Five countries between us and global starvation

“Five countries stand in the way of global starvation.” That’s one stark, ugly sentence. It’s from Chris Wood’s latest Natural Security column, and it’s thought-provoking, at least. An excerpt:

wood ag 1
Photo Deborah Jones © 2012

United Nations demographers forecast that by mid-century — in 37 years — there will be more than nine billion humans on the planet, about two billion more than the roughly seven billion of us now. 

This, as we say in Canada, is dreaming in technicolor. It very nearly cannot, and almost certainly will not, actually happen. Instead, the realistic forecast is for widespread famine, plummeting birth and infant-survival rates, and stalling, then falling, human populations. 

To the extent that this grim outlook can be avoided, and our numbers come even close to the U.N.’s dewey-eyed prediction, it will be through the efforts of men and women like those I spent a day with recently. They are people for whom names like Monsanto and Walmart are not dirty words. 

Log in first to read Wood’s column, Goldilocks and Nine Billion Bears, available to monthly subscribers or with a $1 day pass to Facts and Opinions.