The Viridian Design Movement

Subject: Viridian Note 00381: Starvation

Key concepts:
climate change, global food crisis, reduced
grain stores, US Department of Agriculture, Earth Policy Institute
Attention Conservation Notice:
Nothing new about environmental activists hand-wringing over prospects of mass starvation. Kinda new to wonder if this might go from the unthinkable to a real-life truism in such short order, though.

Mind-boggling real-life NASA animation of planet frying during the 20th century's last quarter-century. Man, no wonder they're dying in France.

Malignant hucksters at "Greening Earth Society" blame French mass deaths on foolish lack of (coal-powered?) air conditioners. Maybe they can air-condition the wheat crops, too!

Meanwhile, hundreds of the (10,000+) French dead remain unclaimed and unburied.

George Monbiot not too thrilled at latest WTO in Mexico, predicts French Revolution as planet's starving wretches hang US-Euro aristocrats from the global lanterne.,9236,1033897,00.html

Think it's surprising that thousands died from the heat while no one expected it? Guess what? For the same reason, millions will starve!

There's the chart. Get the T-shirt.

USDA's "Crop Explorer" website. Doesn't seem to work at all well. Perhaps this should be renamed "Starvation Explorer."

Something like this handy page from the UN, for instance.

"Foodcrops and Shortages" webzine, with country-reports. Afghanistan having best harvest in ages! Great news! Meanwhile, planet as a whole has failed to feed itself successfully during the entire Bush Administration.


"Hot summer sparks global food crisis

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

"31 August 2003

"This summer's heatwave has drastically cut harvests across Europe, plunging the world into an unprecedented food crisis, startling new official figures show. (((Yep, that sure looks pretty "startling." I didn't believe it. Then I started looking into the subject. I still don't believe it, but I'm not a happy guy.)))

"Separate calculations by two leading institutions monitoring the global harvest show that the scorching weather has severely reduced European grain production, ensuring that the world will not produce enough to feed itself for the fourth year in succession, and plunging stocks to the lowest level on record. And experts predict that the damage to crops will be found to be even greater when the full cost of the heat is known.

(((What about next year? I mean, look at this NASA satellite thing again. Really.)))

"They say that, as a result, food prices will rise worldwide, and hunger will increase in the world's poorest countries. And they warn that this is just a foretaste of what will happen as global warming takes hold. (((I hope you can afford a "foretaste." Will we ever get an "aftertaste" of this in our lifetimes?)))

"Sunshine and warmth are, of course, good for plants and there were hopes that this year's good summer would produce a bumper harvest. But excessive heat and low rainfall damage crops, and the heatwave == which brought temperatures of more than 100F to Britain for the first time, and gave France 11 consecutive days above 95F, killing more than 1,000 people == has done enormous damage. (((Odd that people in power seem so completely unaware of this. Why are they stumbling through such a blatant threat to world well-being in such a blindsided way? It's as if they were governing some different planet where people don't sweat or eat.)))

"The US Department of Agriculture has cut its forecast for this year's grain harvest by 32 million tons, mainly because of the European crop reductions. On Thursday, the International Grains Council == an intergovernmental body == reduced its own prediction even further, by 36 million tons, as a result of 'heat and drought, particularly in Europe.'

(((Yes, they exist, no, they are not cranks.))) Link:
(((On the plus side, the IGC don't seem to be screaming bloody murder yet. Perhaps they're quite used to seeing people starve.)))

"The damage has been most severe in Eastern Europe, which is now bringing in its worst wheat crop in three decades: in Ukraine, the harvest has been cut from 21 million tons last year to five million, while Romania has its worst crop on record. Germany is the worst-hit EU country: some farmers in the south-east have lost half their grain harvest. Official British figures will not be published until October. (((If you can trust British government figures, that is. Maybe they'll hide 'em under those old BSE reports.)))

"The final tally of the summer's damage is likely to be worse still. Lester Brown, the president of Washington's authoritative Earth Policy Institute, predicts that it will cut another 20 million tons off the world harvest, making this a catastrophic year. (((You know, back in Stalin's day, you could starve 7 million people or so, and the world press would just ignore that completely! Because they were too busy with war scares, imaginary weapons, depressions, political campaigning and such.)))

"It has come at a time when world food supplies were already at their most precarious ever. The world has eaten more grain than it has produced every year so far this century, driving stocks well below the safety margin to their lowest levels in the 40 years that records have been kept. The amount of grain produced for each person on earth is now less than at any time in more than three decades. ((("Let them eat brioche.")))

"Until about a month ago, this year had been expected to produce a reasonable harvest, allowing some recovery. But the heatwave has now ensured that it will make things even worse, and experts say that the crisis will deepen as global warming increases. (((They always say that == but they rarely said it would be this fast. Alps are melting, people are dying in hecatombs and crops are failing. The Viridian Movement is supposed to have an expiration date of 2012. Will we make it that far?)))

"Grain prices have already increased, and Mr Brown warns that in coming years they may move to a permanently higher level. This would encourage greater production, he says, but at the expense of the world's hungry, who could then afford even less food, and of the environment, as farming intensified."

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