IC presentation Julian Cribb (PDF)

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The Coming Famine:
risks and opportunities for global food security
Julian Cribb FTSE
Nuffield International Conference
Adelaide, September 30, 2011

Food demand doubles by 2060s

A ‘wicked’ problem....
242,000 more people every day
More babies + longer lives
Population >10-11 bn
Food demand soars in emerging
>600 petacalories/day
Total food demand to double by

‘Peak water’
‘Peak land’
‘Peak oil’
‘Peak P’
‘Peak fish’
‘R&D drought’
‘Capital drought’
‘Climate extinction’

Peak water

“Current estimates indicate we will not
have enough water to feed ourselves in
25 years time...”
– Colin Chartres, IWMI

Groundwater mining
Disappearing rivers
Vanishing lakes

Shrinking glaciers

Food embodies water...
Total human water use:
7450 cubic kms
We each use 1240t/yr
In a lifetime, we use:

100,000 tonnes

Peak Land : 2001

24% of the world’s land is now degraded


Area per person

Peak land: FAO

1% of the world’s land is
being lost each year.

Megacities: mega-risks

By 2050...
By 2030...

7.7 billion will live in cities
Total urban area = China
Urban water use 2800 cu kms
Cities cannot feed themselves

Nutrients are finite…

Peak phosphorus


World P reserves

The Great Waste

Food wasted by avg. family in a month. (USDA)

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