What are the food security implications of the ever worsening drought?
“Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.” So says climatologist James Hansen, who co-authored one of the earliest studies on this subject back in 1990.
The food security implications of this are staggering in light of the way we currently farm on a land area roughly equal to the size of South America. Experts say we would have to add another Brazil to that land mass to feed the people expected to arrive by 2050.
Figuring out how to feed nine billion people by mid-century in a Dust-Bowl-ifying world is the task at hand. Working to slash carbon pollution and avoid the worst climate impact scenarios is a big enough challenge.
A 2009 NOAA-led paper warned that, for the Southwestern United States and many semi-arid regions around the world, “the climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.” Impacts that should be expected if we don’t aggressively slash carbon pollution “are irreversible dry-season rainfall reductions in several regions comparable to those of the ‘dust bowl’ era.”
So what’s a body of six or nine billion to do? It’s clear a great humanity can’t turn on a dime. But we can begin to future-proof our food supply. And, we can discuss just how that may be accomplished right here.
To learn more about the ideas for transitioning that are already out there, visit our Modular Agriculture page.
Consider the First Source!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word choreographed an assembly of amino acids into an exquisite array of specific proteins. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” In so doing God demonstrated a penchant for genomic writing, preceeded by an amazing series of prebiotic events, in a highly orchestrated presentation of evolutionary overcontrol.