Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Climate change could help food production

A new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute projects 25 million more malnourished children in 2050 due to climate change. They claim that this scenario can be averted with an additional annual $7 billion in investments in agriculture and rural development. http://www.ifpri.org/pressroom/briefing/impact-climate-change-agriculture.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for annual additional billions for agriculture and rural development...but there is only a 50/50 chance that climate change will harm food production and an even smaller chance that new 'investments' in agriculture and rural development will actually improve the lives of the poor.

A warming atmosphere could increase agricultural production in many areas. Some may be hurt but plants breath CO2. Past geological era's extremely high in CO2 gave us the oil we are now addicted to today. It was the ice ages that reduced plant growth.

But current agricultural production predictions are essentially irrelevant to how many children will go hungry in 2050. Advances in technology in agriculture and environmental protection /restoration…has a far better chances of ensuring all children will be obese by 2050. The only thing missing to ensure all children are fed is the political will to make it happen. Hunger, malnutrition and even starvation...isn't about food production shortages. These lethal maladies are about food affordability. What climate you live in isn't nearly as important as how much money you have.

If there is a massive drop in grain yields...feed fewer cows. Going vegetarian would be better for human health and the environment in spite of fears of climate change. Things always change. We need to learn better to adapt to changes and stop doing things we know we shouldn't do. Like buying oil from producers who don't like us.

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