Surfrider Foundation

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If producing more food is the issue, then wouldn't maintaining our population be the solution?

In Josette Sheeran's talk, she provides multiple solutions to end world hunger like better food delivery and more efficient methods of food production. What I don't understand is that she expects our population to be at 9 billion in the next 50 years.. It makes sense that as we approach or surpass the Earth's carrying capacity it would be more and more difficult to solve world hunger. Therefore my underlying question is why as a global community do we not control our obvious increasing population?

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    Nov 1 2011: exactly how would that happen? to reduce population, you either need to kill some, or convince potential parents not to have children. what is your plan?
    • Nov 23 2011: Was about to ask this question.

      China has been trying to limit growth since 1978 with the One Child Policy (which is more of a limited birth policy...) which has triggered atrocities like forced sterilization, infanticide, etc. while the population continues to rise...(well ever since the great leap famine of the late 1950s that is).

      As others have said the problems with feeding the world are not due to population but relate to food sovereignty.
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    Nov 1 2011: The planet's carrying capacity has been estimated and simulated many times by scientists. Some suggest the carrying capacity (with photosynthesis as the limiting factor) is 1 trillion people.

    The latest and most credible simulation is:

    -the planet can sustain 282 billion people
    -a save-forests-scenario yields 150 billion people
    -a scenario that cultivates only pasture to feed animals yields 96 billion people

    See: Siegfried Franck, Werner von Bloh, Christoph Müller, Alberte Bondeau, B. Sakschewski, Harvesting the sun: New estimations of the maximum population of planet Earth, Ecological Modelling, Volume 222, Issue 12, 24 June 2011, Pages 2019-2026, ISSN 0304-3800, 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.03.030.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380011001670)
    Keywords: Maximum population; Human carrying capacity; Photosynthesis; Dynamical global vegetation model

    Population has never been a problem, and neither has food production. The real problem is capitalism and the inequalities it generates.
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      Nov 1 2011: What about that in the better half of the last century the population has doubled. Regardless of what the capacity for humans on this planet is those types of growth spurts are bound to cause trouble.
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      Nov 1 2011: Haven't heard those numbers Laurens..but agree that the plutonomy's control on food is a major problems.

      The figure I have heard and most believe in is that the the planet will reach a sustaianable 10 Billion and that the plane can feed that many ( if we all make chnages in our diets..eg less meat).

      Getting there requires undoing and rebuilding just about everything that has been done by the IMF, the World Bank, and the many free nations who have surrenedered their soverignty and their fod security to a monopoly of agribusiness companies.

      ason eof our members at Occupy Cafe says

      Occupy your Food Supply

      Meaning take full respsnsibility for it..maintain an active sustained stewardship for it..get beyond opinion and into an engagement for change.
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        Nov 2 2011: Well said, Lindsay.

        We need food sovereignty, not food security.

        Occupy our Food Supply.
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    Nov 1 2011: Increasing population has never been such a major issue as compared to what that population is consuming and producing. It is our consumption and production that is mainly killing the planet earth. This was written by Bryan Walsh, and no one could've said it better than him:

    "It's worth noting that while we worry about the effects of overpopulation in the future, humanity was far worse off by every material standard in the centuries before the Industrial Revolution, when the global population was a fraction of what it is today. As Kunzig writes, the future of humanity—and of the planet we live on—will have less to do with absolute numbers that it will with how we choose to live"

    This is the complete article: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/12/30/population-is-the-world-ready-for-7-billion/