Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The BBC News website has an excellent feature on the upcoming resource crunch. The main story gives an overview:
...the warning from John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, of a possible crisis in 2030. Specifically, he points to research indicating that by 2030 "a whole series of events come together":As far as I can see, that's doesn't include the impact of the lost environmental services due to natural resource degradation and climate change. Considering these aspects, I think we'll face serious crises sooner, especially in the high-population density developing world.• The world's population will rise by 33%He foresees each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts.
• Demand for food will increase by 50%
• Demand for water will increase by 30%
• Demand for energy will increase by 50%
There are accompanying articles with video on the three big aspects of the problem:
- Mega Cities and population growth (Delhi and Mumbai)
- Growing demand for resource (China)
- Deteriorating natural resources (Water shortages in California)
- The changes in life style required
- The role of science
- The new agricultural trends and the case for more GM food
We have of course survived the previous Malthusian predictions, but this time it might be different:
Since the late 1980s, we have been in overshoot - the Ecological Footprint has exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity - by about 25%. Effectively, the Earth’s regenerative capacity can no longer keep up with demand – people are turning resources into waste faster than nature can turn waste back into resources.