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Sun Setting on the American Century… Really?

According to a new government report, America is doomed….

The next two decades will see a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of America as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment by the US intelligence community.

“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons,” said the report by the National Intelligence Council, a body of analysts from across the US intelligence community.

Via the Times Online – Link

While i wonder about some of the content of the article (mainly if the world is going to regress back to a fight over basic needs, America hold the vast majority of the worlds arable land and fresh water supplies). Here is to living in the worlds bread basket with over 10,000 fresh water lakes!

So lets look at the numbers shall we.

Fact is that we have so much food that we’re actually converting it into fuel for our cars. It’s countries with minimal natural resources that are in trouble.

  • The World has 53,914,610 sq km of arable land
    • 10.57% of land is arable
    • .00803 sq km per person
    • 100% of the global population or 6,706,993,152 people
  • America has 1,769,776 sq km of arable land
    • 3.28% of the globally arable land
    • .00582 sq km per person
    • 4.53% of the global population or 303,824,640
  • China has 1,426,108 sq km of arable land
    • 2.64% of the globally arable land
    • .00107 sq km per person
    • 19.83% of the global population or 1,330,044,544
  • India has 1,605,330 sq km of arable land
    • 2.98% of the globally arable land
    • .00140 sq km per person
    • 17.12% of the global population or 1,147,995,904
  • United Kingdom has 56,871.686 sq km of arable land
    • .11% of the globally arable land
    • .00093 sq km per person
    • .1% of the global population or 60,943,912
  • All stats derived from the CIA World Fact Book

According to the numbers America is not likely doomed.

While this is only looking at arable land for food production the numbers are pretty strikingly against China, and India (the only two more populous countries than America).  I included the UK since the article was from the Times Online out of London. While they would never publish these numbers showing that the UK actually has the least amount of arable land for their citizens with china only doing slightly better.

According to the numbers America has about 5X the amount of arable land of each of these three countries per person. If/when the shakedown comes to the power of food production America will be in a very strong position.

This is an unfortunate consequence when your countries have 19.8 (China) and 17.1(India) percent of the worlds population and only 2.6 and 3.0 percent of the farmland. At least here in America we have 4.5% of the population and 3.3% of the farmland.

I looked for data on how much land was needed to sustain one person but couldn’t find anything from a legitimate source during my brief look.