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The Forum > Article Comments > A world hungry for answers > Comments

A world hungry for answers : Comments

By Julian Cribb, published 1/2/2007

The greatest challenge facing humanity this century is the necessity to double global food production with far fewer resources.

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My mum works for an off shoot of the NSW department of primary industry. She complains to me how boring the work is saying that the state government has cut down research spending so much that they now dont even have a single penny to continue old experiments or start any new research into soils and agricultural production. She spends most of her time now looking on the internet and taking calls from people wanting advice to do with soil and land degradation.

There were once 9 people working there now it is 4. Its the same story through out the state with every 2 years a new round of redundancies and the state labour government hoping they can buy off more of a our scientist into retirement
Posted by EasyTimes, Thursday, 1 February 2007 9:28:56 AM
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I would suggest that a greater challenge to the world is to reduce the present population by the year 2100. With an almost exponetial rise in the population will inevitably come an even greater rise in the demand for resources of energy as standards of living are also rising, particularly in India and China. The insane drive by the worlds economists for growth is just madness and must inevitably lead to the greatest depression that the world has ever seen. The supply of food will be but one of the many challenges that we face.
Posted by VK3AUU, Thursday, 1 February 2007 10:59:52 AM
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I can only agree with VK3AUU. The only underdeveloped countries that have made any progress in the last 50 years are those who took steps to limit their populations, with China the outstanding example. If we don't do it, there are four horsemen (War, Famine, Pestilence and Death) who will do it for us. It would appear that the need to control population is the great taboo subject of this century.
Posted by plerdsus, Thursday, 1 February 2007 11:03:52 AM
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It is surprising that Julian Cribb does not mention population as any part of the solution to world hunger. It wouldn't hurt energy, water, land, pollution, ecosystems, etc., either. Perhaps it is the great unmentionable.

Any chance of getting the link to the reference about the 110% more food needed in 2050 from the United Nations Environment Program. I can't find it on the UNEP website. I agree with the assessment but it would be nice to see how they got there. I am assuming some combination of increasing population and increasing demand for meat, (100 calories of meat takes 400 to 1000 calories of grain). Sadly though, billions still won't be eating at first world standards.
Posted by ericc, Thursday, 1 February 2007 11:51:14 AM
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ericc - I have been in touch with Julian Cribb. Here is the link to that report and what he has to say. I will add it into the article in a moment.
"Itís in the Global Environment Outlook at: http://www.unep.org/Geo/geo1/index.htm. What has changed since this report came out is the speed at which the Chinese and Indian economies have grown and increased their demand for fish, meat and other protein."
Susan Prior - editor
Posted by SusanP, Thursday, 1 February 2007 12:36:56 PM
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The article is accurate, but falls short in not venturing analytically into population, education and democracy. Universally, people have more children when their survival is threatened (ie where there is no economic safety net). If you know you will starve when you are too old to work, have at least ten children so that there will be at least two boys surviving to look after you in retirement. In all countries with social security, population growth is in reverse. Why do these third world countries not establish safety nets? The answer is: the UN's World Trade Organisation and World Bank, the latter of which is financed by the privately owned International Monetary Fund; controls all governments through a series of treaties and agreements (ie GATS, GATT, FTAs). These international banks, wealthy elites and foreign megacorporations control election campaign funding, most efficiently in the two-party system, whereby the main parties have tweedledum and tweedledee status and mildly differing policies translate into identical action. Thus, we can see that population control is really a matter of policies which ensure all gain a fair share of national resources; the very thing the above elites do not want. Obviously, the only solution is to transfer power to the people; democracy. Abe Lincoln put it best when he said "Democracy; government of the people, by the people, for the people". In modern terms this is the elected representative conveying the documented informed consensus of each electorate to parliament. The oxymoronic "representational democracy" of Bush, Blair, Howard and Rudd, really means electing someone else to do your thinking for you. Next elections, if you want a new paragigm, vote for an independent candidate who will truly represent you. For more on this, contact tonyryan28@gmail.com for a more detailed paper.
Posted by Tony Ryan, Thursday, 1 February 2007 12:58:53 PM
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