SYSTEMIC RISKS

Population Explosion And Peak Renewable Food Resources

peak-renewable-food-resources

If you’ve ever wondered or suspected that there is a limit or balance to the expansion of human population versus the food required to feed us all, your instinct may be correct…

A recent study at the Helmholtz Centre (Germany), Yale University and Michigan State University demonstrate that several key (food) resources have recently passed their “peak-rate year” — the maximum increase year, and will most certainly affect how we proceed into the future while sustaining 7 billion-plus humans.

Do you think the powers-that-be know this?

(In fact some of them believe there should only be about 500 million of us.)


 
Take a look at this human population graph:

World Population Timeline

Obviously, the graph cannot continue to go up forever – and probably not much longer without any significant or immense breakthrough in food production and other resources which we consume – not to mention the other effects of high population density including disease transmission, social tensions and even wars over things like religion, empire conquest, resources, etc..

The study mentioned above was a result of landscape ecologists and plant ecologists who analyzed the production and extraction rates of 20 renewable renewable resources such as maize, rice, wheat or soya, which represent around 45% of the global calorie intake, as well as animal products, such as fish, meat, milk and egg.

For 16 of the 20 resources with a peak-year, the peak-year lay between 1988 and 2008 — a very narrow range in the history of humanity.

For example, the maximum global growth rate in crop yields for soya beans was in 2009, for milk it was 2004, for eggs it was 1993 and for the fish caught it was 1988.

The crop yield per area with maize, wheat, soya and rice on more than a quarter of the farming area around the world is stagnating or decreasing according to the report.

The apparent reason that the peak-year for so many of the renewable resources studied have occurred at about the same time is the major driver of global population growth. The rising population and change in diet in some regions of the world over the past few decades, such as India and China, have also increased the demand for renewable resources and thus the pressure to produce as much food as possible.

The study team found the highest rate of increase in the cultivation of arable land to be in the 1950s. The peak for human-made irrigation areas then followed in the 1970s, and the peak for nitrogen fertilizers was subsequently in the 1980s.

As we head into the future, more and more humans depend upon the efficiencies and successes of renewable resource systems which supply their food. When I observe the human population timeline coupled with the common-sense intuition that sustainability (of such numbers) require an enormous web of systems (out of our control) to keep us all alive – it makes me somewhat nervous – and therefore one reason why I prep, and why I attempt to live a more self-sustaining lifestyle which depends less upon external systems beyond my control.

Every little bit helps (your self reliance). Grow a garden this year. Plant a food-bearing tree or food-bearing bushes. Take some control.

While the apparent issues presented in this study may take years to cause notice, and while the ‘systems’ may be able to yet eek out another percent or two of efficiencies, don’t count on it lasting forever…

Source: Helmholtz Centre

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26 Comments

  1. When people are so densely packed together, it becomes the perfect environment for a mutated virus to sweep through and wipe everyone out. I think we will see a global pandemic of some sorts in my lifetime, and it will be a direct result of overpopulation, chemical use and abuse of the ecosystem, which will allow something to mutate faster than we can come up with new drugs to treat it.

    Think Spanish Flu on steroids.

    1. The Spanish Flu pandemic was a manmade one and the next pandemic will probably be as well. Populations in many countries around the world are decreasing at the current time. The countries with the greatest increase are China, India and Mexico. The Latin population is increasing within our borders because of lack of enforcement by our own government and by a simple shift of humans from one place to another. Both black and white populations in the U.S. have either leveled off or are now in the minus respectively. Research some of this, then take a nice long ride around this great country of ours and look at whom is doing the damage to our planet, while at the same time noticing how few people are growing their own food on the acres and acres of empty grass filled lawns across our the land! The SYSTEM is not sustainable! We need to change our ways or suffer the consequences!

  2. Food is easy. The U.S. and Canada control most of the food resources on Earth. We could double our agricultural output by 100 percent without adding another acre of land. We pay people not to grow food. We do not even have the facilities to store all the food we could grow in a single year. We do not even have the railroad cars to haul it. Simply by getting rid of the ethanol B.S., and returning those crops to human consumption, you would add huge amounts of food. But, doing so would lower prices, and put growers out of business, because there is no actual need to grow more. Food, like energy, is a matter of government abuse, political evils, and stupidity…not our ability to create it. If people starve…it is always a political/economic issue and not “there isn’t enough food to go around.”

    1. You took the words right out of my fingers. Our country wastes a lot of food that could sustain a medium size country just with our throw away leftovers. Look at the Michelle my bell school lunch program where half the food ends up in the dumpster. How about those farmers in California who lost all their fruit and avocado trees were denied water from the government over a minnow. Just to add a few..

    2. I live in a rural farming county. Half the fields are laying dormant because of government programs. All the people in the world standing side by side would only fill half this county. It is evil people that cause starvation. God has provided enough resources.

  3. Funny, I just watched a documentary on GMO products and how the companies that are making these untested (When china bans something to protect their citizens, you know it’s bad) products are pushing for us to plant more of them to feed the World. Yet we already produce enough food to feed 14 billion. It just happens to rot in the fields. The other barrier is an effect system to deliver food to those in remote places such as Africa which has little infrastructure to preserve food long enough to distribute it. If you live in North America, I would have little fear of over population and food security. Else where is a different situation though. I would think Europe would be fine too and South America as they’re fairly independent at this time too.

    1. China banned GMO crops because once you start using them you are locked into a company who holds the patents to the DNA sequences. G.M.O. crops are also specifically resistant to some natural pests because the “owning” companies also own this technology.

      When your heritage crops run out you are beholden to the big chemical company. China is very wary about the control.

  4. I agree with Ision. The scarcity mentality is an idea used by the power grabbers to control the masses and create fear and dependence. Liberty minded people must have an abundance mentality and faith in the ability of human ingenuity and industriousness to overcome the limitations of the current times, just as they have in the past. The only thing that will prevent this from happening is the throttling of free thought and free enterprise by burdensome political forces. Of course, the power hungry readily promote, and maybe believe, resource scarcity and have convinced enough people of this lie. Those that believe it will be the first to perish when no one is providing for them.

  5. What they’re also forgetting is shelf life and ways to make the excess production of food stay edible for years afterward and how to maximize max surplus + max shelf life stability to make production as efficient as possible until new and better ways are (as it is inevitably) found.

  6. I agree with you Ision. So much untouched, unused land. Food can be grown anywhere. Rooftops, pots, anything. But alot of people are really too lazy. I was once that way. I didn’t want to think about that. But one day a light went off in my head. It was called 9/11. I had to be a big girl. Learn some stuff. Now I am having some setbacks due to medical problems, but I will work it out, cause that’s what ya do. People need to learn to take care of themselves, because someday there won’t be anybody to hand them welfare, no fema…just us.

  7. Maybe once a year you need a doctor,dentist,or even an attorney. But 3 times a day everyday you need a farmer. Growing garden crops and storing them are just as important as learning to hunt and butchering your kill. Most people have no idea about either one. Lucky for us. When it all falls down maybe it can be rebuilt stronger and with more gusto than before. This time our enemy is not a king in england but a dolt who believes he was elected king twice.

  8. I enjoy a robust discussion where no one feels he has to stoop to vulgarity to make his point. This is a good discussion. I can pretty much agree with all the points made. Keep thinking, keep planning and keep prepping.

  9. I took a tour of Disneyland once & they said all the plants in Tomorrowland were foods you could eat (instead of shrubs it was a form of lettuce, etc) because Walt figured there’d be a time that we could not afford to have any plants, even decorative, in our homes that didn’t produce food in order to sustain everyone. Which makes a lot of sense to me. Of course this is the same guy who plugged Monsanto so…

    That being said I can’t seem to grow a food bearing plant to save my life (literally). I can barely keep a succulent going. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do or don’t do, or research or let nature have it… they all die. The longest I had a plant (& it was decorative & not eatable that a relative gave me) last was a year. that was it. I try. I really do… but I don’t think God gave me a green thumb.

    1. anony

      try buying a few packs of different heritage seeds..

      myself not had much luck growing, but had some shocking good success with these, particularly butter lettuce and green onions.

      about four yrs back, bought a packet of each, and that fall never got around to cleaning up their patches/working the soil. ALL TO THE GOOD

      Come spring, I was some shocked to see both Butter Lettuce and Green Onions come back, on their own. So it has continued each year. I would recommend they each have their own area, well separated from each other/other garden, as both the Butter Lettuce and Onions broadcast enough seed, they might be considered a nuisance. Very Prolific.

      As I type this, I am thinking that this next season coming up, I am going to make an effort to save some of each seed, and plant in pot indoors.

    2. Raised bed garden–anyone can do it. I had tomatoes (4 plants) and green peppers(one plant) and jalapenos(one plant) all summer.

      A few squash with just one plant!!!

      No weeds and this summer I add a few bags of fresh soil and do it again.

  10. I can’t recall the state, but in one city park fruit trees were planted instead of trees that bear nothing.
    Brilliant, and all states should follow this idea.

  11. Years ago the GMO crops were hailed as the Green Revolution. The yields were double of the old strains. This was going to be the salvation of the Third World. It worked for a time until the population increased to eat the increased production. The world now depends on the GMO crops to eat and the hunger level is increasing all over the world. There is a finite level to all things.

  12. According to a story on NPR the Chinese are buying up farm land in the United States. Where is that food going to go first?

  13. I pretty much agree with the comments here. This planet could sustain a population many times what we currently have if it wasn’t for the pervasive evils choking every aspect of life on every level, especially in government and industry.

    Here is a major step in the right direction: sustainable gardening using methods revealed by God through a man named Paul Gautschi. This man has been walking with God as he has been quietly working in his back yard garden for the last few decades. He tells his story and several simple things that anyone can do to grow great food without hard work, without chemicals and artificial fertilizers. You can watch the video for free on the internet at the following URL: http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/ We liked the film so much that we purchased the DVD. We’ve watched it several times and shared it with our friends.

  14. I generally don’t worry about things I can’t change. I just work around them as best I can. And for growing food I have bought heirloom seeds to plant so I have an on-going supply of food.

    If the population goes too high governments will do what they always do. Start a war to kill off a several million of us. I read in a book that the death total for WWII was at least 70 million (no one really knows for sure what the number is.)

    Who knows what it could be for the next big war. And throw in a few accidentally released deadly bugs and it could be much worst then any war to date. I don’t think we will ever go down to 1/2 million people on the planet, but they could take a bite out of how many are here right now.

  15. Ken, for your interest
    if you google

    energy justice network

    and on right hand side of page, about half way down, is a map
    click through, and you can find all sorts of interesting things mapped out

    there is a drop down, you can change the parameters of things mapped.

  16. From another website, I guess even Chuck Norris has joined the fight against Monsanto.Anyone else seen this report?

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