This timely collection of 15 original essays written by expert scientists the world over addresses the relationships between human population growth, the need to increase food supplies to feed the world population, and the chances for avoiding the extinction of a major proportion of the world's plant and animal species that collectively makes our survival on Earth possible. These relationships are highly intertwined, and changes in each of them steadily decrease humankind’s chances to achieve environmental stability on our fragile planet.
The world population is projected to be nine to ten billion by 2050, signaling the need to increase world food production by more than 70 percent on the same amount of land currently under production—and this without further damaging our fragile environment. The essays in this collection, written by experts for laypersons, present the problems we face with clarity and assess our prospects for solving them, calling for action but holding out viable solutions.
About the Author
J. Perry Gustafson is a currently an Adjunct Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri. He is the author or co-author of many books, including Gene Manipulation in Plant Improvement. Peter H. Raven is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, and recipient of the National Medal of Science. He has written or coauthored numerous books. Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University. He is author of The Population Bomb and is a Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Crafoord Prize recipient.
“When the concerns about feeding 10 billion people in 2050 are discussed, issues about population growth, food security, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, climate change, water pollution and depletion, threats to biodiversity, resource constraints, crop yield enhancement and pest control strategies come to mind. All these topics are discussed in fifteen chapters authored by respected authorities. This volume should serve as excellent reference for those researching issues of food and agriculture.” —Gurdev S. Khush, University of California, Davis, World Food Prize laureate, author of Cytogenetics of Aneuploids
“I highly recommend this book. Every individual even remotely connected to science or agriculture, and for that matter every thoughtful individual, must come to appreciate the urgency with which the world must understand and address the most critical challenge of our time.”—Rajeev K. Varshney, Research Program Director, Genetic gains at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
"The sheer range of topics covered will enhance students' understanding of what a future agriculture needs to encompass so as to fulfill its ongoing role in feeding the world."—J. L. Hatfield, Choice