Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns

Land and water resources around the globe are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, threatening the ability of humanity to feed itself.

The report warns that climate change will exacerbate the dangers, as extreme weather threatens to disrupt and shrink the global food supply.

Food shortages could also increase a flow of immigration that is already redefining politics in North America, Europe and other regions. From 2010 to 2015, the number of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who traveled to the U.S. increased fivefold, coinciding with an unusually dry period that left many without enough food.

The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.

The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.

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So, What Did You do While the World was Ending?

Just another day, really. I had the main pool to myself for almost an hour, which is good because I got lane one, with the steps. Starting early pays.

I swam for an hour and a quarter. In the first quarter hour I managed eight lengths of breast stroke in just over sixteen minutes. After that I settled down to a more easily maintained six lengths in around fourteen minutes. Every sixth length I switched to back stroke. I have learned that backstroke is much easier, much more efficient, but also burns much less energy. I want to burn energy.

I also learned it uses completely different muscles, or so it seems. I don’t get the lactic burn and could probably cruise all day doing it. So making every sixth length back stroke gave me a wee break from the building ache, and enough time to fill out the rest of each quarter-hour with some water-assisted step-ups on the pool steps, and some water-assisted chin-ups on the rail of the starting block.

Efficient.

There’s time to muse when swimming, I muse a lot.

It seemed the oddest form of synchronicity to find later the Guardian’s First Dog on the Moon cartoon today covered exactly what I was musing about. Hence my previous post. It should be depressing, but I am way past that. I really have reached a stage in which my philosophy is “Shit Happens, It Doesn’t Matter”.

Also, whilst swimming on my back and looking unfocused up at an overcast sky, I saw just how many floaters I have in my eyeballs. I named the biggest one Eric.

One of my earliest memories is of seeing floaters in my eyes at bedtime and trying to tell my mother what I saw. I must have been four or so. I thought there was snow in my bedroom. She thought I was silly and told me to go to sleep.

I then moved to the indoor therapy pool. I had that completely to myself. The water, at 33C seemed very hot at first, after the cooling swim and a wet walk through a chilly breeze. Half an hour of side stepping, squats and leg stretches and assorted joint mobility exercises a hot shower and shampoo, then off to Aldi to hunt for a kitchen seive. They didn’t have one. When it comes to stuff like that Aldi can be hit and miss.

What they do have is a really good range of good quality foods Fresh meat and really fresh produce at astonishingly good prices. Today for the first time I spent a while just looking around at what they stock. There seems very little need to shop elsewhere for staples or luxury foods.

Almost seems a shame to discover this just as the world is ending.

Fuck

This graphic tells it all. look at Antarctica.  (seriously, follow this link)

Had I known how fast climate change was going to come about, I would never have had children. I do not regret having them – how could I? I love them dearly. But I regret that the world they are growing into is going to be apocalyptic in a way only science fiction writers envisioned when I was young. I will be dead before it happens. I will not see the horrors I am imaging will come about. They will. That frightens and depresses me.

At the moment the Arctic and Antarctic are acting as heat sinks, absorbing a great deal of the energy. When the ice is diminished the temperatures will rise faster. We are entering the “Fuck” phase in the timeline below.

Laugh all you like. I’ll back the highly qualified scientists over the mindless deniers and corporate shills. The evidence is incontrovertible and the data do not require your belief to be true.

 

(Diagram – Stolen from the internet without permission)

Time On My Hands.

I’m sitting in my caravan. It’s raining outside. I’m thinking of buying a toaster so I don’t have to scorch my bread on the wire contraption over the gas stove. Most of my day will be taken up in making that decision, then searching out a suitable toaster. Then I shall have to choose between marmite and vegemite. I like both. While I’m out I may look for a butcher, as I haven’t eaten any red meat for nearly a week. Shall I splurge on a good eye fillet or some chuck to make chilli? I’m leaning toward the fillet, and I might get some baby spinach, feta and olives for a side salad.

Or maybe not. I am injecting myself daily with an appetite suppressant and only eat because I know I must. I could more easily open a can of corn and have it on toast instead of marmite.

Or perhaps I’ll just sit and look at the rain. I have my pot of coffee.

Stir Crazy

I have been back in the community for just over 6 weeks now.  Since I returned I have been very reluctant to leave even when I had the opportunity.  Despite the fact I now have a lockable steel cage plus a locking security screen door and three deadlocks on the solid door to my donga, I have not forgotten the trauma of last year.  A day or two away is not distressing, but now The Wet is setting in I get a little angsty about the possibility of being caught out of town by the weather once more.

On Friday I was to have attended our team planning meeting in Halls Creek. They booked me into the SPQ for Thursday and Friday night.  I was actually keen to go because I have a small pile of parcels to collect from Halls Creek and also I wanted to do a run to Kununurra on Saturday to stock up on groceries and essentials.     Plus a break away from here would be good for me.  I may be going a little stir crazy.  Had I gone I would have come home again today,  Sunday.

However.

A severe weather warning was issued just before I was about to set out.  I phoned the boss to ask if I should come in anyway or should I attend the meeting by telephone conference instead.   Just as well that was the decision, because the road was closed on Friday, and judging by the downpours since it will likely not reopen for a few days or a week or more.

Margie suggested jokingly I was a “pussy” for not wishing to come into town.  On the contrary, if I was permitted to drive through the mud and floods I would be happy to do so.  It is not travelling in the weather I worry about, but not being permitted to travel through it.  Getting stuck in mud is a challenge, and fun.  Being stuck as a supernumary in Halls Creek is no fun at all.   I’d rather be here while all my stuff is here.

Stormy Weather

Zeus got his swim today.

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See Zeus swim.  Swim Zeus, swim!

You can see the creek is somewhat deeper than yesterday.

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Day 3

Tomorrow it will no doubt be deeper still.  There is a storm brewing.

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Day 2

Now that the water is rising, the creek is the main attraction here.  Only three youngsters at the youth centre today, everyone else was already at the creek.   My three young friends only wanted to be taken to the creek too.  Unfortunately I am no longer able to do that as the Troopy has been declared unsuitable for transporting children, or adults for that matter, except one only in the front passenger seat.  Not just my troopy, – all troopies with sideways seats in the back are now classified unsuitable.  Not being able to take a group of youngsters out bush rather restricts the activities I can plan these days.  Getting out of the community and into nature is the best thing to do with the kids.   Fortunately we found some mums and dads heading down to the bridge so everyone was able to go.  Some of the young people were fishing already which surprised me but they reckon the fish have been stuck in a billabong until the river started flowing again and will be hungry.

On coming home from the youth centre, Zeus and I found Sadie the camel firmly settled on the deck of the donga.  She seems to have interpreted the darkening sky and rising wind as a storm on the way and has clearly decided she is staying here until it passes.

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Sadie

When she puts her head on my shoulder and looks imploringly at me with those big brown eyes, how could I kick her out?