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Cost-effectiveness of interventions for alternate food in the United States to address agricultural catastrophes
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
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Pearce Publications: Energy Conservation • Energy Policy • Industrial Symbiosis • Life Cycle Analysis • Materials Science • Open Source • Photovoltaic Systems • Solar Cells • Sustainable Development • Sustainability Education
- David C. Denkenberger & Joshua M. Pearce. Cost-effectiveness of interventions for alternate food in the United States to address agricultural catastrophes. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 27 (2018), pp. 278-289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.10.014 open access
The literature suggests there is ~0.3 percent chance per year of full-scale nuclear war. This event would have ~20 percent probability of causing U.S. mass starvation due to collapse of conventional agriculture from smoke blocking the sun. Alternate foods exploit fossil fuels (e.g. methane digesting bacteria) and stored biomass (e.g. mushrooms growing on dead trees) and are technically capable of saving all Americans from starving. However, current awareness is low and the technologies need to be better developed. This Monte Carlo study investigates the economics of three interventions including planning, research and development. Even the upper bound of $20,000 per life saved is far lower than the millions of dollars typically paid to save an American life. Therefore, it should be a high priority to implement these interventions as they would improve American resilience and reduce the possibility of civilization collapse.
existential risk; nuclear terrorism; alternate food; global catastrophic risk; Monte Carlo; United States
|Feeding Everyone No Matter What|
- Feeding Everyone No Matter What - The full book main page
- David Denkenberger and Joshua Pearce, Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe , 1st Edition, Academic Press, 2015
- Free Preview: Google books
- Cover on Academia
- Facebook page
- Alternative Foods as a Solution to Global Food Supply Catastrophes
- Resilience to global food supply catastrophes
- Feeding Everyone if the Sun is Obscured and Industry is Disabled
- Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Alternate Food to Address Agricultural Catastrophes Globally
- Dave Denkenberger Publications
- Feeding Everyone: Solving the Food Crisis in Event of Global Catastrophes that Kill Crops or Obscure the Sun
- Food without sun: Price and life-saving potential
- OSE Wiki "Synfood" (i.e. protein and other dietary components from microbial organisms fed on gas or other hydrocarbons)
Davos IDRC Conference
- Feeding Everyone if Industry is Disabled
- Providing Non-food Needs if Industry is Disabled
- Vitamins in Agricultural Catastrophes
- Integrative Risk Management for Catastrophe Destroying 10-20% of Global Food Supply
In the News
- Should we be spending no less on alternate foods than AI now? Effective Altruism