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article imageOp-Ed: Climate change = Much higher food prices? It’s not looking good

By Paul Wallis     Jun 29, 2019 in World
Sydney - Recent climate events have hit many local markets hard, around the world. In Japan, prices for vegetables have increased drastically. That’s not entirely unusual in itself, but the pattern is showing up worldwide.
The Japanese price spikes have been alarming. Lettuce up 100%, for example. The information provided by the Japan Times indicates that these spikes have come after severe heat waves. 65 people died in those heat waves, so the overall look hasn’t been made any better by the price rises.
Meanwhile, in India, much the same thing has been happening, aggravated by drought and truly murderous heat. Global food prices do fluctuate in a normal market, but the trend is up, and in some cases, severely up.
In India, a mix of drought, heat and water resources issues are causing some serious disruption in the food prices. About 20 cities in India are expecting to run out of groundwater in 2020. That means millions of people will be affected. Doesn’t exactly help when you don’t have water for crops, either. India is also about to introduce a new ration system to manage food to end corruption in the food supply system. (Think for a minute what global rationing would be like. Grim.)
The US and Australia are also suffering from crop issues, notably a massive drop in the US due to Midwest floods and the monstrous Australian drought, one of the worst ever. China, meanwhile, has a serious issue with pig farming, which naturally is impacting prices.
The future of food
Regardless of all other considerations, the fact is that the mix of water supply and climate issues is becoming devastating. Food prices could easily skyrocket, anywhere and everywhere. If the pattern of response is going to be sticking to old crop growing methods, inefficient water supplies and water management, and a price gouging response to every shortage, the damage will be truly catastrophic.
Let’s start with the basics:
• The world population is expected to be 10-11 billion in 2050. This world isn’t able to manage food for 7.6 billion.
• Old-style horticulture and agriculture are truly obsolete, and very inefficient. There’s no way they can meet such higher demand.
• Water management around the world is hardly impressive. Water recycling, harvesting and proper storage to preserve supplies are essential.
• Extra food prices will reduce available money for everything else. It’s like all the other “go broke ASAP” public policies; the more that must be spent on food, the less money people have for other essentials. If you ever wanted to see the classic case for a Universal Basic Income, this is it.
Now the better news
Having cheered you up with yet another doomsday scenario courtesy of our #$^%%$&R$ idiot “leaders”, there are some positives out of this mess:
1. Better tech in water management means much better supply and no shortages. This tech can make any source of water drinkable. It’s 30 year old technology, easy to install and operate.
2. Modern farming and crop growing are highly efficient and far more productive. Sky farms, hydroponics, no-dig, permaculture, it’s all there to be used to make food supplies safe and cheap.
3. Modern production and water management are much cheaper, which can build in profit for growers, and still deliver cheaper food and water.
4. All of these technologies are sustainable by definition and by design. New advances, notably “holistic” design, meaning full cycle growing, water supply integration, etc. make these systems very reliable.
But…
Meanwhile – It’d be no surprise if the food prices attract the same sort of racketeers infesting the pharmaceutical sector. It’s very unlikely that any sort of price management will be enthusiastically adopted by Western governments. India and China can and do clamp down on these things. The EU is highly regulated, and probably won’t allow insane price rises.
One way or another, don’t be too surprised to see some pretty weird price moves in your food. This is another mess that has to be worked out, probably by the sparkling intellects of our mindless governments.
“Market forces” be damned
The theory that markets compete is easily buried under the cartel prices for health, education, etc. Food won’t be any different. The responsibility of government and corporations is to ensure availability and supply. Failure to do so simply proves incompetence and total lack of responsibility Watch this subject, because you’ll see a lot of slimy creatures getting involved.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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