Point/Counterpoint

So Zero Hedge warns about the impact of changing diets on the global food supply:

Beginning with Malthus’ warning to the world and the Great Irish famine, David McWilliams (of Punk Economics) provides his typically succinct, profoundly fascinating, and graphically pleasing insights on the state of the global food economy. “What happens when hungry people panic?” is the question McWilliams poses; “they move to other parts of the world,” he rhetorically answers, adding that this could well be the story of the next 50 years on Earth as the rock of the insatiable demand of seven billion (soon-to-be-ten-billion) people smashes into the hard place of the planet’s limited resources to produce that one thing that keeps us all alive – food. The food dilemma is more complex though as it is really an energy dilemma – one that is not going away (on the downside). On the bright side, Malthus’ nightmare has yet to occur thanks to the ingenuity of humans. However, if all the world’s seven billion people consumer as much as the average American, it would require the resources of over five planet Earths to sustainably support all of us. So either the rest-of-the-world eats less to allow Americans to eat more or we are stuck! But it’s not just how much we eat, but what we eat…

They’re talking about one of those whiteboard cartoon YouTube videos which I haven’t yet had time to watch.

If only those guys at Zero Hedge made the mistake of reading the letters to the editor, where the real SCIENCE! occurs. I made the mistake of glancing at the Wall Street Journal letters to the editor page yesterday, where the normal lunacy occurs with bigger words: Organic Farms Can Feed the World:

While most studies show that certain organic crops, such as corn, would have slightly lower yields and lower total production than conventional crops, the studies also show organic farming can feed the world, and in developing countries organic methods would increase food production and self-sufficiency.

Both of these things cannot be true. Well, they cannot be true unless there’s an unspoken premise in the second that the world eat organic bean burritos per day and give up their steaks and chicken. Which is not so unspoken in other parts of the movement.

But one of the things about organic farming and sustainable living lifestyles is that people who embrace them already have a pretty high standard of living to maintain and can afford to tut-tut the people who shop at Walmart to get a bit of what they get at Crate and Barrel.

(Zero Hedge link via Instapundit.)

One Response to “Point/Counterpoint”

  1. dustbury.com » Sustain this, pal Says:

    [...] Brian J. quotes a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal: [...]