Ever-Growing Human Demands Stress Biosphere: The Case of Fertilizers, Livestock Production and Dead Zones

The BBC reports that a recent scientific study in the journal Nature Communications indicates that global food production requires a “significant” boost in fertilizer use to meet exponentially rising demands from population growth and more meat-and-dairy intensive diets.

Fish Depletion Signals the Reality of Limits

If human population keeps growing, will we humans – or at least many of us – run out of food? No way, insist the cornucopians, a school of thinkers who seem to believe that no limits need apply to human numbers and ambitions. No matter how much we grow, they maintain, there will always be food for everyone because we are a highly ingenious species, and we will always figure out some way to provide for ourselves.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Unleashing 21st Century Frankenstein on the Natural World

In the 20st century, the human multitude rearranged rivers, deserts, rainforests and the oceans to suit its voracious appetite for dominance over the Natural World and to feed itself.

Population Growth Increases Food Imports, Insecurity

The Worldwatch Institute reports that global imports of grain grew by more than five times over the last half century, from just above 50 million tons in 1961 to more than 300 million tons in 2013.

During this period, an increasing number of countries have become ever more dependent on international markets to meet their rising domestic food demand. It’s a precarious, unsustainable situation with ominous portent for the future – and one that has already led to food riots and political instability in recent years.

Mass of Man Makes a Mess

The takeover and makeover of Planet Earth by human beings have been well documented by generations of scientists, naturalists and poets. Ten to twenty thousand years ago the biosphere was a veritable wilderness paradise teeming with a rich feast of furred and feathered creatures crawling, climbing, flying, running, swimming, grazing and digging. We have since converted the wild biosphere into a factory farm, feedlot…and wasteland.

Latest Reality Check: Still Only One Habitable Planet – Better Caregiving Needed

Physicist Stephen Hawking recently said, “I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space.” Moving off planet must to be part of the “long-term strategy,” Hawking believes, if Homo sapiens is to survive for another million years.

Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

Soil erosion is a significant global problem, warned scientists at a recent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. With world population now projected to increase from around 7.2 billion today to more than 11 billion by the end of the century, this problem will become even more challenging.

Food Grows Where Water Flows

The Huffington Post  helpfully informs us that “if you like to eat, you should really be worried about California’s drought.”

Even those of us who aren’t particularly fond of eating (a vanishingly small percentage) need to eat just to survive. Thus, everyone should be concerned about the impact of California’s drought on food production, supplies and prices. 

More questions than answers…

David Richardson farms 1000 acres of land in the UK along with his wife and son. In January 2011, he submitted an op-ed to Farmers Weekly entitled Profits of doom: High food prices, but at what cost?

In the op-ed, he reflects on a particular item from the Oxford Farming Conference that caught his attention: