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30 September 2009

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Its a big loss the Ireland's potato famine
What dreadful catastrophe will occur if there’s a famine in a heavily populated area of PNG? The current situation in the Trobriands is a classic example of what happens when too many people meet too little food.
We should think about it.

Global warming, over-population, land crisis, tsunamis, TNT, or whatever: it's simply Russian roulette. Take your pick.

Laurie M

Is there a looming 'food crisis' or is it a 'population crisis'?

Science might extend the current amount of food being produced for a few years but that will only increase the eventual pressure as the world population expands to consume the food available.

That sounds like an adaption of 'Parkinson's Law' doesn't it? If it wasn't so serious, we could all laugh.

Australia's population hits 22 million today after a decade of drought and in a year where drought and climate change are further reducing our ability to produce our food.

Increased immigration over the last few years has substantially bolstered our population but at what point will this increased population impact on our ability to support it and at our standard of living?

When that point is reached, will we be able to import food, as do many countries today. Who might be able to export food to us at that time?

If we can't import our food as it is not available or the cost is too high, will we be prepared to change our eating habits and consume what is currently being eaten elsewhere?

When I was a child, many people ate what they could produce in their backyard. Home grown vegetables and eggs were commonplace. Now, who would, let alone could, go back to producing their own food?

Just imagine the outcry from those people would don't like being woken up by a rooster and many now live in high rise units where little food production is possible?

Our drive to pack more into our 'sardine cities' has effectively covered most of the previously fertile land that could and used to grow food with non food producing housing and industry.

Paul, what I think you are implying is the Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin's 1968 paper of that title.

A population that is exploding leading to increased consumption of resources, in this case arable land for food at certain quantity output.
I do acknowledge that some of Hardins theory has been proven incorrect but none the less his main argument being that a growing population can not be supported on limited resources before the resources(land for food) are stressed beyond carrying capacity.

With PNG government moving at PNG time, i think time is not in our favor to change plenty of things to prevent such disaster as you predict and as experienced else where.

In a previous trip to PNG my family in the highlands were already complaining that the kaukau harvest was not good because they had recently at the time experienced to much rain causing the kaukau to rot. They acknowledged that the old breed of kaukau was better suited to such weather conditions, but they had not planted any of the old breed along side the new breed.

Why in PNG are we quick to adopt GM foods when in other developed countries such introduction has faced huge public opposition (case, of Western Australia recently intro GM canola and wheat, i think last year was first harvest. huge campaign was launched against this but state govt allowed it anyway).

During the Second World War, Cocos (Keeling) Islands were garrisoned by some 9,000 troops including many Commonwealth and Indian soldiers to defend the islands against a Japanese invasion.

During that time, the total marine stocks (fish and shellfish) of the Islands were completely denuded and took years to recover. The reefs were virtually dead and could not support the
indigenous Cocos Malay community.

The threat of starvation forced Clunies-Ross, the Islands owner, to require enforced emigration to the then British colony of Sarawak in Northern Borneo.

No amount of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD's) will be able to substitute for food producing gardens. FAD's cannot produce increased fish stocks to substitute for failing village gardens.

PNG land ownership systems will also prevent any migration to land that might be arable and available but is already owned by other clans.

PNG is starting to come face to face with the reality that it cannot sustain and feed its growing population. Examples of what will happen when this situation becomes desperate abound all over the world.

Look at Haiti, an island in the Caribbean. The population has virtually expanded until the country cannot feed itself. The viability of the country has reached the point of no return and the people can only survive(in a relative sense) on foreign handouts.

Increasingly, people with nothing to lose will try to illegally try to emigrate to lands where they see a hope for the future.

Why is it that no one in government is prepared to face the inevitable and plan for the imminent future?

Global warming may be happening but over-population will be a 'faster disaster'.

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