OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University University Libraries Knowledge Bank

The Future of Human Populations: Energy, Food & Water Availability in the 21st Century

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/31933

Show simple item record

Files Size Format View Description
KBdirect_Edwards.html 520bytes HTML View/Open Presentation
Edwards_bio.pdf 11.18Kb PDF View/Open Biography
Edwards_image.jpg 11.83Kb JPEG image Thumbnail of The Future of Human Populations: Energy, Food & Water Availability in the 21st Century Image

dc.creator Edwards, C. A. (Clive Arthur), 1925-
dc.date.accessioned 2008-04-28T18:22:44Z
dc.date.available 2008-04-28T18:22:44Z
dc.date.issued 2001-04-26
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1811/31933
dc.description Requires RealPlayer to view. en_US
dc.description The University Archives has determined that this item is of continuing value to OSU's history. en_US
dc.description.abstract In 1798, Thomas Malthus, a British clergyman and intellectual warned that, while there was a tendency for human populations to grow exponentially, he believed that food supplies could grow only linearly and would eventually become limiting. However, regional food shortages, diseases, war, and water shortages have tended to limit population increases, and the efficiency of food production in developed countries has improved greatly particularly over the last 50 years. Nevertheless, during the last half-century the global population has more than doubled from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6 billion in October 2000. Forecasts of future global human populations have ranged from 7.7 billion to 13 billion by 2050. Enormous increases of energy, food and water supplies are absolutely essential to support such expanded populations. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas are finite resources, and the availability of oil and oil-based chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, will peak by 2010 and will be exhausted, or prohibitively expensive, by 2050. Known sources of renewable energy such as nuclear, solar, wind, and water power systems have the potential to supply only 20-30% of our current energy needs. Since 1980 the per capita production of food has been decreasing progressively due to: loss of land; soil erosion and exhaustion; deforestation; and urbanization. Fresh water supplies are decreasing globally and agriculture consumes more than 93% of the available water for irrigation. Additionally, gaseous emissions have been predicted to raise global temperatures by as much as 10¡C in the next 100 years, with the potential for drastic effects on agricultural production. Even if innovative renewable energy technologies are developed; the losses of productive soils retarded; biological alternatives to energy-based chemicals discovered; new sources of fresh water found; and climatic changes slowed; the world population cannot continue to increase at its current rates. We may already be close to peak human populations, which may have to stabilize in the long term at 2-3 billion, unless there are enormous technological developments in food production and environmental conservation.
dc.description.tableofcontents Introduction by Ed Ray, Executive Vice-President and Provost of The Ohio State University (00:00:00-00:03:50) -- Presentation (00:03:51-00:56:15) -- Questions (00:56:16-01:12:26) en_US
dc.format.extent Duration: 01:12:26 en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Ohio State University en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries The Ohio State University Distinguished Lecture en_US
dc.rights This object may be copyright-protected. Permission to reuse, publish or reproduce the object must be obtained from the object publisher or copyright holder. en_US
dc.title The Future of Human Populations: Energy, Food & Water Availability in the 21st Century en_US
dc.title.alternative The Future of Human Populations: Energy, Food and Water Availability in the 21st Century en_US
dc.type Image en_US
dc.type Presentation en_US
dc.type Video en_US
dc.type Other en_US