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(USA Today)   New report says that climate change could devastate agriculture, signaling more bad news for the seven Americans who still actually eat vegetables   (usatoday.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Americans, Ars, climate change, growing seasons, vegetables, farming  
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562 clicks; posted to Business » on 07 Feb 2013 at 9:37 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-02-07 06:50:13 AM  
Was the obvious tag hurricane-proofing its house?
 
2013-02-07 07:17:39 AM  
Actually, I would think this would be worse news for meat eaters.  What do you think your meaty animals eat?
 
2013-02-07 08:50:11 AM  
Yeah, because 'agriculture' is just vegetables.  Looks like we're going to need to reduce the world's population by about 2 billion.
 
2013-02-07 09:29:13 AM  

Cythraul: Yeah, because 'agriculture' is just vegetables.  Looks like we're going to need to reduce the world's population by about 2 billion.


Thanks for volunteering, Slick.
 
2013-02-07 09:31:01 AM  
are there still any deniers out there left?
 
2013-02-07 09:37:31 AM  

gopher321: Cythraul: Yeah, because 'agriculture' is just vegetables.  Looks like we're going to need to reduce the world's population by about 2 billion.

Thanks for volunteering, Slick.


I was thinking more of making a list.  Just how valuable are you to society, by the way?
 
hej
2013-02-07 09:44:42 AM  
Actually,  subby, one way or another, corn is in damn near everything you eat.
 
2013-02-07 09:48:45 AM  
Sell, sell, sell!  Sell all the frozen concentrated OJ!!!!
 
2013-02-07 09:50:34 AM  
It's a good thing we don't put corn in anything.
 
2013-02-07 09:57:54 AM  

TheGrayCat: Actually, I would think this would be worse news for meat eaters.  What do you think your meaty animals eat?


Ground up waste bits of other animals?

/sort of a meat based perpetual motion machine
 
2013-02-07 09:58:39 AM  
potatoe-veggie or starchy food?
 
2013-02-07 10:27:42 AM  

Cythraul: Looks like we're going to need to reduce the world's population by about 2 billion.


And when we run out of soylent green?  What then?
 
2013-02-07 10:29:09 AM  
Welcome to Costco, I love you.
 
2013-02-07 10:47:28 AM  
 Looks like we're going to need to reduce the world's population by about 2 billion.

I can think of 11 million here in the US, we could start with.

/bazinga!
 
2013-02-07 11:25:09 AM  
bullshiat


wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-07 11:29:59 AM  
Malthusian predictions just fit better into my worldview, SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP
 
2013-02-07 11:37:21 AM  
There isn't enough food!!!! We said in 1990.  Then in the 2000's Global warmining will kill us all!  Throw all our money at it!

Now we've got peanut butter in our jelly.
 
2013-02-07 01:21:57 PM  
Struggle all you want - it's too late, rich folks.

Agricultural methods, timing, and crop specifics can and will adapt, but the result is higher prices for basic foodstuffs, which in turn will affect many other areas of the economy. The real fun will be watching the bickering over water rights turn into full-blown conflicts.

That's kind of the point of climate change mitigation - we can, and will, adapt to it, but the short-term pain for the next few decades may change how humanity lives on this planet as a whole. That's why rich folks resisted change - they're making a sweet deal right now, and change means their profits drop as humanity changes what they do and how they do it. As farmers in the Midwest watch their crops wither & die in the fields due to high temperatures and no water for yet another year, as agribusinesses start moving northward to discover there's a shortage of arable land because we've zoned it for people, as we start cutting down woodlands in the north once again to support agriculture, the impact will be hard to calculate and even harder to mitigate.

Damn, it's going to be fun living for the next three or four decades, watching humanity migrate.
 
2013-02-07 01:31:58 PM  

DesertDemonWY: bullshiat


[wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com image 633x625]

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 850x612]


A lot of those gains are due to higher-yielding strains of grain, pumping our major aquifers dry for irrigation, and judicious application of fertilizers. None of those are sustainable long-term, regardless of the climate. There is a limit to how much food an acre of land can produce, no matter how we hybridize our food crops. Phosphorus is a finite resource, and we are churning through it at an alarming rate. The major aquifers are also being depleted at a much greater rate than nature can replenish them. Our food supply cannot and will not rise to infinity. Eventually those graphs of yours will plateau, and then decline, no matter what we do. We may not see it in our lifetimes, but then again, there is a good chance that we will. It will happen at some point, however, and that's assuming that the climate cooperates completely. Add climate change to the mix, and all bets are off.
 
2013-02-07 01:39:54 PM  

FormlessOne: Struggle all you want - it's too late, rich folks.

Agricultural methods, timing, and crop specifics can and will adapt, but the result is higher prices for basic foodstuffs, which in turn will affect many other areas of the economy. The real fun will be watching the bickering over water rights turn into full-blown conflicts.

That's kind of the point of climate change mitigation - we can, and will, adapt to it, but the short-term pain for the next few decades may change how humanity lives on this planet as a whole. That's why rich folks resisted change - they're making a sweet deal right now, and change means their profits drop as humanity changes what they do and how they do it. As farmers in the Midwest watch their crops wither & die in the fields due to high temperatures and no water for yet another year, as agribusinesses start moving northward to discover there's a shortage of arable land because we've zoned it for people, as we start cutting down woodlands in the north once again to support agriculture, the impact will be hard to calculate and even harder to mitigate.

Damn, it's going to be fun living for the next three or four decades, watching humanity migrate.


Water isn't being magically lost, it has just moved from one part of the world to another. Some part of the world will now enjoy better agriculture while some other part suffers.

Plus, there was supposed to be more water around with the ice melting.

The only problem I really see is the over-reliance of agriculture on fossil fuels. But, that's an easier problem to solve since they electric tractors and farm equipment are probably easier to make than long distance transport.
 
2013-02-07 01:43:54 PM  

mod3072: A lot of those gains are due to higher-yielding strains of grain, pumping our major aquifers dry for irrigation, and judicious application of fertilizers. None of those are sustainable long-term, regardless of the climate. There is a limit to how much food an acre of land can produce, no matter how we hybridize our food crops. Phosphorus is a finite resource, and we are churning through it at an alarming rate. The major aquifers are also being depleted at a much greater rate than nature can replenish them. Our food supply cannot and will not rise to infinity. Eventually those graphs of yours will plateau, and then decline, no matter what we do. We may not see it in our lifetimes, but then again, there is a good chance that we will. It will happen at some point, however, and that's assuming that the climate cooperates completely. Add climate change to the mix, and all bets are off.


You're assuming that new techniques or breakthroughs will not occur in the future of agriculture. We are heavily invested in the production of corn and in the future might shift away from it. Instead of making everything from sweeteners to oil from corn, we might use different crops that might even give us better yield.
 
2013-02-07 03:11:01 PM  
Water is not going anywhere. Unless Martians are pumping it off the planet at night, when nobody is watching. Same goes for fertilizer, it all gets recycled in the circle of life.

"Sustainable" most mis used mis understood word of the 21st century.
 
2013-02-07 03:38:30 PM  

mr0x: You're assuming that new techniques or breakthroughs will not occur in the future of agriculture. We are heavily invested in the production of corn and in the future might shift away from it. Instead of making everything from sweeteners to oil from corn, we might use different crops that might even give us better yield.


There's a line somewhere.  You can argue about where, but there's a fixed amount of sunlight that falls on each square meter of land.  You can count those photons and figure out how many turns of the Calvin cycle you'll eventually get out of it.  Modern agriculture can postpone the day we run into that line, but it can't do it indefinitely.

The good news is that there are simple steps to curbing population growth that should be US foreign policy goals to begin with-- equal rights, universal suffrage, accessibility of birth control, and career opportunities for women.  Create a legal system where women have rights and a culture where they can choose the life they want to lead, and they don't generally choose to have 12 kids.

Lowering infant/childhood mortality has a similar effect-- people in developing nations often try to have lots of children because there is a real risk of one or more not surviving long enough to take care of the family.

The US is well on its way to zero population growth because of these factors.  Japan's is negative.  Most of Europe's is right around zero, and the only reason it's positive is because of net immigration.

mr0x: Water isn't being magically lost, it has just moved from one part of the world to another.


The problem is that soil, minerals, temperature patterns, altitude, cloud cover, local flora/fauna, and other resources crucial to agriculture don't follow.  If you dry out California's Central Valley, you can't just plant those same crops a few hours to the north and expect the same yields.

Ask a farmer how much they enjoy warm years.
 
2013-02-07 03:41:01 PM  

DesertDemonWY: bullshiat

[wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com image 633x625]

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 850x612]


Are you seriously trying to argue that:
A) Temperature increased over the last several decades.
B) Agricultural yields increased over the last several decades.
C) Therefore, A caused B?

This just in: Agricultural science is responsible for B.
 
2013-02-07 03:58:37 PM  

chimp_ninja: The US is well on its way to zero population growth because of these factors.  Japan's is negative.  Most of Europe's is right around zero, and the only reason it's positive is because of net immigration.


Net immigration is the only reason the US population continues to grow, as well.
 
2013-02-07 04:01:39 PM  

chimp_ninja: DesertDemonWY: bullshiat

[wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com image 633x625]

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 850x612]

Are you seriously trying to argue that:
A) Temperature increased over the last several decades.
B) Agricultural yields increased over the last several decades.
C) Therefore, A caused B?

This just in: Agricultural science is responsible for B.


no shiat, sherlock. I'm calling BS that rising temps could devastate crops, as per the first sentence in TFA
 
2013-02-07 04:27:24 PM  

DesertDemonWY: no shiat, sherlock. I'm calling BS that rising temps could devastate crops, as per the first sentence in TFA


The thing about making a prediction; that is, saying something COULD happen, is that its typically in the future.

Your argument is the equivalent of saying that if I have an ice cube, and its currently at 30 degrees, it won't melt when the temperature increases to 35 degrees, because it didn't melt from 25 to 30.
 
2013-02-07 06:01:31 PM  

mr0x: Water isn't being magically lost, it has just moved from one part of the world to another. Some part of the world will now enjoy better agriculture while some other part suffers.


First of all, a lot of the water gets contaminated by salt or poison in that process.

Secondly, to simplify, if areas A, B, and C all get 40 inches and global warming made it so A and B get nothing and C gets 120 inches, that's a reduction in crop production.
 
2013-02-07 06:46:52 PM  
also,

WE ARE THE USDA AND WE NEED MORE FUNDING THANK YOU
 
2013-02-08 12:30:31 AM  

utah dude: also,

WE ARE THE USDA AND WE NEED MORE FUNDING THANK YOU



The subject matter is fairly important, no?
 
2013-02-08 01:00:18 AM  

DesertDemonWY: chimp_ninja: DesertDemonWY: bullshiat

[wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com image 633x625]

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 850x612]

Are you seriously trying to argue that:
A) Temperature increased over the last several decades.
B) Agricultural yields increased over the last several decades.
C) Therefore, A caused B?

This just in: Agricultural science is responsible for B.

no shiat, sherlock. I'm calling BS that rising temps could devastate crops, as per the first sentence in TFA



Maybe something to keep in mind is that if one factor affects agricultural yields (such as advances made during the green revolution) that does not somehow mean that other factors cannot affect it as well (such as climate change).
 
2013-02-08 05:00:30 PM  

mr0x: mod3072: A lot of those gains are due to higher-yielding strains of grain, pumping our major aquifers dry for irrigation, and judicious application of fertilizers. None of those are sustainable long-term, regardless of the climate. There is a limit to how much food an acre of land can produce, no matter how we hybridize our food crops. Phosphorus is a finite resource, and we are churning through it at an alarming rate. The major aquifers are also being depleted at a much greater rate than nature can replenish them. Our food supply cannot and will not rise to infinity. Eventually those graphs of yours will plateau, and then decline, no matter what we do. We may not see it in our lifetimes, but then again, there is a good chance that we will. It will happen at some point, however, and that's assuming that the climate cooperates completely. Add climate change to the mix, and all bets are off.

You're assuming that new techniques or breakthroughs will not occur in the future of agriculture. We are heavily invested in the production of corn and in the future might shift away from it. Instead of making everything from sweeteners to oil from corn, we might use different crops that might even give us better yield.


I make no assumption of that kind at all - we will adapt, as I mentioned in my post. The real challenge is how that adaptation takes place. As another person in this thread put it, water isn't vanishing, but simply being moved from one place to another. That's misleading, in that  usable fresh water is, indeed, vanishing. It's being used, every day, and yes, we're slowly running out of it, because we're transforming it into unusable water, water that has to be either detoxified or desalinized to be used again to support population & agriculture. Midwestern agriculture is suffering in part because stricter and stricter controls are being placed on fresh water usage. Population & agriculture fight over usable fresh water all over the globe, and neither the natural processes or our processes are replacing it fast enough. Adaptation in that situation has meant a lot of things - just ask nomadic tribes that have dealt with lack of useable fresh water for centuries. We may be able to spend the time, money, and resources needed to build widespread desalinization plants, as Saudi Arabia has done for the last couple of decades (about half of the world's desalinized water is produced in Saudi Arabia), but the problem is upon us now. That adaptation would take years, and it's a tossup as to whether that adaptation would be in place in time to prevent the decline of usable fresh water throughout the Midwest.

As you put it, sure, we could improve our processes and products to mitigate such things as well, but we're simply not doing so fast enough and profitably enough to matter. It takes years to develop and implement a new crop, and given that the corn industry has a lot at stake here, they're going to fight against transitioning to a different crop - and yield what, exactly? The reason we use corn is that, in terms of providing sugars, starches, and oils, corn is pretty darned efficient, and has been for the last century or so. We may be able to use multiple crops to replace corn - cane, for sugars, various oilseed crops, for oils, but as the primary usage of corn is silage (most of our corn crop is used as the main energy component in livestock feed), the real adaptation will occur when we stop raising and eating so much livestock. Trying to tell Americans to eat less meat, though, is like trying to tell Americans, well, anything. That's what I mean by "we'll adapt" - the cost of beef and pork should go through the roof, if we had any real sense, slowing down our consumption and need for the number one feed grain crop in America. There's a lot of money in both corn and meat, and neither will really embrace this adaptation, because the rich folks who make their money on corn and meat would stand to lose a lot of money in the short term by doing so.

Hence that whole "we'll adapt" thing I mentioned. It's not an "if", but "how much will it cost", that's the problem. It takes time, money, and resources to do just what you're mentioning. We're out of time, the rich won't spend the money, and our resources are already tasked sustaining the unsustainable. Our lifestyles are about to change, about as drastically as they did during the Little Climatic Optimum, and the rich have the most to lose in the transition. That's what you're seeing today, in my opinion - the rich resisting, as long as possible, this inexorable change. Some are resisting so that they can prepare for a profitable transition, others are resisting because they have no profitable transition.
 
2013-02-09 08:59:26 AM  
For all the whining that you global warming farkers do, my garden had an excellent year. I was able to grow things year round. If anything global warming will merely double our production base for food. Go cry more chicken littles.
 
2013-02-09 02:00:51 PM  

ArmoredFelix: For all the whining that you global warming farkers do, my garden had an excellent year. I was able to grow things year round. If anything global warming will merely double our production base for food. Go cry more chicken littles.


Because clearly your house is all that matters.  Losing a hundred acres to desertification will clearly be offset by your pitiful little garden.
 
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