[FoRK] Chart of the Day...

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Fri Jun 11 11:12:03 PDT 2010

On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 01:20:24AM -0700, Frank Hegyesi wrote:
> Thomas Malthus was screaming the sky was falling two hundred years ago:

Yep.  And he was right.  We found workarounds.  Intensifying urbanization
and trade has been optimizing food production since ancient times.
Then, around WWII, we started turning fossil fuel into food, creating a
temporary bounce in food production.

Fossil foods don't change the basic fact of linear (or mildly quadratic*)
food-production growth vs. exponential population growth.

And now we get to fight over fresh water, destruction of good soil, and the
fact that Africa and Oz have sucky ancient soil.

Ever feel like Slim Pickens riding that bronc out the belly of a B-52?

* Not counting fossil energy inputs, there's been steady progress in
per-acre yield due to advances in science and engineering, and the past
century has been amazing.  Even organic horsefarmers get excellent yields
these days.  OTOH, we're not making more farmland, we're making less.

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