Ideas for Surviving Food Shortages

Food For Freedom

Food for Freedom is a step-by-step blueprint that helps you attain food independence. The guide is designed to equip you with all the knowledge it takes to build your own Aquaponics garden with the limited space in your home. A catastrophe is soon to hit California in the form of a disastrous drought. The Food for Freedom guide teaches you the tested and effective methods that will guarantee you food throughout the year, even in a drought. Frank Tanner, a former investigative journalist, created this detailed program to share the best food self-generating mechanism with you. The methods suggested by the guide use a self-replenishing system. Everything produced within the Aquaponics garden depends on the other, making the system self-sufficient. Plants purify the water for fish which in turn excrete to generate manure for the plants. The Food for Freedom guide is very efficient. It uses just 10% of the water used by ordinary gardens for food generation. This means that even during the driest of times, you still generate food. The program emphasizes optimal utilization of space. The rooftops, parking areas, and basements are what you use to build your gardens, and so you do not have to worry about not having enough space. Read more here...

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Factors Determining Food Shortage in the Early 21st Century

The world grain stock use ratios (ratio of stock volume against use volume), which are the criteria for global availability of grain, have shown a tendency to fall since 1987 (Fig. 1.1). According to USDA data, except for 1997 98 the world average stock use ratio for all grain has been below 17 since 1994 95 this is considered by the FAO to be a dangerously low stock level. The ratio is at around the lowest level since the war, and is about the same as the level during the food crisis year of 1974. The stock use ratios for rice and coarse grain have been lower than the average stock use ratio for all grains since 1989 90, and they have Grain prices rose during the first half of the nineties. Mr. J. A. Sharples, a specialist on the world grain market In the United States Department of Agriculture, mentioned in the fourth issue of Choices magazine in 1995 that the stockpile of major grain exporting countries such as America and Canada, which have played the role of international grain...

Handling or not Handling the Food Crisis

In 2008 we had before us a world food crisis that had tragic social and political consequences in different continents, with riots and deaths that endangered world peace and security. Those sad events are, however, but the chronicle of disaster foretold. In 1996, at the Food Summit, 112 heads of state and government and the representatives of 186 members of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) solemnly pledged to reduce by half the number of hungry in the world by the year 2015 and adopted a programme to achieve that target. But already in 2002, we had to convene a second world summit to draw the international community's attention to the fact that resources to finance agricultural programmes in developing countries were decreasing, instead of rising. With such a trend, the summit target would not be reached in 2015, but in 2150. An Anti-Hunger Programme with financial requirements estimated at US 24 billion per year had been prepared for that meeting. Global...

Recovery of plantbased coproducts for use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals

Konjac glucomannan is a food storage polysaccharide extracted in high yield from the tubers of Amorphophallus konjac C. Koch. This plant has been cultivated for centuries in China and Japan and used as food and as a food additive. Only recently has it found use in the West as a texture modifier and thickener. Konjac glucomannan is a P-(1 4)-linked polysaccharide composed of a d-glucosyl and d-mannosyl backbone lightly branched, possibly through P-(1 6) glucosyl units (Katsuraya et al., 2003). The Man Glc ratio is typically reported to be approximately 1.6 1 (Cescutti et al., 2002), being the weight average molecular mass of this polysaccharide 9.0 1.0 x 105 g mol-1 (Ratcliffe et al., 2005). The presence of about 5-10 acetyl-substituted residues confers water solubility on the glucomannan (Gao and Nishinari, 2004).

Ecological Blunders Of Antiquity

Unfortunately, Meng Tze's advice was not heeded. A major force in decimation of both plants and wildlife during Meng Tze's life was the expansion of agriculture into undeveloped land. In the two centuries before, the ox-drawn iron plowshare had come into use, supplementing human labor with a major new source of energy. Advanced agricultural tools and methods of fertilizing had been invented. Thus, it is not surprising that Meng Tze spoke of the increase of cultivated land at the expense of the wild. His contemporary, the legalist Shang Yang, urged rulers to take measures to cultivate wasteland as a deliberate policy to increase population. Rulers often ordered the cultivation of wasteland to increase agricultural production and combat famine.37 Moreover, they frequently squandered their states' resources on ostentatious new palaces, tombs, self-indulgence, and, above all, military campaigns. From the fourth century BCE onward, economic crises and famines plagued China.38 Deforestation...

Major developments in agriculture

Agriculture Russia 1880s

However, this did not yet indicate continuous and stable progress in terms of grain production. The year 1912 saw an excellent harvest. In some good years in the past (for example 1894 and 1899), average levels of consumption had also reached 0.44 tons (Wheacroft, 1992). Indeed, the truly adequate amount of grain reserve was not that much. Russian peasants traditionally limited amounts of grain for cattle feeding. The peasant's diet was also very limited. In 1913, the average level of food consumption was still low, reaching only 2,109 kcal per capita per day, mostly due to insufficient consumption of meat and dairy products (Kisilev and Shagin, 1996). The level of food consumption was below the officially calculated Russian physiological norm (2,400 kcal).

The Mesopotamians Southwest Asia 3700 bce to 1600 bce

Mesopotamia's irrigated agriculture became increasingly vulnerable, as it was critically dependent upon a good flood. Waters cresting too high would destroy settlements and grain stores waters too low would yield poor crops, food shortages, and famine. Moreover, there always lurked the threat of river and irrigation channels changing their course, which occurred periodically as sedimentation raised the height of diversion canals. Most of the water carried by the Tigris and Euphrates never reached the sea, but evaporated in the flat alluvial marshlands. This led to another problem, that of saliniza-tion. As river water evaporated, it left behind its mineral contents, leading to increasingly saline soils. These soils reduced crop yields and eventually made cultivation impossible.60

Table 54 Estimates for grain production in the USSR between 1928 and 1940 millions of tons

The reduction in the amount of grain retained was also, evidently, a major factor in the disastrous performance of the livestock sector between 1929 and 1933. The goal of increasing the state grain provision at any cost led to acute shortages of grain for peasant food consumption and for feeding livestock. However, the situation is not clear because of the hopeless distortion of the official statistics. For example, modern Russian experts, referring to the revised Soviet statistics, admit that the amount of grain allocated for feeding purposes was reduced from 18.5 million tons in 1928 to 10.2 million tons in 1932-1933 (Yutkropht, 2001). The data on feed reserves, however, do not suggest that catastrophic losses might occur in peasant herds. For example, in 1912-1913 the feed grain reserve was reported to be 11.07 million tons and a catastrophic decline in livestock inventories was observed only when this feed reserve fell to between 5 and 6 million tons in the early 1920s (Popov,...

The Nile Centuries Of Change

The Nile is the longest river in the world, flowing some 6500 km and draining an area of about 3.1 million km2 spread over 10 countries. Most of its water is, however, generated over only 20 of this area. Its waters have been in use by Egypt for over 5500 years. The Nile differs from many transboundary rivers such as the Tigris-Euphrates and the Colorado River systems, in that the strongest economy, the strongest military force, and the best established water user in the basin, i.e., Egypt, is the downstream nation. Ninety-five percent of its runoff originates outside of Egypt (Table 1). The Nile experiences significant decadal to century-scale variability. Biblical stories of feasts and famines remind us of how the river dominated the climate experience and well-being of ancient Egypt (Riebsame et al, 1996).

Drought caused by changes in Global Atmospheric circulation

Aftermath Dust Bowl

Global oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns undergo frequent shifts that affect large parts of the globe, particularly those arid and semiarid parts affected by Hadley Cell circulation. One of the better known variations in global circulation is known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Fluctuations in global circulation can account for natural disasters, including the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s in the U.S. plains states. Similar global climate fluctuations may explain the drought, famine, and desertification of parts of the Sahel and the great famines of Ethiopia and Sudan in the 1970s, 1980s, and mid-2000s. Much of Africa, including the Sahel region, has become increasingly dry and desert-like over the past 100 years or more, and any attempts to restart agriculture and repopulate regions evacuated during previous famines in this region may be fruitless and lead to further loss of life.

Hazards of meteorite impact with earth

To assume that a large impact would have serious consequences for life on Earth. Nations of the world need to consider more seriously the threat from meteorite impacts. Impacts that are the size of the blast that hit Siberia at Tunguska in 1908 happen about once every thousand years, and major impacts, that can seriously affect climate and life on Earth are thought to occur about every 300,000 years. Events like the impact at Chicxulub that killed the dinosaurs and resulted in a mass extinction are thought to occur once every 100 million years. The Chicxulub impact initiated devastating global wildfires that consumed much of the biomass on the planet, and sent trillions of tons of submicrometer dust into the stratosphere. After the flash fires, the planet became dark for many months, the atmosphere and ocean chemistry were changed, and the climate experienced a short-term but dramatic change. The global ecosystem was practically destroyed, and one of the greatest mass extinctions in...

Drought Management And Policy Initiatives

Despite these advances, several groups, particularly the rural poor in Southern Africa, remain food insecure. One solution to avoid such situations is to ensure that forecasts are made more accessible. Others, however, argue that much more is required. The eradication of food emergencies and in cases, famines, requires more than technical capacity. Substantial political will, at national and international levels, more than has been evident to date, is needed (Devereux, 2000).

Farmer Adaptation to Climate Dealing with Variability

The same is not often true in poor countries. Although both ex-post and ex-ante strategies can reduce climate-associated losses to some degree, the poorest households in particular are often unable to fully shield consumption from the effects of climate variability. This inability can be dramatic and devastating, as in the case of the drought-related famines in the Sahel and Horn of Africa in the 1980s, but they can also be more subtle, such as in the longer run documented negative effects of climate variability on health and economic outcomes in agricultural households, particularly for women and children (Hoddinott and Kinsey 2001 Maccini and Yang 2008). Such effects are realized because ex ante measures are insufficient, or ex post measures such as insurance or savings are unavailable, or both.

Acquisition of natural resources at high latitudes

Svalvarbard Population

The acquisition of natural resources in the Arctic has two fundamental aspects that distinguish the exploitation of this habitat from boreal and temperate regions. First is the need for rapid harvesting. For the early hunting peoples, short runs in the annual cycle of available game meant that sometimes a few weeks or even days had to provide hunters, their families and the entire community with their food supplies for possibly a whole year. Secondly, the uncertainty of the arctic environment makes any prediction of when future resources may become available unreliable. Land hunters do not have the certainty that exists with marine sources (such as annual salmon runs) that next year's hunting will be successful. Many traditional arctic hunting techniques were therefore designed to seize an entire herd or stock of animals when it was encountered so as to obtain a maximum catch. Consequently, some means of food storage is essential in these situations (Ingold, 1982 Krupnik, 1993).

Drying Of The American Southwest

Droughts may lead to the conversion of previously productive lands to desert. This process, called desertification, may occur if the land is stressed before or during the drought, typically from poor agricultural practices, overuse of ground and surface water resources, and overpopulation. Global climate undergoes several different variations that can cause belts of aridity to shift back and forth with time. The Sahel region of Africa has experienced some of the more severe droughts in recent times. The Middle East and parts of the desert southwest of the United States are overpopulated and the environment there is stressed. If major droughts occur in these regions, major famines could result and the land may be permanently converted to desert.

Weather variations and agricultural production

Agricultural Production And Meteorology

Despite the modest harvest, a shortage of feed grain was unlikely to be a big problem that year. Our estimation of the grain balance shows that grain requirements were lower than the harvest (see Figure 8.1.). According to Western experts, the situation could, perhaps, have improved due to the state grain reserve. During the last few years, the Soviet grain reserves had been built up from a perilously low amount in mid-1964 to an estimated current level of about 20 million tons. Experts said that if this estimate were correct, the USSR could easily survive one poor harvest. Foreign feed grain was also available ( Further Soviet imports', 1969). Thus the observable recession in Soviet livestock production should be attributed exclusively to unfavorable overwintering conditions in 1969.

Box 72 Environmental migration

Migration, usually temporary and often from rural to urban areas, is a common response to calamities such as floods and famines (Mortimore, 1989), and large numbers of displaced people are a likely consequence of extreme events. Their numbers could increase, and so could the likelihood of their migration becoming permanent, if such events increase in frequency. Yet, disaggregating the causes of migration is highly problematic, not least since individual migrants may have multiple motivations and be displaced by multiple factors (Black, 2001). For example, studies of displacement within Bangladesh and to neighbouring India have drawn obvious links to increased flood hazard as a result of climate change. But such migration also needs to be placed in the context of changing economic opportunities in the two countries and in the emerging mega-city of Dhaka, rising aspirations of the rural poor in Bangladesh, and rules on land inheritance and an ongoing process of land alienation in...

Procurement in 16 25 43 24 No data No data 40 production zone

3.6 centners per hectare is found in historical materials, evidently indicating the existence of the food crisis that occurred in the Ukraine in 1924-1925 (Kochetkov, 2000). This more closely corresponds to the reported social problems and favors the use of the lower rather than the higher estimates. The data presented in Table 4.7. lead to the conclusion that the food situation for both the consumption and production zones radically changed in 1920. Vilensky (1980) points out that there were two periods in the development of food crises in Russia in the 1920s. In 1918 to 1920, the urban population proved more vulnerable to food shortages than the rural population. Famine emerged in the urban population but not among the peasants. However, in 1921-1922, the situation changed radically the rural population succumbed to severe food crises, and mass famine occurred in many otherwise productive regions of the country. The presence of a food crisis in Russian cities between 1918 and 1920...

Potential impact of ea level rise Nile Delta

The creation of water and food shortages, and large numbers of displaced people and even greater unemployment due to loss of agricultural lands, industries and infrastructure from climate-induced precipitation declines and sea-level rise, will not only affect livelihoods, but also will increase competition for existing resources, which could lead to internal migration. Consequently, these factors will likely further erode public confidence in the Egyptian government, with potential for political unrest and for radical fundamentalism to grow. The Muslim Brotherhood are seen as the leading opposition and threatens the current regime's hold on power (Bensahel and Byman, 2004, pp58-59). A new regime may have a different attitude towards peace with its neighbours with drastic regional security ramifications. Several US security experts have noted that in the developing world, even a relatively small climatic shift can trigger or exacerbate food shortages, water scarcity,...

Africa Is the Major Challenge

Sub-Saharan Africa's extreme poverty, poor soils, uncertain rainfall, increasing population pressures, changing ownership patterns for land and cattle, political and social turmoil, shortages of trained agriculturalists, and weaknesses in research and technology delivery systems all make the task of agricultural development more difficult. But we should also realize that to a considerable extent, the present food crisis is the result of the neglect of agriculture by political leaders, even though agriculture provides the livelihood for 60 to 75 of the people in most African countries. Investments in agricultural research and education and in input distribution and food marketing systems have been woefully inadequate. Furthermore, many governments have pursued a policy of providing cheap food often imported from abroad for politically volatile urban dwellers at the expense of production incentives for farmers.

Figure 94 Grain production and intensity of drought in the RSFSR 19761990

For example, Pravda (1977) wrote that harvesting in 1976 had taken place in very complicated weather conditions, although it gave no details. Some decline in milk production was an indication of these weather problems, while the sharp fall in meat production resulted from massive slaughtering in 1975 (Table 9.7.). Despite the record harvest of 1976, the USSR had to import 7 million tons of grain. As a result of a lower demand for feed grain there should have been an excess amount of grain that could help replenish the state grain reserves (Table 9.8.). In 1978, meat production rebounded to the 1975 level and hit a record high of 15.5 million tons. The pig inventories jumped by 12 percent and cattle increased by 2.3 percent in one year. However, milk production went down compared with 1977, perhaps due to adverse weather in the western regions of the USSR. The considerable increase in livestock numbers led to less feed being available per unit of...

Food Security Synthesis

Transitory and chronic food insecurity is caused mainly by poverty. The nearly 800 million undernourished people noted in Table 27.1 are mostly part of the 1.2 billion people in abject poverty, defined as people living on less than 1 per day. People with adequate buying power overcome the frictions of time (e.g., unpredictable, unstable harvests from year to year) and space (e.g., local food shortages) to be food secure.

Food Access and Climate Change

If Thomas Malthus is the customary jumping-off point for discussions of food availability, economist Amartya Sen dominates introductory paragraphs in discussions of food access. Recalling the definition above, food access refers to the ability of an individual to acquire food, either through its production or its purchase. Sen referred to these means of food acquisition as entitlements , and he won the Nobel Prize in part for showing how famines were a result of households or entire regions periodically lacking entitlements. His basic insights hold today for a farmer, entitlements are the means of food production available to her (e.g., land and labor), and her access to food is secure if she can command sufficient amounts of these factors to produce enough food. For those who don't farm, access to food is a function of incomes and prices - how much money one has to spend on food, and how much the food costs. Food access then can deteriorate when non-farm incomes fall, when food...

C12 Impacts on sectors

The Summer 2003 heatwave in western Europe affected settlements and economic services in a variety of ways. Economically, this extreme weather event created stress on health, water supplies, food storage and energy systems. In France, electricity became scarce, construction productivity fell, and the cold storage systems of 25-30 of all food-related establishments were found to be inadequate (L tard et al., 2004). The punctuality of the French railways fell to 77 , from 87 twelve months previously, incurring 1 to 3 million (US 1.25 to 3.75 million) in additional compensation payments, an increase of 7-20 compared with the usual annual total. Sales of clothing were 8.9 lower than usual in August, but sales of bottled water increased by 18 , and of ice-cream by 14 . The tourist industry in northern France benefitted, but in the south it suffered (L tard et al., 2004).

Integrated Assessment Models

In the context of climate change, integrated assessment models typically incorporate a climate model of moderate or intermediate complexity with models of the economic system (especially the industrial and energy sectors), land use, agriculture, ecosystems, or other systems or sectors germane to the question being addressed. Rather than focusing on precise projections of key system variables, integrated assessment models are typically used to compare the relative effectiveness and implications of different policy measures (see Chapter 17). Integrated assessment models have been used, for instance, to understand how policies designed to boost production of biofuels may actually increase tropical deforestation and lead to food shortages (e.g., Gurgel et al., 2007) and how policies that limit CO2 from land use and energy use together lead to very different costs and consequences than policies that address energy use alone (e.g., Wise et al., 2009a). Another common use of integrated...

Drought And Desertification

On the other hand, many researchers strongly rela-tivize the possible direct link existing between drought and emigration by highlighting the fact that the latter, in general, is the last resort when all other survival strategies have been exhausted. For example, during the 1994 drought in Bangladesh, only 0.4 percent of households had to resort to emigration. Other researchers hold views similar to that of Nobel Prize winner for Economics, Amartya Sen, in remarking that famines are, in general, only marginally the direct result of environmental factors, but much rather political ones and add that this also holds for migrations. In certain contexts, the effect can even be inversed. This was the case in Mali during the drought of the mid-1980s a reduction in international emigration was observed due to the lack of available means to finance the journey. Forecasts of increased migrations linked to drought-related phenomena remain hazardous. Consequently, it would be difficult to put a...

Predicted National Security Consequences of Climate Change

One of the most noted theorists of environment-conflict studies, Thomas Homer-Dixon, wrote that change to the environment will impact populations by decreased economic productivity and disrupted institutions will jointly contribute to relative-deprivation conflicts positive feedbacks may operate relative-deprivation conflicts may cause further economic decline and institutional dislocation. 41 Joseph Romm echoed this concern in 1993, writing that many nations' being confronted with scarce resources may lead to conflict or ecosystem collapse, resulting in environmental refugees. Such traumas could threaten U.S. national security if these conflicts were to occur in areas of importance to the United States, or if refugees were to flee in large numbers to this country. 42 And the German climatologist Hermann Ott wrote in 2001, Water and food shortages, rising sea levels and generally changing patterns of precipitation will lead to mass migrations and a considerable increase in low- and...

Indirect Effects Of Climate Change

The main mechanisms through which climate change has an impact on irrigation water are less runoff and groundwater recharge, combined with increased rates of extraction in many parts of the world. The main geographic areas of concern are India, which in the recent past has seen a slowdown in the growth rate of rice yields, southern and North Africa, some of Latin America, and parts of Europe. Droughts and the lack of water may spark or reignite political and military conflict between countries whose water systems are interdependent. The indirect impacts of decreased rainfall and the increased frequency of droughts will drive up wildfire risk and, even in the short-term, change the distribution of pests. Decreased frequency of winter frosts will also affect the spatial distribution of pests. Historically, famines were caused by pests, which are becoming an increasing concern. In addition, marine ecosystems, home to the world's fisheries, will be affected though climate-induced...

Adapting to the unknown

One way or another, humans will have to adapt to life in a hotter world. Many plausible scenarios suggest a sharp decline in the number of people that will survive in the long term. Some suggest a billion or a few hundred million will remain in a century or two, but one guess is as good as the next. One thing is certain the transition to some new stage of stability will be long and brutal, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable whose survival will be threatened by food shortages, extreme weather events and disease. Yet in a world that is now densely interlinked, everyone will be affected profoundly. More autonomous financial systems ought not to be too difficult, but untangling trade networks and returning to a more autarkic world seems from here to be almost inconceivable. Yet shortages and more expensive transport might impose it on us.

What if any guides do we have to survive these multiple shocks

At the heart of the transition after 1990 was the success of small farms and urban farms and gardens. The immediate crisis was averted by food programmes that targeted the most vulnerable people - the old, young, pregnant women and young mothers - and a rationing programme that guaranteed a minimum amount of food to everyone. Soon, half the food consumed in the capital, Havana, was grown in the city's own gardens. The threat of serious food shortages was overcome within five years (Novo and Murphy, 2001). Overall, urban gardens provide 60 per cent of the vegetables eaten in Cuba.

Adaptation policies Managing the environment for the benefit of all

This is not to say that people are not or could not, in future, be displaced because of climate change. There is overwhelming evidence to support the significant danger that climate change poses, especially to developing countries. For instance, scenarios where small island states risk being submerged due to sea-level rise are certainly feasible. Equally, a scenario where people escape water or food shortages because the land upon which they depend can no longer sustain them is also possible. People fleeing such peril no doubt require protection - although it should not come to a matter of life and death before they are offered the choice to migrate.

Increasing Vulnerability To Drought

Since the earliest historical times, drought has been a major hazard in northwest Africa. Historical surveys of drought and other natural calamities have determined that there were 49 major drought-related famines in Morocco during the period from the late ninth century to the early 1900s (Bois, 1957) and at least 26 such episodes in Tunisia from around ad 100 to the late 1800s (Bois, 1944).

Food Availability and Climate Change

The first is that on an average per capita basis, the world today produces more than enough food to meet caloric requirements, and that this success has been based mostly on yield gains over the last half century. Perhaps first popularized by Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, the question of whether the world can produce enough food to feed a growing population has been a perennial concern. Thus far, technology has mostly precluded Malthusian doomsday predictions of population-driven food shortages. Through the first half of the last century, the need for increased food production was met by expansion of cropped area. But beginning in about the 1950s, when population and income growth were adding increasing pressure to global food markets, large-scale sustained investment in crop productivity greatly increased yields of crops throughout the developing world. This so-called Green Revolution allows the world today to produce 170 more cereals on just 8 more cropped area than 50 years...

International Cooperation

International and regional cooperative agricultural research has historically been an example, par excellence, of the open source approach to biological research. Beginning in the 1950s, and especially in the 1960s, a looming global food crisis led to the development of a group of international agricultural research centres with a specific mandate to foster international exchange and crop improvement relevant to many countries.

The future Hopeful or hopeless

The multilateral system also needs to be strengthened. Increasingly, challenges have global dimensions (e.g. the food crisis, climate change, the financial crisis, the energy crisis) and require increasing international cooperation. Multilateral systems also need to be supported to increase collaboration among different actors, which are specialized in specific areas. Water resources issues are cross-cutting and need to be addressed from that perspective. United Nations Water represents an innovative and flexible mechanism to promote such collaboration within the UN system and with key partners.

Impacts on nutrition and the food supply

The IPCC has tended to see the positive and negative effects of climate change on agricultural production, if the warming were to occur at a moderate pace, as close to even in terms of overall global food production, but with some regional variations that might harm local food security (IPCC, 2001). Generally, the areas of the globe most vulnerable to climate-related stress on food production are poorer countries in lower latitudes. Not only do these nations have limited capacity to adapt, but their food distribution systems, as we have seen in several of the African famines, are also poorly positioned to disseminate food aid, should it be sent. To date, the greatest human health disasters, on a par with global pandemics such as influenza, plagues or tuberculosis, have been famines. A huge wild card in the climate equation is the possibility of increased meteorological volatility as the world warms. This would cause more intense precipitation at irregular intervals (meaning more...

The Economic Argument

Another way of demonstrating the economic importance of biodiversity is to use examples of negative impacts of biodiversity loss. Such losses can destabilize relationships of communities, even countries. A perfect ecological, economic, and political storm is brewing in West Africa because of the complex interplay of overfishing by both African and European nations offshore, the accelerating devastation of wildlife on land for bushmeat, and periods of massive food shortages (Brashares et al., 2004).

Linking crop failure and food availability in the country

This subject is the most complicated to analyze since it concerns social and political rather than physical phenomena. When evaluating a crop failure as potentially dangerous for the country, one cannot know for certain whether it would inevitably develop into a large-scale food crisis. No simple or direct links between crop failure and food availability in local stores exist. The crop failure would first impact on the economic, social, and political factors of the country, then these changes would worsen the food situation in the country. Moreover, Soviet history shows that food crises, and even mass famine, could arise for political reasons rather than crop failure. Researchers can also find in the history of the USSR much material for speculation on the influence of crop failures on key political changes in the country. The revolution of February 1917 began in the bread queues of Petrograd (then St. Petersburg). Two out of the four major political crises within the Communist Party...

The postrevolutionary decade 19171928

Despite the diversity and abundance of statistical reports, this period is controversial in terms of their reliability. One spectacular example of this problem occurred in Materials on statistical data of the Soviet Union for 1918-1923 (Sbornik statisticheskix svedenii po Souzy SSR 1918-1923, 1924). The materials contain very promising results for field research on the food consumption of the urban population and peasants in different regions of Russia. The research was conducted between 1918 and 1923. Unfortunately, there is much doubt about the representative character of this data. The statistics indicate too high a level of food consumption in rural and urban areas of Russia, while numerous historical documents give a desperate picture of severe food crisis and mass famine in many regions. The materials of the KGB for the 1920s represent the best and most detailed collection of documents on the food catastrophe in the regions, with a population of around 30 million people...

Scenario Overview Expected Climate Change

Consequently, even though the IPCC projects that the temperature increases at higher latitudes will be approximately twice the global average, it will be the developing nations in the Earth's low latitudinal bands that will be most adversely affected by climate change. In the developing world, even a relatively small climatic shift can trigger or exacerbate food shortages, water scarcity, destructive weather events, the spread of disease, human migration, and natural resource competition. These crises are all the more dangerous because they are interwoven and self-perpetuating water shortages can lead to food shortages, which can lead to conflict over remaining resources, which can drive human migration, which, in turn, can create new food shortages in new regions.

New agricultural production modes

The green agricultural revolution, which began after the Second World War, has led to a strong increase in agricultural production, thus helping to avoid famines in numerous regions worldwide and especially in Asia. However, this revolution has been accomplished by using high amounts of energy, fertilisers and pesticides. Similar to what has occurred in other economic sectors, this has had a negative impact upon the environment and has increased the dependence of agricultural production upon energy supplies.

Assumptions about future trends

The health of populations is an important element of adaptive capacity. Where there is a heavy burden of disease and disability, the effects of climate change are likely to be more severe than otherwise. For example, in Africa and Asia the future course of the HIV AIDS epidemic will significantly influence how well populations can cope with challenges such as the spread of climate-related infections (vector- or waterborne), food shortages, and increased frequency of storms, floods and droughts (Dixon et al., 2002).

Building on Farmers Knowledge

The role of climate forecasts in rural livelihoods hinges on household vulnerability to climate risk. While quantitative methods make it possible to measure and compare levels of vulnerability, qualitative approaches provide valuable insights into subtler dimensions of vulnerability. In-depth interviewing and participant observation has revealed how gender, ethnicity, and caste can limit access and use of climate forecasts among African farmers (Roncoli et al. 2004). By combining participatory methods with quantitative surveys and agent-based modeling, a study among farmers in Southern Africa showed that, while wealthy households realized greater yield gains, climate forecasts benefited poor farmers the most by reducing the likelihood of food shortage (Ziervogel et al. 2005).

Agroforestry on Soil Organic Carbon

The soil loses its capacity to form stable aggregates because the binding material, the SOM, has been lost. These degradation processes result in reduced biomass production and reduced amounts of organic matter returned to the soil, depletion of the SOC pool, decline in soil quality, and greater emissions of CO2, CO4, and N2O to the atmosphere, where soil biota play an important role in all of these processes (Metting, 1993 Mendes et al., 1999). Emissions of these greenhouse gases caused by traditional farming practices lead to mining of soil C and N reserves. Since the SOC pool is very labile and highly dynamic, and its amounts depend on the input-output balance of the system, the result of the traditional farming system is a rapid decline of soil productivity, food production, food shortages, and malnutrition (Stewart et al., 1991). Intervention with improved farming methods, such as integrated nutrient management to rebuild SOM becomes very important. This is...

Tsujii Introduction

The world grain stock use ratios (ratio of stock volume against use volume) which are the criteria for global availability of grain have shown a tendency to fall since 1987. According to USDA data, except for 1997 98 the world average stock use ratio for all grain has been below 17 since 1994 95 FAO considers this a dangerously low level. The ratio is at around the lowest level since the war, and is about the same as the level during the food crisis year of 1974. The stock use ratios for rice and coarse grain have been lower than the average stock ratio since 1989 90, and they have been lower than 17 since 1993 94. The ratio for rice is projected to be at the dangerously low level oflittle more than 11 in 1998 99. These low stock use ratios are caused by the following long term factors transformation in agricultural policy during the late eighties and the nineties in both Europe and the United States, the stagnation in agricultural technology improvement, scarcity in and degradation...

The Need To Conserve Diversity

The demands of food shortages in the 1960s and 1970s. The result was the Green Revolution. However, the lessons learned from that period have contributed to the current emphasis on long-term sustainability of production systems and the protection of the natural resource base, while at the same time maintaining an adequate and healthy food supply. This places new demands on plant breeders to continue to increase productivity in socially and environmentally appropriate ways. Plant breeders will respond to that demand biodiversity is the means for achieving their goals. Potentially valuable genes and gene combinations, which might at present be unknown or undiscovered, can provide the means to fewer external inputs in crop production systems, lower levels of environmentally toxic pesticides, and internal resilience of agroecosystems. Conserving these needed genetic resources for future use in the face of technical and political obstacles can be an enormous challenge.

Approximate Maximum Mortality Levels from Natures Shocks

Droughts, at their worst, have resulted in a few million deaths. The long history of drought is notably fuzzy, and whether or not deaths ought to be laid at drought's door is often unclear, especially for the deeper past. In the twentieth century, where the uncertainties are reduced, the deadliest droughts occurred in China from 1928 to 1931, in 1936, and in 1941, with 2 million to 5 million deaths on each occasion, generally because of starvation. The famous droughts in West Africa's Sahel region of 1967 to 1973 and again in the early 1980s each killed about 1 million people. In all probability some of the drought-induced Indian famines of the nineteenth century killed greater numbers, but the figures are in dispute.5 In the last two or three centuries, as societies have grown more complex and as mobility has become less feasible as a societal response, resistance and resilience have come to take more technological and bureaucratic forms, such as granaries, seawalls, and...

Common Practice and Future Needs

Comprehensive sustainability is built upon three pillars which consider environmental, economical and societal aspects. These dimensions can be covered within the Sustainable Assessment (SustAss). It is based upon (i) the ecologically oriented LCA with the carbon footprint as an important element, (ii) the life cycle costing (LCC) and (iii) the social life cycle assessment (SLCA) 42 . Every assessment refers to a specific item (e.g., a product), typically evaluated from raw material acquisition to product disposal recycling (cradle , to -grave). Ideally, the system boundaries of all three evaluation fields correspond with each other following consistent assumptions and are distinct to avoid double counting. Only under consideration of the entire life cycle, can problems referring to sustainability and their possible shifts to other issues when solved (e.g., the sourcing of renewable feedstocks could cause food shortage), be identified and anticipated 43 . Currently, the social...

Conclusion The Clear Implications of Global Climate Change

In the case of severe climate change, projected massive nonlinear events in the global environment give rise to massive nonlinear societal events. In this scenario, nations around the world will be overwhelmed by the scale of change and by pernicious challenges, such as pandemic disease and water and food shortages. The internal cohesion of nations will be under great stress, including in the United States, owing to a dramatic rise in migration, changes in agricultural patterns and water availability, and the pulling away of wealthier members of society from the rest of the population. Protests,

Identifying vulnerable regions and socioeconomic groups

Analysis of impacts of climate change on agriculture fails to capture the complexity of the potential impact on food security by ignoring the political economy aspects of agricultural resource use and allocation (Bohle et al., 1994). In seeking to understand processes of adaptation in their wider context, analysis is required which explicitly highlight the winners and losers from impacts in agriculture. Dreze and Sen (1989), for example, show that food insecurity is exacerbated by underlying social conditions of vulnerability as well as by external factors such as civil strife or population movements. Famine and food shortage are short-run unexpected phenomena, while food insecurity and climate change are long-term trends. Thus, although overall projected changes in local crop and agricultural production are uncertain but may not represent a global shortage of food, regions and particular social groups are likely to be continually vulnerable to food insecurity.

Changing Vulnerability in Central and Eastern Kenya

The failure of the first rains in 1984, following poor second rains in 1983, triggered a serious food crisis in central and eastern Kenya. The drought illustrates diverse impacts and responses in different environments. Households generally survived the food crisis by purchasing their food participation in the monetary economy reduced their vulnerability to drought. Households are largely self-sufficient in average years with current farming practices and land holdings. A slight surplus can be produced in the humid zones (II), where maize grows well. The larger holdings in the semiarid zones (V) also produce a surplus in years of average to good weather. In contrast, storage of surplus food is a potentially effective drought-coping strategy, depending on good production during above-average years. However, food storage has a cost. In central Kenya, average food storage in the 1980s was equivalent to 40 to 100 days of consumption, and twice that in eastern Kenya, which is drier and...

Effectiveness of Seasonal Forecasts and Climate Risk Management

The way one interprets the linkages between climate, agriculture and food security fundamentally shapes the ways in which forecasts are usually 'framed', disseminated and eventually used. Recent investigations of the progress and outcomes of the Vulnerability Assessment Committees, established in 2002 in six countries to examine the food crisis in the Southern African region, have shown that measures of food gaps are not effective ways of capturing the causes of food insecurity in the region but that a wider, livelihoods-based perspective is required (Tango International 2005).

Globalization Biofuels and GHGs

And EU is the recognition of the 'knock-on' effect of subsidies in the US and EU. Table 6.2 shows how markets are interconnected and how subsidies have direct and indirect social, GHG and environmental impacts. The social impacts of subsidization policies on other countries are difficult to escape given the well publicized food riots. But analysis of the environmental and GHG implications of biofuel subsidies has been mainly of the direct kind until recently.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

How strong must the precipitation belt shift be to generally endanger food supply for mankind What can be tolerated More food in mid and high latitudes while a serious food crisis leads to migration out of enlarged semi-arid zones, already suffering from desertification now

Table 62 The main development parameters for the agricultural sector in the postwar decade in the Russian Federation

We suggest that the deficit in animal feed, mostly grain, was probably the main reason for this stagnation in livestock production, although the very poor state of other fodder was also a problem. Our estimation of the grain balance for 1945 to 1954 shows that the grain reserve was insufficient to support the proposed livestock program (Table 6.3.). In this estimate the figures for grain demand include three basic items food for human consumption (0.2 tons per capita), seed (0.15 tons per ha), and animal feed (0.32 tons per standard unit), according to Soviet standards for the 1950s (Pelt, 1959). The most critical situation developed in the first post-war years (Figure 6.1.). Between 1945 and 1949,

Figure 41 Ratio of prices for agricultural and industrial products 19221923

The major consequence of the relatively low price for grain was that it increased the consumption of grain by livestock within the peasant economy. In the pre-war period the peasants preferred to sell their grain reserve rather than feed it to their livestock. In the 1920s the peasants preferred to feed their livestock with grain that, in more favorable political conditions, they would have marketed. By 1926 the number of cattle nearly equaled the 1914 level, and it continued to rise in 1927 and 1928. The average weight of cattle, which partly depended on the supply of grain as fodder, was apparently higher than in 1913. The principal economic reason for this success was that meat and dairy products, unlike grain, were mainly sold on the free market, so that their prices were outside state control (Wheatcroft and Davies, 1994). Much grain was also used for producing homemade vodka. The low price of grain stimulated the illegal production of vodka, which was sold by peasants at the...

Box 71 Impacts of the 2003 heatwave in Europe

The Summer 2003 heatwave in Western Europe affected settlements and economic services in a variety of ways. Economically, this extreme weather event created stress on health, water supplies, food storage and energy systems. In France, electricity became scarce, construction productivity fell, and the cold storage systems of 25-30 of all food-related establishments were found to be inadequate (Letard et al., 2004). The punctuality of the French railways fell to 77 , from 87 twelve months previously, incurring 1 to 3 million (US 1.25 to 3.75 million) in additional compensation payments, an increase of 7-20 compared with the usual annual total. Sales of clothing were 8.9 lower than usual in August, but sales of bottled water increased by 18 , and of ice cream by 14 . The tourist industry in Northern France benefited, but in the South it suffered (Letard et al., 2004).

Food problems

There is some contention about the scale of the food crisis in the drought years in pre-war Russia. Soviet experts believe that mass famine occurred because of the droughts. They inevitably quote the words once articulated by V. Lenin about famine occurring in drought years in pre-revo-lutionary Russia. Quite typically, one Soviet news agency (Voskresensky, 1982), when discussing agricultural development in pre-revolutionary times, claimed that mass famine occurred in Russia in 1911. According to this agency, this year mass famine was observed in 60 out of the 70 provinces of the Russian Empire, and more than 30 million peasants (20 percent of the total population) starved. The blame was laid on the tsarist regime, which had urged for increases in cereal exports at any cost. Soviet historians generally quoted the words of Vyshnegradsky, the minister of finance, who said in 1887 Let us starve, but let us export. Some Western experts also talk of mass famine in the years of crop failure...

Susceptible host

Some infectious diseases are unique to the Arctic and lifestyles of the indigenous populations and may increase in a warming Arctic. For example, many Arctic residents depend on subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering for food, and on a predictable climate for food storage. Food storage methods often include above ground air-drying of fish and meat at ambient temperature, below ground


Food grain and seed changed little during the decade. The animal feed grain demand grew by 45 percent and reached 65 percent of the total grain production between 1961 and 1965. This proportion was evidently too high for Russian climatic conditions, where stable and predictable yields are not possible but where there are great fluctuations in the size of grain harvests from year to year. Any downturn in grain production would bring about a serious shortage in the feed grain reserve for Soviet livestock. In launching the livestock development program, the Soviet leader was evidently relying on his own expectations of harvests from the virgin lands. What actually happened was that harvests were far below these expectations, thus a shortage of feed grain emerged in the USSR.

Curtis Monger

Millennial Scale Climate Variability

Although packrat middens provide firm evidence that certain plants were present at certain times, the limitations of using this method for broad paleoclimatic reconstruction have been reviewed by Hall (1997). First, woodrats gather vegetation only within a range of about 30 meters. Second, woodrats do not randomly collect plants from their 30-m home range, but select specific plants for food storage, nesting, and den construction. Third, rocky-escarpment vegetation may differ significantly from vegetation occupying broad piedmont slopes and basin floors. Fourth,


In many countries, especially developing ones, there is a serious and growing shortage of food. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, recently said that 'hundreds of thousands of people will be starving', and that 'children will be suffering from malnutrition'. 'He predicted that increasing food prices would push up the cost of imports for poor countries'. Since January 2007, the price of wheat has risen two and a half times and that of rice has almost trebled. These are staple foods in many countries, and the rising prices bear heavily on the poor. The sharp rise in food prices is due to increased demand, poor weather and an increase in the area of land used to grow crops for more biofuels. Of these, biofuels derived from soya beans, sugar cane and corn have been identified as the major cause. The food shortage and rising prices have led to riots in Egypt, Haiti, Bangladesh, India and several other countries. Professor Beddington, the British...

Global Food Demand

Population increases in food-insecure countries exacerbate food shortage by reducing per capita arable land area, which is already low (Lal, 2000). The world population in 1900 was 1.65 billion, while cropland area was 800 million ha, resulting in mean per capita cropland area of about 0.5 ha. Less than 8 million ha were under irrigation in 1900, and no chemical fertilizer was used. The world population in 2000 was 6 billion, and cropland area was 1.364 billion ha, resulting in mean per capita cropland area of 0.227 ha. Irrigated land

Tipping points

Metz et al (2007) give a 50 per cent chance that a 550 part per million carbon dioxide equivalent stabilization will cause a 20 and 30 per cent loss of all species on Earth with almost half of the world's population being at risk of water shortages, 0.25 billion people exposed to potential health problems, and hundreds of millions facing food shortages and coastal inundation.

Food Security

Because the food system is globally interconnected, it is not possible to view U.S. food security, or that of any other country, in isolation. Where food is imported as is the case for a high percentage of seafood consumed in the United States prices and availability can be directly affected by climate change impacts in other countries. Climate change impacts anywhere in the world potentially affect the demand for agricultural exports and the ability of the United States and other countries to meet that demand. Food security in the developing world also affects political stability, and thereby U.S. national security (see Chapter 16). Food riots that occurred in many countries as prices soared in 2008 are a case in point (Davis and Belkin, 2008). Over the past 30 years, there has been dramatic improvement in access to food as real food prices have dropped and incomes have increased in many parts of the developing world (Schmidhuber and Tubiello, 2007). Studies that project the number...

Recent Droughts

In other parts of the world, droughts have caused famines resulting in the deaths of those who live a subsistence life in arid lands at the edge of deserts. The people of Mongolia, of the Sahel, which is the arid transition zone between the Sahara Desert and the savannah lands to the south, of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia, and other places have long lived with recurring periods of drought.

Rising inequality

Mexico made the crisis a global one when it threatened to default on its debt in 1982, prompting emergency action to reschedule its debt and shore up the world's banking system. Many other Southern countries during this period ended up spending the majority of their export earnings on merely servicing the interest on their debt. To add insult to injury, they had to go to the World Bank and the IMF to get emergency loans to stabilise their economies. Those institutions used this new-found power to force neoliberal 'structural adjustment' -read, austerity - measures on them. This frequently made their crises worse, and almost always turned the economic crisis into a social one. For example, forcing the removal of subsidies on basic foodstuffs provoked 'food riots' against the IMF in a number of places.16 16 J. Walton and D. Seddon (eds.), Free Markets and Food Riots The Politics of Global Adjustment (Oxford Blackwell, 1994).

Etiology Of Ecocide

The second critical step in the etiology of ecocide was the establishment of sedentary agriculture, culminating in the Neolithic revolution some 10,000 years ago. Anthropologist Mark Cohen explains it as an unintended consequence resulting from the extermination of megafauna, whereby mass extinction combined with climatic and demographic changes to produce the food crisis in prehistory. It forced people to change their social organization wherever conditions such as a favorable climate, water, and fertile soil, and species that could be domesticated, were present.39 As Jean-Jacques Rousseau noted as early as 1755, the transition to agriculture gave rise to what has long since become a series of fateful assumptions first, human life requires strict hierarchy, the extensive division of labor, and social inequality. Second, improved modes of organization and technological innovation are capable of addressing human needs and wants. Third, Homo sapiens sapiens is entitled to dominate the...

National interests

The growing if distant prospect of an Arctic Bridge is all the more appealing in this regard because it has coincided with heightening fears of food riots. The price of foodstuffs has soared in recent years for a number of highly complex reasons, chief among which is the huge, unsustainable rate of population growth in the Third World. Whatever the causes, events in the summer of 2008 realized every government's worst nightmare, as huge numbers of angry and violent protestors the world over took to the streets to demonstrate against dramatic rises in the price of food. In the course of 2009, experts and political leaders continued to warn that 'the food crisis has not gone away' and could soon return with a vengeance, fast 'resuming its upward trend' to threaten an impending 'food crunch'.18 Coupled with a worldwide recession, which in 2009 is already provoking public anger, this presents a potentially ominous development.19


Our world is facing simultaneously a multitude of crises a worldwide financial and economic crisis of historic proportions, a severe food crisis in many parts of Africa, wars and insurrections, corrupt and incompetent governments, not to speak of the multitudinous natural catastrophes of the past few years tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes.

Pest Control

Pesticides are considered a necessary evil however, it has been estimated that without their use food expenditure for western families would more than double (Zilberman et al. 1991) and, much worse, food shortage would be more acute in many third world countries about 40 crop production would be lost, according to FAO. Pest and pesticide control is probably the sector where a really integrated view of farm management is most required certainly, pest treatments by calendar as largely in use till a few years ago and still in use today here and there are unsustainable. The principles of targeting interventions according to real need as advocated


As biodiversity and consequently genetic diversity are reduced, the integrity of the agro-ecosystem in terms of disease resistance and optimal resource cycling is eroded. The most extreme loss of biodiversity is represented in monocultures. The inherent genetic uniformity in monocultures, especially those with a single uniform variety, is highly susceptible to and unstable against pests, diseases, weeds and all environmental stresses (Geier 2000). Therefore, from a yield point of view, crop diversity is an important tool to minimize crop losses due to diseases, pests, droughts, floods and other adverse external factors and significantly reduces the risk of food shortage in case of crop failure of a particular species within a rotation or mixed-crop stand. Most diseases and pests affect only one crop, and often propagate faster and more extensively if this crop is grown on large, continuous areas. For soil-borne pests and diseases, it is well known that the best prevention is simply to...


Human-induced warming over recent decades is already affecting many physical and biological processes on a global scale. Major research findings have pointed to changes in climate temperature, including increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level. Due to this changing climatic condition, much of the world's population is expected to face serious water shortages by the turn of the century, food production is expected to decline in low-altitude areas, and desertification will lead to food shortages. There are reported cases of increased intensity of tropical cyclones in the north Atlantic within the past 25-30 years, and storms with heavy precipitation have also increased. Mountain glaciers, snow cover, and Arctic sea ice have also fallen.


OFFICIALLY PART OF Europe, Iceland has been a republic since 1944. The capital city is Reykjavik and the population (2007 est.) is 311,400. The total area of the island is 39,768.5 sq. mi. (103,000 sq. km.). Glaciers cover approximately 11 percent of the landmass. Iceland is located in a geological hotspot and has several active volcanoes. During the last glaciation, Iceland was completely covered with ice. Colonists, primarily from Norway, first settled Iceland in the late 9th century. According to DNA studies, approximately one quarter of the original population was composed of women from the northern British Isles. Woodland cover, now around 1.3 percent of the total landmass, was then approximately 30 percent. The settlers brought a farming economy based on sheep and cattle. With a climate generally unsuitable for grain growing, the main agricultural crop has been the grass on which the livestock have depended for winter fodder. The failure of grass in past centuries frequently led...


The importance of agriculture to human well-being explains why influential national and international government and nonprofit agencies have focused so much attention on the impact of climate change on agriculture. There is a clear recognition on the part of agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the World Bank clearly recognize that climate change could have profound effects on the future. Global climate change may have some positive impacts on agriculture. On the other hand, there may be deeply negative impacts if climate change triggers droughts or other catastrophic events that hurt the global food supply. Resource scarcity could, in turn, cause famines and geopolitical conflicts with grave humanitarian consequences.

Past Perspectives

But it was Malthus in his series of essays published from 1798 who wrote most eloquently about the dangers posed by failure to grow sufficient food on a sustainable basis. He concentrated on checks to population, and says little about food production. The checks he mostly discusses are warfare, pestilence and disease, storms and floods, as well as famines, and he also includes several mentions of countries and regions where infanticide was practiced. The Taiping Wars were some of the most disastrous civil wars ever, with deaths certainly exceeding 30 million. The area of the lower Yangzi in which they occurred is among the most fertile, and heavily populated, in China (Thorpe, 1936 Ho, 1959). Ho Ping-ti attributes the large loss of life to the Taiping and other wars, the destruction of farmland, famines, epidemics, and the evils of opium.


Ting the amount of grain for sale on the market. As a result, the amount of grain available on the market (and prices) fluctuated sharply. A grain shortage could emerge if peasants began to consume more grain within their households. In 1916-1917, quite unexpectedly, a food crisis developed in major Russian cities for one single reason faced with the dismantling of the free market mechanism, peasants began to keep some grain to fatten their cattle and this, in combination with certain other factors, paralyzed bread supplies to the central cities. As is well known, the revolution of February 1917 began in the bread queues of Petrograd.

Cape Verde

Owing to a large population, and compounded by overgrazing and deforestation, there have been regular food shortages in the country from droughts. These may not all be due to global warming, as droughts have been recorded in the area since the 17th century. Over many centuries, Cape Verdeans have migrated overseas. Electricity production comes from fossil fuels. The country's carbon dioxide emissions are very low, ranging from 0.2 metric tons per capita in 1990, rising to 0.30 metric tons per capita in 2003. This is entirely due to the use of liquid fuels, and in spite of the small size of the islands, public transportation in Cape Verde is extremely limited.


However, the Russian peasants moved rather in the opposite direction. They continued to sow cereals in any available areas and were not keen to sow other crops. They reduced grasslands in favor of cereals and fed livestock in such a way that the animals were merely given the chance barely to survive until the following spring. The Russian peasants tilled their arable land carelessly and applied little manure and no mineral fertilizers. A striking example of this strategy was the ploughing up of most hayfields and grassland in the Central Black Earth region at a record rate. The disappearance of the grassland led to continued problems for livestock breeding in this region until quite recently. However, it would be incorrect to say that Russian peasants did all these things because they favored subsistence farming quite the opposite. Russian peasants were trying to sell their produce on the market. The monetary proportion represented by agriculture and handicrafts in a family's budget...


ERITREA IS LOCATED in the Horn of Africa between 12 degrees 22' and 18 degrees 02' north and between 36 degrees 26' and 43 degrees 13' east, bordering Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the South, Djibouti in the Southeast and with the Read Sea in the East. Total land area is 77,236 sq. mi. (124,300 sq. km.) with a coastline of 1,180 mi. (1,900 km.), territorial waters are around 74,564 sq. mi. (120,000 sq. km.). Around 390 islands are located in the Eritrea Red Sea Zone, among them the prominent Dahelak Archipelago. The population is estimated to be around 3.5 million (2001 estimates), 20 people per sq. mi. (33 per sq. km.), with about 431,000 located in the capital, Asmara. Eritrea became independent as a nation after separation from Ethiopia in 1991, and similarly, Eritrea has suffered from erratic rains, droughts and famines.


Whatever we do is likely to lead to death on a scale that makes all previous wars, famines and disasters small. To continue business as usual will probably kill most of us during the century. Is there any reason to believe that fully implementing Bali, with sustainable development and the full use of renewable energy, would kill fewer We have to consider seriously that, as with nineteenth-century medicine, the best option is often kind words and painkillers but otherwise do nothing and let Nature take its course.

What Lies Ahead

Climate change scientists have determined that the poorer nations will be more vulnerable to the negative effects of global warming. It is the wealthier nations that burn large amounts of fossil fuels that are adding the most to the problem, but as global warming leads to extreme weather disasters, droughts, floods, heat waves, food shortages, sea level rise, and the spread of disease, it will be the poorer nations that suffer the brunt of the hardships because of a lack of resources.

Balgis Osman Elasha

Does Snow Australia

Sudan's rural communities are adapting in order to reduce their risks in a harsh, variable, and changing environment. While the adaptations are not necessarily driven by climate change, they are nonetheless building resilience to it. The measures being adopted include using water harvesting and special irrigation methods, expanding food storage facilities, managing rangelands to prevent overgrazing, replacing goats (which are heavy grazers and are sold at a lower value) with sheep (which have less impact on grassland and are sold at higher value), planting and maintaining shelterbelts, planting backyard farms orjubraka to supplement family food supplies and incomes, supplying microcredit and educating people about its use, and forming and training community groups to implement and maintain these various measures.4


The development of the New Economic Policy was controversial from the beginning. The food tax was introduced immediately after the decision to launch the NEP in spring 1921. The problem was that the food tax initially resembled the expropriation approach, in so far as it was to be paid for agricultural products only. The size of the food tax was determined not on the basis of the actual harvest but on the calculated demand for grain. The tax was collected by special food brigades in a way that also resembled the previous use of force. Often peasants had to pay a food tax equal to their grain reserve. The food tax was one of the social factors responsible for mass famine between 1921 and 1923 in the Volga basin. Only in July 1923 did the authorities replace the food tax with a so-called unified agricultural tax. This new tax was lower than the previous one, and it became possible to pay the tax using money rather than agricultural produce. However, KGB reports confirm that in 1924 the...

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