07 April 2010
HOPE FOR FEEDING THE WORLD. Fred's new post at yale360:
Written by Dave Johnson on 16 July 2010 at 01:00:00
Just read the new book on the dramatic slowing of the birthrate. I was born in 1950, so I remember well all the furor about The Population Bomb, The Limits To Growth, etc, and it is nice to see some good news on the issue after 40 years of worrying about it.
I would add that I was once married to an organic farmer, and I firmly believe what you say about the potential for African agriculture, nor do we have to settle for a mere two tons of food per acre. With inter-cropping, several complementary crops can be grown simultaneously on a given piece of land, but this only works with labor-intensive manual cultivation. People can easily tiptoe through a complex combination of plants without stepping on anything, but heavy machinery needs mono-cultures and wide spacing for the wheels.
Unfortunately, even if the population settles back to a more sustainable level, the amount of global warming already locked in will be very hard on farmers in the tropics. Plants are very sensitive to high temperatures, and just a couple of degrees of increase may be a huge problem.
Nevertheless, good news is good news. Thanks for a fascinating book. Indeed, it was so engrossing that I read it straight through in one sitting.
Written by Anya on 20 December 2010 at 14:21:00
I'm trying to contact you because I'm having difficulty obtaining your book for my students at Queen's. Please get in touch with me.
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