Grain production is falling even as population growth is upping the demand for grain. The global population needs a growth of 3.5% in wheat production and 6% for corn production in 2011 just to keep current with present demand. An obvious result of the drop in grain production? Food prices are escalating.
The issue is further impacted when grains are diverted to produce biofuels. Currently about 7% of corn and seed oil go for biofuel production, and surely less dependence on foreign petroleum is essential. But at the same time shifting 7% of the corn supply for fuel production adds to grain shortages even as it boosts food prices. Grain for fuel is a win-win but also a lose-lose solution.
In 1798 Thomas Malthus warned in his famous An Essay on the Principle of Population that population growth might outpace the global food supply.
I wonder what the old boy would say if he’d known of climate change.