GLOBAL RESOURCES ANALYSIS
LIMITS | FOOD
If the whole earth would start consuming meat/fish in the way the western society does, there will certainly a food limit. Meat/Fish rich diets ask for 6 times more food production area than meat/fish low diets. Only 15 years ago Chinese people eat average only sometime each year meat/poultry/fish. The common greeting in China was that days: "do you've eaten today?" (similar to western style "how are you doing"). Today the Chinese people eat average more times a month meat, poultry and/or fish. If all Asians would start consuming meat/poultry/fish in the volumes the western people does, the world needs an other world just for growing animal food. But there is an other major food limit problem: food = fertilizer and fertilizers = energy. Fertilizers are mainly made of natural gas, but also could be generated by oil (+30% more energy needed) and coal (+70% more energy needed) , but those two are much more energy inefficient. Therefore the food limit could be severely lowered very soon if natural gas (the main process component of harvesting nitrogen from out the air) should be depleted. The production of fertilizers is moving (for easy to understand economic reasons) in high speed to the really natural gas rich countries of Russia and Iran. Producing in all other countries (even with the high prices of fertilizers these days) is not economic possible anymore, because producing from oil (demand +30% more energy) and coal (demands + 70% more energy) is much more expensive. If all other countries doesn't develop very quickly a fertilizer substitute, they will find themselves within a few years in a for their food production needed fertilizers totally on the governments of Russia and Iran depending (both in terms of fertilizers prices and in terms of additional desires) status. To be more specific: the governments of Russia, Qatar and Iran than are on the switchboard of payable global food production. The best possibility fertilizer replacement is a nitrogen capturing algae that can be spread on the soil in one combined action simultaneously with (or attached to) sowing seed. There is also a meat limit in food. When the whole earth starts to consume meat in the quantities the Western World does, planet earth could not facilitate this. Meat will become severely more expensive and by this supply/demand mechanism the consumption will be regulated by the market itself.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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