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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:22 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:30 pm 
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[quote:left to right]Setting aside the issue of mass extinctions caused by external sources: volcanism, asteroids/comets etc., most species are kept near optimal population levels by disease and predation. When a species is dropped into a small ecological niche like the reindeer herd on St. Matthews Island, it may be temporarily freed from those natural checks and balances until it has consumed virtually all available food sources. And that's the bad side of being freed from the bonds of nature; as when the food runs out, and animals (and people in some examples) are weakened by starvation and disease epidemics, so that even after a population crash, the survivors may be too weak, and have too little genetic variety to rebuild the population....some of the idiot survivalists who fantasize about surviving the end of the world out in the woods ought to take note!

From my pov I do not believe technological progress is either unlimited or even linear. The modern global civilization we consider natural today has only been around for less than two centuries, and has already consumed more than half of the oil in the ground which took millions of years for nature to sequester in place. We are running out of many other natural resources also, but oil - specifically cheap, easy-to-extract oil has been the lifeblood of modernity, and the real source of the food supply that is straining today to try to feed 7 billion people. So, you could say that we will once again be in harmony with the natural order of things....but that's providing that we, or our children and grandchildren actually survive the process back to real sustainable living.[/quote]
Great post. I agree that human knowledge and technology reach plateaus, or dead ends. The human population is on the same general curve as other mammal stimulated population crash curves, i.e. the half bell curve. Afterward, it would softly undulate around long term sustainable, but in humans' case, another thing comes up;
http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 06484.html
It is not so much "may" as will if HGHGs are not cut 90% by 2020. It is unfortunate that the population crashes around or just before mid-century, country by country, region by region, with migrations, wars, diseases, and cannibalism along with killing everything in sight to eat, plant and animal. It would be bad enough if humans just caused their own extinction, but taking down most other species, too, is unforgivable. Anthropocene Epoch Thermal Maximum and Extinction Level 'Event' (on a geologic scale), are words and processes not understood by most. Can an underground fortress with the sum total of human knowledge and genomes/seeds, etc., a nuclear breeder reactor over a large aquifer, with a human population kept at a level well above genetic erosion, last 200,000 years???? Then could they still be human enough to come to the surface, this time living sustainably as they replant the world?(and fighting cockroaches and ants which have taken over).

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Why this air of negativity? If technology and science is not going to save the world, what will? And while I am concerned about overpopulation, it think it is only fair to ask whether those who are so concerned have children? And how many? And what do you do to help reduce population increase? Women who can control their own fertility usually will do so, provided they also have some certainty about survival of the children they have, and the economic means to provide for them. So do you actually contribute, personally, to NGOs in poor countries that try to help? Sponsor any child? And no. I chose not to have children many years ago because I thought there were enough children in the world, and many of them, especially girls, never stood a chance unless a helping hand was given. So I had up to six foster children at the time, and now, most of them are adults, can read and write, and hopefully, will have a better life. All those for far less than raising one Western child in the luxury they insist they are entitled to.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:45 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:51 am 
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From what I remember, only around 3 pct of water worldwide is fresh water. One video adds that up to half of that is polluted.

Other articles state that you need something like a thousand tons of water to produce a ton of grains, around seven bushels to produce a kg of meat, etc., and several calories to produce one calorie of food.

We also face problems in fishing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:23 pm 
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You forget about the aquifer depletion over 100 times regeneration since the mid 20th century. That drives up yields 6 times, and when they are gone around 2040 or before for many major ones, the crops are stuck with 1/6th the production, and only in a year that doesn't have a drought, early frost in fall, late frost is spring, or floods all effects of AGW climate fluctuation.
Fish are more important for food than you may know. 3 billion people get 60% of their protein from the oceanic harvest which will be totally gone between 2035 and 2050. Plus the fish are being polluted with plastic and mercury to unsafe levels, which are not often tested, leading to learning impairment and mental dysfunction of those who eat them, dumbing down the world more, when more knowledge is needed globally.
Then you have soil depletion effects on nutrition and yields, and the effect of losing mechanized farming and distribution as oil depletes to a very expensive resource, that should not have been burned anyway after 2020(runaway methane self release CAGW).
Free range animals eat grass, not grains, and forage on land unsuitable for growing crops. Some use hormones and grain feeding near selling to get more money, but certainly not even close to most.
Food shortages from all the various effects from the root cause of grossly overshot population, will first lead to malnutrition with its attendant diseases. The death rate will increase, eventually to the birth rate and well over.
2015 is when we can expect fuel prices to start skyrocketing even more, and increasing food prices to unaffordable for many. The billion hungry now will increase toward increased malnutrition deaths. Then water depletion will lead to less crops and livestock, and AGW will be taking more and more. Reduce consumption 10% and overpopulation takes its place, back to where you were.
People will try to grow crops on grazing land, leading quickly to desertification. Insufficient variety of diet and decreasing nutritional value of crops gown in depleted soils lead back to malnutrition and increasing death rates. Water will probably be the source of more conflict, and higher death rates. In the end, desperate people will eat all wild game and flora, then turn cannibal. They will then eat the peaceful vegetarians and steal their crops. Then the crops fail, and the rivers run dry.
People will still live, in conflict, around the worlds great lakes as they, too, empty. A return to medieval and even stone age life, until large regions lose their eco-systems to AGW. Eventually, global, and the end of humanity and all they depended upon.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:24 am 
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No, I didn't forget. I just don't think I can--or should--mention everything. But no one's stopping you from adding to what I and others have written.


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