The World in 2050
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Women will enjoy longer lives but not everywhere — MSNBC

Women will enjoy longer lives but not everywhere — MSNBC | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
A woman walks at a tea plantation in Zhejiang, China, on March 30, 2013. (Photo by Aly Song/Reuters). The World Health Organization predicts women will live longer by 2050, but not in all countries unless more preventative ...

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BBC News - Food figures need a pinch of salt

BBC News - Food figures need a pinch of salt | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
The idea that the world needs to double its food production by 2050 in order to feed a growing population "is wrong".says Isobel Tomlinson from the Soil Association. In this week's Green Room, she says the misuse of data could be used to allow even greater intensification of the global agricultural industry.

In the last couple of years, scientists, politicians and agricultural industry representatives around the globe have been using two statistics: the need to increase global food production by 50% by 2030, and for food production to double by 2050 to meet future demand.

These figures have come to play a significant role in framing current international policy debates about the future direction of global agriculture.

These apparently scientific statistics have been dominating the policy and media discourse about food and farming, leading almost everyone to assume we need vast increases in agricultural production to feed a population of nine billion people by the middle of this century.

While ensuring an equitable and sufficient future food supply is of critical importance, many commentators are using this to justify the need for more intensive agricultural practices and, in particular, the need for further expansion of GM crops.

Cooking the books

When the Soil Association, in its report Telling Porkies, looked into the reported sources for these figures, none of the sources actually stated that global food production needs to increase by 50% by 2030, or to double by 2050.

In the last couple of years, scientists, politicians and agricultural industry representatives around the globe have been using two statistics: the need to increase global food production by 50% by 2030, and for food production to double by 2050 to meet future demand.

These figures have come to play a significant role in framing current international policy debates about the future direction of global agriculture.

These apparently scientific statistics have been dominating the policy and media discourse about food and farming, leading almost everyone to assume we need vast increases in agricultural production to feed a population of nine billion people by the middle of this century.

While ensuring an equitable and sufficient future food supply is of critical importance, many commentators are using this to justify the need for more intensive agricultural practices and, in particular, the need for further expansion of GM crops.

Cooking the books

When the Soil Association, in its report Telling Porkies, looked into the reported sources for these figures, none of the sources actually stated that global food production needs to increase by 50% by 2030, or to double by 2050.

 First of all, the projections reflect a continuing pattern of structural change in the diets of people in developing countries with a rapid increase in livestock products (meat, milk, eggs) as a source of food calories.

However, the continuation of dietary transition in developing countries, as assumed by the modelling work, is likely to cause worsening health problems as such diets are a leading cause of non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

Secondly, the data used to measure food security focuses attention on the level of agricultural production without considering access to food, distribution, and affordability which are all important in ensuring that people do not go hungry.

Thirdly, the projections assume that the developing world continues to import growing quantities of staple food stuffs when, in fact, increasing local production of staple foods is vital in ensuring food security.

Finally, according to these scientists, meeting these projected food demand targets will not solve food insecurity anyway. Indeed it is predicted that there will still be 290 million under-nourished people worldwide in 2050.

The assumptions and projections in this modelling reflect the authors' vision of the "most likely future" but not necessarily the most desirable one.

At the Soil Association, we now want to have an honest debate about how we can feed the world in 2050 in a way that doesn't lead to the further increases in obesity and diet related diseases, ensures that the global environment is protected, and that puts an end to hunger and starvation.

The misuse of the doubling statistic, based as it supposedly is on just one particular forecast of future demand for food, has prevented alternative visions of food and farming in 2050, which do not rely on the further intensification of farming and use of GM technologies, from being taken seriously in food security policy circles.

It is important that scientific research is now done to show how a better future is possible.

One recent scientific study has examined how we can feed and fuel the world sustainably, fairly and humanely. It explored the feasibility of feeding nine billion people in 2050 under different diet scenarios and agricultural systems.

The study showed that for a Western high-meat-diet to be "probably feasible" would require a combination of massive land use change, intensive livestock production and intensive use of arable land.

This would have negative impacts for animal welfare and lead to further destruction of natural habitats like rainforests.

However, the study also provides evidence "that organic agriculture can probably feed the world population of 9.2 billion in 2050, if relatively modest diets are adopted, where a low level of inequality in food distribution is required to avoid malnutrition".

Isobel Tomlinson is the policy and campaigns officer for the Soil Association, the UK's leading organic organisation

The Green Room is a series of opinion articles on environmental topics running weekly on the BBC News website

 

 


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How much water is needed to produce food and how much do we waste?

How much water is needed to produce food and how much do we waste? | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
As much as 50% of all food produced in the world ends up as waste every year according to figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. But how much water is needed to produce it?

IME claim that water requirements to meet food demand in 2050 could reach between 10-13.5tn cubic metres per year - about triple the current amount used annually by humans.

Meat production requires a much higher amount of water than vegetables. IME state that to produce 1kg of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 litres of water whereas to produce 1kg of wheat requires between 500 and 4,000 litres of water.

The table below shows typical values for the volume of water required to produce common foodstuffs. Chocolate tops the list with 17,196 litres of water need to produce 1kg of the product. Beef, sheep and pork meat all require high volumes of water for production also. Tea, beer and wine use the least according to the list. Compared to the production of meat, vegetable foodstuffs require considerably less water - 1kg of potatoes for example uses 287 litres of water.


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Will There Be Enough Food in 2050?

Will There Be Enough Food in 2050? | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
An alarming study shows that we may not be able to grow enough food for the population in 2050.

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Alan Yoshioka's curator insight, July 3, 2013 10:22 PM

Thanks to Rick Passo for the link ...

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The World and Technology in 2050 | Viva Technics

The World and Technology in 2050 | Viva Technics | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
By Future Timeline
Humanity is at a crossroads
The world of 2050 is a world of contrasts and paradoxes. On the one hand, science and technology have continued to advance in response to emerging crises, challenges and opportunities.
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Health & Medicine in 2050: Establishing a "healthy relationship" between humans and machines

Health & Medicine in 2050: Establishing a "healthy relationship" between humans and machines | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it

the European Commission's Digital Futures project will be hosting a special brainstorming session on health and medicine in 2050 in the conference centre. Some of the questions that will be addressed during this session include:

- What will be the relationship between humans and technology in the future of health?
- Will we still be able to distinguish between the remit of humans and that of technology?
- Who will be the peripheral: the human or the machine?
- What would be the implications on ethics and costs/funding of a future where there is no longer any distinction betweem humans and machines in medicine?
- What other futures can be envisioned for health and medicine in 2050?


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What Food Be Like In 2050?

What Food Be Like In 2050? | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
Here are a few possibilities as to how food will be in the year 2050

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Will our global food system be ready to welcome the 9 billionth person in 2050?

Will our global food system be ready to welcome the 9 billionth person in 2050? | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it
As we mark this year’s World food day, the main question that readily comes to my mind is: Will our food system be able to meet global food and nutrition demands when we welcome the 9 billionth person in 2050?
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Thinking cities: The challenges of urbanization in a networked society [Video]

Thinking cities: The challenges of urbanization in a networked society [Video] | The World in 2050 | Scoop.it

Earth is currently home to 7 billion people, a figure that’s expected to soar to more than 9 billion by 2050, with 70% living in cities. Concurrently, technology is extending its reach, with these parallel trends intersecting at a time when the world’s facing serious economic, environmental, and social challenges. We need more sustainable development.


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