My seniors are coming back from their internships tomorrow, so this week I’ve got some links and a few comments about the consequences of global warming.
This first article, from April of this year, is a good layman’s write-up of the link between food insecurity and sociopolitical instability. It deals more with the political and economic side of the issue.
This second article is from 2012, and highlights interesting work from the New England Complex Systems Institute, closely tying real moments of political unrest to food prices.
Recent unrest around the world has really caught people’s attention. Even though the world is a less violent place than it ever has been before, it feels unstable, off-balance, like anything could happen.
In the contexts of food security and climate change, it’s clear that current unrest is likely to worsen rather than improve. After the major US-China climate agreement of two weeks ago, we’re still far shy of the 2-degree increase in average global temperatures that scientists say would be the maximum to avoid dangerous climate change. And using the rule of thumb that for every 1 degree increase in global average temperatures there will be a 10% decrease in grain yields, even a 2 degree increase could seriously exacerbate worldwide problems with food insecurity and unrest.
So I’m thankful for the food on the table this year, even if turkey isn’t anywhere to be found: