The world population continues to grow while we rely upon Big Food and Big Ag to make more food, usually using environmentally unsustainable practices and harmful pesticides. Meanwhile, carbon emissions continue to rise, making weather patterns more erratic. The fact that scientists are starting to predict a looming catastrophe is not hard to believe. Read the latest one:
“The other item was more sobering — an article in London’s Independent newspaper headlined, “Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages, says study.” The study, based on a model created at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, forecasts that if global emissions continue unabated, plausible climate trends will lead to catastrophic crop failures and food riots around the globe. “In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption,” Aled Jones, director of the Institute, told reporters. The study echoes a similar, peer-reviewed report from Lloyds of London, which found the probability of a major food crisis “significantly higher” than the insurance industry’s benchmark return period of 1:200 years.
The takeaway seems pretty straightforward. If the Tom Swifts of today are going to save our skins, they’d best get on with it.”
These statistics are particularly alarming:
“Today, respected organizations like Lloyds, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. and the World Bank among many others, are once again raising the warning flag about future food security, and this time the yawning gap between supply and demand of our staple food grains that produce the bulk of the world’s calories is even greater. The spectacular yield gains of the green revolution have flattened in the great grain baskets of the world, while population growth, income growth (which leads to more meat and dairy consumption, multipliers for grain consumption) and food-based biofuels are driving demand even higher. In order to feed the estimated 9.6 billion people expected to be living on Earth by 2050, experts predict we’ll need toincrease food supplies by 70 to 110 percent, or as World Food Prize recipient Gebisa Ejeta said in 2010, “We’ll have to learn to produce as much food in the next four decades as we have since the beginning of civilization.”
What will happen in the coming years is hard to say for sure. But the idea that there is at least a possibility of something catastrophic happening is getting hard to ignore.
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