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Download By Bread Alone by Lester R. Brown and Erik P. Eckholm (Auth.) PDF

By Lester R. Brown and Erik P. Eckholm (Auth.)

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Pravda, now beginning to sound in­ creasingly like Rachel Carson, claims that the extinction of species 54 DIMENSIONS OF THE PROBLEM "is worrying us more and more every year. Why do we see almost no flocks of geese and cranes in April? Almost all the partridges are gone. "* In Denmark, the return of the storks from wintering in North Africa has long been a national event celebrated by young and old alike. At one time, 10,000 storks arrived each year; in 1970, only seventy pairs came. The use of pesticides by farmers to control the locust in East Africa and the Nile River Valley is apparently eliminating the storks as well.

Department of Agriculture. Figure 3-1. Total and Per Capita Food Production in More Developed Countries, 1961*73 population that doubles in 35 years means a doubled demand for food during the same period. Where population increases 3 per cent yearly, as is today the case in several countries, it multiplies nineteenfold in a century. This means that food supplies likewise must be expanded nineteenfold in the same time period. The relationship between population growth and the success, or lack of success, of efforts to improve diets is dramatically evident in Figures 3-1 and 3-2.

Another advantage of using grain as an indicator is that data on grain consumption are available for many parts of the world, but they are not available for all foodstuffs considered collectively. Since the various cereals —principally wheat, rice, corn, and sorghum—are rather homo­ geneous, it is valid to group them into a single category. Once the demand has been established for a given amount of cereal, it can readily be converted into resource requirements—land, fertilizer, water, etc. In the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the per capita availability of grain is only about 400 pounds per year, or about a pound per day.

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