Feeding the Future
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  • Bart Hall

    The problem is not so much with meat, but which sorts of meat and (especially) how it is produced. Ruminant animals — cattle, sheep, goats, bison, water buffalo, yaks, and so on — produce excellent meat from grass. Grass is the great healer of the land and is the only way to halt desertification. Please take the time to watch this video in which such things are explained exquisitely well.

    Pork and poultry require much more grain, but can be raised on types and grades of grain generally unfit for human consumption.


    • ljgude

      Well said Bart Hall. I grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and what Allan Savory says in that TED talk makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve also spent time in Zimbabwe and driven all over the north of Australia. I know that unscientific overgrazing made large sections of Western Australia into desert. Looking at that map in the TED talk about desertification I see that it is a problem right across the same area where the US just closed embassies. I don’t know the agricultural problems of the entire area but I do know that Egypt and Syria both have full fledged agricultural crises. Egypt only produces 50% of its own food. I keep thinking why isn’t anyone talking about hiring agricultural experts to address Egyptian agricultural production. I don’t think cows and grass are the solution in the Nile valley, but what Egypt needs first is food. Like the man said – desertification may well be bigger than the problems caused by fossil fuels. Jared Diamond’s book Collapse which avoids the more egregious Green apocalyptic thinking – despite the book’s title. – starts out with and stays with farming ancient and modern. And makes the case that bad farming techniques have caused the most dramatic historical collapses of civilizations. Great comment.

    • rheddles

      Thank you.

    • Bart Hall

      I should probably have added that I’m an agronomist by training and earn my living as a farmer, eschewing the government subsidies for which I’m eligible.

      Feeding cows as though they are pigs — feedlots — is pathologically stupid.

  • Pait

    Are we sure that the Population Bomb never materialized? The direst predictions have not, yet; but too many countries with exploding populations are almost ungovernable. And economic growth has come in places where population growth came under expectations, such as China and Latin America.

  • USNK2

    Brazil’s sugar cane for ethanol should NOT be included in either 1) “biofuel boondoggle”, or 2) potential arable land for food.
    Brazil committed to energy independence after the 1973 oil embargo, and the result is a vehicle fleet that can run on sugar ethanol, and the waste mass is used to produce electricity.
    (Brazil’s deepwater oil drilling completed their hydrocarbon independence).
    Better to call for America’s suburbs built on farmland to be razed and returned to efficient agriculture than single out Brazil for doing what America can not. Even de-populated urban neighborhoods, e.g., Detroit, could redevelop some neighborhoods into fruit orchards…
    Who thinks Planet Earth’s fresh water can sustain present population, let alone another four billion humans?
    I just wish I had a house-sized micro- waste-to-energy generator that used crabgrass for fuel. Win-win!

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    That’s all well and good, until the New Ice Age materializes.

  • lukelea

    On a global scale the Malthusians have been proven wrong time and again. Unfortunately they only need to be proven right one time in order to win the argument. The higher the anti-Malthusians rise, the harder they fall?

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