Earth Policy Institute: Podcast

Environmental analyst Lester R. Brown discusses the global struggle for food security and other themes in his new book, Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity. The U.S. Great Drought of 2012 has raised corn prices to the highest level in history. The world price of food, which has already doubled over the last decade, is slated to climb higher, ushering in a new wave of food unrest. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold,” Brown writes. He explains the factors leading to higher demand for food and the new challenges to food production in the U.S. and worldwide.

Direct download: FPEP_Telecon.mp3
Category:Press Teleconferences -- posted at: 12:43pm EST

September estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show 2012 U.S. corn yields at 123 bushels per acre, down by a fourth from the 2009 high of 165 bushels per acre. Yields are the lowest since 1995 and well below the average of the last 30 years. The summer heat and drought also hit U.S. soybean yields, which are down 20 percent from their 2009 peak. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Heat_and_drought_ravage_corn_crop.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 11:22am EST

Forests provide many important goods, such as timber and paper. They also supply essential services—for example, they filter water, control water runoff, protect soil, regulate climate, cycle and store nutrients, and provide habitat for countless animal species and space for recreation. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: World_Forest_Area_Still_On_the_Decline.mp3
Category:Eco-Economy Indicators -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Over the last two months, the price of corn has been climbing. On July 19th, it exceeded $8 per bushel for the first time, taking the world into a new food price terrain. With heat and drought still smothering the Corn Belt, we may well see more all-time highs in coming weeks as the extent of crop damage becomes clearer. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Rising_Temperature_Raising_Food_Prices.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 10:41am EST