Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beginnings Of Climate Change Drive World Food Prices Up, Up, Up

Global climate change deniers, please go testify for your idiocy somewhere else; sane people are seeing the leading edge of a very large and very real economic... not political... problem. Paul Krugman outlines the mechanism by which climate change drives, and very well may drive to extremes, the price of food in some places in which people are desperate to say the least.


  1. Grain is a basic to all food production, whether it is consumed by people or farm animals.

    The major grain exporters are the US, Canada, Russia, and Australia.

    When the Russian crop fails from drought and the Australian crop fails from floods in some places and droughts in others, grain prices are going to go up, and the effect will ripple through the dairy, meat, and poultry industries.

    We have monoculture agribusiness to thank for this. The small farmers have been driven out of business, so there is no slack in the system.

    Countries that were once food independent are now importers of basic foods, as their farms have specialized in export foods.

  2. Bryan, monoculture is one of four practices that come to mind when I worry about the future of agriculture. The other three are soil depletion from inappropriate overuse (read Gore's Earth in the Balance), loss of pollination due to bee colony collapse disorder (possibly caused by one or more commonly used insecticides?), and of course global climate change. Three of the four are immediately attributable to "modern" agricultural practices; the fourth, of course, is probably due to other industries.

    I have a feeling that the future does not belong to humankind. We will be a minor species struggling to feed its ever-dwindling population. At some point, life will not even be fun for the obscenely wealthy. And it will happen to many people who are alive today.



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