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How do we feed the world as the population soars?

By anuevents - 26 August 2014 24

ABC 666’s Genevieve Jacobs will talk with three eminent experts on one of the great challenges of our time: As the global population explodes, how do we feed ourselves and the world?

The global population is set to hit 10 billion in 2050, that’s one thousand extra mouths to feed each and every day in Australia alone. Mix that with the need to reduce our environmental footprint, and use the same amount of arable land for food production and the challenge can seem almost insurmountable.

So how do we do it? Is Australia playing its part or do we have our head in the sand? Are we using technology to the fullest extent, or are GM fears getting in the way of solutions? Can Australia become the food bowl for Asia, and are there risks attached? With so much instability how do we avoid food price crises, like the one that caused riots and global unrest in 2008?

These and other pressing issues will be addressed at the sixth STA Topical Science Forum. Make sure you don’t miss it.

When: Thursday 28 August 12-1.30pm
Where: Theatre, lower ground floor, National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra
Register: Click here.

Speaker biographies

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
How do we feed the world as the population soars?
1
dungfungus 9:15 am
26 Aug 14
#

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

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2
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:48 am
26 Aug 14
#

Genetically modified grain and insects.

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3
davo101 9:52 am
26 Aug 14
#

dungfungus said :

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

Maybe you should go along and tell then about your solution.

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4
Maya123 10:18 am
26 Aug 14
#

dungfungus said :

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

How is overpopulation not a problem? You need to look no further than the Middle East to see what population pressures cause, without even starting to mention the other issues.

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5
Postalgeek 10:48 am
26 Aug 14
#

With 10 billion people there’ll be plenty to eat, people will be encouraged to retire early, there’ll be no waiting in hospitals and plenty of beds, the burgeoning grey demographic will be no more, and our prisons will be empty. We’ll just have to get used to the ‘chicken’ flavour of our food…

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6
switch 11:44 am
26 Aug 14
#

Postalgeek said :

With 10 billion people there’ll be plenty to eat, people will be encouraged to retire early, there’ll be no waiting in hospitals and plenty of beds, the burgeoning grey demographic will be no more, and our prisons will be empty. We’ll just have to get used to the ‘chicken’ flavour of our food…

“Soylent Green is people!”

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7
dungfungus 11:44 am
26 Aug 14
#

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

Maybe you should go along and tell then about your solution.

Some people would find that comment tasteless.

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8
dungfungus 11:49 am
26 Aug 14
#

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

How is overpopulation not a problem? You need to look no further than the Middle East to see what population pressures cause, without even starting to mention the other issues.

I thought the problem was addressing how to feed people; not to control their breeding.
No one from the Middle East (and Northern Africa) is complaining about overpopulation.
Political correctness won’t let debate go there anyhow.

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9
dungfungus 11:50 am
26 Aug 14
#

Postalgeek said :

With 10 billion people there’ll be plenty to eat, people will be encouraged to retire early, there’ll be no waiting in hospitals and plenty of beds, the burgeoning grey demographic will be no more, and our prisons will be empty. We’ll just have to get used to the ‘chicken’ flavour of our food…

Soylent Green?

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10
miz 1:02 pm
26 Aug 14
#

Stopping multinationals controlling seeds would give everyone the power to grow their own. Saving seeds of the most productive, strongest, disease resistant non-hybrid (sterile) varieties (eg heirloom) is the key.
And Join Diggers, who do all of the above.

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11
Maya123 1:06 pm
26 Aug 14
#

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

With 10 billion people there’ll be plenty to eat, people will be encouraged to retire early, there’ll be no waiting in hospitals and plenty of beds, the burgeoning grey demographic will be no more, and our prisons will be empty. We’ll just have to get used to the ‘chicken’ flavour of our food…

Soylent Green?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

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12
miz 1:07 pm
26 Aug 14
#

Sorry, to clarify, hybrid = sterile/won’t set seed

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13
Maya123 1:38 pm
26 Aug 14
#

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Seems this “challenge” is a bigger non-problem than climate change.

How is overpopulation not a problem? You need to look no further than the Middle East to see what population pressures cause, without even starting to mention the other issues.

I thought the problem was addressing how to feed people; not to control their breeding.
No one from the Middle East (and Northern Africa) is complaining about overpopulation.
Political correctness won’t let debate go there anyhow.

“No one from the Middle East (and Northern Africa) is complaining about overpopulation.”
How do you know this? Anyway, they are too busy surviving the wars and conflicts brought about by over-population. Wars and conflict are a nasty cruel way to deal with overpopulation. We need to tackle this problem before we get to this situation.
“Political correctness won’t let debate go there anyhow.”
Why not? Many people say the world is overpopulated.
On a personal comment, I don’t congratulate people for their third or subsequent children. I smile sweetly when introduced to the baby, and say little. I doubt though they notice my feelings in all their parental glow.
Re Australia. It is difficult for us to control the birth rates in other countries, but we could focus our foreign aid towards female education and birth control education and availability. In Australia the baby bonus should be scrapped; at least for more than two births, or maybe after the first. The biggest expense for parents is the birth of the first child. Many of the things bought for the first child can be used again. We should reduce our immigration rate to sustainable levels. This does not mean a reduced humanitarian rate. Maybe we should reduce the immigration level to even lower levels to allow more refugees in, but still keep levels to a sustainable number. It is no good importing the population problems from other countries. Nothing is solved unless the problems are tackled at the source.
We also need to be told the GNP per person as the population rises, not the GNP of the country as a whole, and allow for inflation in these figures. This will let us understand the real picture more clearly.

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14
bigfeet 2:06 pm
26 Aug 14
#

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Genetically modified grain and insects.

I, for one, welcome our new giant quinoa and cicada overlords.

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15
bundah 2:28 pm
26 Aug 14
#

Derr eat less….

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