Friday, March 04, 2016

Doom and Gloom is the Future under Capitaism

Rising greenhouse gas emissions could cut food productivity by one-third over next few decades. A study from the UK-based Oxford MartinFuture of Food Programme found that unless action is taken to reduce global emissions, climate change—and the resulting droughts, floods, and severe weather events—could cut food availability and in turn lead to roughly 530,000 additional deaths, predominantly in the Western Pacific region (264,000 additional deaths) and Southeast Asia (164,000). Chelsea Harvey wrote at the Washington Post, that the paper is "a sobering look at just a single facet of the climate change dilemma. Of course, the impacts of climate change are expected to cause human deaths in a variety of other ways as well. The increased risk of infectious disease, natural disasters, forced migration and civil unrest are just a few examples."

Previous research has shown how climate change will impact global crop production. The Oxford study goes deeper, finding that climate change could cut the projected improvement in food availability by about a third by 2050, and lead to average per-person reductions in food availability of 3.2 percent (99 kcal per day), in fruit and vegetable intake of 4 percent, and red meat consumption of 0.7 percent. That could lead to changes in the energy content and composition of diets, and these changes "will have major consequences for health," said study leader Marco Springmann. "Climate change is likely to have a substantial negative impact on future mortality, even under optimistic scenarios," Springmann continued. "Adaptation efforts need to be scaled up rapidly. Public-health programs aimed at preventing and treating diet and weight-related risk factors, such as increasing fruit and vegetable intake, must be strengthened as a matter of priority to help mitigate climate-related health effects."

Ryan Zinn, political director of the fair trade advocacy campaign Fair World Project has argued,  "Industrial agriculture is a key driver in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy machinery, monocultures, land change, deforestation, refrigeration, waste and transportation are all part of a food system that generates significant emissions and contributes greatly to global climate change. Addressing climate change on the farm can not only tackle the challenging task of agriculture-generated GHGs," Zinn said, "but it can also produce more food with fewer fossil fuels."

No one should go hungry. We could feed all the people. The world made by oligarchs is filled the dying poor. When a very few have so much - the many have very little. When the many have so little - there will be millions who haven't enough to survive. Billions are going to suffer. Many more than half a million will die. In a world where resources were more equitably distributed and where fossil fuels weren't being protected from change by those who profit from their use, those people would be able to survive. 

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