Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office told Sky News Online that even with drastic cuts in emissions in the next 10 years, their results predict that there will only be around a 50% chance of keeping global temperature rises below 2c.
Many scientists have warned in the past that anything above a 2c rise would have catastrophic impacts on the world including rising sea levels, droughts and floods. It is also at this point that runaway climate change can happen.
Climate change is, of course, only one of the factors that will cause Peak Food and future famine if drastic steps are not taken, but it is very important. Much of the worlds most productive land is in the flat coastal plains that are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Countries such as Bangladesh with large populations living on low lying land are at great risk.
The more extreme weather we are already experiencing in many parts of the world will get much worse causing reduced crops just when the world needs to be increasing food production in a big way.
An emergency climate summit attended by top scientists is being held in Copenhagen which is expected to warn that the situation is worse than previously thought and that urgent action is needed.
Will the world listen?
Peak Food is pleased to report that Britain’s food security is being more widely questioned. Recently Dr. Rob McCall, who is the Climate Change Officer for the Countryside Council for Wales, gave a talk at entitled ‘Can Britian Feed Itself?’
Excellent work, Dr. McCall! I wish I had been there to hear your conclusion.
The recent documentary on BBC2 by Rebecca Hoskins was very informative about the way farming and food is dependent on finite fossil fuel. The interview with Richard Heinberg was excellent as he was able to explain how perilous the situation is and how urgent is the need for sustainable solutions.
Rebecca’s conclusion that we would have to eat less meat would be hard to argue against, but the other ideas of year round grazing and permaculture do not seem to me to be the way to feed 6.7 billion mainly city dwellers when oil becomes scarce.
Instead we need a system where we can efficiently utilise both the seed and the straw in cereal and oilseed crops in a way that does not damage the soil, so that agriculture can produce enough food but also enough biofuel for it’s own energy needs.
We believe that harvesting the whole, ripe crop unseparated and then processing it at a bio refinery may be part of the solution.