Bill McKibben advocates for food security

This week it was revealed that part of Vladimir Putin’s strategy in Ukraine is to deprive a significant portion of the world‘s population of enough food to eat. Food security, or rather the lack thereof, will accomplish what atomic weapons cannot. Here’s how it goes in the twisted little mind of this dangerous war criminal.

Prevent wheat in Ukrainian grain silos from reaching global markets, especially Africa. This will force a large number of famine refugees to migrate from Africa to Europe. A massive influx of black and brown faces will overwhelm the continent, lead to the end of the European Union and destroy NATO – which Pooty Poot despises with every fiber of his being.

The end game? Russia waltzes through a weakened Europe and becomes the empire it was always meant to be – Vlad the Impaler as modern-day Alexander the Great. If you’re a tortured psychopath like Putin, this all makes sense to you.

Bill McKibben advocates for food security

One of the most important discussions in the world today is “energy security”. No country wants to depend on another for the fuels it needs to keep the wheels of trade turning, especially if that other country has hostile intentions. But an even more fundamental concern is food safety. Unless and until we are all replaced by cyborgs, starving people are a bigger threat to political stability than high gas prices.

Written on his blog The crucial years this week, activist Bill McKibben said, “The most fundamental of all human questions is, and always has been, ‘What are we eating?’ Or, even more fundamentally, ‘Are there going to be?’ For decades, it has become easier to answer this question: the world’s food supply has grown fairly steadily, but with many caveats arising from reliance on fertilizers, chemicals and hybrid seeds that have fueled the green revolution. But don’t expect the future to look like the past. He goes on to say,

“But the world is only in this situation because climate change has already begun to undermine its ability to produce food. The number of hungry people began to rise in the years before the pandemic, as storms and droughts began to impact crops. At the present time, for example, a dry winter and then a wet spring managed to crush large crops of US wheat and other large producers like Australia are facing dramatic flooding.

“We tend to focus on things like wine or chocolate, but we’re actually talking about wheat, rice, corn – and the panics that can start to set in when they start to run low. India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, imposed an export ban in May when soaring temperatures began to cut yields. The price of corn has increased by 20% since Putin invaded Ukraine, and that of wheat by 30%. It’s an annoyance for most Americans, part of the “inflation crisis.” But if you spend half your daily income on grain, nothing that happened this year is more important than this price increase. Currently, according to a recent study, 71% of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet.

“It will obviously get steadily worse if we let carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. simply has no way to adapt to future temperature rises.

“Human civilization is based on the assumption of a stable climate,” she said. “But we are going well beyond the stable range.” Wondering what she means? Consider this new study indicating that America’s Corn Belt – the largest patch of fertile soil on planet Earth – may not be able to grow corn by the time today’s children are my age.

“And I wonder what this world looks like? Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said last week that using the military to release grain that Russia is blocking from exporting to Ukraine would be “a high-risk military operation.” According to the Defense News website, retired Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, argued this week that ships under the auspices of the United Nations, NATO or a coalition nations could escort grain convoys as US Navy ships. escorted oil shipments in the 1980s amid tensions with Iran, but as Milley pointed out, “Right now the sea lanes are blocked by mines and the Russian navy. To open these sea lanes would require a very significant military effort.

Yes, Clean Technica readers, America – home to the most powerful military in history – is powerless against Putin’s aggression. Do we even want to get involved in a foreign conflict? And if not, why in heaven’s name are we spending close to a trillion dollars a year on our defense budget?

McKibben ends with a plea for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as a way to cool the planet and increase food security for all. Yet 60% of the corn grown in Iowa is used to make ethanol for burning vehicles. “A seventieth of that area devoted to solar panels and pumped into the battery of an electric vehicle would provide the same mileage,” he writes.

Food safety takeaways

So here we are, America, immersed in our woes about high gas prices as we continue to build bigger, heavier vehicles for shopping. We are too timid to use our military for its intended purpose, but continue to increase defense spending every year. We refuse to take an overheated planet seriously because a senator would rather protect his personal financial interests than support the transition to renewable energy.

Abraham Maslow wrote extensively on what he called the hierarchy of people’s needs. He said the two most basic needs are food and clothing. Shelter is next on the ladder. Nowhere is there room for a 6,000 pound, 17 foot long vehicle to ferry the kids to football practice. Food security is something no one thinks about – until the food is gone.

[Note: As this is being written, the EPA has announced new rules that require more corn-based ethanol to be blended with gasoline beginning this year. The move is a huge win for farmers in Iowa, but a disaster for people struggling with higher food prices. Ethanol can be made from any number of plant-based sources. Focusing on corn is wrong-headed and makes US food security worse. But nothing must be allowed to interfere with the God-given right of Americans to drive gigantic vehicles and the need to court votes out there in the heartland.]


 


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