Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bad Moon Rising

A recent news item by Ian Sample reinforces some of my worst suspicions about our global economy and ecosystem.

A "perfect storm" of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration...[warns] the UK government's chief scientist... Professor John Beddington...

[T]he growing population and success in alleviating poverty in developing countries will trigger a surge in demand for food, water and energy over the next two decades, at a time when governments must also make major progress in combating climate change.

"We head into a perfect storm in 2030, because all of these things are operating on the same time frame," Beddington told the Guardian.

"If we don't address this, we can expect major destabilisation, an increase in rioting and potentially significant problems with international migration, as people move out to avoid food and water shortages," he added... according to Beddington, global food reserves are so low – at 14% of annual consumption – a major drought or flood could see prices rapidly escalate again. The majority of the food reserve is grain that is in transit between shipping ports, he said.

"Our food reserves are at a 50-year low, but by 2030 we need to be producing 50% more food. At the same time, we will need 50% more energy, and 30% more fresh water. |World faces 'perfect storm' of problems by 2030, chief scientist to warn - Guardian|
I've suspected for years that the world will be walloped simultaneously by fossil fuel scarcity and global warming's impacts, which will alter growing seasons, cause drought and floods, and inundate much of the most heavily populated real estate in the world, primarily along the coasts of Asia.

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