The daily bread


About a year ago, I wondered here about the projected impact of climate change on our food and also remarked on the newly hospitable climate for olive trees in southern England. Today I learned some smart minds were studying the topic and more.

The developed world will go through some unpleasant dislocations. But the poor countries are about to get really screwed again. They’ll be the ones to go really hungry.

The rest of us still have resources to get us through the climate transition.

“For the truly pessimistic, there is always the “doomsday vault,” a seed bank being constructed in a Norwegian mountainside that nations around the world are stocking with every kind of seed imaginable.”

Or do we?

“After all, you never know what kind of plant trait is going to save humanity if the climate makes an unexpected turn, said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is leading the effort and who has boasted that the vault will be protected in part by the region’s polar bears.”

Polar bears? What polar bears? Hasn’t Fowler heard? They won’t be here anymore! Get another plan!

It is difficult to imagine that for the generations to come, one’s daily bread won’t be quite a serious matter.

Oh, well, we’ll adapt. It won’t be fun, but for eons to come we’ll still be here. (As the Washington Post article implies, GMO is the answer to crops that withstand saltier water, drier weather, encroaching desert and chronic floods from hurricanes and typhoons.) And by “we” I mean humanity, not you and I. For us, it is probably too late for adaptation. We probably face a dotage in which our descendants tire of stories about the old days’ cornucopia, of the reminiscences of seasons and the useless nostalgia for a Pacific Northwest free of tropical pests.

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About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, arts and politics.
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