backback ecoglobe basics Population, Food, GMOs, and "Malthus"
a giant corn cob Malthus
World Population:
2.5 persons more per second make 75 million people more per year - people that need a home and food and work and water.
Frequent quotes:
  • "GMOs - Genetically Modified Organisms" are needed to feed future populations."
  • "Malthus was wrong. We can produce enough food for growing populations."
    Both opinions are scientifically flawed, bolstered by eye-shaded biased "science" and by ideological class struggle.
    Even if genetially engineered plants would produce a higher crop yields, the crops need more nutirent inputs. So it will depelte the soils faster and meet the limits of fertiliser vaialbilities. Furthermore, GE would have to increase plant productivity continuously, the modifications should be stable and not adversely affect other plants and biodiversity. Finally, GE promoters don't see any end point. For them the world seems to be flat and resources endless.
    "Redistribution", does not deal with basic fact that more people require more resources, not only food, in a world that is already suffering form overexploitation and resource depletion.

    Food: All living beings require food - to grow and to function. An adult man needs about 2500 kcal (3 kWh) food energy daily, of which he can use a third for productive work. Two thirds are needed to sustain the body. (energy)
    More people need more food. A continuously growing population requires a continuous rising food production, which is impossible because of limited natural resources.
    All food is converted solar power, through photosynthesis and chemical energy accumulation in the plants and animals that we eat. Normally, all life depends on the daily flux of incoming sun energy. Normally, all life forms - plants, animals, insects, bacteria - are in a dynamic balance, depending on each other for sustenance. This is the web of life, the food chain.
    All living beings also require chemical elements, such als salt, phosporus, nitrogen, carbon, iron, etc. Plants get these elements from the soils and the air. Animals and humans obtain them by eating the plants.
    One aim of GMOs is to increase crop yields. Higher yields require more plant nutrients. The core principle of limits applies: Stocks of fertiliser and areas of fertile land are limited. So food production cannot be increased infinitely.
    Population size can increase temporarily if a species find a stock of resources that has been accumulated by nature. This is our case with fossil fuels, which contains the sun's energy accumulated during some 300 million years, some 50 million years ago by natural processes. The drawing down of these energy stocks has allowed humankind to grow from some 500 millions before 1712 (invention of the steam engine) to presently almost 7 billion.
    Current life styles depend on an energy flow that is 1 million times higher than nature would allow without the use of finite fossil energy stocks. We are depleting fossil fuel stocks over a time of some 300 years, at a speed that is one million times higher than their accumulation.
    Peak-Oil means the maximum extraction speed of crude oil. After Peak-Oil the enrgy flows will deminish and our lifestyles will have to be scaled down.
    GMOs can not create more food with less energy and nutrients.
    So Malthus was not wrong. Limited food will limit population growth. If we don't halt population growth and promote democratic population reduction policies, nature will cull human population sizes by starvation and resource wars.
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  • 66/2008 Peak Oil - "The Long Emergency" & "A Post-Oil Man"
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