Handbasket Report — Food: What May Not Be in the Basket

About three years ago, I started finding university studies indicating that higher carbon dioxide levels weakened rather than boosted food production, but non-academic coverage of these reports was, as far as I could tell, virtually non-existent until this UC Davis report “Rising CO2 Levels Threaten Crops and Food Quality” also turned up in the LA Times as “Plant Study Dims Silver Lining to Global Warming.”

According to Google News, a total of 19 news outlets picked up this story. Nineteen. One nine. That ain’t many.

A big story often gets a couple hundred. A huge story more. For example, I just typed in these keywords: oil spill bp. Google News gave me 3775 stories on that one. I’ll grant that the Gulf needs major coverage but isn’t the future of food important too?

OK, the possibility of mass starvation isn’t sexy or gory and, I mean, like really, Americans are like, uh, so fat anyway. Less food will be a good thing, right?

No wait, the story got little coverage because it’s science stuff, an academic study. We all know that scientists just do studies for the money or to support global communism.

Or maybe it’s just because the shelves at the local supermarket are full right now and now is all that’s important.

So, considering the meager coverage this topic generally receives, I was delighted to see Richard Brenneman’s post “Ominous Warning Signs for Big Agra, Food Supplies”

Nice to know someone else is worried about food. I consider his post a MUST READ.



3 Responses to “Handbasket Report — Food: What May Not Be in the Basket”

  1. The Destructionist Says:

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.




  2. rogerthesurf Says:

    ” “Rising CO2 Levels Threaten Crops and Food Quality””

    I think that link refers to a particular problem to be overcome in the use of nitrate fertilisers.

    Most glass house operators increase the CO2 concentration to maximise production.

    Some say that 1000 ppmv would be more ideal for the world.



  3. uncommonscolds Says:

    Rogerthesurf: “. . . a particular problem to be overcome in the use of nitrate fertilisers.”

    The topic of nitrogen fertilzers brings us back to fossil fuel depletion. Modern industrial farming depends on fossil fuel-based ferilizers and pesticides. When fossil fuels go, so does high production farming. Of course, high production farming may well go before fossil fuels do since the water supply is already stressed.

    It’s not just one problem Rogerthesurf, it’s a whole bunch of interconnected problems.


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