Browsing the "Lester R. Brown" Tag

Full Planet, Empty Plates: Chapter 4. Food or Fuel?

July 3rd, 2013 | by Earth Policy Institute

The massive diversion of grain to fuel cars has helped drive up food prices, leaving low-income consumers everywhere to suffer some of the most severe food price inflation in history. As of mid-2012, world wheat, corn, and soybean prices were roughly double their historical levels


Full Planet, Empty Plates, Chapter 5: Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future

June 26th, 2013 | by Earth Policy Institute

The thin layer of topsoil that covers the earth’s land surface was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded the natural rate of erosion. Sometime within the last century, soil erosion began to exceed new soil formation. Now, nearly a third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming, reducing the land’s inherent fertility. Soil that was formed on a geological time scale is being lost on a human time scale


Full Planet, Empty Plates: Chapter 2. The Ecology of Population Growth

May 9th, 2013 | by Earth Policy Institute

Throughout most of human existence, population growth has been so slow as to be imperceptible within a single generation. Reaching a global population of 1 billion in 1804 required the entire time since modern humans appeared on the scene. To add the second billion, it took until 1927, just over a century. Thirty-three years later, in 1960, world population reached 3 billion. Then the pace sped up, as we added another billion every 13 years or so until we hit 7 billion in late


Rising Temperature Raising Food Prices

August 8th, 2012 | by Earth Policy Institute

Over the last two months, the price of corn has been climbing. On July 19th, it exceeded $8 per bushel for the first time, taking the world into a new food price terrain. With heat and drought still smothering the Corn Belt, we may well see more all-time highs in coming weeks as the extent of crop damage becomes clearer


We Can Reforest the Earth

July 31st, 2012 | by Earth Policy Institute

Protecting the 10 billion acres of remaining forests on earth and replanting many of those already lost are both essential for restoring the earth’s health


World in Serious Trouble on Food Front

July 24th, 2012 | by Earth Policy Institute

The world was hoping for a good U.S. harvest to replenish dangerously low grain stocks; this is no longer in the cards because of this Summer's extreme weather. World carryover stocks of grain will fall further at the end of this crop year, making the food situation even more precarious. Food prices, already elevated, will follow the price of corn upward, quite possibly to record highs



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