Published on: August 9, 2019by Kevin Coupe
The New York Times writes that “the world’s land and water resources are being exploited at ‘unprecedented rates,’ a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.”
Which, if you are in the food business, ought to matter. A lot.
The report, the Times writes, “found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.
“Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration.” The report says that “food shortages are likely to affect poorer parts of the world far more than richer ones. That could increase a flow of immigration that is already redefining politics in North America, Europe and other parts of the world.”
Indeed, the report also suggests that “a particular danger is that food crises could develop on several continents at once,” which would create a “multi-breadbasket failure” that would be incredibly difficult to address, much less resolve.
(The report was “prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday.” The he Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is described as “an international group of scientists convened by the United Nations that pulls together a wide range of existing research to help governments understand climate change and make policy decisions.”)
The Times writes: “Barring action on a sweeping scale, the report said, climate change will accelerate the danger of severe food shortages. As a warming atmosphere intensifies the world’s droughts, flooding, heat waves, wildfires and other weather patterns, it is speeding up the rate of soil loss and land degradation, the report concludes.”
It isn’t all bad news. (Mostly, but not all.) The
But it will, the report says, require not just Eyes Open, but also specific and quick action. The Times story is worth reading, and I just hope that people who have the responsibility and capability for creating change read it and take it seriously.
- KC's View: