Over a century ago the American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis observed that there are only nine meals between humankind and anarchy.
It is always there, the food on the supermarket shelves. It never runs out, but how tenuous is this link to our perceived food security?
Disruption to food production is a whole different level of vulnerability. Climate change is hitting agriculture hard. The frequency of drought, storms, extremes of temperature, are disrupting the very delicate balance in nature required to grow food.
As with business, in agriculture if you are running a system at maximum capacity it takes very little to upset the balance and cause the system to breakdown. We are pushing our natural resources, we are concerned with ever more production. We open-up pristine rain-forest land for massive soya plantations, we attempt to extract higher yields from our current systems.
We are looking for a second “green revolution” we are looking to technology to help improve yields, to continue with business as normal.
At the very same time where we require more food to feed a growing population, we are seeing variability in our weather systems never seen before, the hottest five years ever recorded all occurred since 2014.
It is such a privilege to be living during this period of prosperity in our Garden of Eden, should we not be doing everything we can to protect it, not destroy it.
The flow of food from field to fork is taken for granted. A major climatic shift could leave us very swiftly with food scarcity. I don’t know what real hunger feels like, but our ancestors in the 1840’s certainly did.
There is no greater or more urgent need than to deal with man-made climate change now.
Producing different food in more sustainable ways, eating differently, consuming less, using renewable energy there are the changes needed. A transition starts with pushing the burden for the destruction of our planet back onto the companies that are responsible, oil companies and plastics companies, agribusiness and large-scale food business. These are the companies that now run the planet, they dictate what we do and how we do it.
There is so much we can do, our choices matter and we can start our own “Green revolution”
PS It is ironic that “the Green revolution” in the 1950’s was the term applied to the change in agriculture that embraced artificial fertiliser, consolation of farm land and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
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