population growth

Climate Policy at Midcentury — Africa

If we’re not careful, African emissions could rival those of China and India today.

If current projections hold and nothing is done to change the trend, Africa could emit as much carbon as the U.S. or even China today. We can’t allow that to happen.


2050: The Challenges Ahead

How will we cope with a huge population increase and climate change?

Let’s look past today’s political travails and think longer-range. What will things look like in 2050? There are more details below, but here’s the general picture. World population will probably grow by 2.5 billion people between now and 2050, with about half of the increase in Africa. Given historically weak economic growth in those areas …


Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner?

We need research to feed a larger population without plowing the whole planet.

Who’s coming for dinner? The answer, in case you’re wondering, is “two billion more people.”  That’s the population increase predicted for 2050.  How are we going to feed those people? One method is to cut down a lot of the world’s remaining forests and plow the world’s remaining grasslands. That’s a bad approach environmentally: it will …


Looking Ahead to 2050

Since New Year’s Eve is both a time for nostalgia and for looking ahead, it seems appropriate to see what the world will look like at mid-century.  The world will be facing considerable challenges then. The population will be bigger. The United Nations predicts that the world population will grow by 2 billion to 9 …


Empty Plates

Many of us will have plenty of food on the table tomorrow.  Indeed, many of us will eat more than is really good for us.  But the U.N. reports that the global food situation is quite different, as explained by the NY Times: Global grain production will tumble by 63 million metric tons this year, …


Global Hotspots and the Environment

I recently noted the role of environmental woes in North Korea’s current situation.  The Middle East also faces serious environmental problems, as a recent TNR posting discusses: Does the world really need more headaches in the Middle East? No, of course not, but rising global temperatures are likely to create a few more regardless. According …


Educational Equality as an Environmental Issue

This is the first in an occasional series about surprising dimensions of environmental problems. Today’s thesis is that  promoting educational equality in developing countries would be a good thing for the environment.  In other words, environmentalists should favor directing more educational funds to girls rather than following the norm in many countries, which is to …