Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A climate crisis role playing exercise, hosted by the World Wildlife Fund and the Center for American Progress, has concluded that the world can survive the ravages of climate change, providing we implement a global carbon tax, and create a new global governance structure.
Food Chain Reaction was held last November in Washington DC. The game was played by 65 international experts, who assumed the roles of nations, multilateral organizations and multinational business, and confronted a burgeoning food security crisis in the decade 2020-2030.
The players were divided in teams for Africa, Brazil, China, the European Union, the United States, multinational businesses and the international institutions. Their task: to figure out how they could cooperate to guide the world through a decade of mounting climate pressures and the resulting disruptions. There was no safety net. Through their actions, the participants could either get the world ready for an ever more apparent – and volatile – new normal, or drive it off a cliff.
In the end, even as extreme weather ran rampant and food prices flirted with 400 percent of the long-term average, they came up with a host of solutions. Cooperation mostly won the day over the short term individual advantage. Teams pledged to jointly build international information networks and early warning systems on hunger and crops, invest in smart agricultural technology and build up global food stocks as a buffer against climate shocks.
The most eye-catching results, however, were a deal to institute a worldwide carbon tax and a global food security summit that was tasked with setting up a whole new global governance structure for climate and food security issues.
I’m skeptical about the claim that additional global governance can improve the resilience of food production. Central planning was a disaster for Soviet Agriculture – distant bureaucrats tend to make poor farm managers.