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Malthusian Catastrophe (wikipedia.org)
10 points by tosh on June 20, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments


As of 2010, about 48% (3.3 billion people) of the world population lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility.

This is particularly alarming: "A study conducted in 2009[12] said that food production will have to increase by 70% over the next 40 years, and food production in the developing world will need to double.[13] This is a result of the increasing population (world population will increase to 9.1 billion in 2050, where there are just 7.8 billion people today). Another issue is that the effects of global warming (floods, droughts, extreme weather events, ...) will negatively affect food production, in such a degree even that food shortages are likely to occur in the coming decades.[14][15] As a result, we will need to use the scarce natural resources more efficiently and adapt to climate change.[16] Lastly, some things (such as the increase in agricultural production for 1st generation biofuels) has not been taken into account in FAO's forecast.[17]"

Unless there is a breakthrough in carbon-free fertilizer (something fertilizer manufacturer Yara is working on for example https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-06-19/pilbara-yara-en...) that 70% growth will likely come with considerable emissions on its own, exacerbating the problem.

The simplistic illustration is absurd: The population outpaces food supply, yet it continues to grow exponentially.

Nature has a solution to this: Starvation induces infertility. Problem solved!

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