As the human population grows, it is ever more important to temper our levels of consumption of the Earth’s dwindling resources. Humans currently consume at least 40 percent of potential terrestrial productivity, and some 30 percent of the land on Earth is used to pasture and feed livestock. Food reserves are the lowest they’ve been in 40 years, yet—thanks to an expanding population that the United Nations (UN) expects to grow to more than 9 billion by 2050—the demand for food will increase dramatically over the coming decades. Climate change, reduced productivity of agricultural lands, overfishing, dwindling freshwater resources, pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, and a host of other factors mean that this population increase will place a disproportionate burden on Earth’s ecosphere. Something has to change.
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