Good news - a world of excess
The number of overweight people in the world has overtaken the number of malnourished for the first time,...
And this is being presented as bad news!
For those of us of a certain generation this picture of a Biafran child was seared into our memory. The starving millions are still with us but Malthusian pessimism of the twenty years ago has vanished and the problems are now political not agricultural. The Greens of the day were cheerfully predicting worldwide famine, revolution and pestilence unless we all turned to eating Mung Beans, cultivating our own allotments and resisting evil chemical companies.
They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
To illustrate the rate of change and the blessings of science here are the wheat yield averages of England.
2006 9.39 (So far)
I can remember the first field of wheat I grew that was 10 Tonnes/hectare - a real feeling of triumph - now it is average!
And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or
two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew
before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service
to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels