Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures [NOOK Book]

Overview

Historically, food security was the responsibility of ministries of agriculture but today that has changed: decisions made in ministries of energy may instead have the greatest effect on the food situation. Recent research reporting that a one degree Celsius rise in temperature can reduce grain yields by 10 per cent means that energy policy is now directly affecting crop production. Agriculture is a water-intensive activity and, while public attention has focused on oil depletion, it is aquifer depletion that ...
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Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures

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Overview

Historically, food security was the responsibility of ministries of agriculture but today that has changed: decisions made in ministries of energy may instead have the greatest effect on the food situation. Recent research reporting that a one degree Celsius rise in temperature can reduce grain yields by 10 per cent means that energy policy is now directly affecting crop production. Agriculture is a water-intensive activity and, while public attention has focused on oil depletion, it is aquifer depletion that poses the more serious threat. There are substitutes for oil, but none for water and the link between our fossil fuel addiction, climate change and food security is now clear.

While population growth has slowed over the past three decades, we are still adding 76 million people per year. In a world where the historical rise in land productivity has slowed by half since 1990, eradicating hunger may depend as much on family planners as on farmers. The bottom line is that future food security depends not only on efforts within agriculture but also on energy policies that stabilize climate, a worldwide effort to raise water productivity, the evolution of land-efficient transport systems, and population policies that seek a humane balance between population and food. Outgrowing the Earth advances our thinking on food security issues that the world will be wrestling with for years to come.
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Editorial Reviews

Sustain
“Lester Brown advances our thinking on the food-security issues that the world will be wrestling with for years to come.”
E. O. Wilson
“[I]t will be an instant classic.”
Paul Ganderton
“The book should be bought just to demonstrate how good arguments are put together.”
Time Magazines Higher Education Supplement
“The book proposes that the challenge of feeding the world is at least as much about energy, water, climate and population. This view is no more than we should expect from Lester Brown, whose forte, eloquently expressed in the course of writing dozens of books over the past four decades, is to emphasize the links that connect all our development sectors, sometimes obviously, sometimes covertly, often crucially.”
Times Higher Education Supplement
“The book proposes that the challenge of feeding the world is at least as much about energy, water, climate and population. This view is no more than we should expect from Lester Brown, whose forte, eloquently expressed in the course of writing dozens of books over the past four decades, is to emphasize the links that connect all our development sectors, sometimes obviously, sometimes covertly, often crucially.”
Sustain
“Lester Brown advances our thinking on the food-security issues that the world will be wrestling with for years to come.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781136560286
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 2 MB

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

1 Pushing beyond the earth's limits 3
2 Stopping at seven billion 22
3 Moving up the food chain efficiently 40
4 Raising the earth's productivity 59
5 Protecting cropland 80
6 Stabilizing water tables 99
7 Stabilizing climate 118
8 Reversing China's harvest decline 133
9 The Brazilian dilemma 156
10 Redefining security 177
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