Are We Outgrowing the Earth Food Supply

How many people can the world support food wise? Experts say we're running out of food.

What is going to give? Land, oceans, space or humans

What is going to give? Land, oceans, space or humans

The world is outgrowing the Earth’s food supply, experts say. Long-term population growth continues to threaten the viability and availability of food production.
In the summer of 2008, prior to the collapse of commodities’ prices triggered by the credit crisis, food riots compelled many governments in the emerging markets to further subsidize imported grains or increase purchases as harvests plunged because of drought in the Ukraine, Brazil, Australia and Argentina – all significant exporters of coarse grains. I remember being in the Caribbean when people were standing in long bread lines waiting for bakeries to put out their freshly baked bread, one person – one loaf. That scenario, unfortunately, is likely to return in the near future because long-term crop yields won’t satisfy rising demand, experts claim.

And if the world is not growing enough food and population growth continues to expand, then the math on this asset class is quite simple: higher prices, even though the USDA has recently proclaimed an almost record crop production forecast for this year. Now this prediction forces me of course to ask a couple of questions, such as why would I believe any number or prediction from this government. They haven’t exactly awed me with accuracy in the field.
Even though the United States is one of the largest exporters of grains, particularly corn and wheat, I would say it’s a little nervy to forecast a near-record harvest of corn, soybeans and wheat in 2010 not even knowing what the weather has in store for us.

What about the Weather?

The Florida Orange Groves just got a devastating blow to their citrus harvest as a result of prolonged record freezing, a treat that is still ongoing in a cold, cold Florida. We already can safely forecast that many areas of the country will have massive flooding to look forward to in the next weeks to months because of the massive amounts of snow. So I think it’s only fair to ask, what about the weather?

There is little to nothing we can do about the factor called Mother Earth as she will pull the carpet from underneath us all anytime she likes.
There is one thing we should be doing however as that is keeping an eye on the rapid population growth we are experiencing. There is something called sustainability and we are rapidly approaching a point of no return when it comes to sustainability and population growth.

Just know that every hour the world population increases by ten thousand people. This is net growth, after we deduct those who died in that hour. Still it may not seem like a lot to you, but a quick calculation makes this 240,000 people per day and 87,600,000 people per year, or the entire populations of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Portugal and Ireland combined.

In the late 1990’s we were actually looking at several years when the World population grew by more than 105 million people every year! Now if you remember anything at all from high school, you should remember the multiplier effect. In less than 10 years we’re looking at a net increase in world population of more than one billion people and in the next 20 years we are looking at 9 billion people on earth.

You want proof of how unstoppable this growth is?
On July 7, 1986 the News reported that the World population had reached 5 billion. Yesterday, February 12, 2010, the world population reached 6,802,200,000 people according to the US World Census Bureau’s estimates. That’s almost 2 billion more mouth to feed in just 24 years.
And NO I don’t believe a word coming from some idiot experts who claim that between now and 2050 the death rate will grow from 57 million to 90 million a year. There is absolutely nothing to support that argument unless they already factor in that we are looking at world hunger. Massive world hunger and/or massive and deadly protests from our host: Mother Earth.

I am with Asimov who once made the following observations:
• Democracy can not survive over population
• Human dignity cannot survive overpopulation
• Convenience and decency can not survive over population
• As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life will decline and ultimately disappear.

Now who is going to tell their sons and daughters not to have children?

Time will tell what is going to give. Land, oceans, space or humans?

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7 Comments

  1. tommylee

    The densities in China and India where population growth is semi controlled (especially in China) has seen migrations of people to escape these restrictions. China's one child per family policy, due to this policy, has already shown a breakdown of communistic thoughts of keeping the people inside the borders and is now promoting “emigration” to avoid the one child per family restriction. These factors are not even taken into consideration.

    Asimov packaged his words nicely, but reality will be much more ugly.

  2. Transient_Analysis

    “why would I believe any number or prediction from this government? They haven’t exactly awed me with accuracy in the field.” – Hysterical! I almost fell off my chair laughing! Aaah,…it's funny 'cuz it's true…

  3. publisher

    As you were sitting at the dinner table last night when I brought up the topic. It was quickly torpedoed into oblivion with anguished words like: “Can we change the topic now?” And this is the reaction in a household that is essentially not afraid to touch any topic and maul it. Imagine how often it comes up in other households. Sure the dinner table may not be the right venue for this discussion, but what venue is? We don't seem to appreciate the fact that we are guests on this earth and when there are more guests than there is food on the table, people will go hungry. So yes the reality will be much more severe that Asimov's sugar covered words.

  4. tommylee

    Remarkable that you use the phrase “sugar covered”. Sugar, being the lifeline of our species, will be one of the first staple we will run into huge shortages of in the very near future due to “government sanctions in the past and still lasting”.

  5. publisher

    Thanks. You reaction made me remember one of my favorite writers Kurt Vonnegut. There is a certain “Je ne sais quoi” in it that puts a smile on my face inspite of the severity of it all.

  6. publisher_sa

    Well good, maybe the old sugar plantations in the Caribbean Islands will again become economically viable and we can also put some wealth into Cuba, which as we know is the best attack on communist rule anyway.

  7. tommylee

    It's in the research stages.

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