Monday, June 06, 2011

Food and Climate Change won’t be solved by fiddling with seeds.


Check out this article from the New York Times (see below) on how Climate Change is going to change our ability to feed ourselves. 

Seems, according to this article, that one perceived benefits of Global Warming was an increase of carbon dioxide that would help food plants grow.  That’s not working out so well. 

Some of the other consequences of Climate Change are that there will be extreme weather, droughts, floods, and changes in growing season that wreak havoc on our production of food. 

It seems as though anyone who thinks there are going to be positive outcomes of Climate Change just hasn’t considered all the effects of warming our planet. 

Our planet’s climate system is just too big to predict with any precision what warming it even a little is going to do to any one thing—like food production.  Maybe we shouldn’t have put so much extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in the first place.  But it’s too late for those regrets.  And putting our hopes into fiddling with plant genes will only have a modicum of benefits because  more likely than not the negatives will overshadow the positives because we evolved in a very specific and stable environment for hundreds of thousands of years.  Now all that is changing in a very short time. 

Hope for mankind to change our plant seeds so they can survive Climate Change is misguided and a dangerous illusion.  Rather, we should bite the bullet and drastically cut back our use of greenhouse gases and not hope for silver bullets to solve a problem that needs to be addressed by the wholesale change in releasing greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. 

Food Supply Under Strain on a Warming Planet - CIUDAD OBREGÓN, Mexico — The dun wheat field spreading out at Ravi P. Singh’s feet offered a possible clue to human destiny. Baked by a desert sun and deliberately starved of water, the plants were parched and nearly dead. Dr. Singh, a wheat breeder, grabbed seed heads that should have been plump with the staff of life. His practiced fingers found empty husks. “You’re not going to feed the people with that,” he said. (June 4, 2011) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

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