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The Famine Thread

Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 03 Aug 2011, 14:27:47

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2011/08/growing-water-deficit-threatens-world.html

Growing water deficits threaten world grain harvests

Many countries are facing dangerous water shortages. As world demand for food has soared, millions of farmers have drilled too many irrigation wells in efforts to expand their harvests. As a result, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in some 20 countries containing half the world's people.

The overpumping of aquifers for irrigation temporarily inflates food production, creating a food production bubble that bursts when the aquifer is depleted.

The shrinkage of irrigation water supplies in the big three grain- producing countries - the United States, India, and China - is of particular concern.

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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Lore » Wed 03 Aug 2011, 15:02:53

I believe we discussed this about India a year or so ago. Seems like the “green revolution” is wilting on the vine there. Once these aquifers are depleted, that’s it for these folks. Along with snow and glacial runoff being reduced to a trickle, we may be looking at only another 25 years max before water security over shadows peak oil.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
... Theodore Roosevelt
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 03 Aug 2011, 15:23:35

In the original article, by Lester Brown, he talks about a bursting food bubble.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=56563

With 51 percent of all water extraction in Mexico from aquifers that are being overpumped, Mexico's food bubble may burst soon.

If business as usual continues, the question for each country overpumping its aquifers is not whether its food bubble will burst, but when - and how the government will cope with it. For some countries, the bursting of the bubble may well be catastrophic.

And the near-simultaneous bursting of several national food bubbles could create unmanageable food shortages, posing an imminent threat to global food security and political stabili
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Thu 04 Aug 2011, 16:19:17

I thought there are like 11 de-facto countries in modern Somalia? I mean obviously there is no one there who can unite so many different ethnicities. I think they should be recognized as independent entities, and they should pay for it somehow to every country that considered this hassle (kidneys?) . What's a point of keeping Somalia on the map?
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Fri 05 Aug 2011, 12:22:04

Dohboi how much money have you donated already?
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Aug 2011, 16:25:16

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/2011726135256169831.html

US agenda in Somalia has been to fight what it calls "Islamic terrorists", and al-Shabaab in particular. Since the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and especially since 9/11, clandestine operations were conducted to snatch "terrorists" and dry up their support base in Somalia. These operations sought assistance from several of Mogadishu's warlords, who formed the "Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism" in 2005.

Somalis despised this alliance and their patron, and ultimately turned against them under the leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in 2006. The UIC defeated the warlords, restored peace to Mogadishu for the first time in 15 years, and brought most of southern Somalia under its ambit.

Consequently, the US and its Ethiopian ally claimed that these Islamists were terrorists and therefore a menace to the region. In contrast, the vast majority of Somalis supported the UIC and pleaded with the international community to engage them peacefully. But the peace did not last. The US-supported Ethiopian invasion begun in December 2006 and displaced more than a million people and killed close to 15,000 civilians. Those displaced then are part of today's famine victims. Somalia counterattacked, and Ethiopia was compelled to withdraw the bulk of its troops from Somalia. But the dynamics generated by the Ethiopian invasion continue to destabilise the country.
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Re: The Famine Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 07 Oct 2014, 07:49:21

Famine threatens Central America after worst drought in decades

http://guardianlv.com/2014/10/food-supp ... y-drought/
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Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 17:27:20

Shrinking resource margins in Sahel region of Africa
http://phys.org/news/2014-10-resource-m ... frica.html
The research has investigated developments between the years 2000 and 2010 in the Sahel belt, south of the Sahara Desert. Over this ten-year period, the population of the region grew from 367 million to 471 million. With this, the need for food, animal feed and fuel increased significantly. According to the study, the rate of increase was 2.2 per cent a year over the ten-year period.

"However, the production of crops did not increase at the same rate; in fact, it remained essentially unchanged", said Hakim Abdi, a doctoral student in physical geography and ecosystem science at Lund University.

According to the study, this is a worrying trend in the light of climate change and population forecasts of close to one billion people in the region by 2050. The situation means that the margin between supply and demand for primary production is shrinking year on year.

The results of the study show that consumption in the year 2000 comprised 19 per cent of total primary production in the area. Ten years later, consumption had increased to 41 per cent of total primary production.

A key question in this context is how long the margin can continue to shrink

http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article ... -of-africa

Report: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/9/094003/article
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 17:31:31

Wow.

It's one thing for problems to be growing at exponential rates while responses are only growing at linear ones (eg ebola). But here the problem is exponential and the response is...no increase at all.

How long can that continue?

Another reason people are turning more and more to bushmeat, presumably?
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 17:56:52

The only reason the population in Sahel is still growing is because American and other western countries are providing food aid.

About 9-10 million people in the Sahel are currently dependent on food aid from the US, UN, EU, etc.

I hope we are dispensing contraceptives right along with the food aid--- :roll:
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 18:57:57

Global Food Trade Unlikely To Meet Demand of Agriculturally-Poor Countries, Study
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 083215.htm
Global food supply may not meet the demands of the rising population in agriculturally-poor countries, according to a University of Virginia study. The researchers said that the effect will be predominantly observed in arid to semi-arid regions like Africa's Sahel that depends on imports for majority of their food supply.

The researchers found that most of Africa and the Middle East are not self-reliant, but trade has enhanced access to food in the Middle East and in the Sahel region. However, the trade has not eliminated food insufficiency in sub-Saharan Africa and central Asia.

"We found that, in the period between 1986 and 2009, the amount of food that is traded has more than doubled and the global food network has become 50 percent more interconnected," said Paolo D'Odorico, a U.Va. professor of environmental sciences and the study's lead author, in a press release. "International food trade now accounts for 23 percent of global food production, much of that production moving from agriculturally rich countries to poorer ones.

D'Odorico said that these trade-dependent countries, however, may become more susceptible during food shortage periods. For example, the governments of Russia, Ukraine and the United States banned or limited food exports in 2008 and in 2011 due to drought conditions as a result of extreme climate events. This triggered food crisis and caused anxiety in trade-dependent countries.

The study also found that 13 agricultural products - wheat, soybean, palm oil, maize, sugars and others - constitute 80 percent of the world's diet and food trade. Plus, there was an increase in consumption of meat in China. Meat production requires significantly more land area than crops.

... "The world is more interconnected than ever, and the world food supply increasingly depends on this connection," D'Odorico said. "The food security for rapidly growing populations in the world increasingly is dependent on trade. In the future, that trade may not always be reliable due to uncertainties in crop yields and food price volatility resulting from climate change. Trade can redistribute food, but it cannot necessarily increase its availability."

Report: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 000250/pdf
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 18:59:40

pstarr wrote:those Africans are not slackers after all. Who knew? It seems they are feeding other people with that production? Europeans?


Your fantasy that the Sahel is feeding Europeans couldn't be farther from the truth. Quite the opposite--- there are millions of people in the Sahel dependent on food aid from the EU, US, and UN.

AND your fantasy that Africans are slackers is equally ridiculous. The problem in the Sahel isn't that the people there are slackers---they problem is that the population there has grown to the point that it is beyond the local carrying capacity.

Again, Peter, you would benefit from making a trip to Africa to see how people there actually live and to learn how hard they work. Its quite a bit different from what you see on TV. 8)
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 19:09:37

dohboi wrote:Wow.

It's one thing for problems to be growing at exponential rates while responses are only growing at linear ones (eg ebola). But here the problem is exponential and the response is...no increase at all.

How long can that continue?

Another reason people are turning more and more to bushmeat, presumably?


Well, that could be said for the entirety of the World ha know. It's just hitting there first.

Previews of coming attractions.
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby Herr Meier » Thu 16 Oct 2014, 19:32:58

Plantagenet wrote: to learn how hard they work.

Sure enough, yet you also need quality, reliability, dependability, persistence, motivation, etc. If the job is more complex than unloading a box from a truck it might overwhelm them.
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Re: Recipe for Disaster

Unread postby Henriksson » Fri 17 Oct 2014, 15:29:20

vox_mundi wrote:Image

Africa, India, Japan... all among cornucopian futurists' favourites, imagining great success for them despite failing to secure the most essential of resources. We'll see how the liberal theory that there's always food available on the world market to buy plays out in the future, essentially since these areas coincidentally will be among the most affected by climate change.
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