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The Hungry Planet: Global Food Scarcity in the 21st Century

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011

At the dawn of the 20th century, the world population was inching toward a modest 2 billion. In the 111 years since, notwithstanding the impact of war, genocide, disease and famine, the global population has soared, reaching 3 billion around 1960 and now quickly approaching the neighborhood of 7 billion. By 2050, the planet will likely be home to 2 billion more.

We may not be witnessing the detonation of the "population bomb" that Paul Ehrlich warned of in his seminal 1968 book, but such rapid demographic change is clearly pushing the international community into uncharted territory. With a limited amount of arable land and a finite supply of fresh water for irrigation, figuring out how to feed a planet adding upward of 70 million people each year looms as one of the 21st century's most pressing challenges. ...

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