The charitable development organization Oxfam has released a report, “Extreme Weather, Extreme Price,” in which it claims that current weather events brought on by climate change are a precursor to massive spikes in food prices on a global scale. The report examines the impact of extreme weather on food availability in 2030 and warns that drought such as is currently happening in the US could become much more common. For example, another US drought at that time could cause the price of corn alone — already estimated to cost twice as much as food costs now– to go up again by as much as 140 percent. Climate future shocks to other areas of the globe, such as India and southern Africa, are also examined.
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What’s the Big Idea?
Needless to say, the world’s poorest communities, some of which already spend up to 75% of their income on food, would be devastated by these changes. However, Oxfam’s climate change policy adviser says that everyone, not just the poor, would feel the impact, which is why action is required now: “As emissions continue to soar, extreme weather…provides a glimpse of our future food system in a warming world…It is time to face up to what [global warming] means for hunger and malnutrition for millions of people on our planet.”
Bowing to public pressure, Guangzhou and other Chinese metropolises are taking steps to improve the environmental quality of life for their citizens, signaling a recognition that growth for growth’s sake is bad policy.