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The end of plenty : the race to feed a crowded world
The end of plenty : the race to feed a crowded world
First editon.
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2015]
Physical Description:
408 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduction: The erstwhile agronomist -- The curse -- Famine's lethal lessons -- The green revolution: Food, sex, and war -- The plight of the Punjab -- China: Landraces and Lamborghinis -- Food, fuel, and profit -- The gauntlet -- The blue revolution -- Back in the USSR -- The blooming desert -- Magic seeds: Feeding shareholders or the world? -- Organic agriculture: Feeding the rich or enriching the poor? -- The Malawi miracle -- The grand Desiderata.
When the demographer Robert Malthus (1766-1834) outlined the brutal relationship between food and population, he never imagined the success of modern scientific agriculture. In the mid-twentieth century, an unprecedented agricultural advancement known as the Green Revolution brought hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, and improved irrigation that drove the greatest population boom in history but left ecological devastation in its wake. In The End of Plenty, environmental journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. puts our race to feed the world in dramatic perspective. With a skyrocketing world population and tightening global grain supplies spurring riots and revolutions, humanity must produce as much food in the next four decades as it has since the beginning of civilization to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe. Yet climate change could render half our farmland useless by century's end. Bourne takes readers from his family farm to international agricultural hotspots to introduce the new generation of farmers and scientists engaged in the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. He discovers young, corporate cowboys trying to revive Ukraine as Europe's breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist channeling ancient Chinese traditions, the visionary behind the world's largest organic sugar-cane plantation, and many other extraordinary individuals struggling to increase food supplies -- quickly and sustainably -- as droughts, floods, and heat waves hammer crops around the globe.