What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Food Demand Likely to Outpace Production

As reported over at Climate Progress;

"With the caloric needs of the planet expected to soar by 50 percent in the next 40 years, planning and investment in global agriculture will become critically important, according a new report released June 25. The report, produced by Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading global investment banks, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, provides a framework for investing in sustainable agriculture against a backdrop of massive population growth and escalating demands for food, fiber and fuel…. By 2050, world population is expected to exceed 9 billion people, up from 6.5 billion today. Already, according to the report, a gap is emerging between agricultural production and demand, and the disconnect is expected to be amplified by climate change, increasing demand for biofuels, and a growing scarcity of water."

What concerns me is the inevitable pressure to continue to rely on unsustainable agricultural practices in the face of shortages. I noticed that in the recent climate and energy bill, Waxman Markey, agriculture was exempted from emissions reductions. I understand the politics of this, regrettable as that is, but I can't condone exempting a sector of the economy that produces so much pollution and is so unsustainable. Until we expect agriculture, just as any other industry, to clean up it's act we are vulnerable to the added impetus it adds to climate change. Add to that the mentality that business as usual, ie petrochemically reliant agribusiness, can continue in the face of peak oil and we accept the inevitable drastic downturn in production as cheap oil supply crashes.
We should also consider that our food supply is largely controlled by multinational corporations with no loyalty to any nation and but one mission, profit at any cost. This situation has already led to rising rates of obesity and diabetes in the developed world and shortages, disastrous reliance on chemicals, and malnutrition in the developing world as they try to satisfy the world commodity markets insatiable demand for profits. The choice seems clear. We need to shift to sustainable agricultural practices worldwide ASAP. As this progresses we should all pursue the relocalization of the food supply in the interest of better nutrition, better health, higher levels of food security, and more resilient communities.

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