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Disasters & Extreme WeatherFoodGlobal WarmingScience

Rising & Record Food Prices, Food Riots Due to Extreme Weather Events

I included the video above in last week’s global weirding news roundup, in addition to Joe Romm’s recent article on how extreme weather events are contributing to rising, record food prices. But both are worth another quick look on their own.

In 2009, Lester Brown and Scientific American asked “Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?” This summer’s extreme global weather raised fears of a “Coming Food Crisis,” as CAP’s John D. Podesta and Jake Caldwell warned in Foreign Policy:  “Global food security is stretched to the breaking point, and Russia’s fires and Pakistan’s floods are making a bad situation worse.”

The bottom line is, extreme weather, which is expected to increase considerably in the years to come from climate change if we don’t act to stop this process quickly, is not just about the birds and the bees suffering. It is about the food shortages and societal chaos that are expected to result from those things as well.

Think food is expensive now? Think switching to a clean energy economy and cleaner transportation options is costly or challenging? Think again… our challenges could be much worse.

Here’s more on the rising food prices from Climatewire via Scientific American:

Last month’s average food price index came in at 215, whereas the peak in 2008 was 213.5. In December 2009, the figure was only 172.

The recent high is the culmination of a steady increase in prices over the past six months. It marks the highest food price index since food price figures were first recorded 30 years ago.

FAO attributes the upswing in prices to factors including the crop failures caused by a string of extreme weather events and high crop demands from an ever-increased global population. Many experts have linked the series of floods and fires with climate change.

And a video from Reuters:

Screenshot above via Climate Denial Crock of the Week.




4 comments
  1. John Hartz

    Zachary,

    Here’s another report that you may wish to highlight in your posts for this week.

    “Describing Socioeconomic Futures for Climate Change Research and Assessment: Report of a Workshop”

    The Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, part of the National Academies’ Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, has released the proceedings of a conference that explored the state of science for considering socioeconomic changes over long time frames, and examined definitions and concepts designed to help facilitate communication across research communities.

    For details about this report, go to:

    http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13007#description

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