Do you think these components or goals will be met in 50 years? Why or why not.

Original Contribution: Based on the 2009 article in Scientific American (attached), “Could food shortages bring down civilization?” Answer the following questions:  

Do you think Plan B includes all the necessary components?

Do you think these components or goals will be met in 50 years? Why or why not.

Response Post: Does your classmate effectively argue his/her opinion? If yes, state why you agree. If not, explain what you think the student’s argument is missing. Ask a question about something he or she has stated in a post (or response) to get clarity or to push the discussion further.

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Classmate’s response-

The entire global population is facing a great risk of catastrophic food shortages, perhaps at a faster rate than assumed in previous decades.1 There have been many proposed causes for this shortage, as well as some new concerns developing with modern geopolitical changes.1 It is important to study these causes for food shortages now, so that we can be proactive, rather than reactive to the situation.

One reason blamed for the shortage is the fact that the global diet has transitioned from less locally sourced meals, to a greater emphasis on processed foods. This has removed the local agricultural market from the equation, and making populations more dependent on large corporations and increasing food prices.2 Another issue to blame is the water shortage and degradation of soil in improperly farmed areas.2 Lastly, another reason that could possibly lead to the global food shortage is climate change, which transitions the growing seasons of many areas from adequate to not enough.3

In order to prevent the food shortage itself, as well with the accompanying humanitarian concerns, plans have been proposed to various approval.1 Plan B is an expansive measure that has been proposed to specifically target the myriad of factors leading to the food shortage.1 This measure involves a complete rehaul of normal operations of our societies processes today.1

I believe the first component, the drastic reduction of carbon emissions by 80% will greatly mitigate the effects of global warming if it could be done by 2020.1 The next aspect, stabilization of Earth’s human population will prevent unavoidable over-demand that outpaces food supply.1 The elimination of poverty, which accelerates food shortages and exacerbates its effects is another important step.1

Lastly, if the quality of farmable environments around the world, including water and soil, can be improved and maintained, we will be able to adequately feed the population of Earth under the new Plan B paradigm.1 I do believe that these measures are attainable in the next 50 years, or even shorter, because it is the only hope to continue to feed the human population. Without these changes, we may likely end in a global food shortage emergency.1



  1. Brown LR. Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization? Scientific American. United States:Scientific American, Inc; 2009;300:50-57.
  2. Popkin BM, Adair LS, Ng SW. Global nutrition transition and the pandemic of obesity in developing countries. Nutrition Reviews. 2012;70:3-21.
  3. Mittelstaedt M. Global Warming May Cause Food Shortages. Current Controversies: Global Warming. 2008

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