State Department Official: 'Can Agriculture Save the Planet Before It Destroys It?'
7:01 AM, May 22, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry recently told the graduating class of Boston College that climate change is threatening "nothing less than the future of the entire planet." Now another State Department official is asserting that even if the planet dodges the climate change bullet, the earth may be done in by agriculture.
Jack Bobo, chief of biotechnology and textile trade policy and senior advisor for biotechnology in the Department of State's bureau of economic and business affairs, recently wrote a two-part article for ArcticApples.com, the website of a Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. The article, entitled "Can Agriculture Save the Planet Before It Destroys It?," were republished recently on DipNote, the official U.S. Department of State blog (the original source of the article was not noted).
Mr. Bobo's concern revolves around earth's growing population against the backdrop of the "negatives consequences of agriculture -- from polluted waterways to disappearing rainforests":
Mr. Bobo notes the tremendous advances in agriculture particularly over the past century and concedes that the "rapid pace of technological development suggests that scientists may, indeed, be able to sustain the growth of the past." However, he notes:
According to Mr. Bobo, between now and 2050 will be the "most important 40 years there have ever been in the history of agriculture." On the up side, if earth can make it to 2050 when population growth is projected to crash, "we will be good forever" in Mr. Bobo's words:
While Mr. Bobo is worried, he places great faith in science to help solve the agricultural crisis, noting that while he is the "first to admit that science doesn’t always get it right. It’s also true, however, that you can’t get it right without science." The article ends on an optimistic note that, if everyone does his part, "agriculture just might save the planet."
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