Ideas for Surviving Food Shortages

Food For Freedom

Water supplies around the US and the world are starting to dry up, and more and more people are being left without the water that they need to survive. How can you guarantee the safety of your family and friends and loved ones when you can't control the water yourself? You may not be able to control how much water your have available, but you CAN control what you do with the water that you have! This guide by expert survivalists can teach you all that you need to know about how to provide for your family during times of drought and bad seasons. You will learn how to build greenhouses for your family so that you can grow food with less water at a time! You will learn how to take control of the food that your family needs to survive and build systems that will make sure you are never without food! Continue reading...

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Ethanol The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Like so many aspects of the Green Revolution, there are good, bad, and even some downright ugly aspects to the use of biofuels in general, and ethanol in particular. The good are the advantages of ethanol, and the concomitant gains investors can make by choosing the best companies in the ethanol and biofuels space. The bad are the disadvantages of ethanol use, and the ugly is the very serious issue of global food shortages caused by the increased use of high-value corn crops for ethanol production. Now we 've come to what I think is the ugly disadvantage of corn-based ethanol the rising cost of food, and what's been described as a global food shortage crisis brought about in part by redirection of corn from food production to ethanol production. In a scathing Wall Street Journal editorial published May 7, 2008, titled, The Biofuels Backlash, the newspaper cited chief economist Joseph Glauber of the USDA, whom they described as among Big Ethanol ' s best friends in Washington, and his...

Preface and Acknowledgements

Concerns in the early 21st Century around dwindling oil reserves and their impact on the food system are nothing new and come as no surprise. Way back in the 1970s, for example, school geography classes taught of non-renewable energies, their lifespan and our dependency on them. It was not a fear of oil depletion that inspired the research upon which this book is based, nor any other fear over the state of our food system be it food shortages, human ill-health or environmental degradation. This research was instigated by a deep curiosity to understand why what seemed a more common-sense and logical approach to food and farming was not being practised. For it seemed logical to want to enrich and regenerate the natural resource base for the creation of vibrant, healthy food systems. It seemed logical to want to work in harmony with ecological processes and to avoid destructive activities that continually proved not to work. Yet this logic was not shared by the mainstream, and thus there...

Food collection distribution and markets The ration system and planned production

Since 1959, state politics had favoured centralization of the market in order to guarantee equal distribution and stable prices (Benjamin et al, 1984). In 1961, the state food procurement and distribution entity, Acopio, was formed to deal with the majority of food collection and marketing. National wages were raised substantially so that workers could afford more and better foodstuffs. However, this strengthened purchasing power coincided with a decrease in expenses such as rent and electricity, and, coupled with a drop in production during the changes in farm ownership and organization, led to existing food stocks becoming depleted (Alvarez, 2004a). Therefore, in 1962, Cuba established a food ration system to control the sale and flow of food, administered by the Ministry of Internal Trade (MINCIN). This system allowed the population to purchase a set, moderate quantity of basic products (canasta basica), at a negligible price. The ration provided most items, such as rice, beans and...

Counting Future People

Twenty-five years later, I was surprised to read newspaper editorials giving snide postmortems on the projections made in the 1972 model. The crises that had been predicted in energy and food shortages were not as severe, and the population growth rate had slowed enough that we reached six billion people rather than the seven billion that had been projected. The gist of the editorials was that the authors of the project were wrong, mere fear mongers rather than competent scientists. I beg to differ. Part of the problem with their projections was that the data and modeling techniques were in a young stage of development. But the success of the book is that it did what it was meant to do spur a sluggish human race into action by pointing out the big picture. And that picture is as grim as it ever was, because our population is still growing and a large portion of it is acting as if the earth had infinite resources. There is no safety in our numbers. Perhaps some more fear mongering...

The collapse of cereal production

It appears that in the mid to late 1990s, food production in the DPRK fell to about 45 percent of that of the 1980s (approximately the same level as the availability of commercial energy resources), and that it cannot regain its former level without the revival of substantial inputs of chemical fertilizer and the restoration of the former mechanical capacity of DPRK agriculture. This is borne out by the fact that even in 2004 05 the grain production shortfall was nearly 900,000 tonnes. In late March 2007 the DPRK admitted for the first time to food shortages of 1 million tonnes.30

Diseases favored by wet weather

People were often hungry, even if food shortages did not amount to famine, and the cool, wet conditions favored the development of fungi and bacteria that caused disease. In the course of the 14th century the average life expectancy in England fell from about 48 to 38 years. This was due only partly to hunger. There was also disease.

World population and food supplies

The food situation differs greatly in different areas. In Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand the consumption of food is, in general, fully adequate for daily needs, and health problems arise more from over-indulgence or improperly balanced diets than from any insufficiency of quantity. In Africa, South America and the Near East, however, food intake is precariously balanced with requirements, and often inadequate, while serious food shortages occur in parts of Asia.

New Definitions of Security

In late 2007, the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty said that climate change, with the threat of water and food shortages and refugees fleeing rising sea levels, would be the greatest security risk of this century. While there is little doubt that large numbers of people will be forced to leave their homes and countries to seek refuge elsewhere because of climate change there is another reality which will occur at the same time. The people most at risk of displacement will be the poorest of the poor and in many instances they can be expected to hang on in their home town until there is no option but to leave, meaning they will have almost no financial resources to take with them. These people will not be able to afford to travel across national borders, and their movement will be primarily by bus, ferry or foot. They will become displaced in their own countries through no fault of their own. Even if we were successful in generating support for a climate refugee quota...

Early Warning Systems

Early warning systems (EWSs) have become increasingly successful at recognizing the development of potential famines and droughts. Saidy (1997) pointed out that in 1992 EWSs were successful in sounding the alarms about the drought emergency. Although some warnings, such as those given in southern Africa during 1997-1998, were not followed by fullblown droughts and famines, such events are not necessarily forecast failures because most, if not all, seasonal forecasts are issued as probabilities for dry, near-normal, or wet conditions. Although there has been increasing focus on economic and social indices to complement physical information, a seasonal forecast for drought potentially provides an early indication of impending conditions. Economic and social indices tend to follow the development of drought and are valuable to confirm the existence of drought conditions. Food security will exist when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for a...

Weather catastrophes in the modern era

This flood was still much talked about by the local people three years later, when the author started his first field studies. Moreover, in the larger towns, particularly Escuinapa and Rosario, in public buildings and in business offices such as banks, various photographs documenting aspects of the 1968 flood were displayed. They were remarkable photos one showing the Baluarte River flooding over its banks at Rosario, some 60 feet (18 m) above its normal level for that time of year others showing settlements in the rural countryside out along the flat coastal plain, water halfway up the sides of the houses, people standing in waist-deep water, no ground showing anywhere. Local residents noted that several people had drowned or had otherwise been lost, and that following the withdrawal of the high waters there were widespread food shortages which had lasted for more than a year. Furthermore, they said, much of the limited aid which the federal government attempted to provide the region...

Social dominance hierarchies

In the first experiment the numbers of mice increased rapidly, but the population abruptly stopped growing when the 'food crisis', as the experimenters called it, was reached when the daily amount of food was no longer sufficient to allow all mice to eat as much as they needed. From then on their numbers started a slow, steady decline. The survival of young had been very high until the food crisis. At this point, however, all but one of the few young born soon after died, and no female showed any evidence of pregnancy from then on there was a complete cessation of breeding. All adults continued to obtain enough food to survive and to maintain their body weight, but all became physiologically and behaviourally sexually inactive.

The reported response to the crisis

For agriculture as a whole, yields of many basic food items increased, in some crops to levels higher than those of the previous decade, especially those of roots, tubers and fresh vegetables (Rosset, 1998 Funes, 2002). The food crisis had, according to reports, been lessened or even overcome. As Rosset (1996, p66) explains 'Although no figures are available, numerous interviews and personal observations indicate that by mid-1995 the vast majority of Cubans no longer faced drastic reductions of their basic food supply.'

Humanitarian development aid and political agendas

Humanitarian aid also played a vital role in ensuring food availability during the 1990s. In 1995, 17 million of food aid was received (Castro, 1996), and by the late 1990s humanitarian assistance (including medical aid) was valued at 1 billion (Garfield, 1999). The FAO remained active in technical cooperation, while Oxfam America supported Cuban farmers as a humanitarian response to the food crisis. The delivery of such assistance, and other forms of development cooperation, encountered problems as some sections of the international community (notably the USA) sought to undermine government institutes and instead searched out grassroots and religious groups that were less closely aligned with the state. In response to this, the state created and strengthened a raft of 'non-government organizations' in order to attract such collaboration and prevent the grassroots groups from being used for political purposes.

Outlook for Japans local food production

If fewer animal products were consumed, less feed would be necessary. Further, if land used to produce feed crops were used for food crops, self-sufficiency in human food would rise. It all depends on the diet choices that people make, but in a food crisis they will always choose to consume crops directly rather than to pass them through livestock to process them into animal products. Animal protein can still be consumed, but it would have to come from the raising of goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and other livestock that does not compete with humans for food.

Cuba the global example of a postpetroleum food system

Or is there Throughout the 1990s, reports were coming through on the resounding success of Cuba in heading-off a major national food crisis, a crisis that had been brought on by drastic shortfalls in imported fuel, food and agro-chemical input supplies (these reports include, for example, Levins, 1990 Altieri, 1993 Carney, 1993 Rosset and Benjamin, 1994 Wilson and Harris, 1996 Rosset and Moore, 1997 Ritchie, 1998 Bourque, 1999 Moskow, 1999 Murphy, 1999). Figure 1.1 lists some of the headlines of these reports which emerged mainly through study tours2 and visits to Cuba by foreign interest groups. Was Cuba demonstrating a post-petroleum food system, feeding its people through state-supported, localized, organic farming

Impacts on nutrition and the food supply

The IPCC has tended to see the positive and negative effects of climate change on agricultural production, if the warming were to occur at a moderate pace, as close to even in terms of overall global food production, but with some regional variations that might harm local food security (IPCC, 2001). Generally, the areas of the globe most vulnerable to climate-related stress on food production are poorer countries in lower latitudes. Not only do these nations have limited capacity to adapt, but their food distribution systems, as we have seen in several of the African famines, are also poorly positioned to disseminate food aid, should it be sent. To date, the greatest human health disasters, on a par with global pandemics such as influenza, plagues or tuberculosis, have been famines. A huge wild card in the climate equation is the possibility of increased meteorological volatility as the world warms. This would cause more intense precipitation at irregular intervals (meaning more...

The Effect On Research And The Development Of Knowledge

Since about 1950 the climatic tendencies have changed. A global cooling, slight at first but very marked in the 1960s in the northern hemisphere, reversed the earlier upward trend of temperature. Obviously, a run of five or six mild winters in Europe after 1970, and three or four in eastern North America about the same time, plus two very warm summers in the same regions in 1975 and 1976, caused judgement to hesitate and produced an impression that the spate of writing in the 1960s about climatic change had overstressed the subject. That was before the winters of record severity in parts of North America and Europe in the later 1970s. But planners concluded that the political uncertainties surrounding the supply of basic fuels had to be seen as a greater threat to the economy. There have, however, been very notable extreme seasons, famines and harvest shortfalls in various countries since 1960-70. And these have been not unconnected with the political difficulties of the immediately...

New agricultural production modes

The green agricultural revolution, which began after the Second World War, has led to a strong increase in agricultural production, thus helping to avoid famines in numerous regions worldwide and especially in Asia. However, this revolution has been accomplished by using high amounts of energy, fertilisers and pesticides. Similar to what has occurred in other economic sectors, this has had a negative impact upon the environment and has increased the dependence of agricultural production upon energy supplies.

Climate Change and Sustainability

Change research is one of the key areas that allows for the application of principles of sustainability science. Moreover, in both areas one has to deal with complex systems, and with a broad array of disciplines. Developed countries need to deal with emissions in a radical way, if they hope to bring along the developing countries. Moving towards more public transportation, more energy efficient buildings and residences, and changes in lifestyle are among the first things that come to mind in how we can move towards sustainability (Pachauri 2008). Another big area is moving towards agricultural sustainability (Ruttan 1999). Remarkably, as the world's population has increased, so has our capacity to produce food, and to avoid devastating famines (except for regions where political processes have limited people's access to food supplies intentionally). Yet, there is preliminary evidence of declines in agricultural research productivity and that yield increases have slowed down despite...

Footprints on a Finite Planet

Britain's leading organization campaigning for smaller populations, the Optimum Population Trust, which counts Ehrlich among its patrons, says we have to bring our numbers down to three billion or face nature's brutal population policies . . . increasing the death rate by famines and disease. The scientist James Love

Drought famine and desertification

Drought, famine and desertification are related problems of long standing in many parts of the world. The disastrous droughts in the Sahel in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, were only the most recent in a series which can be traced back several centuries. The earlier droughts, and their accompanying famines, passed mostly unnoticed outside the areas immediately affected. In contrast, modern droughts have been characterized by a high level of concern, particularly in the developed nations of the northern hemisphere. Concern is often media-driven, rising rapidly, but falling just as quickly when the drought breaks or the initial benefits of food and medical aid become apparent. When the rains returned to the Sahel in the late 1970s, interest in the problems of the area declined, although the improvements were little more than minimal. Similarly, the concern raised by television reports of drought and famine in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s peaked at a very high level in 1985 only to...

Nuclear Power Low Cost Portal to US Energy Security

It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter,will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age.

Antarctic Warming And The Ocean Food

Antarctic Food Cycle

Numbers of krill, a small shrimplike animal at the base of the Antarctic ocean food chain, have fallen by 80 percent since the 1970s, creating food shortages that are endangering larger animals and birds, such as whales, seals, penguins, and albatrosses, especially in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Angus Atkinson of the British Antarctic Survey, who led the research, said, This is the first time that we have understood the full scale of this decline. Krill feed on the algae found under the surface of the sea-ice, which acts as a kind of nursery (Atkinson et al., 2004, 100-103 Henderson, 2004).

The Sporer Minimum Dalton Minimum and Maunder Minimum

Then, in 1889, Maunder read an article by another German astronomer, Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Sporer (1822-95). Sporer was also studying sunspots and he had discovered something very interesting. Astronomers had been observing and recording sunspot activity for centuries, but Sporer found that very few had been observed between approximately 1400 and 1520. This period came to be known as the Sporer Minimum. It was a time of very cold weather. People called it a Little Ice Age. The Baltic Sea froze over completely in the winter of 1422-23. There were famines. Norse colonies in Greenland were abandoned because their crops failed and the sea froze over, preventing them from fishing. The colonists were starving and the survivors had no choice but to return to Scandinavia.

Fossil Fuels And Global Warming

Smog From Fossil Fuels

Some of the by-products of fossil fuels such as sulfur dioxide, soot, and ash, are pollutants. When these pollutants enter the atmosphere, they change the properties of the clouds. The pollutants become incorporated into the clouds, resulting in clouds with a larger number of droplets than unpolluted clouds, which makes them more reflective. This causes more of the Sun's heat and energy to be reflected back into space, reducing the heat that reaches the Earth. This phenomenon is called global dimming. In addition to environmental problems, such as smog and acid rain, dimming has also been blamed for contributing to the deaths of millions of people. Because the polluted clouds keep the Sun's heat from reaching the Earth's surface, it has made the waters in the Northern Hemisphere cooler, which has resulted in less rain forming in key areas. Because of this, the Sahel in northern Africa has not received the rainfall it needs. In the 1970s and 1980s, massive famines affected North Africa...

Resource Scarcity As A Driver Of Innovation

One last example is worthy of mention. The rapid population growth in Europe during the early 19th century that had alarmed Malthus outstripped European agriculture and threatened food shortages.21 A German chemist, Justus Leibig, called attention to the need for fertilizers in agriculture, both to replace nutrient elements (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) removed from the soil by harvesting, and to supplement natural stocks in the soil and thus increase agricultural productivity (Leibig 1876).

The collapse of soil fertility mining the soil

Due to the fertilizer shortage, DPKR agriculture operated at 20-30 percent of normal levels of soil nutrient inputs between 1996 and 2002 (see Figure 21.1). This shortfall is the largest single contributor to reduced crop yields, and thus to food shortages. Soils in the DPRK are being heavily mined of nutrients, as more nutrients are

The Institutions Of A Green Democracy

Apocalyptic thinking of this kind has played an important part in the green movement, especially in its formation. Leading figures within green movements, such as Herbert Gruhl in the early days of the German greens and Edward Goldsmith in the British greens, have combined doom-laden predictions with a call for urgent and effective action by a strong government. Impatience with moderates because 'Time is Short' was also a motive for the actions of those like Dave Foreman, who founded the direct action organisation Earth First in the USA. The misanthropic comments of some within Earth First , such as the view that Aids and famines were useful means of controlling over-population, soon became

Associations with Plants

An important driver of total population size in E. e. bayensis is annual variation in larval mortality. Larvae experience food shortages and die in large numbers when host plants senesce before larvae are sufficiently developed to diapause (Ehrlich 1965, Singer 1972, Ehrlich et al. 1980, Dobkin et al. 1987, Cushman et al. 1994). Food shortages occur when plant growth and death are accelerated by high temperature or drought or when larval hatching and growth are delayed by cloudy days or low temperatures. In years with moderate temperatures and precipitation, in contrast, host plants can sustain sufficient numbers of larvae to diapause, and populations remain stable or expand.

The population crisis

Malthus, writing in 1825, when Earth's population had just risen rapidly to nearly one billion, predicted that it would very soon reach the limit which the planet could support, after which it would fall sharply because of famines, epidemics and wars. In fact it proceeded to double in a century, doubling yet again in the subsequent halfcentury. It is now about twenty-five times greater than at the time of Christ, and growing at a quarter of a million people per day. The doubling time is down to about thirty-five years. Even if fertility were to fall tonight to the 'replacement rate', just over two babies to each grown woman, the figure would still climb from today's roughly six billion souls to around eight and a half billion, because so many of those now alive have yet to reach reproductive age. At least in the near future, a population of as little as ten billion could be expected to cause desertifications and famines, intolerable local water scarcities and levels of pollution,...

Nick Bostrom and Milan M Cirkovic Introduction

Global catastrophes have occurred many times in history, even if we only count disasters causing more than 10 million deaths. A very partial list of examples might include the An Shi Rebellion (756-763), the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864), and the famine of the Great Leap Forward in China, the Black Death in Europe, the Spanish flu pandemic, the two world wars, the Nazi genocides, the famines in British India, Stalinist totalitarianism, the decimation of the native American population through smallpox and other diseases following the arrival of European colonizers, probably the Mongol conquests, perhaps Belgian Congo - innumerable others could be added to the list depending on how various misfortunes and chronic conditions are individuated and classified. This subdivision into three categories of risks is for convenience only, and the allocation of a risk to one of these categories is often fairly arbitrary. Take earthquakes which might seem to be paradigmatically a 'Risk from Nature'....

Ethanol

It seems that the production of ethanol drives up food prices and contributes to starvation in poorer nations. Others argue that the main cause of food shortages are droughts, overpopulation, improved living standards, and the soaring demand for meat in China and India. This is because it takes seven calories of corn to produce one calorie of meat. When the ethanol is made from agricultural waste or algae, the side effects are more favorable than if it is made from corn, but the refining process can still be a source of pollution. For quantitative data the reader can access http www.iol.co. za index.

Desertification

Agriculture, at least in the more developed countries of the world, is an impressive success story. Thanks to the mechanization of farming, the development of high-yield crop species, and the use of effective fertilizers and pesticides, it has been possible for a small fraction of the populations of these countries to raise enough food for everyone and even to have problematically large surpluses. The per-hectare yield of grain more than doubled between 1950 and 1984, and during most of this time the area under cultivation steadily increased, as did the use of irrigation (Brown, 1991). Even in undeveloped countries that have suffered food shortages, the most difficult problems have been those associated with the distribution of food rather than its availability.

What lies ahead

Climate change scientists have determined that the poorer nations will be more vulnerable to the negative effects of global warming. It is the wealthier nations that burn large amounts of fossil fuels that are adding the most to the problem, but as global warming leads to extreme weather disasters, droughts, floods, heat waves, food shortages, sea level rise, and the spread of disease, it will be the poorer nations that suffer the brunt of the hardships because of a lack of resources.

People Can Adapt

By 450 ppm, most scientists anticipate levels of climate crisis so severe that humanity won't be able to adapt. These predictions paint a picture of a very grim future. Humanity would have to deal with natural disasters, rising sea levels, and social and political disruption millions of environmental refugees and food shortages and famines. No one can adapt to that.

Complex Challenge

Food security is affected not only by the food-population equation, but also by the water-population equation and the efforts of water resource ministries to raise water productivity. Indeed, since 70 percent of world water use is for irrigation, eradicating hunger may now depend on a global full-court press to raise water productivity. Everyone knows it takes water to produce food, but we often do not realize how water-intensive food production is and how quickly water shortages can translate into food shortages. The ministry of health and family planning needs to cooperate not only with the ministry of agriculture but also with the ministry of water resources. Those living in land-hungry, water-short countries need to know how their childbearing decisions will affect the next generation's access to water and to food.35

Crisis

The agrarian reforms of the mid-1990s were the key to recovering from the food crisis, but they could not have worked without the earlier agrarian reforms and without an educated and modernized peasantry unique in Latin America. The Cuban miracle is the product of a people with vision and solidarity.

Insecticides

Fleas and lice favour overcrowded conditions, such as those occuring during wars, famines or refugee camps. Efforts should be instituted to reduce overcrowding, but where this is impossible, washing and laundry facilities should at least be provided. Wearing of other people's clothes or sharing combs are common methods of transferring ectoparasites in tropical areas.

Food Production

During the last few decades, most famines have been caused by warfare rather than by overpopulation. In fact, the record is one that most proponents of the overpopulation crisis scenario would have found unbelievable (and some still do). The world grain harvest has shown steady and continuous growth since 1950, with about a tripling of tons of grain produced since then. More important, the amount of grain produced per person (per capita) has also increased during that time. The number of kilograms per capita of grain produced in the world in 1950 was 247. If the population explosion had led in the direction of increasing hunger, this value should have decreased dramatically. Instead this figure steadily increased, reaching 291 kilograms per person in 1970, 321 kilograms per person in 1980, and 335 kilograms per person in 1990. Since then, grain production per capita leveled off, and in 2004 production was 322 kilograms per person.

GM and Risk

That GM has the potential to reduce the numbers of famines in the world. It might also provide former third world countries with more independence. For example, both, India and China, sew their own GM crops in order to become economically more independent from the West. Last but not least it is worth mentioning that concerning the yellow or red GM, the use of new cell lines has already spared some animals from research. Although we mentioned only the most frequently discussed and maybe the most obvious of all the possibly benefits and harms, this list points out one of the most salient features of the decisions for or against GM It is a genuine decision under risk where both the possible harm as well as the possible benefit are to a large extend unclear and it is not known with certainty which one will occur. The proponents of GM put the dilemma bluntly in the following way Shall we discard the possibility of developing an economically acceptable way of how to feed a growing world...

Noel Castree

If you're reading these words you're almost certainly a student studying degree-level geography in an English-speaking country. This chapter is probably on a reading list for a course you're taking on the nature of contemporary geography. Whether you're an undergraduate or a Master's student, the course is doubtless a compulsory part of your degree. You may not like this fact. Unless you're intending to go on to become a university geographer yourself, you may well think that the course is both boring and rather pointless. After all, who, you might ask (apart from people like me and your professors), really cares about such questions as 'Is geography a divided discipline ' or 'Is geography a science ' (the focus of Chapters 4 and 6 in this volume). Surely there are more interesting and relevant things you could be learning about - the kinds of things, in fact, dealt with in your other geography degree modules (such as why famines still occur in a world of food surpluses, why the...

Limits to growth

Collapse occurred again, but this time because of the pollution brought about by the spurt in industrialization caused by the availability of new resources. The group concluded that 'Apparently the economic impetus such resource availability provides must be accompanied by curbs on pollution if a collapse of the world system is to be avoided' (Meadows et al., 1974, p. 133 1992, p. 134 2005, pp. 172-3). Consequently, the next computer run involved not only a doubling of resources but also a series of technological strategies to reduce the level of pollution to a quarter of its pre-1970 level (Meadows et al., 1974, p. 136 1992, p. 168 2005, p. 211). This time the limits to growth are reached because of a food shortage produced by pressure on arable land owing to its being taken for 'urban-industrial use' (Meadows et al., 1974, p. 137 1992, p. 168 2005, p. 210).

The Bergen School

Bergen School Meteorology

Bjerknes knew that he would need the support of geophysicists throughout Scandinavia. His chance to make a fruitful alliance with the Bergen Meteorological Observatory appeared in spring 1918. Norway was experiencing a severe food shortage and the government was supporting a special weather forecasting unit to provide detailed weather information to farmers during the summer growing season. Bjerknes supported the government's goal of increasing crop yields through better weather forecasts. He also intended to use this opportunity to increase forecast precision. Bjerknes and his assistants (his son, Jacob, and the Swedish meteorologist Halvor Solberg 1895-1974 ) became a combination theoretical research team and forecasting unit. Their work would lead to advances in both theoretical meteorology and weather forecasting. necessity of providing these weather services presented Bjerknes with the resources to further his atmospheric studies. Had Norway not been experiencing food shortages,...

Six Dollars a Snip

There is a long tradition of Malthusian doomsaying about India. In the early nineteenth century, virtually every British colonial satrap had heard Malthus lecture at the East India College before he set foot in the country. Just like the British administrators in Ireland, they blamed the country's repeated famines on overpopulation, even as shiploads of grain left Indian ports bound for Europe. So it was in the late 1870s, when between five million and eight million people starved to death under the Raj, including a quarter of the population of Mysore. The colonial administrator Sir Evelyn Baring told Parliament in London Every benevolent attempt to mitigate the effects of famine . . . serves but to enhance the evils resulting from over-population. He meant that not as a Malthusian prediction but as a threat curb births or forget about food aid. And that choice was transmitted intact down to every village in India. At no point did anyone explicitly state that poor people would be left...

The cost of sucking

Regions Food Shortages

Some regions of the world have food shortages. There are fish shortages in many areas, because of over-fishing during the last 50 years. The idea of ocean nourishment is to fertilize the oceans, supporting the base of the food chain, enabling the oceans to support more plant life and more fish, and incidentally to fix more carbon. Led by Australian scientist Ian Jones, the ocean nourishment engineers would like to pump a nitrogen-containing fertilizer such as urea into appropriate fish-poor parts of the ocean. They claim that 900 km2 of ocean can be nourished to take up about 5MtCO2 y. Jones and his colleagues reckon that the ocean nourishment process is suitable for any areas of the ocean deficient in nitrogen. That includes most of the North Atlantic. Let's put this idea on a map. UK carbon emissions are about 600MtCO2 y. So complete neutralization of UK carbon emissions would require 120 such areas in the ocean. The map

Antony Boys

Far larger yashiki were created in the Santome district of what is now Tokorozawa City and Miyoshi Town in Saitama Prefecture (just north of Tokyo) in 1696, some of which are still in existence today.8 Each consists of about 4.85 ha in a block of land 72 m by 675 m. A road runs along one end of the block with the house, surrounded by trees, on about 0.6 ha. In the center of the block there are about 2.7 ha of upland fields. At the end away from the road and house is a wooded area (heichirin) of about 1.5 ha. This yashiki was designed with the difference that its samurai farmers (goshi) were expected to produce surpluses which could be traded for rice. Famed for its sweet potatoes (satsuma imo), the area was an important food producer in the Edo Period and during the food shortage following the end of the war in 1945.

The grazing rate

Although the interactions between plant and animal populations are difficult to elucidate, the grazing rate of the herbivorous zooplankton is certainly one of the factors which regulates the size of the standing stock of phytoplankton, and therefore influences the production rate. The quantity of epipelagic zooplankton generally correlates more closely with the quantity of plant nutrients in the surface layer than with the size of stock of phytoplankton, indicating how greatly grazing reduces the number of plants in fertile water. In the long term, the primary productivity of an area must determine the size of the animal population it supports, but in the short term there are often wide, and sometimes rapid, changes in both numbers and composition of populations due to a variety of causes. Interactions between species often involve a time lag, and there is consequently a tendency for numbers to fluctuate about mean levels. Although some natural populations show homoeostatic mechanisms...

Forests

What if there is a severe food shortage Tokyo Shinbun68 reports that rural inhabitants of the DPRK (North Korea) are clearing forests to make fields for growing food. The fields thus created become the property of the farmer. A man from North Hamyong Province, in the northeast corner of the DPRK, said in an interview that almost all the forests within 10 km of his village had been cleared and that maize and vegetables were being grown on the new fields. The ownership of the fields was being quietly acknowledged by the authorities and a tax consisting of part of the crops was paid. Forest clearing and the need for fuel had resulted in nearly all the trees being felled, and this was causing floods and mudslides. It is therefore essential that Japanese people learn to appreciate the absolute necessity of maintaining their forests in as large an area and in as good condition as is humanly possible, even if the temptation to cut for fuel and clear for food-producing fields is strong.

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