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Press Release: Severe Food Shortages on the Horizon

A new study by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change -- Estimates of Global Food Production in the Year 2050: Will We Produce Enough to Adequately Feed the World? -- reveals that a very real and devastating food crisis is looming on the horizon, and continuing advancements in agricultural technology and expertise will most likely not be able to bridge the gap between global food supply and global food demand just a few short years from now.

Crop yield and production data were utilized to identify the crops that supply 95% of the food needs of (1) the world, (2) six large regions into which the world may be divided, (3) twenty sub-regions, and (4) the world's twenty-five most populated countries. Recent productivity trends of these key crops were then projected to the year 2050 for each of the specified geographical areas, revealing that expected advances in agricultural technology and expertise will increase the food production potential of many countries and regions. However, these advances will not increase production fast enough to meet the needs of the planet's even faster-growing human population. But when the positive impact of Earth's rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on crop yields was considered, the severity of the pending food shortage was found to be considerably lessened.

"Having evolved at much higher levels of atmospheric CO2 than those of the current geological period, many land plants grow substantially better with more CO2," says Dr. William Happer, Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University, who states that the report "provides a very thorough review of the beneficial role of increased CO2 on mankind's most important agricultural crops."

In order to avoid the unpalatable consequences of unprecedented widespread hunger - and even starvation - in the years and decades ahead, the study's author, Dr. Craig Idso, contends that "a commitment similar to that which drove the Apollo moon-mission is needed to increase crop yields per unit of land area, per amount of nutrients applied, and per amount of water used." And about the only way of successfully doing so without the taking of unconscionable amounts of land and water from nature and thereby driving untold numbers of plant and animal species to extinction, is to "invest the time, effort and capital that is required to identify, and to then use, the major food crop genotypes that respond most strongly to atmospheric CO2 enrichment."

However, rising CO2 concentrations are considered by many people to be the primary cause of what is claimed to be unprecedented global warming; and if regulations restricting anthropogenic CO2 emissions are enacted to fight this perceived but likely phantom problem, Idso contends that they will "greatly exacerbate" food shortfalls by reducing the CO2-induced yield enhancements that are needed to supplement the productivity increases provided by expected future advances in agricultural technology and expertise. And in the wake of such emissions regulations, hundreds of millions of people the world over will likely experience significant hunger and malnutrition.

Government leaders and policy makers should take notice of the findings of this important new analysis of the world food situation; for doing what climate alarmists claim is needed to fight global warming will surely consign earth's human population to a world of woe, while doing next to nothing in terms of altering the current warm phase of the planet's surface temperature.

The report can be viewed or downloaded at the website of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change at Questions about the report can be addressed to Dr. Craig Idso at the email address