Throughout the globe, we are experiencing the greatest demographic transition of all time. According to the UN DESA report, our world population is projected to grow to approximately 9.7 billion by 2050. This immense growth will predominantly occur in underdeveloped regions and developed countries, such as Africa and the U.S. Parts of the globe have an increasingly aging population, while others are having a huge influx of new youth. Mainly Europe and South America will contain aging growths, whereas Africa and Asia will have larger proportions of youth ages. This particular dynamic is going to have a destructive effect towards our interconnected global society if stable governments and their citizens do not come up with viable solutions. My main intent is to convey the detrimental effects that growing populations are having on food supplies, and to list possible solutions to effectively increase and distribute food amongst the developed and developing countries.
In the long term, the world population is expected to grow due to high-fertility rates and higher life expectancy. Asia will continue to experience population growth; however, countries, such as India and China will begin to stabilize since their populations have exceeded one billion people already. Africa's population will continue to grow drastically, and will eventually compose approximately half of the growth in world population by 2050. Once 2050 is reached, Europe's population is projected to contain 34 percent of people of ages 60 or over, compared to 25 percent in Asia, the Caribbean, and South America, respectfully. The aging population has been growing in the developed world because of technological advances in medicine for health care, and the life expectancy continues to lengthen. Whereas, the developing world is in a time period of industrialization, which is beneficial if the younger populations are capable of finding jobs essentially marketable, which usually means farming for the majority of developing countries.
Global climate change, a growing world population, and high energy prices are causing food, water, and energy shortages that are by far the most adverse factors to date. The main issue is to discover efficient methods for producing and sustaining food for over nine billion people. Food shortages will cause growing poverty levels, civic unrest, and international conflict, if this issue continues to be neglected. In the developed world, the rising population and rich diets mean that production of food will have to increase by 50 percent by 2050 to keep the current eating habits of westerners. However, global climate change and rising energy bills are making production vastly difficult and alarmingly expensive. Westerners tend to waste large quantities of food, which could be used for various things that would benefit the developing world. The developing countries alone, are currently having immense difficulties lowering poverty levels, and discovering ways in which they can enable sustainable development and growth.
Systematically the growing population and food shortages are going to impact everyone worldwide, more than ever before in modern history. Although, these issues will disproportionately impact people living in poverty throughout developing regions more than any population in developed regions. However, food experts worldwide have thought out and analyzed possible solutions. To enable greater understanding and transparency, I will use a top down discussion of the topic at hand. Due to lack of time and length, I will have to keep the discussion of solutions laconic yet descriptive.
Let me begin by discussing the inclusion of stronger regulation and proactive government policy changes. Past measures of policymaking have included highlighting inefficient farming methods, such as wasting water on irrigation systems or wasting fertilizer, both of which have caused harm to the environment by creating run-off of pollutants that flow into rivers and lakes. The European Union, for instance, has created a system in which the government pays its farmers for ecosystem services and charges farmers whenever resources from the environment, such as water are depleted. Moreover, policy changes should implement taxes on pollution or waste, which in turn would create higher food prices, and eventually people would stop wasting food. Stricter regulations and proactive government policies engender measures to promote more sustainable farming. Secondly, distribution plays a huge role. A majority of westerners lethargically waste food, such as grains to feeding animals, producing energy from ethanol, and simply put, individuals, especially in North America are extremely wasteful beings. Between 30 and 50 percent of food is wasted, which could be used by international aid organizations to supply short term food aid in times of crises.
Overall, larger food reserves need to be implemented for future catastrophes, finding alternative fuel resources rather than using bio-ethanol, and North Americans or Westerners in general have to change their diets. More veggies and less meat will eventually have to become ingrained in future societies. Another important factor is to focus on scientific research and technology. Current technologies could possibly boost food by 50 percent, which can benefit vast regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists should continue exploring new ways of using GMOs effectively, and seek contemporary fashions of implementing low-technological practices. Last but not least, a support network towards local food systems can contribute to supplying food for the growing demand of people living in and around cities. Alternative food systems provide buffers between the volatility of international markets and consumers. Essentially, local food systems could function with enough consumers and thorough policies, enabling farmers to use community processing services, as well as local markets.
Ultimately, the world population is growing rapidly, and the current lifestyle of westerners will have to change in a positive manner. Corporations have depleted and distributed resources unevenly. The earth is able to sustain the new billions of people that will eventually inhabit the planet. The fact is developed countries in North America and Europe need to corroborate methods that will satisfy the majority, since there will always be criticisms. Unless people prohibit the present activities of corporalists in the early 21st century, it will simply be too late as the years pass. Hundreds of millions of people in developing regions are struck with poverty and malnutrition. It is time for the leading developed countries to take new measures into account, and prioritize a sustainable global community for the future decades of humanity.