Why we must change now by UK’s #FoodSecurity champion, Tim Benton

Tim Benton has got quite a title. He is the champion for the UK Global Food Security Programme. He is also a professor in population ecology at the University of Leeds. In January, he was one of the witnesses at the environment hearing of the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty. In early March, I met up with him in London and had chance to ask him more about his role and how his professional background informed his understanding. Here’s the interview:

Some of the key points he made were that:

  • Unless we change direction in what we consume and how we produce food, that alone would account for a 2 degree rise in global temperatures by 2050
  • Change requires facing up to the impossibility of infinite economic growth in a finite system
  • Without that change of direction conflict is likely as food, water and national security are all linked
  • Change is needed now to avoid passing a 2 degree rise in global temperature in the next decade which would lead into unstoppable positive feedback loops and catastrophic climate change
  • Creating real physical stocks makes sense in face of the likely climate changes and weather extremes
  • There is a lack of public pressure on politicians to take these challenges around food security sufficiently seriously
  • Paying the true cost of food is necessary but must be done in a way that protects the poorest.
  • We cannot assume the future will follow a linear pattern and be much like the past
  • We cannot continue current wasteful practices

About geofftansey

I curate the Food Systems Academy, a free, on-line, open education resource to transform our food systems. I am also a member of the Food Ethics Council and chaired the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, which reported in 2015.
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4 Responses to Why we must change now by UK’s #FoodSecurity champion, Tim Benton

  1. I learn a lot from your blog. Wanted to say thank you!

  2. geofftansey says:

    Thanks. I’m glad you find it useful.

  3. Pingback: Prof. Tim Benton on Food Security | Kitchen Counter Culture

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