How de we Feed the World After Climate Change?
Genetically modified seeds have been sold to the world as a way to feed a growing population, but there is little scientific proof that they will be able to meet the challenge climate change poses to agriculture, and thus to global stability. Many modern staple crops we depend on today will be unable to grow in predicted temperatures in just a few decades.
If the world wants to avoid mass famine, starvation, rioting, and political destabilization, we must overhaul the entire agricultural system. Luckily, “we already know what works—and what doesn’t—to feed a post-climate-change world. In fact, many of the practices and technologies we need are already in use, in the United States and abroad."
Mark Hertsgaard continues: "feeding the world under climate change will require a broader strategy, grounded in two imperatives. On the one hand, we must rapidly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, to avoid facing unmanageable amounts of future climate change. On the other, we must prepare our agricultural sectors for the climate impacts already “in the pipeline,” which will be severe enough.” Industrial agriculture address neither – rather it worsens both problems with its petro-dependence and reliance on monocultures. Agroecology, however, can not only restore carbon and fertility to the soil, but has been shown to do drastically better underneath drought conditions.
While money is poured into GMOs and industrial agriculture, comparatively little funding is being put into agroecological research. We must start putting our research and development funds into the system of agricultural that can not only feed the world, but abate climate change. It is time to reevaluate industrial agriculture and the role of GMOs.