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Where Will We Grow Food in the Future? (Part II)

In 1998, Whitley Strieber had never heard of climate change, but the Master of the Key burst into his hotel room in Toronto and told him all about it (The NEW, revised edition of The Key, with a foreword that talks about how many of his statements later turned out to be true, is in bookstores NOW). The changing climate brings up the question of where we will grow our food in the future (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).

Now climate change is being blamed for failing wheat (and other cereal) crops, which are a staple food for most of the world's people, who get 75% of their food--either directly or indirectly, as in meat--from four crops: corn, wheat, rice and soybeans. With a growing population, farmer's want to increase these crops, but for the last 30 years, they haven't been able to do so--in fact, cereal harvests have been declining. In Scientific American, David Biello quotes agricultural scientist David Lobell as saying, "On a global scale, we can see pretty clearly significant changes in the weather for most places where we grow crops. Those changes are big enough to sum up to pretty big losses for wheat and corn."

And it's not just greenhouse gas emissions that are the problem: "Temperature effects are already overriding CO2 effects," says Lobell, who notes that climate change "is not disastrous but it's a multibillion-dollar-per-year effect already." New studies show that the climate-related yield loss has contributed almost 19% percent to the average price of a given crop. Adapting crops that can withstand a hotter and drier future has become a necessity. Scientific American quotes Lobell as saying, "We're not saying the sky is falling and food is becoming scarcer and scarcer, but there's a real drag on food production from climate change already."



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