Farming land degradation

A United Nations report published this week claims 25 percent of the world’s land is “highly degraded” and 44 percent is “moderately degraded,” while only 10 percent was classified as “improving”.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQy5L4eCxi09FKvEyerBIk6uJOlA?docId=CNG.c82786f82bcfae51b6990ccf05bfd82b.5a1

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/11/28/un-world-land-report.html

Even if these figures are an exaggeration we should take the report seriously.  No matter how many technical gadgets we have and no matter how much of our economy is based on services,  if we can’t produce enough food for everyone there will be serious economic and social problems.  The less we think about this report and how to deal with its implications the more human suffering there will be.

Almost certainly food prices will rise even more than they already have.

Some people argue there is lots of surplus food and we should have no trouble feeding everyone. But food is not always produced where it is most needed and not everyone has the resources to pay for its transportation.

With higher prices it may become feasible to try new and innovative ways to produce more food such as hydroponic growing in super tall buildings.

As price is equal to the marginal cost of the last items produced those people who can continue to grow food at less cost will find themselves with some windfall profits.

In order to purchase a copy of this report a person will need at least some disposable income. The paperback costs $49.95 and the hardcover costs $140.

http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?tabid=102754

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