Year 4, Month 10, Day 28: We’re Paying For You Like An Adult!

The Des Moines Register, on food and farming:

Farmers already see climate change: While a debate rages over the causes of climate change, farmers in South America and Africa are dealing with the realities of climate change.

The consequences of rising temperatures are more extreme weather events, including drought and floods, and changing growing conditions. Scientists and farmers there are struggling to deal with both.

On the science, some experts credit improved plant genetics, in large part, for the ability of farmers in the United States to harvest the eighth-largest corn crop last year, even in a year of record drought. Monsanto has developed a new drought-resistant variety of maize that is being tested in Africa, and it is working with private organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce it to farmers in Africa.

Of course, no debate actually rages, unless you count all the rage on one side. October 18:

While farmers all over the planet are facing increasingly unpredictable harvests due to the complex consequences of climate change, most of their customers continue to live in a state of denial. It’s easy and tempting to attribute this to the irresponsibility of our mass media and its near-pathological inability to address issues of major importance, but there is another factor: the overwhelming success of our large-scale agricultural system, which allows millions of people to eat well every day without putting in hours of work growing their own food. Paradoxically, industrialized farming may well turn out to be one of the first casualties of the accelerating greenhouse effect, as increasingly variable weather and fluctuating extremes make monocropping ever more vulnerable to catastrophic failures.

We cannot solve the problems of climate change without recognizing the reality of the crisis, which demands accurate environmental journalism and an end to “false equivalence” — and we will not last long as a species without a diverse and resilient food supply. For humanity to survive this slowly-unfolding crisis, both our minds and bodies need sustainable nourishment.

Warren Senders

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