Independent Member for Gaven, Dr Alex Douglas participated in Innovation-20, leading into the G20 summit in Brisbane. He gives his thoughts on issues discussed at the forum.
The key issues that we must all remember are: Firstly, all eyes need to realise peak baby production globally is now 2014 and will gradually decline. Peak population is proposed to be in 2050, peaking at 9 billion due to aging population and birth growth from 1984 to 2014.
Seventy percent of the world’s available fresh-water is used for agricultural production.
Most great rivers except the Amazon don’t flow to the ocean. The Colorado in the US is a superb example. All the others the water goes through humans 6 times before reaching the ocean.
The ocean is our major carbon sink, trees especially above the tundra northern hemisphere near the Artic line do much of the rest of carbon capture to O2 biosynthetic conversion.
Finally, the difficulty of the world producing enough food for an extra 2 billion when simultaneously famine is such a dreadful global problem, the earth is for whatever reason warming.
The two major populous high growth economies of China and India have emerging middle class demands. The evidence is that every sovereign group is looking after itself but much more than it is prepared publicly to admit.
We must do more to secure our food supply. This is not a demand to be totally self-sufficient in all food production but we have to do more than we are.
The Lockyer, Scenic Rim and inner Downs are part of Australia’s 4% of our best prime agricultural land that must be protected.
Senior advisor for Biotechnology, United State Department of State, Jack Bobo says it can be done with better water management, better farming techniques including low tillage, removal and re-use of biomass, lower wastage, newer growth areas such as buildings, better climate control strategies, and better agronomy including more GM crops. He says it will be touch and go.
His best advice is put food security ahead of energy security. It’s our mindset that is wrong.