Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Friday, 31 August, 2007

  • Kirsty Wark
  • 31 Aug 07, 03:48 PM

Food productionCombine harvester

Hello viewers - I hope you've eaten well tonight - some fish perhaps, lasagne, vegetables and rice? Imagine the prospect of producing more food in the next 50 years, than during the past 10,000 years. Apocalyptic? Yes, but not a fantasy.

Scientists meeting in Iceland this weekend are warning that to keep up with the growth in population we might need this much foodstuff. But where is the fertile land to grow crops and rear animals? And are we going to achieve the food levels and quality we need by massive agribusinesses, or by local production?

This is all up for discussion at the UN-sponsored forum in Iceland and we will create some of the debate here on Newsnight tonight. Do tell us what you think.

Are Gordon Brown's defences against a EU reform referendum being chipped away from within as well as without? Following last week's decision by the RMT and the GMB to push for a motion on a referendum at the TUC conference, Keith Vaz, the former Europe Minister delivered his own call for a referendum today and it seems the foreign Secretary David Miliband has refused to rule out a referendum.

Michael Crick our political editor reports on the chances of a poll, and whether the pressure to hold one may have an impact on the timing of the general election.

Kung Fu
And then we have a colourful film from the Shaolin temple in China, home to hundreds of warrior monks who practise kung fu every day.

Following the resurgence of the Shaolin Bhuddist monks after the repression of the Cultural Revolution Shaolin is now big business with a million tourists a year, a kung fu reality show, and thousands of young Chinese coming to learn kung fu every year.

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