Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The sustainable solution you initially mentioned was happenstance population decline, and there was something about that that made me think of a smoker lighting a cigarette in a tiny, cramped room full of non-smokers, thus my reaction and eventually the ego-centered comment, sorry if this was a bit overblown.

For the rest, there is nothing particularly messianic about mentioning that current meat outputs are unsustainable. Me arguing that people should eat less meat may be messianic in tone, but the content behind the tone is factual. Maybe you are a little bit eager to see something messianic about the content itself because you feel an urge to be in disagreement with vegetarians (just a suggestion).

Factual dare I say? Well, let's look at this for a second. The first graph in my diary, representing necessary land surface vs percentage of meat consumption in Germany, shows two lines, one with an all-organic production (the dotted line), the other with regular industry-type production. You will have noticed that the all-organic solution requires as much surface land as is used today (18 million hectares) only if meat consumption is reduced by 39 to 23%. Per german person.

Now, since oil-base fertilizers are due to disappear together with oil, organic is soon going to be the only way to grow food, right?

And, Germany is due to lose 4 million (83 to 79) of its population by 2050, according to a recent study by the European Commission which we talked about here on ET.

So, if it's safe to say that by 2050 oil-based fertilizers will be all but gone, then can we expect that a 16% drop in meat consumption for a 4% population drop simply means that Germans will just have to eat less meat?

Germans could always use more arable land to maintain their meat consumption level, but deforestation and more land use defeats the purpose, particularly if more land will already be required to grow biofuels and such things that lack of oil will have made more important.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 12:05:30 AM EST
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