posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 03:36 PM
Can we almost double food production in less than half a century? It seems a stretch to me.
The article below mentions "climate change," but there are other serious obstacles to boosting production to this level. First of all, most land
needs fertiliziers to even grow any food, and most fertilizers are petroleum-based. After some years of such treatment, even "high-quality" arable
land like that in the US midwest or Ukraine becomes "addictied" to it, the natural soil minerals are leeched out, and you are left with what one
farmer described as a "sandy dirt sponge" that must constantly be soaked with petro-fertilizers. How will this extra demand for petroleum impact a
global oil market many say has already peaked or is dangerously stretched?
Then there is the issue of irrigation and water rights...already contentious. Lots of people are squabbling over the rights to rivers and other
freshwater sources that are dwindling. A doubling of production might lead to real "water wars."
Finally there is the fact that as nations develop (China, India, etc.) their people tend to eat better. Nothing wrong with that in principle, but if
you want to feed beef or pork every day to another few billion people, its going to take a lot more grain than current levels because cows and pigs
eat it themselves, you know, and growing livestock means a need for more plant growth than would be necessary to feed humans directly with grains,
In the 20th century, the so-called "Green Revolutuion" helped lift billions out of poverty to a better life. But like all things, it took with one
hand even as it gave. It boosted petroleum use, increased populations in areas that are not able to sustain them over the long term, and increased
freshwater use (to the point that many of the world's great rivers no longer reach the sea). Will we have another "green revolution" through
genetically modified crops, etc? And what kinds of problems would that bring?
Nasty business, if you ask me.
Food production "must rise 70%"
Food production will have to increase by 70% over the next 40 years to feed the world's growing population, the United Nations food agency
The Food and Agricultural Organisation says if more land is not used for food production now, 370 million people could be facing famine by 2050.
The world population is expected to increase from the current 6.7 billion to 9.1 billion by mid-century.
More at source
[edit on 10/13/09 by silent thunder]