New commission confronts threats to food security from 'climate change'

Yeah, like they can do anything about it. Here’s an idea. How about more CO2 and less grain use for ethanol and other biofuels?

Home

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Experts from 6 continents are set to produce policy recommendations for boosting food production in face of harsher climates, increasing populations, scarce resources

COPENHAGEN (11 March 2011) — Recent droughts and floods have contributed to increases in food prices. These are pushing millions more people into poverty and hunger, and are contributing to political instability and civil unrest. Climate change is predicted to increase these threats to food security and stability. Responding to this, the world’s largest agriculture research consortium today announced the creation of a new Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.

Chaired by the United Kingdom’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, the Commission will in the next ten months seek to build international consensus on a clear set of policy actions to help global agriculture adapt to climate change, achieve food security and reduce poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

There is a rich body of scientific evidence for sustainable agriculture approaches that can increase production of food, fibre and fuel, help decrease poverty and benefit the environment, but agreement is needed on how best to put these approaches into action at scale. Evidence also shows that climate change, with population growth and pressures on natural resources, is set to produce food shortages and biodiversity loss worldwide unless action is taken now.

“Extreme weather like the droughts in Russia, China and Brazil and the flooding in Pakistan and Australia have contributed to a level of food price volatility we haven’t seen since the oil crisis of 40 years ago,” Beddington said. “Unfortunately, this could be just a taste of things to come because in the next few decades the build-up of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere could greatly increase risk of droughts, flooding, pest infestation and water scarcity for agriculture systems already under tremendous stress.”

The Commission brings together senior natural and social scientists working in agriculture, climate, food and nutrition, economics, and natural resources from Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, France, Kenya, India, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

“I think policymakers are eager for a clear set of recommendations supported by a strong scientific consensus for achieving food security in a world where weather extremes seem to becoming more and more common,” said Dr. Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Research Director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and the Commission’s Deputy Chair. “This Commission is confronting a problem not just of the future but, for places like Bangladesh, a problem of the present. We already are seeing major changes in growing conditions caused by higher temperatures and loss of productive lands to rising sea levels.”

Today, scientists are increasingly concerned that more extreme weather events, especially drought and floods will impede the growth in food production required to avert hunger and political instability as the global population increases to nine billion people by 2050. Even an increase in global mean temperatures of only two degrees Celsius—the low end of current estimates—could significantly reduce crop and livestock yields. Supporting these concerns has been the weather-induced crop losses that contributed to high food prices this year and in 2008.

The World Bank reported in February that the recent rise in food prices—which included a doubling of wheat prices and a 73 percent increase in maize prices—already has pushed an extra 44 million people into poverty. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said food prices have been an “aggravating factor” in the political turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East and that their destabilizing effect “could become more serious.”

The Commission has been set up by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security program (CCAFS) – a 10-year effort launched by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) – with support from the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.

“Our ability to deal with the effects of climate change on food security, in both the developed and developing world, will largely determine whether our future is one marked by stability or perpetual food shocks,” said Dr Bruce Campbell, Director of CCAFS. “But there are so many perspectives on the best way for farmers to adapt to climate change—and for farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well—that we have ended up sort of paralyzed by a lack of clear choices.”

The Commission will synthesize existing research to clearly articulate scientific findings on the potential impact of climate change on food security globally and regionally. The Commission will then produce a set of specific policy actions for dealing with these challenges.

The Commission’s findings will be primarily directed to international policy, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Rio+20 Earth Summit, and the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and developing countries.

###

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change is identifying what policy changes and actions are needed now to help the world achieve sustainable agriculture that contributes to food security and poverty reduction, and helps respond to climate change adaptation and mitigation goals. The Commission is an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), with additional support from the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.

Full list of Commissioners

Biographical details are available at http://ccafs.cgiar.org/content/commission/commissioners

  • Professor Sir John Beddington, CMG FRS Chief Scientist, Government Office for Science, United Kingdom (Commission Chair)
  • Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Bangladesh
  • Dr Adrian Fernández Bremauntz, Senior Consultant, ClimateWorks Foundation, Mexico
  • Dr Megan Clark, FTSE, GAICD, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
  • Dr Marion Guillou, President, Institut Scientifique de Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France
  • Professor Molly Jahn, Laboratory of Genetics and Department of Agronomy and Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost for Sustainability Sciences, the University of Madison-Wisconsin, USA
  • Professor Lin Erda, Director of the Research Centre of Agriculture and Climate Change, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • Professor Tekalign Mamo, State Minister and Minister’s Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia
  • Dr Nguyen Van Bo, President, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science, Vietnam
  • Dr Carlos A Nobre, Director of the Center for Earth System Science, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil
  • Professor Bob Scholes, Fellow, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa
  • Dr Rita Sharma, Secretary, National Advisory Council (Prime Minister’s Office), India
  • Professor Judi Wakhungu, Executive Director, African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS), Kenya

Key facts on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change from the CCAFS program:

  • A 4-degree rise in temperatures will have profound effects on farming, cutting down both the range of potential adaptation options and the efficacy of those options. Different crop models give different estimates, but ensembles of models suggest average yield drops of 19% for maize and 47% for beans, and much more frequent crop failures. (Source: Thornton et. al. 2010 – http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/117.full)
  • The first half of the 21st century is likely to see increases in food prices, and increasing demand driven by population and income growth. Even without climate change, prices could rise by 10% (for rice) to 54% (for maize) by 2050. With climate change, price increases more or less double, ranging from 31% for rice in the optimistic scenario to 100% for maize in the baseline scenario. (Nelson et. al. 2010 – http://www.ifpri.org/publication/food-security-farming-and-climate-change-2050)
  • Climate change provides a massive and urgent incentive to intensify efforts to disseminate the fruits of past research, to adapt it to farmer contexts in different developing countries, and to put in place the necessary policies and incentives. The benefits of adopting many of the existing technologies could be sufficient to override the immediate negative impacts of climate change. Key messages from the major Foresight project on the Future of Global Food and Farming, lead by Professor Sir John Beddington:
  • Addressing climate change and achieving sustainability in the global food system need to be recognised as dual imperatives.
  • Ambitious, and in some case legally binding, targets for reducing emissions have been set, which cannot be achieved without the food system playing an important part.

There is a clear case for substantially integrating and improving considerations of agriculture and food production in negotiations on global emissions reductions.

The program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is a strategic partnership of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). CCAFS brings together the world’s best researchers in agricultural science, development research, climate science, and Earth System science, to identify and address the most important interactions, synergies and tradeoffs between climate change, agriculture and food security. For more information, visit www.ccafs.cgiar.org.

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for sustainable development with the funders of this work. The funders include developing and industrialized country governments, foundations, and international and regional organizations. The work they support is carried out by 15 members of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. www.cgiar.orghttp://cgiarconsortium.cgxchange.org.

The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) was established in 2001 to promote cooperation for the integrated study of the Earth system, the changes that are occurring to the system and the implications of these changes for global sustainability. Bringing together global environmental change researchers worldwide, the ESSP comprises four international global environmental change research programmes: DIVERSITAS; the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); the International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). http://www.essp.org/

The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development is a network of 34 bilateral and multilateral donors, international financing institutions, intergovernmental organisations and development agencies.

Members share a common vision that agriculture and rural development is central to poverty reduction, and a conviction that sustainable and efficient development requires a coordinated global approach.

The Platform was created in 2003 to increase and improve the quality of development assistance in agriculture and rural development. www.donorplatform.org

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mike

So we should not even plan adaptation measures just in case the mainstream scientific understanding of climate change is correct?

Pamela Gray

Nonsense. That commission’s task is to spend money on meetings and salaries. If you want to avert hunger, the path to that scenario is to disband such commissions, smooth the path towards cheap fuel, and then get the hell out of the way.

“Yeah, like they can do anything about it. Here’s an idea. How about more CO2 and less grain use for ethanol and other biofuels?”
I say, Anthony, that’s a bit harsh. Now these worthies have nothing to talk about on their junkets; you just solved it in a sentence.

Henry chance

Food security? Shutting off irrigation water in California? That would be worth a look.

Jeremy

The ever expanding bureaucracy is expanding to meet the expanding needs of the ever expanding bureaucracy.

Viv Evans

Sir John Beddington chairing this meeting?
Omigawd.
Prepare for food rationing proposals …
No sarc- he really is that bad.

Jim_in_TX

Here’s an idea. Anyone, ANYONE who thinks there will be long range price increases in corn, wheat, cotton, cattle and hogs should get right on down to their local bank and borrow, say, $5,000,000 and get into farming. You’ll need to buy about 3,000 acres in the high plains and work 18 hours a day for 6 months at a time. You’ll also be spending a lot of $$ at the local John Deere dealer, the fertilizer supplier, chemical supplier, etc., etc. Don’t forget about the airplane (you’re not going to be anywhere near a “city”). Don’t forget about the dirt in your teeth. We haven’t even started on the hogs and cattle. Good luck.
Real farming/ranching is just barrels of fun.

Bob Barker

The “key facts” listed are not facts at all but suppositions than are not really supported by the real facts. The real facts are, in a warming climate and increasing atmospheric CO2, crop yields have increased substantially worldwide over the last 50 years. There is the potential for a lot of circular reasoning to occur in that conference.

Vince Causey

What is ‘sustainable agriculture’ supposed to mean? This sounds suspiciously like something Prince Charles would have dreamt up. God help us all if these useless bureacrats try to roll back the agricultural advances made by Borlaug.
Hopefully it is no more than another meaningless ideology, like the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) project. I kid you not – there is such a thing, which I discovered to my bemusement when I opened the cover of my latest accounting magazine. Apparently, it is the development of a system of ‘integrated reporting’ that will embed in annual statments not only measures of financial movements but also environmental consumption. Perhaps they plan to embed the consumption of soil into new sustainable accounts of agribusiness. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

hide the decline

This ought to be interesting. The world’s bureaucrats and their scientific advisers are going to sit around a table and become experts in the fields of food and fibre production then, after peer review, use their collective laptops to create models then spread the word on how they think farmers should farm.
What’s this one going to be called…………..the consensus science of farming or just simply the consensus of more snouts in the trough?

DD More

A 4-degree rise in temperatures will have profound effects on farming, cutting down both the range of potential adaptation options and the efficacy of those options.
I thought it was freezing conditions that made the tomato prices jump?
Maybe they need to re-think their models, as we now have flood watches in a drought persistence area in the southeast.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html
http://www.wunderground.com/severe.asp?region=us&setprefs.0.key=SVRMAP&setprefs.0.val=us#gotoMap

Don Keiller

If these bozos are worried about food shortages and icreasing prices of foodstuffs, that primarily impact the poor, then maybe they will put 2 and 2 together and make 4 in that burning food in cars is a primary cause of such shortages.

amicus curiae

read the UN supports GM and beddington and his buddy King are top promoters.
the rural funders, and others ie scientific advisors and groups will also be found to have big PHarma backing them.
what this means is tampered mono crops chem dependant and expensive production, pushing small farmers OUT for bigagri to take over what little is left.
in spite of flood drought etc it is the TRADING in food stocks thats the biggest cause of starvation and price hikes!
and using wrming to push it.. gee and what about COLD?
a damn sight less will grow in cold weather. inc animals.
Defra took money from Bayer to research bee deaths, a handy way to prevent bayers toxic to bees chem being tested or banned. Defras corrupt.

Greg Holmes

I am sure that I have read that 40% of the USA grain harvest is earmarked for biofuels, if I have read it and are aware, why the meeting? I couldn’t just be an unjustified junket could it? not in these cash strapped times. There is a revolution coming!

amicus curiae

as an aussie, I looked our contribution up.
NOT a lot to say shes fit to discuss agriculture here…
Dr Megan Clark is a member of the:
* Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council
* Automotive Industry Innovation Council
* National Research Innovation Council.
She began her career as a mine geologist and subsequently worked in mineral exploration, mine geology, research and development management, venture capital and technical strategy areas with Western Mining Corporation for fifteen years.
More recently she was Vice President Technology and prior to that Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment, Community and Sustainability with BHP Billiton. Dr Clark served on the Expert Panel f…..
hmm?
like using FlimFlannery or Guano to tell us about AGW unqualified and unbelievable.

Marion

More ‘jobs for the boys’ that the rest of us will have to pay for. And pay again for the ‘unintended consequences’ of whatever nonsense policies they decide on.

Robuk

Burning food in cars and this,
In 1801 the German-born British astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots and that less solar activity correlated with higher grain prices.
And in 2003 this study agreed with Herschel.
http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0312/0312244.pdf

Hugh Pepper

These comments take cynicism to a whole new level.This reaction was well seeded with the opening statement, as one commentator pointed out. The question must be asked,”If we can’t find the solution to the problem, who can?”

Alexander K

The English response to problems is to write reports and send them to one’s superior.
Problem-solving is not in the mix, but the ‘superiors’ will have serial and usually useless meetings at very pleasant venues, all of which are catered to a very high standard. To see Sir John Beddington heading this doomed exercise tells me that the ‘solutions’ are pre-ordained; CO2 and Western industry will be the named principal culprit for rising food prices and all currently paying taxes in the UK will be asked to lower our standard of living once more to allow Beddington and his ilk to prosper outrageously.
‘Smelly’ is hardly an apt description for this.

The obvious alludes the deluded.

Peter Miller

Wow, there’s enough gravy in this gravy train to float a battleship!
This from the UK government’s website:
Biography John Beddington
“Sir John Beddington was appointed as Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) on 1 January 2008. Since being in post, the GCSA has led on providing scientific advice to Government during the 2009 swine flu outbreak and the 2010 volcanic ash incident.”
UK scientific management of both of these was an unmitigated disaster – alarmist thinking and over-reaction led to exaggerated responses and subsequent huge economic costs.
“Throughout 2008 and 2009 Sir John raised the concept of the “Perfect Storm” of food, energy and water security in the context of climate change, gaining considerable media attention and raising this as a priority in the UK and internationally”.
So, an alarmist through and through – no chance then of expecting anything balanced from any entity chaired by this super-bureaucrat.
The fact that recent extreme weather is probably associate with either strong EL Nino or La Nina events will doubtless not be considered worthy of comment or discussion.

Matthew

Just a quick nit regarding your line “Here’s an idea. How about more CO2 and less grain use for ethanol and other biofuels?”
Don’t stop all grain –> ethanol production. Otherwise, where will we get our beer and scotch from? (burning it as fuel is the very definition of alcohol abuse, mind you…)

R. de Haan

I smell a rat.
These people are going to introduce the agricultural policies that Oxfam applied in Africa for the past decades. Sustainable Farming without tractors and combines.
That policy is very succesfull. Have you ever seen an obese African?

Rob Potter

At least the focus is adaptation not mitigation, although as a number of commentors have noted, their basic premise of a 4 degree rise is pretty stupid. Not to mention that fact that no-one knows what that will mean on a local level anyway.
The CGIAR are all about plant breeding and increased inputs in that will have benefits regardless of what happens to the climate. They have been getting too political lately, but underneath that they have done a decent job for a lot of major crops. In my opinion they are a bit top-heavy in that they focus on rice-wheat-corn too much (there are greater gains to be made in legumes for the same inputs), but this is a legacy of their successes in in the 70s when they were the agency which disseminated the green revolution germplasm.
I agree this is just a talking shop, but it has been going on for a while and it won’t have thousands of the hangers on like the IPCC meetings.

George Tetley

A ground level observation,
I am addicted to a bread that has both corn and wheat flour, in February 2010 a loaf of this bread in my local supermarket here in Germany cost 0.64 euros, 91 octane regular gasoline 1.28 euros.
Today my bread costs 1.87 euros and E10 bio-gasoline costs 1.55 euro’s at my local gas station, above the cash register, is a disclaimer saying that they will not accept responsibility for any damage done to or buy E10 gasoline sold by them, asking why, the manager said that they have to sell E10 its law!

DirkH

We had no other use for them.

JEM

More Beddington Bull…well, fertilizer.

Cassandra King

What this ‘commission’ is not saying of course is that their findings and conclusions and recommendations have been worked BEFORE any meetings take place, there will of course be a delay of several very highly paid years while lots of money is spread around very generously to all the participants with expenses and grants to friends and family.
Evidence will be gathered and vetted and censored with only that which bolster their prejudice and preconceived ideas, there will be media advisers and communications experts doling out press releases for the duration to MSM hacks all too ready and eager for their ration of ready made copy.
These people have nothing to offer and only failed ideologies to peddle, a socio political narrative nurtured post WW2 by people who will not learn from past mistakes. Predictions made on faulty assumptions will always be wrong, we cannot know with any certainty what the global temperature will be in a century and frankly it simply does not matter.
What matters now more than anything else is technological evolution, the construction of free trade free market capitalism and the strategic planning of where new farmlands could be developed. Socialist policies and aims will surely fail, they have always failed, they will not provide the answers only massive problems. We do not need pessimism, ignorant scaremongering and Jobes comforters, they will fail us even before they sit down. What we need is to set capitalism free while providing the structures that the free market needs to thrive and the pioneers who are willing to sweat and toil to make our dreams come true, the future is built by determination and toil and sweat not by turgid ignorant cowardice dressed up as wisdom.
People can and will adapt and thrive given the chance, farmers can and will provide the food given the chance. I cannot believe that the people in power do not realise this, they cannot be that stupid can they? There are so many reasons to be hopeful and positive, the future is bright if only we can shed this cynical pessimism that pervades the corridors of supposed higher learning and power. We have all we need for a wonderful future, our evolutionary and adaptive skills will carry us to new heights if only we can escape this cynical depression and fear of the future.
We have the tools we need and we are inventing new tools all the time, we are not stone age farmers unable to cope with changing circumstances, we have been gifted with versatile and plastic minds perfectly able to adapt to a constantly changing situation. What we need right now is a positive confidence and an eager determination to face future challenges.
Imagine we are settlers trying to build a house in a new land, we have the tools and materials to build the house what we lack is the confidence to start building it, there are some who say we why bother? there are others who say why build it because it may fall down, still more say lets give in and go back to where we came from and still others claim that building the house maybe too much trouble. We are being dragged and held back by fear and cynicism dressed up as wisdom, there are those among us who are trying to hold us back, their fear and cowardice and ignorance is enabling them to halt our progress.
The future is what we make it, we have all we need to build the new modern world. a bright wonderful future full of promise and all we have to do to grasp that future is ignore the cowards and the prophets of doom and the scaremongers and reach out with confidence, nothing can stop us if we try hard enough and have enough courage, our children will face almighty challenges and their children still more and their children will face yet more but that is the true nature of the human race isnt it? We race toward our destiny armed with confidence and a vision of a better world for those who follow and blessed with a courage and love of adventure. We alone decide our fate, for heavens sake lets not be held back any more by those who would have us back in mud huts given the chance, they have held us back for long enough.

Ed Scott

A lawyer displays his scientific ignorance.
Hansen has the answer.
——————————————————————
The GOP’s Climate Anti-Policy
Jonathan H. Adler • March 11, 2011 9:00 am
http://volokh.com/2011/03/11/the-gops-climate-anti-policy/
So what should Republicans be doing on climate change? For years I have been arguing for a combination of policies that would include a) a revenue-neutral carbon tax, like that proposed by James Hansen, offsetting new taxes on carbon with reductions in income or other taxes; b) measures to incentivize and accelerate energy and climate-related innovation, including technology inducement prizes; c) streamlining of regulatory requirements that hamper the development and deployment of alternative energy technologies, including (but not limited to) offshore wind development; d) policies to facilitate adaptation due to the inevitability of some amount of climate change, and e) elimination of policies that subsidize energy inefficiency and excess greenhouse gas emissions, including ill-conceived ethanol mandates (which, among other things, forestall efforts at reforestation). Would this be enough? Maybe not, but it would be a start — and it would be far better than simply stripping EPA of regulatory authority and then hoping the risk of climate change would just go away.

Marion

And wasn’t Sir John Beddington head of the research programme that advocated “major shift in consumer diets, a tax on livestock production and other “proactive measures” to reduce global meat consumption” !
http://www.mfablog.org/2011/01/drastic-reduction-in-meat-consumption-necessary-to-end-global-hunger.html

roger

The United Kingdom’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, and his band of Govt. fellow travellers on the global warming train forecast that the Cairngorms arctic environment had diminished to the point of no return and that rare flora and fauna would soon be lost from these islands.
Excerpt from the Aviemore ski report which was closed today due to heavy snow drifts – in Scotland, in March.
“The Ops team have accessed the mountain now. It is looking very good for tomorrow(with forecasted light winds but maybe some heavy snow) . Nearly all runs are full with windblown powdery snow, which the machines are now dozing and grooming. Fantastic top to bottom skiing. The team are digging out the tunnel mouth and top building and they should be clear by the end of the day. There may be a delay in opening the West Wall side until it is assessed for avalanche risk.”
The man is a total idiot serving a bunch of fools. He is still promoting the BSE scare amongst other failed prophesies of doom

James Sexton

R. de Haan says:
March 11, 2011 at 8:06 am
I smell a rat.
These people are going to introduce the agricultural policies that Oxfam applied in Africa for the past decades. Sustainable Farming without tractors and combines.
That policy is very succesfull. Have you ever seen an obese African?
====================================================
Nope. Well, Idi Amin had some girth, but that’s the point, isn’t it?
For those interested, here is a nice (yet simple) food to population comparison.
http://www.pregnantpause.org/overpop/foodfao.htm
Notice the trends.
Go here to run down all sorts of food stats, but, remember the source.
http://www.fao.org/corp/statistics/en/
Go here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_R._Ehrlich (notice the graph….where have we seen that before?) and
here, ….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_malthus
To see the reasoning behind such misanthropy.
The food shortage is purposeful and intentional. For people worried about heat and plant growth, consider jungles. I’ve never seen it too hot to grow plants. I’ve seen it too dry and I’ve seen it too wet, but I’ve never seen it too hot.

Proffesor Sir John Beddington is just the right man, being Professor of Applied Population Biology. I think this title apply to human population too.
Of course they won’t talk about the real issues, like all the food produced to fuel cars or the increasing signs for an imminent global cooling during the coming decades.
Up to fight and exopose people such as Beddington, King and Achim Steiner from UNEP.

oldseadog

Dr. Megan Clark can help Michael Mann with the hole he is busy digging for himself.
A 4 degree rise may well have the effects suggested;- but how many sensible people think that is what will happen?

Elizabeth

Nary a word about biofuels?
Apparently real solutions to real problems aren’t as lucrative as the climate change bogeyman.

Bruce Cobb

They pay lip service to “increased production of food, fibre and fuel”, and helping “decrease poverty”, but the goal, as always with these eco-nutty professors is making the world “safe” from the evil C02 monster. To their way of “thinking”, since manmade climate change/chaos/disruption/disaster will create problems with food supply then it does no good to try to combat food shortages, poverty, etc. without also combatting the climate change boogieman. These Greenie nitwits will, if allowed, therefore create the very problems (poverty, lack of food, etc.) they claim to be concerned about. They are, in fact, a danger to humanity.

Ian W

Just on the horizon now is really bad news for food production.
Water has been mined from aquifers so old that the water is called ‘fossil water’. These deep aquifers contain trapped water and do not replenish from rain.
They are running dry.
Read a very good article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/8359076/US-farmers-fear-the-return-of-the-Dust-Bowl.html
and here
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Aquifer_depletion
or just Google ‘Fossil Water’ you can add ‘cubic kilometers’ to that and see how much is being extracted to ‘turn the deserts green’. Unfortunately, the water is running out – rapidly.
T Boone Pickens was not buying sites for windfarms – he was buying land over the Ogallala Aquifer that has been used to support grain and cattle in Texas. He intends to use the easements (claimed to be for power lines from the wind farms) for water pipes to Dallas – where he will sell the water. So the residents will be able to have showers but may not be able to afford food.
China has restarted damming projects – not for hydroelectricity although that may be a side effect but to save water as they are rapidly running out.
“At the start of the 21st century, 49 countries with around 35 percent of the world population were believed to have less than 2 000 cubic meters of renewable freshwater available per capita per year, implying water scarcity or chronic shortage. Major nations in the list include India, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya. Northern China also faces major shortages.”
http://www.ourplanet.com/aaas/pages/natural03.html
With this background, it stands to reason that a ‘UN Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change’ would be concerned about CO2 emissions when higher levels of CO2 reduce plants’ need for water and increase their drought resistance. Doing precisely the wrong thing appears to be so common with actions by the UN that one starts to wonder if it is intentional.

Bruce Cobb

Hugh Pepper says:
March 11, 2011 at 7:40 am
These comments take cynicism to a whole new level.This reaction was well seeded with the opening statement, as one commentator pointed out. The question must be asked,”If we can’t find the solution to the problem, who can?”
Which problem? The real one (poverty, hunger, lack of clean water, etc.), or the imaginary one of manmade climate change?
Hint: Working on real problems will get you real results.

James Sexton

Elizabeth says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:35 am
Nary a word about biofuels?
Apparently real solutions to real problems aren’t as lucrative as the climate change bogeyman.
———————————————————————
Just corn and just the U.S. alone. I believe if they followed Anthony’s advice, “How about more CO2 and less grain use for ethanol and other biofuels?”, we wouldn’t have a discussion about food shortages or prices.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Corn/Gallery/gallery2010/EthanolProductionandCornUsed.gif

Elftone

Pamela Gray says:
March 11, 2011 at 6:27 am
Nonsense. That commission’s task is to spend money on meetings and salaries. If you want to avert hunger, the path to that scenario is to disband such commissions, smooth the path towards cheap fuel, and then get the hell out of the way.

Hear, hear! Exactly right.

golf charley

They failed with global warming, ocean acidification and sea level rise. This is the next scam, caused by the drive to produce fuel from agriculture, caused by the global warming scam.
Beddington has had his sticky fingers and greedy snout in the trough throughout.
Do NOT trust him to do anything, apart from line his own pocket

Athelstan.

Beddington?
Groan, went to LSE, he’s chaired DEFRA = he’s like a [as good as] banker, oh………………….. wrong consonant.
Stop planting food crops and processing such for fuel, teach Africa to feed itself – get rid of Mugabe, then, Zimbabwe can feed Africa.

JohnH

I got to Beddington and read no further, guarenteed solution with be GM crops and forced vegetarianism.

John F. Hultquist

What Pamela said! (@6:27)
That 4 degrees sounds good though. Then I might be able to grow a few tomatoes and/or source food locally from young and energetic hobby farmers. Our valley supports a large grass crop, exported as hay, but eating the stuff isn’t to my liking.

P.G. Sharrow

Save the people of the world? Easy. Eradicate bureaucracy. Don’t feed them, they only grow larger. Sooner or later bureaucracies always strangle the society that they “manage”. We must cut off the money and starve them out. They can not feed themselves. It is them or death for everyone. All civilizations die when the bureaucrats gain complete control. Bureaucrats think that all will be wonderful if they just had a little more control to use their elite capabilities to guide how everyone else lives.
The concept of “MORE” must be eradicated to free the potential of all people to create and prosper. pg

ferdberple

“A 4 degree rise may well have the effects suggested”
A 4 degree rise will increase evaporation, leading to increased rainfall. It has to, as the water has to return to earth eventually. Warmer temperatures accompanied by increase rainfall will turn deserts into jungles.
This is really what worries a lot of folks at the top. A warming planet will produce a lot more food, allowing for a lot more people. What they would really like to see is a lot less people.

James Sexton

Ian W says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:43 am
“Doing precisely the wrong thing appears to be so common with actions by the UN that one starts to wonder if it is intentional.”
========================================
I used to wonder, too. I’ve come to the conclusion that no otherwise clear thinking individual would engage in so many massively stupid actions. It must be intentional because it isn’t rational to ascribe ignorance and stupidity to so many re-occurring actions.

wayne

Can this CIGAR Research Program commission be defunded even before the cash starts burning this time? Without a single word on biofuels, this commission may be worse than IPCC, a direct attack on our food.
Learn.
NEVER TRUST THE U.N.

Thermal depolymerization + bureaucrats = energy problem solved
No more shifting food production land to biofuels, “peak oil” becomes a nonsequitur. And since bureaucrats are — sadly — an endlessly renewable resource, it’s very green.

Jeremy

James Sexton says:
March 11, 2011 at 10:33 am
Ian W says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:43 am
“Doing precisely the wrong thing appears to be so common with actions by the UN that one starts to wonder if it is intentional.”
========================================
I used to wonder, too. I’ve come to the conclusion that no otherwise clear thinking individual would engage in so many massively stupid actions. It must be intentional because it isn’t rational to ascribe ignorance and stupidity to so many re-occurring actions.

Having met a few young people who had their hearts set on working for the United Nations, I can tell you that it is quite possible it is a result of pure ignorance and stupidity.
Try to imagine a world where the international body where nations settle their grievances and which itself tries to issue edicts/rules to prevent international problems functions more like a cult wherein young and naive people are seduced by the notion that if they work for the United Nations then they are true humanitarians doing the lords work.
Yes, it is that bad.