Dickson Despommier, professor at Columbia University, says no longer able to rely on the countryside for food, people all over the world are moving to cities.
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The Third Green Revolution Question: What is the Third Green Revolution? When horizontal soil-based farming fails on a mega-scale, it hasn’t done that yet. It’s failing in pieces around the world, but it hasn’t yet failed to the point of creating such food shortages that entire populations of countries go starving. Now I think anybody who has paid attention to Africa will disagree with that statement, so I will qualify that by saying there are some areas of the world where farming could have never occurred, and then we’ve forced that square peg into that round hole so rigorously that those countries will be the first to suffer. And I’m talking about Niger and all of these central African countries and some Saharan. But for the most part for the rest of the world we’re still doing okay. It looks like we’re doing okay, and it doesn’t matter if crops fail here, we’ll get another crop from over here. Chile and South America in general throughout Southeast Asia I’ve done a lot of traveling there just on vacations, and the abundance of food and the varieties of food are incredible. You go down to Thailand or Cambodia or Laos or Vietnam you’re just amazed at the variety of stuff that people have available to them. By the way that can’t continue. There’s another trend to pay attention to, and that is urbanization. If you now look at the trend of where people choose to live rather than where they have to live, they choose to live in the cities. And by the year 2030, so I’m told, that’s not my figures but the World Population Council and WHO and other places like that make these predictions based on current trends, and about 80 percent of us will live in a city by the time the year 2030 comes around and that’s not that far in the future. Okay, so the third green revolution in my view needs to occur by learning how to grow our food in those urban settings.