound growth, in a positive sense, in the 17th century. And Marx has a great time talking about some of these people. And actually, Charles Dickens got into it in a very interesting way. If you're familiar with the novel Bleak House-- throughout Bleak House, there is this lawsuit, Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, which has been going on for ages and ages and ages. Actually, it was a real lawsuit which originated in 1785 when somebody had 600,000 pounds and said it should be invested at a compound rate of 7%. And that it should not be touched for 100 years. The trouble was that when people started to actually reckon what that became worth in 100 years, they found it was actually about three times the size of the British economy. And so they actually introduced a law that said things like this couldn't go on. You cannot make a bequest that lasts more than 30 years. Now all of the people who were the sons and daughters of the original person who made this decision contested it. And so it was contested in the courts. And it was decided in 1857, which is when Dickens was writing Bleak House. And at that time, it was the big joke of the town. Because as you remember in Bleak House-- and this is actually what happened. When they actually decided on the case, there was no money left. It had all gone in legal fees. And so this is-- well, don't get me on lawyers. But anyway. So compound growth then is built into the capitalist accumulation process. And I bet all of you, insofar as you're involved in urbanization projects, are actually involved in the question of how to manage growth and how best to make it grow. You want growth. Why do you want growth? Growth is the wrong thing right now. We're on that inflection point. And if we actually double or triple the amount of cement we have to pour in 30 years time, which is implicit in what compounding growth is about, your kids will be up to here in cement. Now this is not a feasible project. Right now, the problems of environment and all the rest of it are serious enough to say we have to do something about this absolutely senseless commitment to growth. And there's an irony here. We've actually, in Europe and the United States, for all the wrong reasons, seen very low growth. But actually, that's environmentally friendly. The places that have not seen slow growth-- other ones which have been wrecking their environments and, furthermore, wrecking the environments of all kinds of other places. Ecuador, for example, where I spend some time-- or have been spending some time-- is now 50% or more committed to the China trade. Its foreign investment is heavily Chinese. And what are the Chinese doing? They're building things. They're building a huge hydroelectric project with Chinese cement and Chinese steel and Chinese labor. And yeah, it's going to provide about 60% or 70% of the electricity demand in Ecuador, and all the rest of it. But this is a huge, huge project. And of course, they also want to support putting a highway over the Andes and all of that. So these projects are coming about because of the necessity of growth. Now I am simply going to say, at this point, that we've got to a point where we have to argue that there is a need to think about, not necessarily a zero-growth society, but a way in which growth can be actually tempered down. Because the compounding rate of growth, according to those people who've tried to measure this stuff-- since about 1780 onwards, the actual figure that somebody like Madison comes up with after assembling as much data as he can about it is something like a 2.25% compound growth. That's what history of capital accumulation points to. And 2.25% compound growth in 1780 wasn't really a problem. By the time you get to 1900, it's not really a problem. I mean, much of the world still has not been incorporated within capital accumulation. But look what's happened since 1970. You've incorporated-- China has come into the system. The Soviet empire has collapsed. And so that is now part of the whole thing. And we're talking about a 3% compound growth on all of that. And actually, when you look, what you see is a very interesting pattern in all of these countries of using urbanization as part of what that growth process is about. I've mentioned what the Chinese plan is for Beijing. The Turks have a similar plan for Istanbul. They want to create a city of 45 million people. And to that end, they're colonizing the whole of the north of the Bosphorus. They're putting a new bridge over the northern end. They want to build an airport up there and all this kind of stuff. This is a huge urbanization project. The problem for Turkey is that it's got to borrow money. And it's got to borrow either euros or dollars. And that's not so easy to do. The Chinese don't have that restraint for reasons I've already kind of mentioned. So the boom in Turkey has come a bit unstuck because it's recognized that the debt of the country is not necessarily as payable. And so people start to worry about-- international investors start to worry about that sort of thing. So with this future, it seems to me that there are a number of things we should start seriously to think about. We have to think about how to organize an economy in such a way that it's not dedicated solely to growth. Now the Ecuadorians and others have this notion of building it around something called Buen Vivir. It turned out to be kind of just a piece of rhetoric. And it really isn't serious, but it could be serious. And we need, I think, to really look very closely at how we can start to reorganize and reorchestrate the use of the world's resources. Because one of the things that's been happening, of course, is that as China goes on this huge sort of spatial fix spending spree on a global basis, it needs a lot of mineral resources. Ecuador is in difficulties because of the collapse of the oil prices. So what does Ecuador do? It borrows from the Chinese. And what do the Chinese want in return? They want open access to all the mineral resources of southern Ecuador, which happens to be where a lot of indigenous populations are. And those indigenous populations are not liking what's happening. And there's struggle going on. And guess what? Indigenous leaders are being killed. You all have heard the story, or you will hear more of it in due course. So this is the sort of thing that is going on with this compounding of growth. And we have to think strongly about how to manage it. Furthermore, there is something else which is going on, which is connected to this, which is, what is this growth actually about, when you start to look at the nature of the urbanization process which is underway? It increasingly is the case that the growth is about creating possibilities for investment. It's not about creating a decent urban life. I mentioned the Brazilian case because it was about feeding the construction interests and getting labor and capital employed in construction. And that was that. It was a temporary fix. But it wasn't about creating decent urban environments at all. There was no commitment to that in the process. And what is so striking right now is that we seem to be committing ourselves not to creating cities for people to live in. When I mean "people," I mean all people to live in. We're creating cities for people to invest in. And the kinds of things we're building are for investment purposes. Now why is this? And why do I even see it in Ramallah, as well as in Turkey, whereas of course, in New York, London, and all the rest of it? And it has a lot to do with the fact that if you have surplus capital and you're looking to save for your future and for your family's future-- and this is where the individualism comes in. With that in mind, where do you put your money in these times? Where's a safe place to put it? Do you put it in the stock market? Do you keep it in monetary instruments of some kind, bonds, the rest of it? Or do you put it in assets? And of course, a lot of capital has been flying into assets since the 1970s. But now it's so interesting. The housing market and property market went through a crash in 2007, 2008. But guess what? One of the primary objectives of people right now to invest is in property and land. Because many people judge it to be more secure than almost anything else. Gold-- that's also in the picture, of course. So that if you kind of look at a situation-- and I've seen it both in Turkey and in Palestine. You have this incredible situation, particularly in Palestine where all of this is going on. I don't have to talk about that. But around Ramallah, they're building these high-rise apartment blocks. And you say, who's building them? Well, it's some of the people who have employment in the Palestinian Authority, which is notoriously corrupt. And those people who have that employment are taking their money, and they're putting it into property because that is security. China recently has loosened its regulations. And there's evidence in New York that one of the primary buyers of property in New York right now are Chinese who are getting their money out of the country one way or the other and buying property elsewhere. They're doing the same in London. And it's not only the billionaires who are doing it. It's actually upper middle class people who are engaging in the equivalent of a land grab. But it's a kind of a property. And even all pension funds are increasingly flowing into this direction. They've always had an arm doing that. Unfortunately, it might belong to TIAA-CREF. And they're doing some pretty ghastly things in Latin America in terms of land grabs and things of that kind. So in fact, what we're seeing is a redirection of capital flow away from actually creating a livable environment for the mass of the citizens of any place to creating investment opportunities for people who want to store their money and keep their wealth in some form which they feel is fairly safe from an individual standpoint. So they want to be sure that they have it. Of course, if you did that in Syria, you lost out very badly. But other parts of the world, this is judged still to be a primary form of investment. Now again, what do you want to do as a planner? Do you want to spend all your time sort of trying to figure out how to create investment opportunities for middle class and upper class people so that they can invest in it and not necessarily live in it? Or do you want to actually build an alternative urbanization which is about what the people need, and what they want, and how can it be done? And there is, therefore, I think, a tremendous alienation right now in terms of what the urban process is about. And it's absolutely no surprise to me that over the last 15 years, some of the major outbreaks of discontent which have occurred in the world are about urban issues. Gezi Park-- what was that about? It wasn't a working class uprising. This was a cultural uprising against the qualities of urban life, and the authoritarianism, and the lack of democracy. And while there are all sorts of crazy things being done in this country and said in this country and things totally misguided, a lot of that, it seems to me, is connected. It's very much connected to the foreclosure crisis. People lost their security. They lost their houses. They're angry. They need somebody to blame. They can't blame capital because everybody tells them that's communist. [laughter] But the great thing about Bernie Sanders is he's actually made socialism partially respectable, particularly with people under 35. And he says to them, oh, yeah, we should do away with student debt. And higher education should be free. And young people say, well, that sounds a pretty good idea. And if that's socialism, why not? [laughter] So this is kind of a crazy situation. But it's also a point where we have to think about the why. The why is very simple. It is rooted in the nature of capital. So it has to accumulate. And as Marx put it, accumulation for accumulation's sake is the center of capital. And you can either plan for the rest of your life further accumulation-- in which case, good luck, because you'll be living with feet in cement and then up to the waist in cement. Or you can kind of go, OK, we've had enough of this. And I'm a great admirer of many of the things that capital has done. And Marx was too. He was very envious of the way in which capital had constructed things. And I think that we have a lot of things we can use in a completely different way. But in order to deal with that, we've got to get out of this ideological mess we've got ourselves into that says, there are certain things that can be said, and certain things that can't be said. And those boundaries are as firmly fixed in universities as they are anywhere else. And that is one of the more horrific things which I can report. Because these things are not debated and discussed in the way they should be debated and discussed in those institutions which should be discussing them. Because the universities have been corporatized. They've been neoliberalized. And actually, the resistance is still there. And it's still open. But it's very, very weak. And something has to be done about that. And a lot of the discontent which exists-- and actually, it exists in a different class configuration. And the class configuration is actually approaching it from a rather different dimension. And here, theoretically, I've had a big fight within the Marxist fraternity, if it's that. It's more likely a circular firing squad. [laughter] You see, Marx talked about production a lot. Volume 1 of Capital is very much about the production of value and surplus value. Volume 2 is about realization of value, and the realization of surplus value, that is. And Marx is very clear, in Grundrisse and elsewhere, that in order to understand capital, you have to understand what he called the contradictory unity between production and realization. Now Volume 1 is read in Marxist circles and revered, quite rightly, because it's a magnificent book. Volume 2 is hardly read at all because it's basically a bit unreadable. But if you don't read it, you don't understand capital. And unfortunately, a lot of Marxist's haven't understood capital. Marx is very clear at the end of the first section of Volume 1, chapter 1 that if you cannot realize the value in the market, then it's not value. This is where anti-value comes in. And that means there can often be struggles around the realization process. And where does the realization process occur? It occurs in neighborhoods. And in fact, capital can extract wealth as much from the realization process as it extracts from the production process. That you can pay the worker more, and the worker goes home and pays higher rents and pays more for the-- they lose it back to the capitalist class in the form of rent. They get it in the form of wages. And they lose it in the form of rent. And actually, if you ask people, what are the major lines of exploitation? You mention credit card companies. You mention landlords and rents and property speculation prices. You mention what telephone companies do to your telephone bill by adding all these weird charges which say you were roaming somewhere where you weren't and things like that. So there's a lot of crookedness goes on and a lot of extraction of wealth, increasingly, from the realization process. And a lot of that is on the streets of the city. So it's no accident that most of the uprisings that there have been, in Brazil in 2013 and in Turkey in 2013, were more about the politics of realization than they were about the politics of production. And that this is where a lot of the politics lies. And that is very difficult to organize for a number of particular reasons. First, the class configuration that's involved in the extraction of wealth through realization is completely different from that that is involved in production. It's not capital versus labor in the realization process. It's capital versus everybody else. So that middle class people-- I mean, if I go to a small restaurant owner in New York City and say, hey, how come you're paying your workers so little money? The immediate response you would get from the family restaurant is, you don't understand. I'm exploiting myself at a huge rate. I get in here at 6:00 in the morning. I don't go home till 10:00 at night. I work my ass off. How can I possibly afford to pay anybody very much more than I get? I say, well, where does all the money go? To the bank, to the rentier. And so if I said to that person, hey, let's have an alliance against the banks and the rentier, I think the answer would be, yeah, that sounds a good idea. And I think you can see elements of that even in what Trump and the Tea Party and other people are talking about. There's something there that needs to be configured. And we shouldn't simply dismiss some of these arguments. We've got to understand why the arguments are being made the way they are and how they can be reconfigured around a political movement that is actually going to be dedicated to the idea that we want to create cities that are fit for people to live in. We don't want to create cities that are fit for people to invest in. You want to create cities which are about non-growth but are actually about something much more systematic. Now Marx had an interesting comment, which actually comes from Hegel. He talked about the difference between what he called a "bad infinity" and a "good infinity." A good infinity is something that continues to reproduce itself over time forever and ever and ever. And a circle is a kind of mathematical version of the good infinity. It's when the circle becomes a spiral that the problem starts. Things spiral out of control. Capital is spiraling out of control. And that spiraling out of control is represented by the fact that the infinity is not contained in any way. It just goes further and further and further. The number system is a bad infinity. For every big number you can make, there's always one more you can add to it. It goes on and on and on. And you never know where it's going to go. It's like pi in the other direction. How many decimal points do you put on pi? And a bad infinity is where we're at. And we have to get it back to a good infinity. And I think Marx understood that very well because he's very strong about the nature of reproduction, reproduction of the social order and how we can think about the reproduction. It's when its reproduction on an expanded scale that the problems really start. And we've got to start to actually get ourselves back to thinking about the good infinity, as opposed to the bad infinity of things spiraling out of control. And I think that metaphor of spiraling out of control is something which is, I think, very meaningful to what is happening globally and locally. I think that until we can find means to control that, there will be no amount of tinkering and doing good things on the edges which is really going to make that much of a difference to what seems to me a huge macroeconomic problem. Thanks very much. [applause] Do we have time for questions or discussion? Yes. OK. Yeah? Yeah? OK. [inaudible] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, come on. Oh, OK. Thanks. So when you were talking about China, the overcapacity, in the light of everything you were saying-- so much of which makes a lot of sense to me-- I found myself wondering, well, whence the necessity for the investment to address the-- I accept the overcapacity or the level of capacity. But whence the necessity to invest it for China in the way that you're talking about? Which I guess gets back to Capital and the Marxian analysis, which maybe you'd care to elaborate on a little further. Well, if you've got surplus capital and labor which is involved in, say, steel and cement production, there are two things you can do. You can either just close down a lot of the cement and steel works and have major unemployment, which the Chinese are very nervous about for good reason. Because all the reports that come out suggest there's a good deal of potential labor unrest in China. So their thing is, well, maybe we can use some of this surplus capacity-- keep as much of this-- I mean, they're trying to curb some of this. And there's no question they're trying to bring some of it down. But at the same time, they're going to say, OK, are there ways we can use this productively elsewhere? Yeah, there are. There are all these projects. I didn't mention the new Panama Canal, for example, is another one. All of these huge mega-projects which the Chinese are willing to undertake and fund because this, I think, keeps employment levels at a level which is maybe more acceptable. Whether they're right that major labor unrest is potentially around the corner and the authority of the party might be in question if it cannot manage that unemployment, I don't know. But that's a typical question which arises in states of overaccumulation. Throughout the history of capitalism, again and again, we've seen overaccumulation of capital of various kinds-- producing things, the railroad overinvestment in the 19th century, all those kinds of things. And the answer is either it just crashes, and you have an immediate political crisis, and you have a kind of revolution or something like that. Or you try and manage it in some way so actually it doesn't. So I think it's an attempt by China to manage it. Yeah? Thanks, Professor Harvey. This is a wonderful, wonderful talk. And I definitely agree that it's really important to emphasize this notion of capital realization by Marx. But I also feel that there is sort of a parallel between this notion of capital realization and what Polanyi talks about as market forces and market society, this notion that the really important part of capitalism is not just about production but about consumption, market exchange, and commodification. And I think Polanyi is sort of optimistic in the sense that he does believe that society is able to wage collective action against the commodification of labor, land, and money, like against bankers and rentiers. So do you think his optimism is warranted? Or do you think this politics around capital realization is much harder than what we have already imagined before? The main difference between Polanyi and Marx on realization is this, that Marx spends a lot of time talking about two kinds of consumption. One is final consumption, which is what you and I-- and the other is what he calls productive consumption, which is investment in infrastructures. In the Chinese case, for example, it's not consumerism in the sense we mean it in this country that is driven in a realization process. It's productive consumption and creating new fixed capital investments and infrastructures and things of that kind. So it's a different kind of consumption which is supposed to improve productivity. Now the big question is, are all the investments that have been made actually contributing to rising productivity? 50% of the Chinese economy has been driven, particularly over the last five or six years, by physical investment infrastructures. 25% alone by housing. And it's not clear to me that a 50% investment of your GDP in that kind of productive consumption is getting a good rate of return when the rate of return, in terms of the growth of the Chinese economy, is now sinking down to around 6%. And some people think it's much lower. So productive consumption runs out because you're creating fixed capital for something that doesn't arrive. This is classic. My classic example of that is the case of Cuidad Real, just south of Madrid, which is one of these speculative building projects. And they built a new airport to which no planes have flown. The result is that they had a 2 billion euro kind of airport sitting there doing nothing. And last summer they tried to auction it off. And the top bid was 10,000 euros. [laughter] So If you've got 11,000 euros and you fancy having an airport in the middle of Spain, be my guest. So this is what I mean by-- the building of the airport is productive consumption. But it's not realized, again, by planes flying there and using it and this kind of stuff. So but that's a big difference between Marx and Polanyi is Marx is very much aware that consumption is not simply about final consumption. It's about productive consumption plus final consumption. And Marx, of course, is also very well aware in ways that Polanyi was not quite very clear about. That is that if you're extracting surplus value from the laborers, the payment of the laborers tends to go down. And if the payment of the laborers go down, as it has done since 1970s-- labor has not received more money-- then the market, the final market, in terms of consumer demand from working people, is basically stymied. And the only way you can deal with that is the credit system. And the credit system goes belly up, which it had some problems with in 2008. So Marx has a much finer way of understanding this. But I always liked Polanyi. I thought it was a very helpful way station on the way to reading Marx. So people who-- I used to disguise my Marxism by saying I was quoting Polanyi when I wasn't. [laughter] I had all these great disguises, by the way. I first started teaching Capital in a geography program. And for five years-- in an engineering school. [laughter] And for five years, the central administration thought I was teaching a course on capital cities. [laughter] And it was only five years later, when the course was well-established and people gave it some very good things that they said, they couldn't do much about it. So yeah. But Polanyi, it's good. Um. Hi. Oh, excuse me. You talked about the spatial fix idea for what people do when they have to work with surplus capital. And you gave the example of going from Haussmann to the suburbanization to what China is doing. We also see a scale change, a huge scale change. Yeah. And it's quite bothersome because I am a believer in the law of dialectics. So quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes. So what do you see as the big macroeconomic threat with this huge scale change that we are witnessing with what China is doing with surplus capital investment? Yeah, the scale change-- I mean, this, by the way, parallels some of the things that Giovanni Arrighi points out in his study of shifting hegemony. And the big question is that if the US is not as hegemonic as it once was, how are we going to think about hegemonic center to the dynamics of capital accumulation? And there are many, many signs that it is, of course, breaking apart into regional hegemons, so that Germany doesn't take much notice of what the US says anymore and does his own thing. And Europe, Brazil is pretty hegemonic, and Latin America, of course, United States and China and the Far East. So you're really moving into these regional hegemonic structures, which is bothersome in the following sense-- that the history of situations where there is no clear global hegemonic power, but there's regional-- [sneezes] Excuse me. There's regional hegemonic configurations-- is that they can get against each other. And of course, that's typically led to global conflicts and global wars. Geopolitically, we're seeing some of the consequences of that in the Middle East right now with Russia versus the United States versus European Union. So I think that the scale problem of how capital is working is such that you really need global regulation of many aspects. We need global regulation of financial flows. You need global regulation to deal with issues like climate change and species extinction and habitat destruction. But we don't really see anything very serious happening on that. And I know there are negotiations. But the really serious stuff that needs to be done is not being done. So you may be saved from being up to your neck in cement by being up to your neck in water with sea level rise or something of that kind. The question of global hegemonic configuration is one which Arrighi, of course, was adamant that this didn't mean that China was becoming the hegemon, because the global economy is now so integrated. And the point here is you have to think about compound growth on everything that's going on in the global economy right now. And you think about it 30 years out from now. And you'll see amazing, amazing things. I actually went to Brazil several times in the 1970s and didn't go back again a lot till the last five, six years. And I went back to some of the cities I knew in the early 1970s. And they're totally unrecognizable, totally unrecognizable. You sort of come in on a superhighway. You've got condominiums. You've got mega shopping centers. You've got high-rise stuff going on around you. I mean, in every city, Recife, Fortaleza, whatever. And this is the style of urbanization which you're seeing all over the place. And you get what I think are just insane economies emerging out of this. My favorite one is Sao Paolo, which rests on automobile production as economic base. So they produce a load of automobiles that then go sit in traffic jams for hours on end. And you can't say, this is not a very sensible economy. This is insane. Why don't you stop producing automobiles? They say, well, the economy would collapse. So are you going to produce even more automobiles? Yeah, we're going to expand the automobile industry as much as we can. And you kind of go, well, where are they going to go? You've already got all the main streets absolutely, totally, totally-- and that's where you traffic engineers come in. You've got to engineer it in such a way as to, somehow or other, get 15 lane highways or something like that through the center of the city, which is going to be a very nice place to live in. You know, with 15-lane highways. I mean, I'm sure you'll enjoy that environment. So I think the hegemony question is a big one. And unfortunately, the left doesn't have any particular answer to that. The left is obsessed with local initiatives are somehow the answer. People misinterpret me when I say that, as if I'm against local initiatives. I'm not. I think pretty much all politics originates with local initiatives. But if it originates and stays there, then that's the problem. The problem is to scale up the politics to something rather different. And the left has not actually been thinking about that sort of thing very much. So I have a lot of admiration for what the anarchists and autonomistas are talking about that. But I have profound disagreements with them when it comes to issues of this kind, of how to scale up and what should happen when you scale up. Yeah, hi. I guess I want to apologize for asking a hypothetical question. Why? Why apologize for that? If you were giving this same lecture to an audience in China, how would you-- I'm going to do that this summer, by the way. Yeah, so how would you rephrase this lecture? I wouldn't rephrase it at all. No? Why would-- So what would the main points of leverage be in that context for you, in the Chinese audience? I have no idea. I'll find out when I get there. [laughter] Look, my contacts with Chinese academics and some Chinese people in the party, I found it possible to talk about many of these things. I think they're super aware. They obviously have to be super aware because life expectancy in Northern China has declined by about 5 years in about the last 10 or 15 years because of the density of air pollution. And they know they have to do something about it. They know their rivers are sewers. And they're very aware of a lot of these kinds of questions. So I think they recognize that right now they're involved in certain things. So I don't think it's impossible to have a decent conversation. I've had decent conversations in this country with visiting people on these topics. And I see no reason when I go to China that I would say anything different to the Chinese. I might change some of my examples. But that's about it. And I'd add a little more criticism of the United States, just to-- [laughter] Because the United States deserves a lot. I mean, you know. Yeah? Professor Harvey, I was wondering, where would you locate some of the sources of this ideological mess you're talking about? Which are the institutions where we could go and historize to understand what is happening right now? Well, I tried to get my version of it, which is in the book on neoliberalism, when it was clear in the early 1970s that corporate capital and the big wealthy classes felt deeply threatened by what was a certain decline in their wealth, and certainly a feeling that there had been a power shift towards labor. And if you look at the legislation that went through Congress under Nixon-- and it got signed by Nixon-- it created the Environmental Protection Agency. It created OSHA. It created Consumer Protection. A whole raft of legislation which was curbing capitalist class power. And there was a famous memo from somebody who eventually went on the Supreme Court saying, we've got to have a counter-strategy to all of this. And all of these institutions got together. The big business bureau and all of those institutions got together. This is when they decided, at that time, that the universities were impossible. They should be surrounded by think tanks producing alternative information. And that's when they founded the Olin Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Heritage Foundation. All the foundations were set up by big capital. And their job was to produce an alternative understanding of the world. And this was funded by the major corporate and individuals. In New York, for example, the Rockefeller brothers played a very important role in doing this kind of thing. So my own university, CUNY, didn't charge-- had no tuition fees at the time. So there was a huge fight over tuition. And it was mainly led by the Rockefeller brothers, who went through the various-- they went through places like-- they controlled the Reader's Digest. So they had a whole slew of articles coming out in the Reader's Digest saying things like, you know, free education is poor education. If you want good education, you've got to pay for it, that kind of thing. So there's a huge ideological fight on that level. And of course, then this whole kind of individualism and Reaganism and Thatcherism all came in. And this is supported by-- again, Britain had analogous institutions which were the center of it. They co-opted the Swedish bankers to create something called the Nobel Prize in Economics, which they promptly gave to Hayek and Friedman. I mean, you know. So I tried to lay a lot of that out. So this was an institutional response to what was felt to be a desperate situation on the part of corporate capital. And even in this country, corporate capital and the capitalist class. And they were, of course, successful. Now, of course, a lot of that success is breaking apart. Because as we see with the Republican Party, the Republican party is there to do the bidding of the wealthy. But it does it on the backs of or support from low-income populations. But they've done nothing. The New York Times had a piece-- I think it was today, actually-- which is talking about the fact that the grassroots of the Republican Party say these people in the Republican Party have done nothing whatsoever for us. So that's why we want somebody different. This is why we're voting for Trump. But to be honest, Cruz frightens me more than Trump, frankly. But ideologically-- and it's been increasingly difficult. We're increasingly put in situations where we can only act in a neoliberal way. I think it's very clear that we are all neoliberals without knowing it in that a lot of our decision making is now kind of actually constituted in such a way that there was only one way we can go. And that's going to take a big change of mentality to bring back some notions of communal action, communal solidarity, which is why I do like a lot of the local initiatives to try to talk about urban commons. I do like many of the attempts to create what you might call unalienated spaces in a sea of urban alienation. This, to me, again, is a very important initiatives. But changing the mentalities of populations is going to be extremely, extremely difficult. But we think radically different now than we did in the 1970s. And even I find myself being neoliberal on occasions, particularly when I look at my pension fund and think-- [laughter] I get that, you know? But again, you see, that-- if you could give security to people who are without pension funds, this would be something radically, radically different. Because you commit people to-- pension funds are invested in the stock market. So if you crash the stock market, everybody's pension fund goes under. So there's a vested interest in saving the stock market. So when there's a central bank to quantitative easing-- which, by the way, is a very good example of bad infinity because the central bank is simply adding zeros to the money supply. When it did quantitative easing, the money simply flowed into the stock market, a jacked up stock market, which is great for my pension fund. So I benefited from that. And I'm very grateful. But at the same time, I don't want it to happen. And so we all get internally conflicted about things like that. But that's the way in which things are structured now into this kind of thing where, for me to go after capital and to say, let's close down the stock market, let's really wreck the stock market-- which as a real revolutionary, I should want to do. And I kind of go, oh, my god, my pension fund. What will happen? [laughter] So we all get dilemmas of that kind. And we're all of us in that. Professor Harvey, thank you for your lecture. It's very well placed in many respects in the sense that we find ourselves in a space where political subjectivities, like you put it, are firmly being cemented by the sheer force of debt that we accumulate. And to the question of the spirals, the macroeconomic spirals that are getting out of control, where would-- in your opinion or from your perspective-- be strategic places to start attacking, dismantling that spiral? And what role does university play in that process? Well, Europe has been pretty much a dead space, for me anyway, over the last few years. It's livened up some, to the degree that now there are movements like Podemos and so on in Spain. And now what we're seeing-- and this is, I think, an interesting feature. In many parts of the world, there is a political interest in capturing local power. We even see it in this country. We see it in Seattle, for example, raising the minimum wage. Los Angeles, raising their minimum wage. And radical mayors and city councils can start to actually consolidate things at a different level than can typically be done by a local neighborhood organization. But it would take a coalition between the two so that if, for example, one of the answers to affordable housing issues is something like community land trusts, you need the city council to help you get the land and do all those kinds of things. And when the city council does that, as happened in Montreal some years ago, then you can actually get off-market housing developing in very significant areas of the city. So the fact that you've got radical mayors in Barcelona, Madrid, and the like suggests that something is going on at that level. I've just came back from Brazil supporting the campaign of Marcelo Freixo, who's kind of working on the theme of-- "if the city was ours" is the slogan of the campaign. And it's an attempt to-- he's running for mayor. And he has a bit of a shot of getting it-- a lot of barriers. So I think there's movement of various kinds which is beginning to occur. And movements of this kind can be sort of small tremors that then become major earthquakes. Or they could just become small tremors, and that's it. But I think there is something going on at that level in many parts of the world, which I think is encouraging. And what I see in certain places is that-- for instance, a country which seems to have sorted some of this out-- I was very impressed earlier in the year-- or last year. I was in Uruguay. And I was talking with Mujica and some of the academics in the university who were supporting the social housing projects and the like. And sort of pushing the politics even further, or in this case, keeping the politics out as far left as they can possibly keep it after Mujica stepped down from the presidency. So I think spaces are changing very fast. And in exactly the same way, you don't know where the crisis is going to hit next. You don't know which country is suddenly going to declare it's close to bankruptcy and god knows what. So I think we don't really know what kind of movements are going to erupt where. It's a very volatile situation. Nobody in Turkey expected Gezi Park to occur. And Gezi Park was a process. Unfortunately, it triggered also another process by Erdogan, which is a process towards a totally autocratic, rather brutal kind of police state. Which is unfortunately being not challenged at all by the European Union because Turkey is housing about 2 million Syrian refugees. And I think the threat of the Turks is to open the gates and shove them all into Europe and then see what-- so in order to keep them there, the European Union is not saying anything about the fact that people who signed a letter just talking about to negotiate with the Kurds and not kill them lost their jobs, are being, in some cases, prosecuted, probably going to be spending time in jail. So more than about 1,500 academics are under suspicion and under arrest. We know, at the same time, that certain cities or towns in Southeast Anatolia are being put under martial law, that nobody is allowed on the streets. And actually, people are actually starving to death in some of those towns. So there's killings going on at that rate. And the Kurdish question has become a violent one. So my point here is that nobody would have predicted this two or three years ago. Things are moving very fast, are very volatile. In the same way that Brazil, two years ago, everybody was happy. They had a lot of money and all this stuff. Now everybody's desperate because there's been basically an economic collapse. Same is true in Ecuador. Same is true, to some degree, in Bolivia, all of those countries providing raw materials to China. So we don't know at all where things are going to happen. But again, one of the things that capital is often very, very good at is being highly flexible and very adaptive in its strategies. And that's something that the left needs to learn from capitalists-- how to be adaptive and adept and fast in your strategies. And in fact, the left is very conservative. My Marxist friends are stuck in the mud a lot of the time. It's kind of really chronic. And so you kind of say, what's the help? What's the point of the left if it can't actually change its view from 1930 to now? And this is part of the problem. And the dynamic part of the left is actually more likely to be the cultural producers who are playing a very important role in a lot of this. The people who launched the Gezi thing were more out of the cultural level. The people who launched the Brazilian 2013 were very much animated by that sort of-- coming from that kind of background. Again, it was the politics of realization that was involved there, rather than the politics of production. And I have a hard time getting people on the left to recognize the politics of realization as being where we are really at right now, and where we should really be mobilizing and mobilizing around the different materiality of what is involved in that form of organization. Versus what has traditionally been a sort of left which is animated by the politics of production. So I'm not saying the politics of production is irrelevant. Don't get me wrong on that. But we've got to actually create alternative politics. And I haven't seen that emerging very much in Europe at all, except now in Spain. But again, these things move very quickly, as we've seen in this country over the last two or three years. I mean, who would have thought Bernie Sanders would be where he's at? It's quite amazing that somebody who claims to be a socialist-- [cheering and applause] --is actually getting votes. And when he gets 70% of the vote in the state of Washington, you kind of go, this is really something. Um-- Apparently, it's-- Uh-- Sorry. Are you going? Yeah? Hi. Sorry, I've been waiting for a while. Sure, go ahead. Thank you. Hi. Sorry for interrupting. I was wondering, what are some possibilities for what it would look like to have a society and an economy organized around good infinities rather than bad infinities? Can we make that the last question? I've been told I should make this the last question. But I'm going to disobey. And I'll have a couple more questions. [LAUGHTER, CHEERING, AND APPLAUSE] Look, there are a number of formats which we can look at. I've always been a little bit of a secret fan of Murray Bookchin's writings on urbanization and the like. Which is not to say that he was a nice guy or anything like that, because he wasn't. But his idea about kind of municipal organization and confederal socialism seems to be one of the ways in which one can start to organize around the politics of realization. And one of the strengths of Podemos in Spain is that they grew out of a lot of kind of assembly-type reconstructions of political organization and political power. So they still have some rootedness in that, even as they've gone national. Now how that rootedness is being maintained, I'm not quite sure. And I always fear that things like that, the rootedness will disappear and get neglected. But something similar is happening in Rojava, for example, where the Kurdish PKK is organizing on Bookchinesque principals of assembly structures of decision making. Which, to some degree, is partly coming out of Bookchin, partly out of the experience of the Zapatista movement. So how you start to deliver resources and deliver basic necessities to populations in times of difficulty or in times of trouble becomes a kind of a-- there emerges a form of sociality which is radically different from the sort of possessive individualism that dominates in a neoliberal world. And we see some of that, particularly in the wake of disasters of various kinds. When the people who are involved in the Occupy Movement in New York rallied around trying to deal with the aftermath of Sandy, they did a faster and better job than any of the official relief services. And I think what they showed was that something that's built upon lines like that can be very efficient and very effective. Unfortunately, it tends to be that it's reconstruction of the existing social order that was involved there, rather than a transformation of political consciousness on the part of those people being helped. And so I think there are examples of this kind where things happen in a different kind of way. And the interesting thing is that when they happen in a different kind of way, when people get embedded in those things happening in a different kind of way, they start to say things like, well, we don't have to do it this old way. We have alternatives. I think that it's possible to talk about utopian alternatives. And I think it's very good that people have utopian designs. And I'm all in favor of that. But I think that the best teacher on this is experience. And I know from, for instance, Turkish colleagues that the experience of participating in the Gezi process made a radical difference to the way in which they thought about themselves in relationship to the society going on around them. I think this was true of the Occupy Sandy people too. And that there is a growing consciousness that we don't have to do things in this completely neoliberal way. And we can do things on a much more collective basis. And so, yes, there are alternatives. But it takes the mixture of enough people who have the ideas about how to do it differently and enough experience of doing it differently to show that it actually can work. And as happened with Occupy Sandy, show that it could work even better than all the bureaucratized corporate and corporatized systems of relief that have been structured into the way the state operated and the way in which the Red Cross is organized. So I think there are real possibilities. And this is where some of the small-scale solidarity economies and the like, I think, have something important to teach us. And can be the basis for alternative ways to get us out of the necessity of continuing to grow, grow, grow, grow, and get us back to a virtuous infinity, which is a reproduction of social life adequately and appropriately for all the people in the population. So I will take one more question. There's one somewhere down here. Yeah? It seems that-- OK. --the human population is going to-- it seems inevitable that it's going to be increasing by several billions over the next decades. And part of this is used as a justification for grow, grow, grow. You didn't map this population growth onto your critique of capital. And I wondered if you would make a few comments in that way. Yeah, well, I've always been told that we can only actually solve the global poverty problem by growing because we can only redistribute out of growth. And of course, we've had growth. And there's no redistribution. So that story's a silly one. Yeah, there's a population growth issue. Interestingly, the case of Germany was so fascinating that a lot of people didn't want to welcome the immigrants. Merkel kind of said, we need the labor, so bring them in. And of course, the demographics of Europe are zero population growth, close to that. And there's going to be a real problem, again, about the future because the working population is diminishing while the older population is rising. And so you've got a crisis of pensions and all kinds of things coming up. And the obvious way to resolve it would be to open the floodgates and let all of the Syrians in and everybody else who will come in and bolster the population. But that then generates all of the negative stuff about immigration. So I think that there are features of this in population growth. If we look at where the population is growing and what it's about and where the population is not growing-- of course, half the world is pretty close to zero growth. Much of Europe is actually close to zero growth. Japan is zero growth. China is actually down to a kind of-- and everybody's kind of now worried because they think that China's going to be overtaken by India in terms of population because there's no population-- no one child policy. And of course, the Chinese have recently abandoned that. So the population growth issue is an important one. It would be my observation that, yeah, a stable population probably, at some time in the future, is going to be just as necessary as a stable economy. But that doesn't mean that somehow or other we have to keep on growing to accommodate that growing population. In fact, it means it the other way around, as far as I'm concerned. It means that certain parts of the world have to learn to deal with less. We can start, in this country, with the following factoid-- which I've forgotten where I got it from. Probably the Financial Times since that's my usual source of information these days, which is very good. And it pointed out that about a third of the Christmas presents bought in this country are never used. Most of them are junked immediately. Well, we can stop buying all those Christmas presents because they're going straight into the-- they're only used once. Or they're thrown away or something like that. So find a different way to give a Christmas present, which would be something like, be nice to somebody. [laughter] Wouldn't that be a nice-- go on. Give somebody a hug, you know? Give them five hugs or something like that. And if you're really fond of them give them 10. So we could start with, how much consumption is complete junk in this country? And people recognize that. But then people get angry at you. My daughter is convinced that the country will go to the dogs if people took my approach to buying clothes. [laughter] I once had a taxi driver in Philadelphia ask me. He said, are you an academic? I said, yeah. He said, you should be ashamed of yourself. I said, why? Dressing like that, he said. I said, what do you mean? And he said, well, there are all these unemployed tailors and makers of suits in Philadelphia. And you go around dressed like some sort of-- you should be grown up, not a sort of hippie wearing that kind of jumpers and things, he said. Get yourself a good suit, he said. And then he backed off because he thought he wouldn't get a tip at the end of it. [laughter] But I thought it was a very nice thing to say. But so I think there's a lot that can be done in terms of reduction, obviously, which wouldn't be missed at all. And I think all this fetish stuff about everybody going crazy about Christmas presents and sales-- I'm not against consumption. I'm all in favor of good food and things like that. But I am saying that there's a lot of ways in which we could do with much, much less, with an actual improvement in quality of life rather than a diminution of quality of life. And I think that there are ways to go about that. So I think the redistribution can be accomplished even within a situation of very slow growth, provided that there is a recognition that this is an essential feature of what our future should be about and how it should be constructed. But at some point or other, the population question also has to be resolved. And I think that, of course, in some parts of the world it has been resolved. We're at zero growth in many parts of the world. And then those parts of the world which are not are usually those which are unstable, where the social security mechanisms are very low. And as everybody recognizes, one of the best ways towards population stabilization is the education of women. It is an absolutely crucial feature. Any country which has a very elaborate education of women immediately experiences, I think, tremendous kind of shifts in demographics. And I think that that's, again, one of the features of any social order which I think would be absolutely crucial. So I think we're going to leave it there. So thank you all very much. [applause]


Perennial and annual rice

Domesticated Asian[4] rice, Oryza sativa is a short-lived plant. Most cultivars die after producing seeds, though some can regrow (ratoon) and produce a second crop under favorable conditions.[5] In regions with mild climates, two or three crops of rice may be grown each year. Except for ratoon crops, this means that the dead stalks must be removed, the soil cultivated, and new seed sown every few months.

In contrast, the wild ancestor of Asian rice, Oryza rufipogon, often lives for many years, setting seed each year and spreading vegetatively.[6] In addition to these perennial types, some O. rufipogon populations are annuals or intermediate in lifespan[7]

Other wild species in the genus Oryza are also perennial. While perennial Oryza rufipogon spreads vegetatively by above-ground stems (stolons), O. longistaminata, O. officinalis, O. australiensis, O. rhizomatis spread by underground stems (rhizomes).

Potential benefits

Perennial plants can reduce soil erosion

By all accounts erosion is the most serious natural resource and environmental consequence of rainfed upland rice production.

P. Crosson (1995) Natural resource and environmental consequences of rice production.[8]

Erosion gulleys on unterraced hill farm in Yunnan Province
Erosion gulleys on unterraced hill farm in Yunnan Province

Farm fields, especially those in the humid tropics,[9] that have been cleared of vegetation or recently plowed are highly vulnerable to soil and nutrient loss through wind or water erosion, soil compaction, and decline in soil organic matter and microbial biomass.

Eroded fields become less productive and the soil particles and dissolved nutrients cause environmental problems downstream, including hypoxia in oceans and rivers and the silting of reservoirs and waterways.[10]

Perennial plants regrow quickly after being harvested, re-establishing a protective cover. The fields do not need to be plowed after the initial planting.[11]

Researchers at The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) believed that perennial rice would "improve the sustainability of food production in the hilly uplands and downstream."[12]

Perennial rice could reduce the rate of deforestation

Slash-and-burn agriculture has left only a few patches of forest on these hills in Yunnan Province. The light green patches are upland rice
Slash-and-burn agriculture has left only a few patches of forest on these hills in Yunnan Province. The light green patches are upland rice

A high-yielding, nutritious, perennial cereal could allow poor farmers around the world to produce food on a plot of land indefinitely. Currently, many subsistence farmers clear plots in the forest for their crops. Once the soil and its nutrients have washed away, the plot is abandoned and a new piece of forest is slashed and burned. Forest may eventually regenerate on the abandoned plot, or weedy grasses may dominate. Environmental impacts of this cropping system include loss of biodiversity, carbon dioxide emissions, increased runoff and decreased rainfall.[13] Deforestation could be reduced by practices that conserve soil productivity[14]

Other potential benefits of perennial crops

  • Drought resistance: Annual rice has a shallow root system and is very drought susceptible.[15] A long-lived plant has time to develop a deep and extensive root system making it theoretically capable of accessing more moisture than an annual plant.[11] Tilled soil dries out more quickly than untilled[16]
  • Resist weed invasion: Weed pressure has increased in upland rice systems as the fallow period has shortened.[17] Ecologist Jack Ewel wrote: "Weeds are widely recognized as a major impediment to continuous cropping in the humid tropics, and fields are often abandoned more because uncontrollable weed populations are anticipated than because of declining fertility or pest buildups."[9] Grassland restoration with perennials results in fewer annual weeds[18] and perennial grasses, sown at appropriate densities, can out-compete even perennial weeds once they are established.[19]
  • Plant nutrition: While shallow rooted species, such as rice[15] obtain most of their nutrients from the topsoil, deep rooted perennials can obtain significant proportion of their phosphorus from the subsoil.[9] "Deep roots are especially important in nutrient-poor substrates because they increase the volume of soil exploited by the vegetation".[9]
  • Reduce the need for transplanting, weeding, and other backbreaking labor.
  • More efficient use of applied fertilizer

Potential disadvantages

  1. Improved habitat for pests. If fields are not left bare for a portion of the year, rodents and insects populations may increase. Burning of the stubble of perennial rice could reduce these populations, but burning may not be permitted in some areas. Furthermore, rodents and insects living underground would survive burning, whereas tillage disrupts their habitat.
  2. Makes crop rotation more difficult. Crop rotations with perennial systems are possible, but the full rotation will necessarily take longer. The slower pace of rotation—compared with annual crops—could allow a greater buildup of pathogens, pests or weeds in the perennial phase of the rotation.
  3. Builds soil organic matter at the expense of plant productivity. In the absence of tillage, and in soils with depleted organic matter, crops with large root systems may build up organic matter to the point that nearly all of the soil nitrogen and phosphorus is immobilized. When this happens, productivity may decline until either the organic matter builds up to a level where equilibrium is reached between nutrient mineralization and nutrient immobilization or fertilizer is added to the system.[clarification needed]
  4. Hydrological impacts. Perennial plants may intercept and utilize more of the incoming rainfall.[20] than annual plants each year. This may result in water tables dropping and/or reduced surface flow to rivers.
  5. Reduced nutrient delivery to downstream farms. Wide replacement of annual with perennial plants on agricultural landscapes could stabilize soils and reduce nitrate leaching to the point that the delivery of sediment and dissolved nitrogen to downstream landscapes could be reduced. Farmers in these areas may currently rely on these nutrient inputs.[citation needed] On the other hand, other water usage sectors might benefit from improved water quality.

Target environments for perennial rice

Upland rice

Upland rice growing amid the charred stumps of recently cleared forest
Upland rice growing amid the charred stumps of recently cleared forest

Upland rice is grown on more than 7,500,000 acres (30,000 km2) in the highlands of southern China and across southeast Asia. Because it is grown on steeply sloping soil without terracing, severe erosion results,[8][21] and a given patch of land can economically produce rice for only a year or two before it must be allowed to return to natural vegetation—only to be cleared and re-sown to rice a few years later. Population increase and agricultural intensification is reducing the fallow period.[22] This is a potent recipe for soil degradation. Were rice a perennial rather than an annual species, its continuously living roots and thick cover of vegetation would prevent such erosion, just as a planting of grass can prevent a roadside slope from washing away. Perennial rice could produce critically needed food year after year on the same plot of land without degrading the soil.[23]

Rainfed paddy rice

Level, bunded rice paddies in a Yunnan Province valley.
Level, bunded rice paddies in a Yunnan Province valley.

38 million ha (26%) of rice lands are terraced but unirrigated. This cropping system produces about 17% of world rice.[8]

While upland rice production systems were the initial target for the perennialization of rice, the perennial habit may prove to have benefits in paddy systems where erosion is less of a concern. Faced with drought one year and flooding the next, "...the rainfed rice farmer can usefully be thought of first as a manager of risk and uncertainty."[24] Given the erratic moisture, many farmers do not use purchased fertilizers. With deforestation, manure may be used as cooking fuel making fertility a key problem. Where fertilizers are purchased, flooding can result in fertilizer runoff contaminating water systems.[8]

Rice with deeper roots, as would be predicted with perennial rice, could exploit the moisture and nutrients in a greater soil volume than short-rooted types (discussed above). The perennial habit could reduce the uncertainty of planting and transplanting with erratic rainfall patterns. Rhizomes would simply lie dormant until temperature and moisture conditions were adequate for emergence.

Irrigated paddy rice

Irrigated rice is very productive and this production method must be fairly sustainable, as it has been practiced in China for millennia[25] however, high yielding rhizomatous rice varieties may still have some advantages, according to Dr. Dayun Tao[26]

  • Fixing hybrid vigor: The first generation hybrids between two particular lines or individuals may be exceptionally good, but may be almost impossible to re-create. If the exceptional individual was perennial and rhizomatous, millions of genetically identical plants (clones) could be made from pieces of the rhizomes.
  • Expediting the production of inbred lines: Even if the final propagule for the farmers' fields is hybrid seed, not hybrid clones, the parents of exceptional F1 hybrids could be immediately clonally propagated if they were rhizomatous. These genetic replicas could be maintained indefinitely and crossed afresh each year to produce new F1 hybrid seed. Normally, re-creating parents using sexual reproduction requires many generations of inbreeding.
  • Ratoon cropping: In some environments, additional grain crops could be harvested each year if the plants ratooned quickly. Shoots growing from the mature plant can reach the reproductive stage more quickly than shoots growing from seed. Transplanting seedlings is faster than sowing seed, but still requires time and labor-intensive field preparation and, of course, a large supply of labor for transplanting.

Other benefits can be imagined in this environment:

  • Reduce the need for transplanting, weeding, and other backbreaking labor. Because of migration to cities, many rural parts of Asia actually suffer from severe labor shortages.
  • More efficient use of applied fertilizer

History of perennial rice research

Interspecific hybridization and embryo culture, Thailand, early 1990s

rhizome from the O. longistaminata parent of Dr. Tao's original hybrid
rhizome from the O. longistaminata parent of Dr. Tao's original hybrid

Drs Dayun Tao and Prapa Sripichitt, working at the Department of Agronomy, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, made numerous crosses between rice and wild, rhizomatous species.[26] The difficulty of this work is illustrated by the case of the single successful hybrid they obtained between Oryza sativa and O. longistaminata. To get this one plant, 119 rice florets were pollinated,[clarification needed] which produced 51 seeds. Of these seeds, 33 had culturable embryos, and only one of these embryos developed into a viable plant. Put another way, this hybridization was relatively easy: over 3000 pollinations had to be made between rice and O. rhizomatis to get a single viable plant.[clarification needed] It was a fortunate cross in other respects: the hybrid was healthy and rhizomatous (it is still alive) and partially fertile, allowing F2 seed to be obtained.

Perennial Upland Rice program, Philippines, 1990-2001

To address the problem of erosion in upland rice-growing regions, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) initiated a breeding program for perennial upland rice in the mid-1990s.[27] Within just a few years, the program achieved significant progress. The Perennial Upland Rice project team used populations derived from crossing the rice plant Oryza sativa with two different distantly related perennials in the hopes that at least one of these strategies would enable genes from the perennial to be moved to the cultivated rice gene pool.

    • O. rufipogon as donor of perenniality traits. Fertility of the progeny families was generally good, as might have been predicted, given that O. rufipogon is the ancestor of cultivated rice. Many families were perennial, and some of the highest yielding families were the most perennial, suggesting that breeding for both yield and perenniality is feasible.[12]
    • O. longistaminataas donor of perenniality traits. This African species is genetically diverse, strongly perennial and rhizomatous. Rhizomes may be able to survive and spread in drier conditions than stolons. The downside of this donor is that it is more distantly related to cultivated rice and the crosses and backcrosses are much more difficult to make. Descendants of the few successful crosses are mostly infertile, and few were perennial. Many of the perennial plants lacked rhizomes. Rhizomes may not be essential for survival, but they may help plants survive stress and they certainly help them spread.[28][29]

Mapping major rhizome genes, China, 1999-2001

Perennial rice research plot at a YAAS research station on Hainan Islands
Perennial rice research plot at a YAAS research station on Hainan Islands

Hu Fengyi, now deputy director of the Food Crops Institute at YAAS, worked on the IRRI perennial-rice project and was senior author of the paper that first reported on mapping of genes for rhizome production in rice.[30] Using the F2 population derived from the Oryza sativa/O. longistaminata cross, two dominant-complementary genes, rhz2 and rhz3 controlling rhizomatousness were mapped. These were found to correspond with two QTLs associated with rhizomatousness in the genus Sorghum, suggesting that the evolution of the annual habit occurred independently, long after these species diverged. Efforts to map these genes in rice more finely are ongoing. Although other genes undoubtedly contribute to perenniality and rhizomatousness, these two are required in rice. Breeders use markers for these genes to assist in identifying potentially perennial individuals.

Breeding population development, China, 2007-present

The IRRI project was terminated in 2001 because of budget cuts, but the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS) in Kunming has continued the research. Rhizome were considered more stress tolerant than stolons, so they focused on populations derived from crosses with O. longistaminata. As Eric Sacks and colleagues found at IRRI, the plants in these populations mostly lack rhizomes and have a high level of sterility. Finding the extremely rare plants with both rhizomes and fertility has required screening large F2 and Backcross populations.[31][32]

Goals for perennial rice breeding

Restore seed fertility

Mapping genes that cause partial to complete sterility in many interspecific hybrids. As many as 35 such genes have been mapped in Oryza, and sterility is a big problem in the perennial rice program.

Develop methods for quickly identifying rhizomatous plants

  • Marker assisted selection allows large numbers of plants to be screened for rhizome markers. In the field, plants are evaluated first for rhizome production, then for seed fertility, and finally for pollen viability through staining[33]
  • Fine mapping of rhizome genes will improve the efficiency of marker-aided-selection or even allow rhizome genes to be cloned and used in recombinant gene techniques.

Eliminate undesirable genes from Oryza longistaminata

Along with potentially useful genes for rhizomes, stress tolerance and disease resistance, undesirable genes from O. longistaminata are also still present in breeding populations. Back-crossing to high-yielding rice varieties is one way to reduce the frequency of these wild alleles.

  • Awns: wild Oryza species have awns, but farmers prefer awnless rice.
  • Small seed size: wild Oryza species have small seeds, but larger seeds are easier to thresh and clean. Larger seeds germinate more vigorously. Increasing seed size is one way to increase grain yield.
  • Altered grain quality: it will be difficult to achieve the flavor and cooking properties of traditional rice varieties. And there are thousands of local varieties with unique properties. Choosing from among the possible quality goals and then achieving them is a "formidable challenge"[34] for all rice breeding programs.
  • Low yield: the high yield of elite grain varieties is always compromised by crossing with wild material. However, even low-yielding wild rice species can harbor genes for increasing yield[35][36]

See also


  1. ^ Wagoner, P. (1990)Perennial grain development: past efforts and potential for the future. Critical reviews in plant sciences. 9(5):381-408
  2. ^ Reviewed in Cox, T.S., et al. (2002) Breeding Perennial Grain Crops. Critical Reviews in Plant Science. 21(2):59-91..
  3. ^ International Rice Research Institute, 1988. pp. 66 in IRRI toward 2000 and beyond. IRRI, Manila, Philippines.
  4. ^ African rice, Oryza glaberrima is another domesticated rice. Its ancestor is strictly annual. The vast majority of the rice grown in the world—even in Africa—is Asian rice so, henceforth, "rice" in this article will refer only to Asian rice.
  5. ^ Chauhan, J.S, B. S. Vergara, and F.S.S. Lopez. 1985. Rice ratooning. IRRI Res. Paper Ser. 102. IRRI, Manila, Philippines
  6. ^ Kush, G.S. 1997. Origin, dispersal, cultivation and variation of rice. Plant Mol. Biol. 35:25-34
  7. ^ Morishiima, H., Y. Sano, and H.I. Oka. 1984. Differentiation of perennial and annual types due to habitat conditions in the wild rice O. perennis. Plant Syst. Evol. 114:119-135
  8. ^ a b c d Crosson, P. (1995)Natural resource and environmental consequences of rice production. In Fragile Lives in Fragile Ecosystems Proceedings of the International Rice Research Conference 13–17 February 1995. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
  9. ^ a b c d Ewel, J.J. (1986) DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL ECOSYSTEMS FOR THE HUMIDTROPICS. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 17:245-71
  10. ^ Pimental, D., et al. (1987) World agriculture and soil erosion. Bioscience 37:277-283.
  11. ^ a b Glover, J.D. (2005) The necessity and possibility of perennial grain production systems. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 20:1-4
  12. ^ a b Sacks, E.J., J.P. Roxas, and M. T. Cruz (2003) Developing Perennial Upland Rice I: Field Performance of Oryza sativa/O. rufipogon F1, F4 and BC1F4 Progeny. Crop Science. 43:120-128.
  13. ^ Tinkera, P.B. (1996) Effects of slash-and-burn agriculture and deforestation on climate change. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 58(1):13-22
  14. ^ Sanchez, P., et al. Approaches to mitigate tropical deforestation by sustainable soil management practices. In, Soils on a warmer earth: effects of expected climate change on soil. Scharpenseel, H.W., et al., eds. Volume 20 of Developments in soil science. 1990 Elsevier pp 211-220
  15. ^ a b Bernier, J. (2008)Breeding upland rice for drought resistance. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 88(6):927-939.
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