Industrial Farming Threatens Us All In An Age of Extreme Weather

industrial farming

Extreme weather is damaging to crop production and threatens food safety worldwide, according to a new study published in Nature on Wednesday.

And the most developed nations like the U.S., which rely heavily on industrial monocultures for food production, are particularly vulnerable.

The study, which evaluated cereal production losses due to extreme weather in 177 countries from 1964-2007, found that "droughts and extreme heat significantly reduced national cereal production by 9–10%....Furthermore, the results highlight ~7% greater production damage from more recent droughts and 8–11% more damage in developed countries than in developing ones."

"That was a surprise to us," Navin Ramankutty, an agricultural geographer at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the study, told Mother Jones on Wednesday.

As Ramankutty explained to CBC News,

the differences may be due to the type of agriculture commonly practised in developed nations — large, intensively cultivated fields sown exclusively to one crop.

Western farmers may need to start thinking differently as climate becomes less and less predictable, Ramankutty said.

"That model works really well when the climate is stable, but it may not work so well when there is an extreme weather event."

The study is the latest evidence of the impacts of climate change, coming just a month after global leaders gathered in Paris to finalize an agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gases.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to push for maligned deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which critics have called a "giveaway to big agribusiness and food companies that want to use trade deals to attack sensible food safety rules, weaken the inspection of imported food and block efforts to strengthen U.S. food safety standards."

Over the past 50 years, 75 percent of the world's biodiversity, soil, and water have been destroyed through the proliferation of mass food production and agrochemicals like pesticides and other synthetics, among other measures.

As MoJo's Tim McDonnell wrote on Wednesday, the latest findings don't mean that "developing countries are out of harm's way. They still face major challenges from climate change, since comparatively small yield losses can have an outsized impact on local economies and food security. But Ramankutty says the new research shows that even in the developed world, farmers may be more at risk from climate change than anyone previously realized."

Indeed, as environmental and anti-globalization activist Vandana Shiva explained in a piece published last May, small-scale farmers are indispensable to the future of food security. "Small farmers grow 70 per cent of the world’s food on 25 per cent of the world’s land," she wrote. "Our farmers must be liberated from seed slavery and dependence on high cost, unreliable and ill-adapted corporate seeds."

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams

Related Book:

List Price: $25.00
Sale Price: $25.00 $24.99 You save: $0.01


List Price: $90.15
Sale Price: $90.15 $70.03 You save: $20.12


List Price: $29.95
Price: $29.95


enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeiwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptruesswsvthtrukurvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

LATEST VIDEOS

The Rise Of Solar Power
by CNBC
Solar power is on the rise. You can see the evidence on rooftops and in the desert, where utility-scale solar plants…
World's Largest Batteries: Pumped Storage
by Practical Engineering
The vast majority of our grid-scale storage of electricity uses this clever method.
Hydrogen Fuels Rockets, But What About Power For Daily Life?
Hydrogen Fuels Rockets, But What About Power For Daily Life?
by Zhenguo Huang
Have you ever watched a space shuttle launch? The fuel used to thrust these enormous structures away from Earth’s…
Fossil Fuel Production Plans Could Push Earth off a Climate Cliff
by The Real News Network
The United Nations is beginning its climate summit in Madrid.
Big Rail Spends More on Denying Climate Change than Big Oil
by The Real News Network
A new study concludes that rail is the industry that's injected the most money into climate change denial propaganda…
Did Scientists Get Climate Change Wrong?
by Sabine Hossenfelder
Interview with Prof Tim Palmer from the University of Oxford.
The New Normal: Climate Change Poses Challenges For Minnesota Farmers
by KMSP-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul
Spring brought a deluge of rain in southern Minnesota and it never seemed to stop.
Report: Today's Kids' Health Will Be Imperiled by Climate Change
by VOA News
An international report from researchers at 35 institutions says climate change will threaten the health and quality of…

LATEST ARTICLES

Microsoft’s Moonshot Plan to Reverse Its Lifetime CO2 Emissions by 2050
Microsoft’s Moonshot Plan to Reverse Its Lifetime CO2 Emissions by 2050
by Vanessa Bates Ramirez
The alarming headlines about Australia’s bush fires over the last couple weeks have heightened the global outcry over…
A Climate-linked Financial Crisis Looms, But The Fix Isn't Up To Central Banks
A Climate-Linked Financial Crisis Looms, But The Fix Isn't Up To Central Banks
by Richard Holden
The Bank for International Settlements – the “central bank” for central banks – made headlines with a report outlining…
Paris Climate Goals May Be Beyond Reach
Paris Climate Goals May Be Beyond Reach
by Alex Kirby
Scientists find carbon dioxide is more potent than thought, meaning the Paris climate goals on cutting greenhouse gases…
Stoneflies And Mayflies Are The 'Coal Mine Canaries' Of Our Streams
Stoneflies And Mayflies Are The 'Coal Mine Canaries' Of Our Streams
by Boris Kondratieff
Experienced anglers recognize that for a trout, the ultimate “steak dinner” is a stonefly or mayfly.
Why Action On Climate Change Gets Stuck And What To Do About It
Why Action On Climate Change Gets Stuck and What To Do About It
by Matthew Hoffmann and Steven Bernstein
This erasure of one government’s climate project by its successor was only the tip of the melting iceberg.
5 Ways To Turn CO₂ From Pollution To A Valuable Product
5 Ways To Turn CO₂ From Pollution To A Valuable Product
by Ella Adlen and Cameron Hepburn
It’s far easier to avoid burning fossil fuels than it is to clean up CO₂ emissions once they’re in the Earth’s…
Predicting The Future Of The Climate Crisis
Can We Predict The Future Of The Climate Crisis?
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Can the future be predicted? Most certainly. Can anyone or anything predict the future with any certainty?
Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World?
by CNBC
Today, one out of three people don’t have access to safe drinking water. And that’s the result of many things, but one…