Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crisis 2030?

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":
• The world's population will rise by 33%
• Demand for food will increase by 50%
• Demand for water will increase by 30%
• Demand for energy will increase by 50%
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.
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.

There are accompanying articles with video on the three big aspects of the problem:
as well as on possible solutions:

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.



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