The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It

The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It

The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It

The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It


In The Coming Famine, Julian Cribb lays out a vivid picture of impending planetary crisis--a global food shortage that threatens to hit by mid-century--that would dwarf any in our previous experience. Cribb's comprehensive assessment describes a dangerous confluence of shortages--of water, land, energy, technology, and knowledge--combined with the increased demand created by population and economic growth. Writing in brisk, accessible prose, Cribb explains how the food system interacts with the environment and with armed conflict, poverty, and other societal factors. He shows how high food prices and regional shortages are already sending shockwaves into the international community. But, far from outlining a doomsday scenario, The Coming Famine offers a strong and positive call to action, exploring the greatest issue of our age and providing practical suggestions for addressing each of the major challenges it raises.


This book is a wake-up call.

It deals with the most urgent issue facing humanity in the twenty-first century, perhaps in all of history: the planetary emergency over whether or not we can sustain our food supply through the midcentury peak in human numbers, demand, and needs. It reflects on the likely consequences of our failure to do so.

Many, if not all, of the matters raised here have been voiced by various experts in agriculture, water, energy, trade, climate change, and other issues. Unfortunately, their voices have not been heeded as they should have been. The world has ignored the ominous constellation of factors that now make feeding humanity sustainably our most pressing task—even in times of economic and climatic crisis.

This book is written for the ordinary citizen of Planet Earth who wants to understand what our children and grandchildren face in their lifetimes—and what we must all do to avoid it.

It is written for all those who eat, and for those who intend that their children should eat in the future.

It doesn’t claim to have all the answers: this is a remarkably complex and perturbing challenge. It does, however, gather together positive and practical ideas that show the way. And it reminds us that we humans are highly adaptive when our survival is at stake.

I am particularly grateful to the Crawford Fund for International . . .

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