The face of climate change should be the poor (not polar bears)

Steve Savage’s latest on global food prices led Steve to emphasize that technology is our primary tool to double food production by 2050. That essential tool is being fought by rich and powerful NGO’s and by the wealthy European states. Here’s a snippet from “Should “Charismatic Megafauna” be the “Face” of Climate Change“:

Unfortunately, there is continued resistance to “GMO” crops even after 13 years and billions of acres of safe implementation. Of course if we fail to grow enough food, it won’t be the risk-averse, affluent people of Europe and Japan that will suffer. Even though their own farms are less productive than they could be, they will be able to afford to import food at prices that put it out of reach for the poor. They may also continue to be able to block other countries from growing GMO wheat or rice without suffering much for it, but the suffering will occur somewhere else. I highly recommend Robert Paarlberg’s book, “Starved for Science” which documents how European influence has influenced agricultural policy in Africa to reflect the precautionary leanings of their former colonial masters rather than what is needed to feed poor people.

This is why a polar bear is not an appropriate image of what will happen if we don’t respond properly to the challenge of climate change. We need to envision hunger, starvation, political instability, and mass migration. Climate change consequence needs a human face.

Steve’s book recommendation is available in a Kindle edition: Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa. I just ordered for our iPads. UPDATE: Paarlberg’s book is truly excellent. I’ve already sent a Kindle gift book to a UK friend.

Polar Bear photo from Flickrfavorite.

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