With vertical farms, we could reap the benefits of farming - even raising food animals - without the environmental impact. Vertical farms could replace the old style of farming by quintupling (or better) the usefulness of an area of land. Old fashioned sprawl farms could be replaced by stack farms that go several levels down in the ground, and loads of levels up in the air. Old, obsolete farmland could then be returned to nature, trees planted, etc. More trees equal less carbon in the air, which means less global warming.
Some people are already experimenting with this. If it succeeds to the levels I hope it does, a few dozen of these stack farm buildings could feed a whole city. We could then convert old farmland into national parks and watch nature flourish on the land we used to use so inefficiently.
Yes, I think this is the future. And it would be an area for businesses to expand into when the 3D printing technology becomes fabbers capable of making anything, so they can stay alive after the means of production is put into the hands of the workers. Which they'll need all the places to expand to that they can, to survive. The days of corporations are numbered unless they adapt to the future that's coming. They'll have to rely on providing services, mainly, because most products will be able to be fabbed by anyone with a fabber machine.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org