Population, Energy, Food and Garbage: Their Potential Impact on Global Agriculture
S.S. Jothiratnam

Abstract
This paper examines the four major ecological threats confronting us as a species, viz.: the exploding human population; accelerating demands for energy; increasing, and increasingly sophisticated (and thus resource-intense) demands for food; and mushrooming garbage production. It analyses population by looking at population pyramids, examines the concept of overshoot, outlines how and in what ways our energy demands have gown, linking this with greenhouse gas emissions and with global warming and with the confusion tactics employed by the fossil-fuel industry, looks at the issue of food production in the light of the exploding population, including an exposition of the Malthusian Trap, and examines the garbage production and disposal scenario, whilst paying special attention to the garbage gyres which now fill large tracts of the oceans. The conclusion is that we are on the brink of fundamentally altering the human-carrying capacity of the planet, whilst setting this into the context of earlier extinction events which have altered the course of life and of evolution on the planet.
18 September, 2010
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