Thursday, September 24, 2009

Munch, Munch, Munch

Here's some cheery news for all of you who expect to be around in 2050. The world is going to need 70 percent, that's 70 percent, more food than what's being produced right now. And the last time I checked, there are millions of people on the globe who are starving right now. The population of the globe in 2050 will be 9.1 billion people, up from its current 6.9 billion. But take heart, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is "cautiously optimistic" that the world will be able to produce enough food to feed everybody by then. Some of the other projections are just downright terrifying: like 70 percent of the world's population in 2050, that's 40 years from now, will live in cities. Given some of the world's well-known hell holes--Lagos, Nigeria, below, anyone? Cairo? Mexico City?--today, can you imagine what kind of truly nightmarish cities will be around then?



I'm not going to get involved in any arm-wrestle about whether the globe will support that many people, resisting the impulse to differ strongly with those who don't see any virtue (indeed, see sin) in birth control. I merely indicate that most of the increase in population is going to be in sub-Saharan Africa . . . and you know how well we're doing taking care of their nutritional needs today. And then there's the additional land we're going to eat up so we can grow more crops. And how many habitats for the other species on the planet are we also going to eat up? I'm not sanguine humans are going to come out of this looking good.
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