Cup of Natural disasters
1/2 cup of Famine
Dash of over-population
Box of Global Warming
Mixed with a batch of land once used to grow crops now being used for biofuels
We try to do the right thing and fight big bad global warming. Agrofuels is a growing trend around the world; land once used to curb hunger is now being used to slow climate change. The world price of corn has doubled, wheat prices have hit their highest point in a decade. The population increases by 87 million each year. Chinese and Indian populations – the two largest nations in the world – are switching to more “American” based meat and dairy diet which requires more land, food and water to produce. They represent 40% of the world. Not to mention the developing world, whose endgame seems increasingly clear. We are en route to global food shortages as prices rise and the population increases. And don’t forget about global warming. Suggestions? Anyone? From the article:
“The competition for grain between the world’s 800 million motorists, who want to maintain their mobility, and its two billion poorest people, who are simply trying to survive, is emerging as an epic issue,” says Lester Brown, president of the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute thinktank, and author of the book Who Will Feed China?
It is not going to get any better, says Brown. The UN’s World Food Organisation predicts that demand for biofuels will grow by 170% in the next three years. A separate report from the OECD, the club of the world’s 30 richest countries, suggested food-price rises of between 20% and 50% over the next decade, and the head of Nestlé, the world’s largest food processor, said prices would remain high as far as anyone could see ahead.
A “perfect storm” of ecological and social factors appears to be gathering force, threatening vast numbers of people with food shortages and price rises. Even as the world’s big farmers are pulling out of producing food for people and animals, the global population is rising by 87 million people a year; developing countries such as China and India are switching to meat-based diets that need more land; and climate change is starting to hit food producers hard. Recent reports in the journals Science and Nature suggest that one-third of ocean fisheries are in collapse, two-thirds will be in collapse by 2025, and all major ocean fisheries may be virtually gone by 2048. “Global grain supplies will drop to their lowest levels on record this year. Outside of wartime, they have not been this low in a century, perhaps longer,” says the US Department of Agriculture.
In seven of the past eight years the world has actually grown less grain than it consumed, says Brown. World stocks of grain – that is, the food held in reserve for times of emergency – are now sufficient for just over 50 days. According to experts, we are in “the post- food-surplus era”.