I keep thinking about Paul Krugman’s piece about the contributions of climate change to the sharp rises in food prices that have helped to provoke unrest around the world:“But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.
The usual suspects will, of course, go wild over suggestions that global warming has something to do with the food crisis; those who insist that Ben Bernanke has blood on his hands tend to be more or less the same people who insist that the scientific consensus on climate reflects a vast leftist conspiracy.
But the evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world. And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.”
There are many other factors, starting with population growth, the rising price of petroleum, the growing consumption of animal products, and the rising demand for biofuels. But the huge potential for climate change to alter the world’s food supplies makes our current inaction on greenhouse gas emissions even more irresponsible.