La menace des pénuries alimentaires pour la civilisation humaine

PALO ALTO – L’Humanité fait face à un amalgame grandissant de graves problèmes environnementaux intimement reliés, à savoir les défis souvent évoqués comme les changements climatiques, ainsi que l’épée de Damoclès tout aussi inquiétante qui menace la survie des organismes qui assurent des services écosystémiques essentiels dont nos vies dépendent telles la pollinisation croisée et la limitation des parasites des cultures. L’Humanité aussi est confrontée à de nombreuses menaces : dissémination de produits chimiques synthétiques de haute toxicité à l’échelle planétaire ; épidémies de masse et baisse drastique dans l’offre et la qualité de ressources minérales et hydriques, ainsi que des terres arables.

Les guerres de ressources sont déjà une réalité ; en cas de conflit « restreint » pour des ressources nucléaires entre, disons, l’Inde et le Pakistan, nous savons maintenant que cette seule guerre pourrait mettre un terme à la civilisation. Mais apparemment, la menace la plus grave qui pèse sur la viabilité de la planète dans les prochaines décennies confirme un large consensus : la difficulté de plus en plus grande d’empêcher les grandes famines.

Comme le mentionne le rapport 2013 du Forum économique mondial : « La sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle mondiale est une préoccupation majeure de la communauté internationale alors que la planète se prépare à nourrir une population en croissance avec une base de ressources qui ira toujours en s’amenuisant, dans une ère de volatilité et d’incertitude accrues ». En fait, le rapport note que plus de « 870 millions de personnes souffrent actuellement de la faim et plus de gens encore risquent de pâtir d’événements climatiques extrêmes et de flambées de prix ». Il est donc de plus en plus urgent d’adopter des mesures visant à « accroître la sécurité ».

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