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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guest post: food supply


A guest post by Killian O'Brien.

Global Grain Stocks Drop Dangerously Low as 2012 Consumption Exceeded Production

And so it begins. It was a year-and-a-half ago, at least, that I had a sudden and visceral realization that neither Peak Oil and other resource limits, nor climate disasters per se were going to be our most immediate global impact from the process of collapse and the condition of overshoot. It's the food supply, Stupid.

The logic was incomprehensibly obvious, so I was shocked I hadn't realized it years ago. Well, I had, but thought of it as a mid-century issue because I was making the same error with climate I always grind on others about: climate does not change incrementally a tiny bit of a degree at a time, but unpredictably, non-linearly, chaotically in fits and stops. More to the point, we measure it in averages but experience it in local conditions, as weather. That is, the extremes that make up the average.

It was then and there that I realized our food supply would be deeply impacted long before mid-century.

We've already seen it in the false Spring last year that caused trees and plants to bloom a full month early only to see many of those crops lost when an absolutely normal April followed a very, very warm March. We see it in a loss of 1/4 of the US corn crop this past year due to the ongoing drought in the US.

So, consumption exceeded production... with increasing climate extremes the new normal and with a population headed for 9 billion by mid-century.

Grow a garden. It's no longer just a hobby: it's a survival technique.

The good news is, this is exactly what you need to do to help combat climate changes and to start moving toward sustainability.


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