I attended Professor Tim Lang’s presentation at the Royal Society of Edinburgh last evening.
Fascinating and shocking.
I took a lot of notes and I intend to write something of my thoughts here at some point in the near future. Meantime, the real job and future engagements get in the way…
Professor Lang is enthusiastic and passionate about his topic of food security and sustainability. Far as I can tell his main beliefs include.
: Fixing food production will not help. He calls it “productionism”. We have to fix the demand side.
: It is wrong to import food into the UK
: What we eat is no longer up to us
: We must eat less to allow others to eat more
: We should grow up and not behave like Americans
: We must be “low carbon” and “healthy”
My observations (and horror):
: he does not describe the risks, e.g. “because of [this], [that] will happen, leading to …”
: he does not propose any mitigation actions directed to these risks
: he does not outline any benefits or costs
: he shows lots of “data” in graphs with psuedo scales
: while using the word frequently, he does not “elaborate” on what sustainability actually is and how it can be measured
The question that popped into my head this morning upon waking that I do wish I would have asked him is:
“Professor Lang. Thank you for an enlightening lecture. As is clear, the purpose of food is to sustain the lives of people on this planet. Do you think the population of people is now optimum, and if so, why? And if not, why?”
He needs to read Matt Ridley’s recent book.