The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World

Joel K. Bourne Jr. Norton, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-393-07953-1
Concerned agronomist Bourne places us on a trajectory toward what he calls a Malthusian “agricultural Armageddon.” In light of the long-term ecological failures of the Green Revolution, he adds the impacts of misguided agriculture policy, chemical damage, biofuel competition, climate change, and the declining purchasing power of the poor to the effects of insufficient food production and exploding population. But Bourne still brings excitement and a guarded optimism to his discussion of projects that hope to confront the crisis head on: Golden Rice, massive aquaculture, desert cultivation and new irrigation techniques, and a return to traditional and organic methods that preserve soil. He also touts creative agricultural subsidy programs even as he maintains that demographic shifts and family planning programs to hasten zero population growth must ultimately be the key factor in avoiding food-related disaster. Bourne thoughtfully lays out a vision of how short-term thinking got us to the current crisis point, and how a longer-term, ecological view, supported by creative science and more careful policy, might still be able to save us. 14 b&w photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-393-35296-2
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-393-24804-3
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