Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

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Overview

With food supplies tightening, countries are competing for the land and water resources needed to feed their people.
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. ...
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Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

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Overview

With food supplies tightening, countries are competing for the land and water resources needed to feed their people.
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes.
What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing.
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  • Full Planet, Empty Plates
    Full Planet, Empty Plates  

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Washington Post
“One of the world’s most influential thinkers.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393344158
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 293,074
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lester R. Brownis the founder of the Earth Policy and Worldwatch Institutes. He has been honored with numerous prizes, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, and twenty-five honorary degrees. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Food: The Weak Link 3

2 The Ecology of Population Growth 15

3 Moving Up the Food Chain 24

4 Food or Fuel? 36

5 Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future 45

6 Peak Water and Food Scarcity 57

7 Grain Yields Starting to Plateau 72

8 Rising Temperatures, Rising Food Prices 83

9 China and the Soybean Challenge 93

10 The Global Land Rush 101

11 Can We Prevent a Food Breakdown? 114

Index 125

Acknowledgements 137

About the Author 143

Permission for reprinting or excerpting portions of the manuscript can be obtained from Reah Janise Kauffman at Earth Policy Institute. For full citations, data, and additional information on the topics discussed in this book, see earth-policy.org.

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