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Energy use and the sustainability of intensifying food production

Energy fuels, and is central to, all physical and biological systems, including the human population and economy. Yet science has missed the significance of civilization’s growing energy consumption. The energetics of the global food system illustrate the counterintuitive aspects of present energy consumption circumstances.

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Fig. 1: Global primary energy consumption and food production by human society.


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We thank C. A. S. Hall for his insightful guidance during the development of this Comment.

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Correspondence to John R. Schramski.

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Schramski, J.R., Woodson, C.B. & Brown, J.H. Energy use and the sustainability of intensifying food production. Nat Sustain 3, 257–259 (2020).

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