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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Jeremy Grantham: ‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’

Jeremy Grantham: ‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’ | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"We are five years into a severe global food crisis that is very unlikely to go away. It will threaten poor countries with increased malnutrition and starvation and even collapse. Resource squabbles and waves of food-induced migration will threaten global stability and global growth. This threat is badly underestimated by almost everybody and all institutions with the possible exception of some military establishments."

 

Joe Romm summarises the latest article by guru investor Jeremy Grantham in his Quarterly Newsletter. "The global economy is a Ponzi scheme".

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The world is closer to a food crisis than most people realise

The world is closer to a food crisis than most people realise | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Lester R.Brown: Unless we move quickly to adopt new population, energy, and water policies, the goal of eradicating hunger will remain just that...

 

Another warning but no one is listening until it is too late and then we will get the "free" rock concerts again.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 11, 2014 1:29 PM

This should be truly terrifying to thsoe who hold political and social power at our present juncture.

 

Yet what are they doing to mitigate the problems of these impending crises, other than to prepare civilization for marshal law?  How are they actually helping others (and themselves) through the constant resorting to the jack-boot?

 

Not very enlightened.

 

Not every inspired.


Not very original.

 

Think abouti it.

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It’s official: China now eats twice the meat we do

It’s official: China now eats twice the meat we do | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
China's meat consumption has changed a lot in the last 20 years -- so much so that corn to feed industrially raised animals is now more prevalent than rice.

 

China becoming the green transition leader? think again.

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Ecosystem Economics: Navigating the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

Ecosystem Economics: Navigating the Water-Food-Energy Nexus | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
When we talk about natural resource constraints on business — such as shortages in water or increases in the cost of energy or agricultural products — we tend to forget how deeply intertwined these commodities are.

 

Excellent article from the Harvard Business Review blog showing big business is learning rapidly. Unfortunately policymakers are at least five years behind.

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Soaring Oil and Food Prices Threaten Affordable Food Supply

"The current global food system is highly fuel- and transport-dependent. Fuels will almost certainly become less affordable in the near and medium term, making the current, highly fuel-dependent agricultural production system less secure and food less affordable. It is therefore necessary to promote food self-sufficiency and reduce the need for fuel inputs to the food system at all levels."

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Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?: Scientific American

Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?: Scientific American | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A five-step global plan could double food production by 2050 while greatly reducing environmental damage...

Excellent recent article in Scientific American on the challenges of sustainable food production for the future.

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Solutions for a cultivated planet : Nature

Solutions for a cultivated planet : Nature | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing ‘yield gaps’ on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture."

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How Huge Food Corporations Will Make Upcoming Food Price Hikes Even Worse | Alternet

How Huge Food Corporations Will Make Upcoming Food Price Hikes Even Worse | Alternet | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Now is perhaps a good time to reflect on the extent to which the entire American food system is built on one crop – corn. And within that one crop, we rely on a very narrow range of genetics; although there are more than 250 known genetic races of corn, the U.S. almost exclusively relies on just two of them. Because the U.S. is the world’s number-one producer, consumer and exporter of corn, global food prices are also linked to America’s ability to grow corn. This year, we are going to find out what happens when the crop fails in many parts of the country. Now is a good time to ask ourselves: is it smart to bet the global food supply on a few varieties of one crop grown in one country?"

 

Good article on Alternet on how food industry short-term profit-thinking is endangering our global food system.

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Record cereal prices stoke fears of global food crisis

Record cereal prices stoke fears of global food crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Severe drought in US - largest exporter of corn, soya beans and wheat - pushes up prices and revives memories of 2007-08 riots...

 

This recurrence of the global food crisis caused either by rising commodity prices or extreme weather events related to climate change is a strong indicator of the validity of John Michael Greer's theory of the catabolic collapse of civilisations.

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Coronary Capitalism

Coronary Capitalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Just as the financial industry caused a near-meltdown of the global economy in 2008, the food industry has facilitated the explosion of obesity around the world.

 

Another impressive opinion piece by Kenneth Rogoff at Project Syndicate. Using the example of the food industry he attacks the "pathological regulatory-political-economic dynamic" of today's capitalism.

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Resolving the Food Crisis: Global leaders fail to make crucial reforms

Although various inter-governmental institutions have rung the alarm bell over global food prices, they have also avoided deeper structural reforms therefore leaving the world at risk of anuther devastating food crisis.

 

Interesting and critical report by Tuft University's Global Development and Environment Institute and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

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FAO report: "Energy-smart" agriculture needed to escape fossil fuel trap

FAO report:  "Energy-smart" agriculture needed to escape fossil fuel trap | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

High and fluctuating prices of fossil fuels and doubts regarding their future availability mean that agri-food systems need to shift to an "energy-smart" model, according to the report Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate.

 

Mandatory reading for all policymakers involved in the debate on the European Common Agricultural Policy reform.

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Food Sovereignty Report Launched | War on Want

Food Sovereignty Report Launched | War on Want | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

New report contrasts the UK government’s preferred approach of ‘food security’, based on free markets supplemented by aid, with the positive alternative of food sovereignty, which returns control over the food system to farmers.

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More Corn is Used For Ethanol in U.S. Than For Food or Feed — The Top Five Reasons We Should Stop This Madness

More Corn is Used For Ethanol in U.S. Than For Food or Feed — The Top Five Reasons We Should Stop This Madness | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Today, more corn is grown in America for ethanol than for food or for livestock feed. For every 10 ears of corn grown in the U.S., two are consumed by humans, and the other eight are used for feed and fuel."

Amazing figures from US corn farming: 4 times more corn used for fuel than for food.

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