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The Forum > Article Comments > Out of the Demographic Trap: Hope for Feeding the World > Comments

Out of the Demographic Trap: Hope for Feeding the World : Comments

By Fred Pearce, published 20/4/2010

The next agricultural revolution needs to get local and must start to see rising populations as potentially part of the solution.

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It's like Deja vu all over again! What's the matter OLO? Did you like this crap so much you had to post it twice within a week?
Posted by michael_in_adelaide, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:03:18 AM
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An excellent balance to counter the yip-yip ferals that would destroy Australia's economy by culling both population and grwoth and returning it to the conditions of Botany Bay circa 1800.
Posted by Cheryl, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 12:48:44 PM
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Ah michael_in_adelaide you ARE a Skeptic !

Feeding the World is not a problem .

The will to do it is , we need a reason to do it as well .

Worrying about Humanity won't cut it unless some kind of Profit can be devined .

Australia is a great place for an agricultural Enterprise to Feed the world no ice or snow and never ending Sunshine.....just add water .

But the will to exploit this will not happen any time soon because buried deep into the Australian Psyche is an unsalliable belief that water can only really come from rain .

In the Pacific Islands people harvest Drinking Water every day from salt water using no more tech than a plastic sheet and some Bamboo .

The big change will come when we run out of Minerals and when Islam will be impacting on Australian Culture especially if the current Govt has it's way with suppressing our Breeding Rate .

Not that I am suggesting the Islamic People will attack us , not so, they will have a different approach to water use ,conservation and development viz the ancient water developments in their home countries deep underground channels that service agriculture .

We have advantages that the Middle East doesn't ie; viable farming land and terrain advantages but the big plus we have is an abundance of cold water on our Southern coast to assist Condensation in Solar Stills and Never ending Solar power providing evaporation .

We have these gifts but 90% of us don't know it , Wake up Australia !
Posted by Garum Masala, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 2:30:45 PM
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Currently humans consumer around 40% of the earths resources. One species among millions. If we expand to 9 billion, 10 billion, collapse of whole systems becomes far more likely - systems, I'm afraid, that we are part of. The US agricultural system is a basket case. Productivity is going down, the soil is propped up with inputs, the entire system is fossil fuel dependent (like Australia) at the end of the age of oil. We can feed the people we have - we need to eat less meat, we need to stop wasting food (estimated in developed countries around 40%) and we need to develop distribution systems that get food to people who are hungry. We certainly do not need 10billion people, aspiring to a heavy meat, heavy fossil fuel existence, slowly squeezing the life out of a planet already suffocating under our weight.
Posted by next, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 9:37:29 PM
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I bring good news: human ingenuity. Rising populations may bring more mouths to feed, but they also bring more hands to work and brains to think.
In perpetuity?
Written as a true pretender in science journalism, Fred. Now give us the low-down on the latest progress on the Perpetual Motion Machine which took the attention of the utterly gormless until less than a century ago
Posted by colinsett, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 7:35:46 AM
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*We have these gifts but 90% of us don't know it , Wake up Australia !*

People know it Garum, but people also know how to use a calculator.

A kg of grain is worth around 20c. It takes about 500 l of water
to grow one kg. It also takes lots of fertilisers etc, or you are
doing nothing but mining the soil. Ours are pretty old and clapped
out, if you did not know.

Machinery costs, fertiliser costs, other growing costs, add up
to around 15-18c a kg. If you can show me how what is left, will
desalinate water to feed the starving masses, I would be most
interested. Last time I checked, it costs Govt around 1$ per
1000L to do it on a large scale.
Posted by Yabby, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 9:32:29 PM
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