Filed under: Food + Health, Local Events + Action, Science + Tech, Society + Media | Tags: carrying capacity, genetic engineering, organic farming, overpopulation, Pamela Ronald, Tomorrow's Table
Progressive scientists and organic foodies rejoice!
She claims that the solution to feeding a growing global population, the destruction of natural habitats for cropland, and the health risks of pesticides actually lies in the marriage of genetic engineering and organic farming. In order to feed the potential 9.2 billion mouths in 2050, oceans of wild land would have to be cleared and converted into cropland. Millions of species would lose their homes and their lives and the environment would face tremendous degradation. However, the holy union of genetics and organics provides an alternative path.
Organics (no pesticides ) ♥ Genetically Engineering (greater product yield) =
9.2 billion full stomachs – environmental degradation – death of millions of species – health risks of pesticides
It seems like Ronald’s got the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything and it doesn’t include the number 42. Right?
I beg to differ. Though the concept seems attractive and relatively simple, it fails to recognize the greater issues at hand. I am a firm believer that the Earth has a carrying capacity for the human population. Yes, even we have a limit, though we oftentimes refuse to acknowledge it. As we continue to reproduce, aided by modern medicine, technology, and science, our numbers continue to skyrocket and our impact on the Earth continues to intensify. And as with any species that exceeds carrying capacity, the only result will be the devastation of our environment and death.
What Ronald is proposing is perpetuating the overpopulation issue. Using our oh-so-powerful methods of controlling our natural environment, we can continue to feed and reproduce, feed and reproduce. However, while it may quiet our current problems, it is merely a quick fix to a complex problem.
Should we simply let many of the world’s people starve? Is it inhumane to think so? Are there any other solutions?
I don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions. But I do beg you to think about the implications of these “solutions” and remember that while we can be hopeful for our future, we must be realistic as well.
7 Comments so far
Leave a comment