Zoe Williams puts forward an extraordinary argument (There’s plenty more space for humanity on this ‘tiny’ island, 2 November). She suggests that because “only” 10.6% of England’s land area is urbanised there is room for a great many more people than currently live here. This ignores lots of things, but let’s focus on one: food.
Despite an intensive agriculture that depends heavily on pesticides, fertilisers and diesel fuel for tractors, neither England nor the UK is self-sufficient in food. In fact we import 40% of our food, and the proportion is rising. That might not matter if we could be sure that we’ll be able to import food in increasing quantities.
Source: Guardian Environment