They Paved Pears and Rice and Put Up a Parking Lot

| March 12, 2001

They Paved Pears and Rice and Put Up a Parking Lot, Lester R. Brown, Grist
As the automobile makes inroads into densely populated developing countries like China and India, cropland may be sacrificed for highways. Extrapolating from data on the U.S., Europe, and Japan, Lester R. Brown, founder of the World Watch Institute, estimates that China could lose almost half of the land that it uses to farm rice in order to create paved roads for cars. He also asserts that 'The competition between cars and crops for land is becoming a competition between the rich and the poor, between those who can afford automobiles and those who struggle to buy enough food.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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