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The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It Paperback – 9 Sep 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (9 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520271238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520271234
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,329,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"All of us interested in a sustainable food system should read this book and become part of the conversation to determine how we can best redesign the global food system to meet the challenges ahead."--"Audubon Magazine"

"Makes clear just how intertwined global warming is with food security."--"Chronicle of Higher Education"

"Presents a smart and compelling description of the challenges our children will likely face as the world's growing population and our shrinking resources collide. "--"National Catholic Reporter"

"The sheer number of terrifying facts make the book gripping."--Mark Bittman"New York Times Book Review" (08/24/2010)

"Cribb . . . advocates making much better use of our brains and investing much more in improving both small and large-scale agriculture."--Stephen Booth"Law Society Journal" (03/01/2012)

The sheer number of terrifying facts make the book gripping. --Mark Bittman"New York Times Book Review" (08/24/2010)"

Cribb . . . advocates making much better use of our brains and investing much more in improving both small and large-scale agriculture. --Stephen Booth"Law Society Journal" (03/01/2012)"

From the Inside Flap

"Julian Cribb warns with a well synthesized evidence base about a potential famine in the making. The food crisis is already daily reality for one billion people. The book is not just a warning but offers sound guidance for the needed actions; easily understandable but suitably comprehensive, leaving no excuse for inaction."Joachim von Braun, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute
"The Coming Famine is an erudite and learned analysis of humanity's greatest challenge. At this very minute we are jeopardizing the rights to food for a billion people, and the effects will be felt by us all through migration, dietary changes and increased health risks, whether we believe it or not. This is a book all thinking people should read." Lindsay Falvey, University of Cambridge"

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Julian Cribb is at his best when describing what is actually happening now and is likely to happen in the reasonably near future. From my experience of farming in several parts of the world and my observations in many others this book is an excellent resume of what is actually happening in world food supplies. My biggest criticism is that he does not really address the complexities that will arise from shortages when they really start to bite. However I fully accept that these are unknowns that will depend on the actual circumstances when they occur
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been following changes in climate, science, economics, politics and demography for more than 30 years now and I can say that this book is confirming in a thoroughly documented way the evolution I have noticed all around. The book still expresses hopes for the future, but I wonder if common sense will prevail. Greed is hard to overcome, as the facts in the book clearly demonstrate. In short this is a book that everyone should read, at least if they do not want to put their head into the sand.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this book should be "Apocalypse Now". Please!!! I could not finish the first chapter. One more product of the industry of fear that has permeated our literature. It is very sad to see something like it being sold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Food and Oil 26 Jan. 2011
By L. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book. The author covers many of the world's problems, not just famine, because most of the major problems are correlated with each other, especially peak oil. Our farms today are large and employ only a few people because they rely on massive tractors, combines, and other equipment, and they all run on oil.

However, the elephant in the room when it comes to World problems is the explosion in population. The author delves into all of these problems and correlations, and more. I am recommending this book to my friends because these are not future problems, they are hitting us now. In fact, my major complaint with the book is that the author focused on what might happen by 2050 if we do not start tackling these problems now, but in my mind, the horse is already more than half way out of the barn and we have not even started a national dialogue about any of them. This is a must read book for anyone with children, grand children, or who manages investments. The next 25 years are not going to look anything like the last 50 years. You need to be talking about this with your love ones now while there is still time to plan.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain food 6 Sept. 2010
By A. colbert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished "The Coming Famine" and thought it was a smart, well written, interesting and compelling description of the challenges my children will likely face as the world's growing population and our shrinking resources collide. The author writes with authority, cites credible research, and finds a measured path between sounding a wake up bell and offering hope for the human race. There is urgency behind every word, and this is an important book. Like many people, I have had a complacent belief that science/research will find ways for us to produce superfoods that will largely (magically?) keep up with humankind's demand, and his chapters on agro R and D were sobering. Living in the northeast US with its abundant H20 has made it hard to pay close attention to the water woes of China and Africa, and i had under-appreciated the connection between famine and ethnic strife.

This book should be widely read. It will make you take a better look at the source of your larder, view your green, sprinklered lawn with an eye toward permaculture and food plants, and become thriftier with water and less wasteful generally. There are action plans here at the macro and micro level that might just save the planet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coming Famine 11 Dec. 2011
By riverdove - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. I am buying another copy so I can share it around with friends.
The author brings up subjects that are not addressed by other authors such as the coming Phosphorus shortfall. He has a great overview of what is happening. Dont be sidetracked by shortsighted critics who cannot see the big picture.
I spent a lot of my life working on cattle stations, farms and fishing boats. I have also been a technician with Parks and Wildlife . This has given me a view from both sides which is necessary for a better understanding.
5.0 out of 5 stars This information is great to ponder & decide how to prepare 15 Jan. 2017
By M.O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This information is great to ponder & decide how to prepare. We built a greenhouse, as a result of reading this!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Call to Action 29 Aug. 2010
By Susan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"This book is a wake-up call. It deals with the most urgent issue facing humanity in the twenty-first century, perhaps in all of history: the planetary emergency over whether or not we can sustain our food supply through the midcentury peak in human numbers, demand, and needs. It reflects on the likely consequences of our failure to do so."--Julian Cribb, Preface, The Coming Famine

This book brings us a message that we all need to hear: that resource depletions, climate change challenges, and growth in human numbers and appetites pose a dire threat to our food supply. An Australian journalist and Director of National Awareness for Australia's national science agency, Julian Cribb joins a growing chorus of other writers who have looked at food issues from a variety of angles. There are three major differences between this book and most of the other "end of food" books, however.

1) "The Coming Famine" deals systematically with all the major threats to the food supply: water shortages; soil depletions; nutrient loss and waste; fishery collapse; the Green Revolution and private ownership of genetic material; war and mass migrations; peak oil; climate change; uncontrolled human population growth; and unfair trade practices.

2) It focuses attention on the twin demand pressures of population growth and increased human appetites--the twin "elephants in the kitchen."

3) It offers practical suggestions in every chapter that encourage the reader to commit to positive actions. For example, in his chapter on climate change, Cribb suggests rebalancing our diets toward foods with a smaller carbon footprint; reducing consumption of meat, oils, and dairy products; selecting seasonal, locally-grown foods. (Losing hope? Plant a garden.)

Chapter by chapter, Cribb builds the argument that our habits of wasteful, irresponsible, and ignorant consumption have already created the conditions for an inevitable global famine, and that the only way to avert it is to alter our current practices. He bolsters every assertion of fact with a recital of terrifying and nearly irrefutable evidence, fully documented in the notes and delivered in a dispassionate voice that is all the more compelling because it is neither angry nor accusatory.

Cribb doesn't claim to have all the answers, and some of his solutions are contradictory. (For example, it will be hard to develop a second, high-tech "Green Revolution" at the same time that we're running out of fossil fuels and coping with rising sea levels.) But this important book organizes the challenges that face us in a clear and understandable way, provides convincing factual support for the problems he describes, and reminds us (with a note of hope) that humans are a highly adaptive species that can meet the challenges if they can muster enough global will to get the job done.

Cribb's journalist style and his blizzard of facts do not make for pleasant reading, and you may be tempted to put the book down before you've finished it. Don't. It deserves to be read to the end. "Today's food is too cheap to last," Cribb writes, in the book's final section. "To avert the coming famine we all need to start paying its true price--not blindly transferring the cost of what we consume today to our grandchildren tomorrow."

Put The Coming Famine at the top of your reading list. And when you've finished it, go out and tell your friends and colleagues about it. It's that important.
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