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Goals for Mankind

Goals for Mankind

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Published by Ben Steigmann

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Published by: Ben Steigmann on Apr 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/13/2013

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ErvinLaszlo
etal.
GoalsforMankind
AReporttotheClubofRomeontheNewHorizonsofGlobalCommunity
E.P.Dutton
NewYork
 
274
GOALSFORMANKIND
oithepatternsoflandownership,basicliteracyandskilltrainingioragriculturists,andthecreationoiappropriateinstitutionalmechanismsforplanningandcoordination.
Faminesarefamiliarfeaturesofhistory.andmalnutritionforthepoorestsegmentofthepopulationappearstobeaperennialaspectofthehumancondition..Despiteunprecedentedincreasesinfoodproductionduringthepasttwodecades,faminesofenormousscalethreatenintheyearsahead,aspopulationcontinues
to.
growand
the
gapbetweenrichandpoorwidens.Yettodaymankindhasthecapacitytowipeouthungerandmeetthebasicnutritionalneedsofeveryone,Worldagriculturalproductioncanstillbevastlyincreased.Theamountoflaudthatcouldproducefoodforhumanconsumption
is
great,thoughobviouslyfinite.Onlyabout10percentoftheearth'stotallandsurfaceisatpresentundercultivation.Whilemuchoftheworld'slandsurfacebaseitherpoorsoil,unsuitableclimate,
inade-
quatewaterresources,orisnoteasilyaccessible,thepotentiallyarableland
is
atleasttwice,andperhapsfourtimes,thesizeofthelandnowbeingcultivated.Theamountofwatercurrentlyavailableislikewisesubstantial,thoughit,too,
is
finite.
It
is
estimatedat41trillioncubicmetersan-nually.Butthissupplyisunevenlydistributed,leavingsomeareaswithuntappedwaterresourcesandotherswithshortages.About40percentofallthewaterusedbymankindisforirrigation.Wateravailablefor
this
purposeisrunninglowinmanyareas,especiallywheredeforestationandovergrazinghaveadvanceddesertareas.Man-madedesertsnowclaimalandareaequaltothesizeof
Brazil,
Yet
anew
agriculturalrevolution
is
underway-the"Blue
Revolu-
tion"-whichpermitsthemoreefficientuseofexistingwatersuppliesandalsoopensupnewwaterresources.Theagriculturalpotentialoftheearthisconstrainedbyanumberoffactors.Somearephysical
in
origin,butmanyarisefromtheinter-ventionsofman.Onephysicalfactorwhichmayposelong-termdiffi-cultiesistheprogressivecoolingofthenorthernhemisphere.
This
trend,whichbeganaroundthemiddleofthecentury,hasmainlyaffectedthelatitudesabovethesixtiethparallel,and
thus
farhas
bad
DO
large-scaleimpact
on
worldfoodproduction.Itscontinuation,however,couldposeamajorthreatandmayevenheraldthebegin-ning
ofa
newiceage.

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