My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, January 18, 2008

A real problem that's worse than global warming....

Food is a far bigger problem...
A WORSENING global food shortage is a problem far more urgent than climate change, top Australian scientists have warned.
The Australian Science Media Centre briefing heard why prices for some staple foods had risen by as much as 60 per cent in the past year, and how dramatic price rises are expected to sweep across all staples in the near future.

Executive director of the Australian Farm Institute Mick Keogh said dairy products, grain and poultry had seen the strongest price rises in recent months.

Beef and lamb were forecast to follow, with nationwide livestock shortages taking the average price for a cow from $700 a head 12 months ago to $1400 a head going into autumn.

Key speaker at the national science briefing Professor Julian Cribb said the security of our food supply is "the global scientific challenge of our time".

The problem was more urgent even than climate change, said Professor Cribb, from the University of Technology in Sydney, because it will get us first . . . through famine and war. "By 2050 we will have to feed the equivalent of 13 billion people at today's levels of nutrition," he said.

"This situation brings with it the very real possibility of regional and global instability. Investment in global food stability is now defence spending and requires proportionate priority."

A "knowledge drought" – the lack of innovation to address farm productivity challenges – had added to the crisis, Professor Cribb said.

He called for a massive increase in public investment in agricultural research and development.

Farmers face challenges posed by drought, climate change, rising oil prices, erosion and nutrient loss combined with more demand for food stocks and biofuels.

Global grain stocks have fallen to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, while Australia's sheep flock is at its lowest since the mid-1920s, with about 86 million.


Blogger BillM said...

The US congress is pushing for 15% ethanol in gasoline.
The diversion of grain from the food channel to the fuel channel will wreak havoc on food sources all over the world.
Virtually all major animal farming uses grain as feed. Animal protein production will be drastically reduced.
Typical liberal 'unintended consequences'!
Unfortuneatly, the wealthy nations will feel this much less than the third world.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Swift said...

There's an easy solution: increase CO2 content in the atmosphere. Plants grow faster and produce more with higher CO2 levels. Australia gets a bonus because plants use less water with higher CO2 concentrations. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If we can put enough CO2 into the atmosphere we can raise the temperature. Higher temps means more evapouration, which produces more rain. If we could raise the average temperature to what it was 8000 years ago the Sahara Desert would disappear. Just think about how much food could be produced growing two crops a year in all of northern Africa. See the solution is easy.

11:15 AM  
Blogger John M Reynolds said...

BillM. It is not just grains. Since Ethanol is also being made from high celulose materials like switch grass, there is another problem. Farmers that change from growing corn or grain to growing switch grass will also contribute to the food shortage.

11:57 AM  

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