The Fruits of Civilization (79-1) Agriculture continued


Farmland has very little to offer any wild creature. ~ German entomologist Martin Sorg

The agricultural system is driving environmental harm. In turn, environmental harm is threatening the agricultural system. In producing food as an industrial exercise, man has created a feedback gyre of self-destruction.

Agriculture is the single-largest use of freshwater on the planet. It contributes 24% of world greenhouse emissions. 62% of globally threatened species are affected by agriculture.

Over the past century, diets and agricultural systems have simplified. While the diversity on offer has never been higher, global food consumption is becoming more homogenized. 75% of the world’s food today is derived from just 12 crops and 5 animal species. Over 60% of crop output comes from specialized, high-yield varieties. Rice, wheat, corn, and potatoes provide over half of the world’s plant-derived calories.

This leaves global food supply vulnerable to disease and pests that can sweep through monoculture croplands, as happened during the Irish potato famine, when millions starved to death. Ongoing pollution, deficient food-production practices, and fast-changing climate will continue to cut yields as global population rises, at least until famine takes its toll.

Man reaps what he sows. ~ Galatians 6:7, The Bible