Global food production needs to be increased by between 50 and 100 per cent if widespread famine is to be avoided in the coming decades as the human population expands rapidly, leading scientists said.Well, OK. How are we going to do that then?
Well, they don’t know. But some of their suggestions will put them on a collision course with the Greens and the other environmental nutcases:
The experts, drawn from the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of scientists, believe that a variety of short-term and longer-term measures will have to be adopted urgently if agricultural production is to meet the demands made by the growth in human numbers.So, if there’s no chance of expanding the land, we’ll have to tinker with the methods, won’t we?
They cite the original green revolution of the 1960s when new crop varieties, greater use of agro-chemicals, and a change in farming practices led to a dramatic increase in food production: it leapt from 1.84 billion tonnes in 1961 to 4.38 billion tonnes in 2007. But scientists accept that this increase came at great environmental cost, and the Royal Society report warns that a second green revolution has to be based on a sustainable increase in global food production without a significant expansion in the area of land turned over to farming.
"There is insufficient water to support an increase in the cultivated areas, and the environmental consequences of increasing cultivated areas are undesirable. Additional production will have to take place without further damage to [the environment]," the Royal Society report says. The area of land available to sustain each human being is "dangerously declining" because of soil degradation, the report says.And that means GM…
The Royal Society report says that a range of measures, from new ways of managing crops – such as changes to the way they are irrigated – to the introduction of GM varieties that are drought-resistant or salt-tolerant, will all have to be called upon to boost food production.Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.
Who’s going to be the first watermelon to declare ‘Let them all starve!’..?