Those who live in industrial civilizations often fall into the trap of thinking that they have transcended the limits of biology by transforming agriculture into an “industry.” This is a fatal metaphorical mistake. Agriculture is a subset of millions of microbial bio-geo-chemical exchanges in living soil communities — many of which are only partially understood and certainly beyond human control.
For this reason agriculture cannot in principle be reduced to an assembly-line, industrial process. Acting as if agriculture were an “industry” is a fundamental metaphorical confusion which will lead inevitably in the future — as it has in the human past — to the fatal syndrome of overshoot and collapse that cannot be sustainable in Earth’s ecosystem. Fantasies of agriculture being established as part of mechanically operated environments outside of Earth’s ecosystem remain just that — fantasies — no matter how much subsidy and promotion is provided for them by the world’s richest corporations and individuals.