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Food Shortage

by Johanny Sierra & Mayank Rajput on 30th June, 2011 at 12:38 PM CEST


John Beddington, England’s chief scientific advisor, warned last year that these trends may constitute a “perfect storm.”  He said,  It is predicted that by 2030 the world will need to produce around 50 per cent more food and energy, together with 30 per cent more fresh water, whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change [1]. This threatens to create a ‘perfect storm’ of global events…There's not going to be a complete collapse, but things will start getting really worrying if we don't tackle these problems.

In this situation, we need a structural transformation of the current consumption patterns, strategies and business media, and establishing policies that allow individuals to have access to quality food, and develop sustainable livelihoods. As indicated by the Earth Institute, we need to change to a Plan B, integrating austerity. This plan has four components: 1) a realistic effort to reduce by 2020, 80% of greenhouse emissions recorded in 2006, 2) stabilization of world population at eight billion by 2040, 3) eradicating poverty and finally, 4) restoring degraded natural resources such as forests, soils and aquifer media.

Many of these initiatives are already being implemented. These are politically correct and morally appropriate, however, still requires a global effort to protect our civilization. It is projected that the estimated costs to protect civilization from collapse amount to U.S. $ 200 billion per year, which means one-sixth of current arms expenditure.

Governments should develop policies to ensure the implementation of strategies to access food in a sustainable manner. An example of this is the effort of the government of United Kingdom [4], which in 2010 launched a strategy for a sustainable food policy.This strategy consists of:

1. Encouraging people to eat healthy and sustainable diet

2. Ensuring a competitive and resilient food system

3. Increasing sustainable food production

4. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture

5. Reducing, reusing and reprocessing waste

6. Increasing the impact of the skills, knowledge, research and technology

It is really important to take action quickly, because every day counts, we do not know how long it could take before a genuine collapse occurs, nature is the one who decides, humanity has a real challenge, to ensure the existence of all on land. 


Having seen this scenario projections to 2030 and government strategies, what do you think, do you believe that humanity has any chance to avoid a food shortage?

Of all the challenges facing food to avert catastrophe, what do you think is the most important issue nations from developing countries need to address?

What do you think are the most emergent actions to avoid the “perfect storm”, what are the consequences of not doing?

~ Johanny and Mayank (C:F Writer, Action Team #2)

Note: Full article by the authors in a collaborative project can be viewed here for more detailed information.

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Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra | Action team

Wow! what a great summary!! Thank you! I would love to hear what does C:F fans think on this issue. I will look anxiously forward to your responses guys!! :-)

30th June, 2011 @ 4:41 PM CEST

Lyuba Guerassimova

Lyuba Guerassimova

Lovely article :) From what i can see the strategy on sustainable food policy misses the crucial factor identified by the Earth Institute, namely "stabilization of world population at eight billion by 2040" - which of course is tightly related to earadicating poverty, but this is only one component of the issue...
So, while reducing 80% of emissions seems to me, frankly, impossible - after all, people's attitudes change veeeery slowly, ask any social psychologist - the population issue could potentially be improved by 2040, but only if within the next year it becomes more of an "official" problem. Too bad that most NGOs and governments simply do not want to look at it and see it as a real problem. If they don't do it soon, we have no chance. Because posters calling for donations for hungry children and victims of landslides in overpopulated areas can hardly improve the strain on the planet's resources :/

1st July, 2011 @ 12:23 PM CEST

Dharmesh Bhadja

Dharmesh Bhadja | Action team

nice work, Johanny and Mayank,

initially i was thinking that everything in this world is going on by its own. we are just the observer.

since last few years I firmly believe that we are the responsible for all occurrence on this planet. No one will come and do anything.

Yes, as you revealed the issue is really very critical about food. industrialization, costly seeds, decline in farming... are the reasons in my country India. Even we are struggling with critical farmer suicide rate.

as already quoted in book by Nadya" future is here only, but it is unevenly distributed."

the team of well aware young with effective organizing strategies and integrated work together from all the corner of the world can really work.

i personally see that this challenge is big but yeah, there is no lock without key.

4th July, 2011 @ 9:29 PM CEST

Muhammad Jehangir Khan

Muhammad Jehangir Khan | Action team | CF Chapters

This is really awesoum article. and yep truthfully it is a big lock and yep there are several keys... we just need to stick and go through these problems.

Yes even in pakistan the food growth is very critical, and the presence of black markets making the own cities very unevenly distribution of food which is the most common right of every human born on earth. Still the need is collective effort... :)

very nice work... splendious I must say

30th July, 2011 @ 10:15 PM CEST

Thadeus Lancaster

Thadeus Lancaster

Great great work. One step towards a solution! m/

1st September, 2011 @ 8:19 AM CEST

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