Friday, March 20, 2009

Food & Energy Shortages Will Create the "Perfect Storm" by 2030

[blog note: We ALREADY have millions and millions starving and without can we let it get worse?]

Food and energy shortages will create 'perfect storm', says Prof John Beddington
Growing populations, falling energy sources and food shortages will create the "perfect storm" by 2030, the government's chief scientist Professor John Beddington has said.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
19 Mar 2009

The demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences, Prof Beddington predicts.

Demand for food and energy will jump 50 per cent by 2030 and for fresh water by 30 per cent, as the global population tops 8.3 billion, he is due to tell a conference in London.

Climate change will exacerbate matters in unpredictable ways, he will add.

"It's a perfect storm," Prof Beddington will tell the Sustainable Development UK 09 conference.

"There's not going to be a complete collapse, but things will start getting really worrying if we don't tackle these problems.

"My main concern is what will happen internationally, there will be food and water shortages," he said.

"We're relatively fortunate in the UK. There may not be shortages here, but we can expect prices of food and energy to rise."

He said we need more disease-resistant and pest-resistant plants and better practices, better harvesting procedures.

Prof Beddington said the "storm" would create war, unrest and mass migration.

Growing populations and success in alleviating poverty in the Third World will create huge demand for food and water in the next two decades with climate change depleting resources.

He said food reserves are at a 50-year low but the world requires 50 per cent more energy, food and water by 2030.

Prof Beddington said climate change would mean Northern Europe would become new key centres for food production and other areas would need to use more advanced pesiticides.

The United Nations Environment Programme predicts widespread water shortages across Africa, Europe and Asia by 2025. The amount of fresh water available per head of the population is expected to decline sharply in that time.

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