Tag Archives: malthus

Ambitious Plan for China’s Water Crisis Spurs Concern

A chronic drought is ravaging farmland. The Gobi Desert is inching south. The Yellow River, the so-called birthplace of Chinese civilization, is so polluted it can no longer supply drinking water. The rapid growth of megacities — 22 million people … Continue reading

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The world is one poor harvest away from chaos

In early January, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that its Food Price Index had reached an all-time high in December, exceeding the previous record set during the 2007-08 price surge. Even more alarming, on Feb. 3, the FAO … Continue reading

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The Return of Thomas Malthus

Rises in food prices and global population, especially among the middle classes in India and China, have brought renewed respect to the philosopher of demographic catastrophe, Thomas Robert Malthus. http://thecurrent.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/the-return-of-thomas-malthus.php

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Artificial meat? Food for thought by 2050

Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world’s leading scientists report today. But a major academic … Continue reading

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Battle for the Nile as rivals lay claim to Africa’s great river

With crises of population and resources upstream, there is now deadlock over who owns the Nile For a decade the nine states in the Nile basin have been negotiating on how best to share and protect the river in a … Continue reading

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Europe Sounds Alarm on Minerals Shortage

The European Union is facing shortages of 14 critical raw materials needed for mobile phones and emerging technologies like solar panels and synthetic fuels, according to a study by the European Commission to be released on Thursday. Of 41 minerals … Continue reading

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Sir David King: oil extraction a threat to the future

Former UK chief scientific adviser has said that as global oil demand starts to outstrip supply, oil companies will be forced to drill in unconventional places. This, in turn, might create great environmental, social and technological challenges, Sir David King said. He … Continue reading

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Overpopulation fears nonsense, says author Fred Pearce

Global fertility patterns suggest population crash more likely than the much-anticipated explosion, claims environmental writer Fred Pearce http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jun/02/fred-pearce-overpopulation-nonsense

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The Collapse of Easter Island Animation

Some students of mine (cara Leong and Victor Boutellier) created this video for Earth Day 2008 to highlight what happens when a society runs out of resources. It illustrates what happened to the inhabitants of Easter Island when they over … Continue reading

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Are Sustainable Technologies Sustainable?

An interesting article from the BBC on how a lack of rare metals needed in alternative energy vehicles like hybrid cars may hinder efforts to produce more environmentally friendly technology. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8689547.stm

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