Dr John Gilliland OBE, Hon DSc, FRSA, FRAgs, address the Club on the issue of ‘Food versus Fuel’. He gave a step by step account of where the world is at present regarding energy resources and energy consumption. He set this in the context of population growth and climate change. Over all he highlighted how the world cannot simply continue to consume energy in the way it is currently doing and expect to be able to survive.
John brought out the moral dilemma facing us – do we pour resources into the energy rich developed world to maintain the style we have come to expect or do we leave something to help feed the developing countries?
As well as looking at the global context of the problem he showed the impact of the problem to our local economy. The agriculture based economy, particularly our animal based agriculture, is a significant contributor to green house gases. In addition it is a net user of energy compared with return. John pointed out that the industry needs to find ways to counteract these issues that are suitable to our situation in order for our industry to survive and it is hoped prosper.
It was an evening of enlightenment, not only to the scale of the problem but John also highlighted some success stories from around the world, show how when forced to some areas have been able to make significant changes that suit societies needs but that give hope for the future. One of the key messages was that everyone is going to have to accept some degree of change for the security of future generations.