Excerpt from the August, 1974, CIA report, entitled: Potential Implications of Trends in World Population, Food Production, and Climate. Full document is available below.
“The widespread crop shortfalls in 1972 and the energy and fertilizer crunches in ’73 and ’74 have
raised anew the basic question of whether the production of food can keep pace with demand over the next few decades. Concern about the capability of many of the poorer countries to provide for their growing population is widespread and rising. Major international conferences planned for the second half of this year–i.e., the World Population Conference in August and the World Food Conference in November– will focus on various aspects of this question.
There is moreover, growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world is undergoing a cooling trend. If it continues, as feared, it could restrict production in both the USSR and China among other states, and could have an enormous impact, not only on the food-population balance, but also on the world balance of power.
This paper briefly reviews present trends and projections for world population and food production under assumptions of “normal” weather, and then essays a necessarily tentative exploration of the ramifications of a cooling climate. A final section address the political and other implications for the US of its potential role as the main food exporter in an increasingly hungry world.”