Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a perfect storm of shortages

BBCNews | As the world's population grows, competition for food, water and energy will increase. Food prices will rise, more people will go hungry, and migrants will flee the worst-affected regions.

That's the simple idea at the heart of the warning from John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, of a possible crisis in 2030.

Specifically, he points to research indicating that by 2030 "a whole series of events come together":

* The world's population will rise from 6bn to 8bn (33%)
* Demand for food will increase by 50%
* Demand for water will increase by 30%
* Demand for energy will increase by 50%

He foresees each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts.

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