Can The Earth Provide Enough Food For 9 Billion People?

<p>That's how many are expected to inhabit the world by 2050. Experts worry over looming food shortages.</p>
April 28, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The possibility of a world food shortage is causing more and more concern. 'It's likely to get worse in coming years,' reckons Mr. Chamie, now research director at the Center for Migration Studies, a New York think tank."

"His fear is partly based on the fact that the world's population is growing by about 78 million people a year, with projections of an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050 – a generation away."

"'The most significant event of the 20th and 21st century is the growth of world population,' Chamie says. 'It has affected every life form on this planet.'"

"The present situation, however, is different, says Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington. It's based on trends, not specific incidents. Longer-term trends include the growing world population and the desire of huge numbers of increasingly prosperous people in China, India, and elsewhere to eat more meat and eggs. A shorter-term problem, he says, is the growing use of corn and other foods to distill biofuels for cars, trucks, and other energy uses."

"Unless the food-shortage situation is tackled seriously and quickly, the world faces increased social unrest, food riots, political instability, and more failed states, notes Mr. Brown. 'Civilization is now at risk,' he says."

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Published on Friday, April 25, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
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