Climate Crises Are Giving Rise to Food Crises

During the 2010 summers, Russia struggled through a severe drought. The series of wildfires and heat waves that destroyed almost one-third of the wheat harvest of the country.

This food crisis in Russia affected the two major regions and importers of the wheat, North Africa, and Middle East. Both of these regions are among those which are better being called food-insecure. They heavily rely on the imports of grain right from the Black Sea, majorly Russia, being the largest exporter of wheat in the world.

However, Russian government immediately banned the exports of grain, in the middle of the crisis, to save its own supply of food.

This caused the countries of the Middle East and North Africa to face skyrocket bread prices. And as some other factors also gave rise to the political unrest in these countries, the increasing food cost aggravated the discontent and further prompted many attempts, to put an end, to illiberal regimes – some suppressed violently and others successful.

 

Climate change is worsening the food scenario

Climate change and its drastic consequences are being faced worldwide. While we cannot connect a particular event of weather with the climate change, some models suggest that the climate shift is increasing the possibility of such events, even more.

For instance, the United States could face another round of episodes like the one previously observed in the year 2012. The consequences of Isaac hurricane not only barge traffic on various parts associated with Mississippi river but also closed ports.

Similarly, another heavy-hitter – Brazil— accounts for almost 17% of global maize, wheat, soybean and rice exports. But due to extreme rainfall, it’s road networks have started crumbling.

Imagine facing the crumbling of main transport route, along with the Russian drought and US flood. The world would end up facing a global shortage of food, political instability and riots, starvation in regions that are the main importers and severe recession at other places.

 

The underinvestment in worldwide infrastructure

To worsen the matter, the chronic reduction of investment in terms of infrastructure has also destabilized the critical networks. The rising trade flow and extreme weather put them at failing risk. As the McKinsey Global Institute presented deficit in terms of world’s infrastructure investment, the expected gap between the funds needed and funds available, stands at 250 billion US dollars/year by 2040.

But even if we consider the countries with infrastructure investment, they often fail to factor the risks attached to climate change. As per the survey conducted by the Organization for Development and Economic Cooperation in the year 2016 – the climate change is overlooked in the majority of these countries – even in the rich ones – except for a few exceptions.

 

What needs to be done?

Countries need to take adequate measures to diversify the production and to avoid relying on a handful of crops or major exporters. Funding should facilitate alternate sources and build various routes worldwide along with the infrastructure that is climate-resilient.

Nonetheless, all of these long-terms plans must be taken up immediately before we get hit by another consequence of climate change and ultimately global food crisis.

Make the Planet Go Green – Macron and Arnold Teams up to Capture Renewable Boom

“I was truly honoured to meet with President Emmanuel Macron about how we can work together for a clean energy future. He’s a great leader” says Arnold Schwarzenegger in his recent tweet, praising the President of France – Emmanuel Macron.

If you have missed the previous social media debate between Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnie blasted Trump for his rhetoric both as the U.S. President and on the campaign trail. However, Trump too struck back and lampooned the rating of Schwarzenegger on The Apprentice

Schwarzenegger has taken to Twitter after the statement of Trump who announced that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement – 2015. A move that has set back the efforts of the entire world to address the crucial issue of global warming.

Just afterwards, Schwarzenegger again took command and said that “one man cannot destroy our progress; one man can’t stop our clean energy revolution. And one man can’t go back in time. Only I can do that

Schwarzenegger seems to like Emmanuel Macron for his efforts to boom renewable industry in France. In this latest video clip with Macron, Arnold says that these two are ‘talking about environmental issues and a green future’

Pivoting the camera towards French President, Macron adds;

And now we will deliver together to make the planet green again”

Macron’s slogan was a remix of Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again”

And it is not actually surprising to find Macron joining the team Arnold. As per James McAuley – The Washington’s Post “Macron has become the anointed darling and principal salesman of political moderates around the world, a fierce advocate of ‘radical centrism’ globalization and – following President Trumps’ watershed decision to remove the United States from the Paris accord – curbing climate change

On the other hand, as reported by Reuters – The government will pursue visible, rapid and massive development of renewable energy as told to France inter radio by Edouard Philippe.

After the Trumps’ decision of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate accord in June, Macron recorded a video and stated;

I do think it’s an actual mistake, both for the US and for the planet. To all scientists engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them: Come here and work with us”

With this statement, it can be clearly concluded that Schwarzenegger and Macron share quite similar views in relation to the environment and climate change and both, on their parts, have shown no trouble or hesitation at taking a swipe at Donald Trump –  a collaboration doesn’t really seem that far-fetched.

Also as France takes up the renewable energy and environment as a serious subject of consideration, especially the demeaning outlook of Trump over the Paris climate agreement, Macron in his manifesto said that he continues to put efforts in reducing the reliance of France on nuclear by almost 50% by the year 2025. Moreover, the government of France also aims to double solar and wind capacity and take out coal power by the year 2022.

Budget 2017 Turns a Blind Eye towards Climate Change

Even though Australia experiences one more record breaking year in terms of extreme heat, facing severe weather conditions and rising emission issues now, none of these are important concerns for the Federal Budget of the year 2017. Scott Morrison proudly delivered the speech for the federal budget without mentioning even a single thing about the intensifying situation of climate change and its drastic impacts on the Australian economy.

Any country that comes under the tremendous impact of climate change, up to the level of extinction of many underwater jungles and hundreds of unique species, would be expected to keep these burning issues as the main focus and substantial part of the year’s budget but what was witnessed in the case of Australia’s budget for the year 2017 was nothing less than a surprise.

As the budget 2017 reveals itself, it seems that the $265 million budget had many other factors as their first priority than the climate change itself. Some of these precedence issues that also captured a considerable part of the budget 2017 include the following;

 

Snowy Hydro 2.0

The federal government has once more announced its support for the expansion of the snowy hydro scheme. This is to provide extra pumped storage of hydro energy. Also, the government has shared its plan to buyout Snowy Hydro shares, owned by the Victorian state government and New South Wales. However, there was no separate allocation of money to facilitate this buyout and expansion plan.

Since without giving rise to sources of renewable energy, the expansion will eventually increase emissions that are based on the power of fossil fuel, investment in such a scheme would be more welcoming if it would be accompanied by another plan to transform the generation of fossil fuel to renewable energy.

 

Funding and Climate Research

The budget 2017 strips the Authority of Climate Change, a platform that conducts independent climate analysis and research, of two-thirds of it’s funding and also reiterates the future plans of the government to completely abolish it.

Considering no additional funding, National Climate Change Adaptation Research is still available with $0.6 million to work alongside CSIRO, maintaining an online database in terms of specific parts of the research.

 

Port Augusta – Solar Thermal Plant

Keeping $110 million as the contingency reserve, in the case required, the government has reiterated its support for establishing a solar thermal plant in South Australia – Port Augusta. The government has also announced provision of an additional loan with regards to calling a solar thermal proposal in Augusta Port by the Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Overall, budget 2017 is a disappointment for climate change, whereas the government continues to focus on fossil fuels. Nonetheless, turning back to the risky global climate situation, it will not be proven as a knowledgeable decision for the Australian economy, if the issue remains unsupported and persistent.

Moreover, the upcoming report of Finkel Review is expected to provide a blueprint of Australia’s future of energy. Until then, local communities and the state will most likely continue to accept the challenging task of taking a lead on the rising climate issues.

Here’s How a Group of Teens Are Taking on a Global Economic Empire and Winning

As America and the world watched Donald Trump being inaugurated as the President of the United States, everyone knew this was the sign of things to come. Days after his inauguration, America and the world discussed Trump’s potential impact on many of the problems the country is facing, including the future of America’s efforts on global warming and clean energy.

Few, however, looked the other way where the real change was happening.

Few read about the historic decision by the US District Court judge Ann Aiken. Even fewer understood the potential impact it may have. However, regardless of the lack of public interest it generated, regardless of the lack of media attention it received, regardless of the lack of debate it stimulated, this decision is significant.

In fact, it may prove to be as significant as Trump’s inauguration, if not more so.

But why?

To understand why this court decision is so critical to the future of the world’s environmental situation, you need to know the background. The District Court judge Ann Aiken delivered the order in a case filed in the court against some of the major American businesses and traditional energy interest groups, even the American government itself.

It was monumental.

The case in question was filed by a 16-year-old teenager from Colorado, named Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. If you have not heard his name yet, you will hear it now and you will remember it. Who would have thought that a teenager can single-handedly take on American businesses and industries?

But he did.

The Malala of Climate Change

Before Martinez was born, his mother formed an environmental activist group known as Earth Guardians. By the time he was six, he was already delivering soul-stirring speeches against the corporate interests that were preventing any substantial action against climate change. He was leading a movement.

Ten years later, Martinez is among the group of 21 American teens who filed the case in question in October last year. In the case, the teens demanded court action against the US government. Why? It was because they felt the American government was either directly or indirectly involved in activities that lead to climate change and global warming.

This, they pleaded, was an infringement on their constitutional right to life, liberty, and property.

Symbolism and practicality

This is, by no means, the first such gesture that anyone has made against the government and corporate interests. It is, however, extremely significant in that it was not dismissed as a symbolic gesture but was considered to have practical weight and heft.

As soon as the case was launched in the court, American government and corporate sector launched strong objections against it. According to them, this was just a bunch of activists twisting the meaning of the constitutional rights to gain notoriety.

Such complaints have been launched before and such cases have been dismissed before too.

This time around, Judge Ain Aiken made sure that didn’t happen.