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Too late 2

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, October 8th, 2009 - 4 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags:

From Inter Press:

Climate Change: Food Supply Hangs in the Balance

Uxbridge, Canada – Rocketing food prices and hundreds of millions more starving people will be part of humanity’s grim future without concerted action on climate change and new investments in agriculture, experts reported this week.

The current devastating drought in East Africa, where millions of people are on the brink of starvation, is a window on our future, suggests a new study looking at the impacts of climate change.

“Twenty-five million more children will be malnourished in 2050 due to effects of climate change,” such as decreased crop yields, crop failures and higher food prices, concluded the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) study.

“Of all human economic activities, agriculture is by far the most vulnerable to climate change,” warned the report’s author, Gerald Nelson, an agricultural economist with IFPRI, a Washington-based group focused on global hunger and poverty issues.

The report, “Quantifying the Costs of Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change”, may be the “most comprehensive assessment of the impact of climate change on agriculture to date”, as IFPRI claims, but researchers concede that there is no current way to quantify all of the future repercussions of changing weather patterns on the food supply.

This means extremes like droughts or floods will happen more often or last longer, and extreme temperature shifts are more likely. The past is no longer a reliable guide for farmers because the fundamental conditions in the atmosphere have been altered – far more heat is being trapped in the atmosphere today because of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than at any time since the dawn of agriculture.

The enormous glacier system of the Himalayas-Hindu Kush and high-elevation Tibetan Plateau are the main source of water for 1.3 billion people in Asia. Recent studies as reported by IPS revealed that these glaciers are shrinking faster than anywhere on the planet and could melt away by 2035, according to the International Commission on Snow and Ice in Kathmandu, Nepal. … A similar situation is now evident in South America, where massive glaciers that provide water for tens if not hundreds of millions of people are melting away.

“Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change because farming is so weather-dependent. Small-scale farmers in developing countries will suffer the most,” noted report co-author Mark Rosegrant, director of IFPRI’s Environment and Production Technology Division.

IFPRI’s call for a seven-billion-dollar investment will not guarantee that all negative impacts can be overcome, acknowledged Nelson, “But business as usual will guarantee disastrous consequences for the human race.”

There is one week left to make a submission on the National-Maori Party changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme. Submissions close on Tuesday 13 October 2009. The Greens have a Submission Guide up. Please submit.

4 comments on “Too late 2 ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Although I will be making a submission on this in the next day or two I would also like to point out that that warning was initiated ib Garrett Hardins Tragedy of the Commons. It’s not ACC that’s going to cause what the article says but massive over population.

    • Bill 1.1

      But your Tragedy of the Commons is missing something.

      What about democratic control of resources and distribution? (We’ll leave private ownership in tact for the sake of this illustration even although it is fundamentally anti-democratic.) The herdsman has no right to add one more beast to his herd because it is not his lone decision to make. Insofar as his act would have an impact on others, they too have a legitimate say on whether another beast should be added to his herd or not.

      So, the Tragedy of the Commons is not inevitable.

      Oh, and wanted to add. This b/s about overpopulation is really simply a guise for targeting the poor. The poor may have more children, but the poor use bugger all of the resources of the commons when compared to rich pricks. There’s a link I don’t have time to find before the edit function disappears…..

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        So, the Tragedy of the Commons is not inevitable.

        No it’s not but it does require rules governing the use of resources. Preferably democratic and informed rules.

        Oh, and wanted to add. This b/s about overpopulation is really simply a guise for targeting the poor.

        No Bill, it isn’t – there really are 6 billion people too many on the planet. This is where the tragedy is most apparent in the total lack of rules regarding population control.

    • Bill 1.2

      Here’s the link here with a wee taster pasted

      “A paper published yesterday in the journal Environment and Urbanization shows that the places where population has been growing fastest are those in which carbon dioxide has been growing most slowly, and vice versa.”

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