Dire warning from climate experts: Global food security is at risk

posted at 5:36 pm on August 16, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Blergh. I’m not sure I care to count how many times we’ve heard about the perilous position of global food supplies from various sorts of gloom-and-doomers since the dawn of the green movement. There were the Malthusian pessimists who wrongly glommed on to the idea that there was no possible way that food supplies could keep up with an exponentially growing population, and then there were the diehard green purists who insist that no good can come from genetically modified crops despite their innovative ability to stop hunger for so many. But the gamut wouldn’t be complete without climate scientists finding more ways that global warming poses very scary and immediate threats to our daily lives, and food is about as basic and tangible a necessity as it gets.

Food security experts working on a chapter in a U.N. overview of global warming due in 2014 said governments should take more account of how extremes of heat, droughts or floods could affect food supplies from seeds to consumers’ plates. …

“It is more than just the fact that there are droughts in the United States that will reduce yields,” he said. Like the other experts, he said was giving personal opinions, not those of the U.N. panel.

After harvest, floods could wash away roads or bridges, for instance, between fields and factories processing the crop. Or warehouses storing food could be damaged by more powerful storms. Such factors were likely to hit poor nations hardest.

“There are reasons to expect more frequent (price) spikes, given that it will be more common to see conditions that are considered extreme,” said David Lobell, an assistant professor at Stanford University in California. …

“It’s a distributional problem – there is enough food in the world. But the distribution doesn’t work,” said Bruce McCarl, a professor at Texas A&M University. Climate extremes could aggravate food price swings, he said.

The fact that the effects of variables such as extreme weather are likely to hit poor nations hardest is not news. There are a lot more hungry people in those nations, because those nations lack the robust physical, economic, and legal infrastructures that support a thriving economy. Poor countries are usually poor because the people are suffering under the oppression of communism, socialism, protectionism, dictatorships and oligarchies, and other economic and governmental ills. Countries witness wealth creation when they quit with the central planning and allow their people the freedom to enterprise and develop, and in turn, wealthier societies are healthier societies. Maybe the United Nations could focus their energies and resources on encouraging freedom and economic growth instead of lecturing more developed nations about how the activity of prosperity is supposedly imposing on others? Just a thought.

And perhaps it’s just me, but I thought that we were always supposed to assume that “weather isn’t climate,” or something? Do these scientists seem perhaps a bit eager to play up the alarm of individual data points to play up their globalist agenda?

Sorry, but I just don’t buy it — as I’ve said before, I almost unfailingly tend toward the school of rational optimism. That’s the beauty of free markets: They can adapt quickly, efficiently, accurately, and with agility to worldwide demands and conditions, as long as human stupidity via paternalistic government doesn’t get in their way and gum up the works.


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Narf?

What should we do tomorrow night Brain?

lorien1973 on August 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

O/T but sooo awesome:

It’s been 24 hours since Chris McMurray [owner of Crumb and Get It Bakery] said “no” to a photo op with Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

And his Radford bakery, “Crumb and Get It” has been slammed ever since.

“Crumb and Get It” was so busy Thursday they had to close their doors at 1:15 p.m. because they ran out of food.

That just warms the cockles of my heart.

FlatFoot on August 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Hey, maybe we could stop burning corn in our gas tanks and eat it instead.

That’s just crazy enough to work!

Laura Curtis on August 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

wait let me guess…

and only by giving us money and control of industry can we fix this eleventy….

GREAN JOABS

yeah?

harlekwin15 on August 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

After harvest, floods could wash away roads or bridges, for instance, between fields and factories processing the crop. Or warehouses storing food could be damaged by more powerful storms

It’s possible for bad things to happen so let’s all run around in circles waving our arms in the air and screaming hysterically.

What a tool.

single stack on August 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

So let’s put more food in our gas tanks!

Valiant on August 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I have an idea! Let’s turn the water back on in California’s Great Valley!

yubley on August 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I remember back in the 70s during the global cooling scare, hearing adults say things like maybe they should go ahead and build a greenhouse in the back yard, because of the upcoming food shortage due to global cooling. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Laura Curtis on August 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Wheres Kofi Annan when you need a good UN Oil for Food fraud program???

Odie1941 on August 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I have an idea! Let’s turn the water back on in California’s Great Valley!

yubley on August 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

That’s just crazy talk, there. Calm yourself. Think of the fishes! Aren’t they more important than we are?

Laura Curtis on August 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I have an idea! Let’s turn the water back on in California’s Great Valley!

What a concept.

(Central Valley, not to be a name nazi.)

ConservativeLA on August 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

One word: Ethanol.

UnderstandingisPower on August 16, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Countries witness wealth creation when they quit with the central planning and allow their people the freedom to enterprise and develop, and in turn, wealthier societies are healthier societies.

There are also anarchic nations that won’t prosper until there is a functional government to protect property rights.

Count to 10 on August 16, 2012 at 5:47 PM

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

Go to the arcives, for Nov. 19 to 24 of 2009,,,Climate Gate E-mails.

It is not just 10 penny nails in global warmings coffin, there be long brass lag screws holding that lie based bull crap 6′ under where it belongs.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Let me guess – socialism will solve all our problems?

gwelf on August 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

And in southern Minnesota this summer I saw flooded cornfields.

There’s always drought and flooding somewhere…it’s cyclical.

This report is based on a fallacious argument. What they’re saying is:

1. All droughts anywhere at anytime in history must be caused by global warming.

2. All floods anywhere at anytime in history must be caused by global warming.

3. All ice ages were caused by global warming.

4. The cessation of ice ages were caused by global warming.

Therefore the conclusion is logical: We need to cut back on CO2 emissions from machines.

What???

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

O/T but sooo awesome:

It’s been 24 hours since Chris McMurray [owner of Crumb and Get It Bakery] said “no” to a photo op with Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

And his Radford bakery, “Crumb and Get It” has been slammed ever since.

“Crumb and Get It” was so busy Thursday they had to close their doors at 1:15 p.m. because they ran out of food.

That just warms the cockles of my heart.

FlatFoot on August 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Ah!!!

Soon – companies all across the US will start issuing press releases about what THEY have built
WITHOUT the federal governments help.

Hmmmm, seems like there might be a business opportunity to build something here?

redguy on August 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

It’s possible for bad things to happen so let’s all run around in circles waving our arms in the air and screaming hysterically.

What a tool.

single stack on August 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

The best part is that the answer to us dealing with a let’s for the sake of argument grant the unproven assertion…..

for dealing with this magic weather God being angry is undoing the industrial revolution that gives us the best chance to adjust….

Hey geniuses who want to use AGW as “we need to kills big oil” the only way we can deal with say the oceans devouring the coasts if it is as abrupt as your sick dreams say is *gasp* a robust and flexible economy that can integrate and adapt refugees….

I also love how there is always ONLY downside and never upside….you know unlike almost every problem in issues that are NOT religious fantasy….

wow it sure does suck this moisture just started violating the laws of thermodynamics and vanished…

*poof* it is like magic well because it is.

You want to help world hunger incentivize open free markets and make getting between a man willing to pay or take donated food and delivery an act of piracy punishable by death.

The United States does not subsidize farms we subsidize hunger with what is in effect welfare for lazy farmers.

Let America work

harlekwin15 on August 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

If the UN says it there is a 99% chance it’s wrong.

gwelf on August 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Reminds me of 3 classic headlines:

“World To End Tomorrow: Yankees Go Down Swinging” — ESPN
“World To End Tomorrow: Stocks Fall on News” — WSJ
“World To End Tomorrow: Women & Minorities Hardest Hit” — NY Times

Stoic Patriot on August 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Yes, the Earth has NEVER, EVER experienced droughts, or floods, or rain, or snow, or hard winters, or any other weather phenomenon. Its been hermetically sealed since the planet coalesced and the temperature and humidity has remained exactly constant the entire time!

Humanity couldn’t possibly survive if there were weather events of any description anywhere in the entire world!

We’d better have the UN and the progressives take over all of the world’s resources to be sure that we survive such a calamity!/////

thatsafactjack on August 16, 2012 at 5:54 PM

What should we do tomorrow night Brain?

lorien1973 on August 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

“We’re going to a place where the sun never sets, the size of your wallet matters, and actors and actresses slave all day.”

AubieJon on August 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Check out Harry Reids work to keep the Yucca Mountain Nuke Waste Storage Facility off line.

1. Prior the power companies had the cost of storage of the nuke waste and did so in large often open water tanks with spent fuel rods stored there.

2. After Harry Reid and the commie Democrats got Yucca Mountain closed down (and it was ready to go on line) guess who is now paying for nuke waste storage….???

U.S. Tax Payers… “because the poor power companies are not able to access Yucca Mountain Waste site.

Now guess who gets re-election money from the power companies who got that expense shifted from them to U.S..??

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

It’s called overpopulation. No one ever talks about the third world over consuming it’s available resources, they always want to talk about the US consuming readily available resources.

aniptofar on August 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Plants like two things best.

CO2

Warm.

Those two things make more food.

End of story.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I guess I better run by Chick-fil-a on the way home and stock up.

Ellis on August 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

In 1979 at New Mexico State University a lecturer came in and said that there would be massive famines by 2000. 33 years ago and I’d heard it before then.

OT Has Hot Air commented on this?

Rancher on August 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

And perhaps it’s just me, but I thought that we were always supposed to assume that “weather isn’t climate,” or something? Do these scientists seem perhaps a bit eager to play up the alarm of individual data points to play up their globalist agenda Ponzi Scheme?


FIFY

Climate is what you want; weather is what you get.

PolAgnostic on August 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM

If “Global food security” has survived Michael Moore and Meggy Mac this far, then I think we’re OK.

stefanite on August 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Real scientists might note that Crops flourish in warm high CO2 environments… but this really isn’t about science is it?

DANEgerus on August 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

That longer growing season from global warming is destroying our food supply!!!!!!

ButterflyDragon on August 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Global food security, huh?
These guys proposed 83% CO2 cuts by 2050. 83% cuts when CO2 use should normally grow (despite the fact that long-term we are transitioning our energy away from CO2). 83% is no joke, and that is exactly what was to be mandated in the cap & trade bill that passed in the U.S. House in 2009. You talk about throwing a wrecking ball into industrial civilization, and precipitating the mother of all permanent economic collapses. No joke, the 83% number was boldfaced in the bill, the 83% cuts would have brought a virtual apocalypse that would make a little “global food insecurity” look like peanuts.

There is nothing wrong with the climate (hockey stick debunked [so current temperatures are not unusual]), and there is no evidence (seriously) that CO2 has anything to do with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&desc=GGWarmingSwindle_CO2Lag

anotherJoe on August 16, 2012 at 6:06 PM

How do those new millions of acres of wheat and corn in Northern Canada and Siberia in a post-AGW world figure into this?

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Just what the heck is a “Food security expert”? Sounds like another UN title made to impress the lemmings.

GarandFan on August 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

U.S. Tax Payers… “because the poor power companies are not able to access Yucca Mountain Waste site.

Now guess who gets re-election money from the power companies who got that expense shifted from them to U.S..??

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Well the power companied (nuclear utilities) paid for Yucca mountain (I guess you could say the rate payers of those utilities) and it was congress/the government that prevented them from solving the storage problem themselves. So now that the promised storage facility is prevented from accepting spent fuel, yes the tax payers pick up the tab (kind of a double wammy). Because, as you might expect, there probably isn’t anything left from the money the Utilities have been paying to the energy department to handle the problem.

whbates on August 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Want to see massive famines, wait til the next global cooling.

Rancher on August 16, 2012 at 6:09 PM

So burning the food hasn’t been such a good idea?

J.E. Dyer on August 16, 2012 at 6:10 PM

zzzzzz

The Notorious G.O.P on August 16, 2012 at 6:10 PM

This seems like a no brainer. Most of the stuff people eat world wide depands upon co2 to live. That which does not consumes products which require co2. Makes me believe these believers in AGW are idiots.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on August 16, 2012 at 6:12 PM

In 1979 at New Mexico State University a lecturer came in and said that there would be massive famines by 2000. 33 years ago and I’d heard it before then.

Rancher on August 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

C’mon now — give the U.N. credit for being “ecologically” responsible by recycling their fake but urgent food/environmental crises. ///

PatriotGal2257 on August 16, 2012 at 6:14 PM

(Central Valley, not to be a name nazi.)

ConservativeLA on August 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Ha ha, yup! Thanks, ConservativeLA. Believe it or not I grew up there but it’s been over 20 years since I lived there. I had the image and theme song of the TV show “The Big Valley” in my head…

yubley on August 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Dire warning, EPA , enviro-nazis, and green politicians threaten food supplies.

antipc on August 16, 2012 at 6:16 PM

And perhaps it’s just me, but I thought that we were always supposed to assume that “weather isn’t climate,” or something?

Oh, don’t be so naive. Anything that is not exactly average is global warming.

Hot? AGW
Cold? AGW
Dry? AGW
Floods? AGW
Rash on my backside? AGW
My dog piddles on the carpet? AGW (he didn’t want to go outside in that dangerous environment)

iurockhead on August 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

No Food for Soil!

BL@KBIRD on August 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I hear they are opening up new acreage in Greenland to grow corn for ethanol.

KenInIL on August 16, 2012 at 6:26 PM

In 1979 at New Mexico State University a lecturer came in and said that there would be massive famines by 2000. 33 years ago and I’d heard it before then.

Rancher on August 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

“The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.” -Club of Rome
“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing …” -leftist Senator Tim Wirth, 1993
“We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective [lying] and being honest [ineffective].” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Enironmental Studies, UCSB
“In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” -Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day 1970
“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000…” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
“[Inaction will cause]… by the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” — Mustafa Tolba, 1982, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program
“If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000…This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” -Kenneth E.F. Watt, Earth Day 1970
“This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000.” -Lowell Ponte in “The Cooling”, 1976
“The life of all mankind is in danger because of global warming.” -Osama bin Laden

anotherJoe on August 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Every jackal in the doomsaying industry will be swarming to the call of ‘drought!’

rayra on August 16, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Hold the snow melt until the Spring rains come in the midwest to recreate surging prior to the construction of the levies.

Let fires burn.

Create wetlands by migratory bird nexis to keep land out of production.

Protect species that wouldn’t exist in rivers that were created to capture snow melt for irrigation in the west.

Force protection of forests and grasslands on previous private property to offset at a 3:1 ratio the development of reservoirs.

And burn 40% of your corn production in the form of inefficient fuel when you can grow it.

What could possibly be the problem?

DanMan on August 16, 2012 at 6:39 PM

You know, if Congress works real hard it can turn the ethanol fuel mandate into an ethanol drink mandate… really, if you gotta starve, you might as well do it with lots of alcohol in the house. Cheap alcohol is better than none at all, after all.

Getting rid of all the subsidies, price supports and kickbacks to Big Ag is just too simple for Congress to do.

ajacksonian on August 16, 2012 at 6:40 PM

You have to laugh at the irony of the liberals on one hand they are tellling us that Food is at risk having shortages on the other hand they are saying we have an obesity problem in the country….If food is at risk my advice would be to pack on the pounds as quickly as possible. To survive the coming famine. Fat people last longer that skinny people when there eisn’t any food. Tell me that wouldn’t be funny as all heck. A famine hits the skinny vegans and environmentalists all die out and the fat americians survive to reproduce….

unseen on August 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Let them eat… ethanol!

Oxymoron on August 16, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Soylent Green

Rancher on August 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Hey, maybe we could stop burning corn in our gas tanks and eat it instead.

That’s just crazy enough to work!

Laura Curtis on August 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Exactly.

If there is a coming food shortage and there may be. It is because throughout the world we are growing crops for fuel not food.

This is no accident. Every vehicle I have ever owned lost 10% mileage with 10% Ethanol. It is just completely wasted.

Steveangell on August 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

“We are witnessing the beginning of one of the great tragedies of history,” says Lester Brown, an analyst of global resources who founded the Worldwatch Institute and now heads the Earth Policy Institute. “The United States, in a misguided effort to reduce its oil insecurity by converting grain into fuel for cars, is generating global food insecurity on a scale never seen before.”
The head of Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, agrees. As reported 23 March 2008 by Agence France-Presse, chairman and chief executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said, “If as predicted we look to use biofuels to satisfy twenty percent of the growing demand for oil products, there will be nothing left to eat. To grant enormous subsidies for biofuel production is morally unacceptable and irresponsible.”
According to Brown, this new relationship puts hungry people in direct competition with empty gas tanks. “Historically the food and energy economies have been largely separate, but now with the construction of so many fuel ethanol distilleries, they are merging,” he says. “If the food value of grain is less than its fuel value, the market will move the grain into the energy economy. Thus, as the price of oil rises, the price of grain follows it upward.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430252/

mittens on August 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Seems that Erika is off her AGW denialist narrative (maybe). However, the notion that resources (like food and water) are unlimited is just as foolish as the notion that the government can just print (or even borrow) unlimited dollars.

Conservatives (if nobody else) understand the concept that there is scarcity in everything.

Certainly, free markets, operating with minimal contraints, are the best at bringing resources to bear where they are most in demand. There is no equal to free market enterprise for bringing about prosperity.

However, we need to understand the threat of a changing climate on our (finite) food supply shouldn’t be understated. We are about to learn a lesson in how severe agricultural droughts (which are nearly certain to become more frequent with human-induced climate change) affect food prices and availability. This year’s massive drought, hard to ignore, is conveniently ignored by the author of this article.

oakland on August 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Do these scientists seem perhaps a bit eager to play up the alarm of individual data points to play up their globalist agenda?

You mean the millions of “individual data points” that, collectively show a distinct pattern that’s impossible to miss (unless one chooses to)?

oakland on August 16, 2012 at 8:33 PM

That’s the beauty of free markets: They can adapt quickly, efficiently, accurately, and with agility to worldwide demands and conditions, as long as human stupidity via paternalistic government doesn’t get in their way and gum up the works.

Free markets are wonderful but plants and animals aren’t able to adapt as fast as markets. Ask any farmer.

lexhamfox on August 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM

It’s about redistribution of wealth on a global level. We see how it’s (not) working in Europe, and in the USA. So naturally to someone who has cranial rectal disease, the thing to do is use this template for the entire world, right?

Wolfmoon on August 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Ah, I see our one-topic troll has shown up.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

You mean the millions of “individual data points” that, collectively show a distinct pattern that’s impossible to miss (unless one chooses to)?

oakland on August 16, 2012 at 8:33 PM

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!!!!!!

Toure, you need a new gig.

tom daschle concerned on August 16, 2012 at 9:23 PM

STOP BURNING OUR FOOD!!!!!!

Then. . . “global food security” will be much less of an issue.

Jason Coleman on August 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Countries witness wealth creation when they quit with the central planning and allow their people the freedom to enterprise and develop, and in turn, wealthier societies are healthier societies. Maybe the United Nations could focus their energies and resources on encouraging freedom and economic growth instead of lecturing more developed nations about how the activity of prosperity is supposedly imposing on others? Just a thought.

Much too simplistic.

Given freedom, people will do as they please.

Some people will be pleased to be industrious, inquisitive, selfless, and honest. Others will be pleased to be introspective, contemplative and idle. Yet others might be pleased to be selfish, brutal, cruel and deceitful.

What pleases people will depend very much on what people believe, what they hold to be true, what philosophy and values they subscribe to.

Merely giving people ‘freedom’ without first giving certain kinds of belief and values will be a disaster, as witnessed recently in various Arab countries, but also as seen in various parts of the world across the ages.

YiZhangZhe on August 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Besides, there will never be a shortage of food.
There might, however, be too many mouths.

YiZhangZhe on August 16, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Take That, ….Gloomy old Jazz!

Offhanded on August 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

As luck would have it /s, the Almighty has something to say about all this. On the 9th of January this year, He and my wife had a conversation, an excerpt of which is recorded here.

Julie: “God continues to give me a speedy recovery from surgery, but I am still tired and needing rest. So I was spending this afternoon just sitting with the Lord, alternately praying and just talking to Him. As I did this, I heard Him say, ‘Write.’ [Part of] our conversation follows.”

And the Lord said to me, “Write.”

“What should I write, Lord?” I replied.

“Write this: the fields are burned, the crops are destroyed, the cattle are smitten. The increase is gone; lack has come….”

This is not the first Word we have received; dating back to June 1998, we have heard from God over 120 times concerning America and judgment from His Hand. And the latest Word (August 13th) is available to you if you want it (thepreacherATvol.com)

Gordy on August 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Dire warning from climate experts: Global food security is at risk

FOUR EASY SOLUTIONS:

1. Repeal all Ethanol mandates.

2. Restore the water to California’s Central Valley.

3. Repeal all current EPA regulations, and require explicit Congressional approval of any new EPA regulations.

4. If any of these “climate experts” was also involved in the Global Warming hoax, ignore their warning.

landlines on August 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM