Category Archives: Population control

Global Food Shortages and Water Supply

Courtesy of “The Furrow” (John Deere) this shows global farmed area shrinking and population exploding. Now ad water and forests. This is dynamite.

It is worth clicking on the link (WRI – the World Researches Institute) below for a clear view of how forests affect our water supply.  The authors point out that “The world’s major watersheds lost 6 percent of their tree cover on average from 2000-2014. Today, about 31 percent of the world’s watershed area is covered by forests.”

http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/03/3-surprising-ways-water-depends-healthy-forests?utm_campaign=wridigest&utm_source=wridigest-2017-03-21&utm_medium=email&utm_content=learnmore

The problem is a tension between the facts they point out and the needs of an expanding global population to have food, energy and occupy land. The tension between the two is an exponential curve related to population growth.  Something will give.  Unless, that is, we control population growth and very urgently.

Click here for an expansion of this discussion, and what to do about it,

Land Research   12 May 2017

Farming, Brexit and Le Pen

A major reason for Le Pen’s capture of a third of the vote was immigration. Can Macron manage immigration and population growth?

Water is the link between farming and immigration as a major issue connected with Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It is worth clicking on the link below (WRI – the World Researches Institute) for a clear view of how forests affect our water supply.  The authors point out that “The world’s major watersheds lost 6 percent of their tree cover on average from 2000-2014. Today, about 31 percent of the world’s watershed area is covered by forests.”

http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/03/3-surprising-ways-water-depends-healthy-forests?utm_campaign=wridigest&utm_source=wridigest-2017-03-21&utm_medium=email&utm_content=learnmore

The problem is a tension between the facts they point out and the needs of an expanding global population to have food, energy and occupy land. The tension between the two is an exponential curve related to population growth.  Something will give.  Unless, that is, we control population growth and very urgently.

Land Research   8 May 2017

Sustainable farming

According to UN sponsored research, I tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern, efficient USA fertiliser factory, typically takes 21,000 (yes, twenty one thousand) kWh to manufacture and deliver to farm. Yet, we lose around half to groundwater with rain or irrigation. This will dramatically affect how we farm.  Part of the answer is to recycle waste to farm land.  How to do this safely and how doing this can also reduce irrigation need by up to 90 % is detailed in a referenced work on sustainable agriculture.  All these and how the global population  will reach crisis, and when, can be downloaded for free on the Sunday 12 Feb.  Search  Survival” by Bill Butterworth Amazon.

Survival! – free download

 

“Survival – Sustainable Energy, Wastes, Shale Gas and The Land” is available for free download for the next 5 Sundays starting 15 Jan.

According to UN sponsored research, I tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern, efficient USA fertiliser factory, typically takes 21,000 (yes, twenty one thousand) kWh to manufacture and deliver to farm. Yet, we lose around half to groundwater with rain or irrigation. This will dramatically affect how we farm.  Part of the answer is to recycle waste to farm land.  How to do this safely, how shale gas will affect the land, how sustainable energy sources can help farming are all reviewed in the book.  All these and how the global population  will reach crisis, and when, can be downloaded for free on the Sundays 15, 22 and 29 Jan, and 5 and 12 Feb.  Control and Click here  Survival” by Bill Butterworth Amazon.

Fertiliser losses not sustainable

Dad drilling 4

There is absolutely no chance of feeding the global human population on agriculture based solely on mineral fertilisers.

The circular economy: 9. Farming loses 70% of the manufactured fertiliser energy consumption

The science: There is much energy in digging up and transporting the basic raw materials to make fertilisers, especially phosphates and potash. We are running low on known phosphate reserves.  One tonne of mineral Nitrate nutrient, from a modern comparatively efficient USA factory, takes 21,000 (yes, twenty one thousand) kWh of electricity to make it and it was mostly made by generating electricity by burning fossilised fuels to run and engine. When we get the Nitrogen onto the crop, rainfall and irrigation will lose maybe half.

The bad news: Modern food production has been built around mineral fertilisers. The concept of feeding 11 billion (if the UN estimate is right) using this technology is just not tenable.

The good news: Not only is it possible to produce good, safe food, better for human health, without mineral fertilisers, it is possible to lift yields by using composts made from urban wastes. The author has done it.  With bio-assay over two decades.

Bill Butterworth      Land Research Ltd      21 May 2016

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The circular economy: 7. The growth of the consumer class  

 

 

 

Website Rainbow 001

As Dolly Parton said, “If you want the rainbow, you have got to put up with the rain”.

The science: In the last century, global population quadrupled. There is one way of looking at the wealth of that population and that is to label those who have cash surplus to survival and to spend on goods made elsewhere as the “consumer class”. That class was around 1.8 billion in 2010.  Estimates vary but to be 5 billion by 2030 is probably not an exaggeration.

The bad news: This will need very rapidly expanding use of resources, some of which are already limited.

The good news: Technology keeps finding new materials, improving efficiency of use and we are beginning to think about circular technology. (See future issues on this blog.)

 Bill Butterworth 4 April 2016

P.S. Try the book, “Reversing global warming for profit”, by Bill Butterworth, published by MX Publishing, available from all good bookshops or on line at Amazon.

The Price of Bread

Bread

Feeding everyone is technically possible BUT not without some dramatic changes. Suppose we do not feed everyone?

 

The circular economy: 6. Population, resources and the price of bread.

 The science: As population rises, resources will become rarer or in shorter supply.  That will not only put prices at the retail shop up, they will fluctuate progressively more.

The bad news: In rich countries, commodity prices will certainly go up.  In poor countries, prices will go up too far for survival and people will either die of migrate.

The good news: Population rate of increase is falling (but most observes would agree we must do more). As an agricultural scientist, I do believe that we have the technology to feed the world provided we stop breeding people right now.  Feeding a greater population will certainly increase resource use and that means we have to dramatically increase efficiency as well as total output.

Bill Butterworth 26 March 2016

P.S. Try the book, “Reversing global warming for profit”, by Bill Butterworth, published by MX Publishing, available from all good bookshops or on line at Amazon.