Never mind your figures are made up, but why the hell not?
There is, besides productivity can be increased.
You could do better if pressed (but there is no need to).
Some facts to make you think: The largest exporter of agricultural
goods in the world are the USA. Which country do you reckon is no. 2?
Wait for it: The Netherlands.
One of the most densely populated countries on earth, a quarter of it
is taken up by what is basically one giant metropolis. But it cannot
only sustain itself, but even export groceries (and tulips :). Granted
they import food as well, as bananas and coffee don't grow in northern
climate, but their import/export balance is close to zero. That means
in theory the Netherlands could feed their comparatively large
population on that small surface, even in an adverse northern climate
where plant growth basically stops for a few months each year. Not just
that, they enjoy one of the highest living standards at the same time.
And don't say that it goes at the expense of nature. The Netherlands
are not an environmental wasteland, but a overall pleasant place and
even a popular tourist destination.
All it takes is for the rest of the world to adopt Dutch style
agriculture (or any other method of increasing productivity). Of course
that takes work, but it's doable. It's just a thought experiment
though, the actual challenge is much easier.
They're actually number 3 but I'm not quibbling. Who is number 5? Britain. But we
still need to import 40% of all the food we consume, and that will rise to 50% by
The Netherlands are not *net* exporters. They, like Britain, are huge net
importers. What they export are high value crops like tomatoes and flowers, not
stuff the world actually depends on to eat, like wheat, which they have to import.
No, it is far from being self-sufficient, just like Britain.
No it isn't. They export about $19.8 million of agricultural products, but import
about $49.5 million.
Which is nonsense.
They won't when the food runs out and there's nothing to import.
Rededicate unused grasslands to agriculture, intensify farming by
various methods (notably greenhouses) etc., obviously do away with
wasteful experiments such aus "biofules".
This paragraph makes no sense in several ways. First I don't dispute
that they import a lot, but at the same time they export a lot too.
Second the kind of produce is irrelevant, you can eat vegetables too
you know :).
But it could be made to be with some restructuring, the volume of
produce would be sufficient to feed the Dutch.
You have to compare the sums by volume, or weight, or ideally calories,
not market prices.
Yes you can live on tomatoes (even if I hate them), and the surface
currently dedicated to flowers would need to be rededicated for food
Remember this is a thought experiment to prove a point, namely that
surface is not a limiting factor to feeding the world, not a symposion
on the actual economic structure of the Netherlands.
So, you dig up all the parks and gardens, you cover the country in glass, and rely
on non-renewable sources of energy. And you get, what? About 5% more produce you
can eat. What do you do next?
We are talking about the food the world needs to sustain its population. That means
big crops. Staples like wheat, rice, other grains, and rapeseed. We're not talking
about peripherals and incidentals like tomatoes, lettuces and tulips.
I doubt it. I doubt it very much indeed.
Off you go then. Compare them.
But the problem is that The Netherlands produces high-priced luxuries from all its
expensive greenhouses, and *still* runs an enormous financial deficit. A comparison
by any other criterion would result in an even bigger proportional gap between what
it produces and what it consumes. There aren't many calories in lettuces and
But surface *is* the major factor limiting global agricultural production. Always
has been, always will be.
Yes, that that is why we don’t see famine anymore except where the
place has degenerated into the most obscene levels of civil war and
civil chaos or let some fool like Kim Jong Il rule the roost. And even
the first is trivially fixable by air dropping the food into those places.
We worked out how to do that almost 80 years ago now.
But that's because 100% of the land mass is "flat" and has a benign climate.
many of the world's areas of low population density are mountainous and many
of the areas of low agricultural production are climatically unsuitable
It isn't anywhere near as simple as "if the Dutch can do it ..."
The northern European climate is actually quite harsh.
You want tropical climates for good crop yields.
But as you say, most of the world has low population density. I think
famine is worst in Africa, but population density there is actually
quite low, and there's lots of land that could be cultivated. What's
lacking there is not space or the right climate, but a developed
economy that makes tractors and fertilizer available. Getting there is
the problem. It's kind of a viscious circle because you need
agriculture to develop the economy. But Europe made it out of its own,
which shows it can be done.
On 30/10/2015 2:31 PM, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
I believe satellite large areas of forest in both Southern Africa and
South America, as well as large areas in the North African deserts, have
shown that not only did large, well organised complexes/townships exist
but, they were interconnected-networked.
That, there is nothing 'pristine' about the Amazon forest. There is
actual film of some large production industry. This is what remains of
the disease brought from the West.
Below the sands of North Africa have been found huge water deposits.
Made viewable by satellite which also revealed river systems in the rock.
These areas were once abundant.
They will be again.
One click voting to change the world. .<https://secure.avaaz.org/en/index.php
The only reason that isn't done currently is because there is no need to.
We're free to use nukes to desalinate sea water and use that for food
production in areas where the lack of that is the problem too.
Rhodesia used to have a huge production surplus and it fed most of
Africa. Then came independence and things went downhill.
It was politics that destroyed it, and politics that will make sure it
stays destroyed. Africa would rather starve than give its farms back to
people who knew how to make the land productive. And the people who
understood the land have been off it so long that the memory of how to
do it has pretty well died off, along with the people with that knowledge.
It's more that Mr Ebagum is quite happy with things as they are. He and
his cronies are rich and well off, and he's quite happy that the mass
of the populace is poor and hungry. Such people are too busy surviving
to have a revolution. And easier to control these days with modern
armaments and methods of communication. Also, he has the race card to
play when required.
"People don't buy Microsoft for quality, they buy it for compatibility
with what Bob in accounting bought last year. Trace it back - they buy
The point I was trying to make, perhaps too obliquely is that in the
midst of a thread claiming that the world could feed a lot more people
than it does, is that the people who get to run countries are not the
ones renowned for altruism. Si regardless of the theoretical
possibilities, it isn't going to happen.
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