Read this. It's just freakin' wonderful.
A year later and the cost of food today has still to fall to previous levels. More alarmingly, scientists are warning that far worse lies ahead. A "perfect storm" of food shortages and water scarcity now threatens to unleash public unrest and conflict in the next 20 years, the government's chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, has warned.
And yes, you DO know what's behind it.
In Britain, a global food shortage would drive up import costs and make food more expensive, just as the nation's farmers start to feel the impact of disrupted rainfall and rising temperatures caused by climate change. "If we don't address this, we can expect major destabilisation, an increase in rioting and potentially significant problems with international migration, as people move to avoid food and water shortages," he told a conference earlier this year.
The reliable availability of food – once taken for granted – has become a major cause for alarm among politicians and scientists. Next month several of Britain's research councils, together with the Food Standards Agency, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for International Development – will announce a taskforce that will channel the UK's efforts in feeding its own population and playing a full role in preventing starvation in other nations.
Think they're trying hard enough to scare everybody to death?
The problem is summed up by Professor Janet Allen, director of research at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). "We will have to grow more food on less land using less water and less fertiliser while producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions," she said.
Sound desperate enough for you?
It took a green revolution in the 1960s that involved the development of new crop varieties, greater use of agro-chemicals and changes in farming practices to double production by the 1980s. Now a second revolution of equivalent magnitude is urgently required, say food scientists.
"We can certainly do it, although it won't be easy," said Bevan. For a start, farmers will have to increase yields using greatly reduced amounts of agro-fertilisers because their manufacture is energy-intensive. Some 3% of the world's energy is used in the manufacture of fertilisers and in a post-Copenhagen world, dominated by renewable energy, such carbon consumption is likely to be prohibited. "What we need are major research programmes to create new crop yields that, in effect, make their own fertiliser and will also be disease-resistant and more resistant to droughts and rising temperatures," added Bevan.
Uh, guy? People have been working on drought- and disease-resistant crops for a long damn time, maybe you haven't heard? And require less fertilizer? But if you pretty much cut off the making and use of chemical fertilizers... yeah, you'll get your food shortages.
To me, here's the key bit of bullshit weasel-wording in this whole piece:
In this country, one such programme dedicated to improving wheat varieties is scheduled to be launched next year as part of Britain's food security initiative. This will exploit cutting-edge DNA technology to speed up wheat breeding projects to develop new drought-resistant, low-fertiliser strains, though the programme will stop short of the creation of genetically modified strains. "The wheat we use today is a hybrid, created by ancient farmers 10,000 years ago, from three different species of wild grass," said Bevan. "We are going back to these first types of grass and from varieties of these create fresh hybrids."
To be crude, God-DAMN these people! "We will be changing the gene structure of these plants, but it won't actually be evil genetic engineering, oh no, THAT's not PC!" Son of a BITCH! There's not a food crop in the world that HASN"T been genetically modified over time; it's been called 'selective breeding'. Just because you don't manipulate a particular gene in a lab doesn't mean it's not genetically modified, but they don't have the balls to note this, oh no, mustn't upset the greenies who scream "FRANKENFOOD!" and burn crops and smash laboratories! And they ARE doing this in the lab, but they'll stop short of the creation of genetically modified strains, they will. Bull-Effing-Shit.
...However, scientists have recently discovered a strain of wheat, known as Sharon grass, that is resistant to Ug99, raising hopes that the outbreak could be contained. "Creating ranges of new crop varieties is going to be vital in feeding the world," said Allen.
It always HAS been, you bastard.
And the constant "AGW is proven and will kill us all!" push: ...as global temperatures have risen..., ...the life cycles of diseases such as bluetongue speed up as temperatures go up,..., "But as the weather gets warmer and warmer, and on and on.
And, of course, we must stop using those evil pesticides, and go to Gaia-Friendly Pest Control like One ingenious solution involves planting nettles around wheat fields. Parasitic wasps arrive to feed off the aphids that are found in nettles. Then, as the neighbouring wheat grows and aphid infestations arrive, there is a ready supply of wasp predators to deal with them. Except, as I recall, nettles tend to spread among the crop and cause their own problems, which has been controlled with herbicides except THOSE will have to be done way with too...
Of course, you'll need to have proper political control of more things, too:
Of course, some answers to the threat of the forthcoming perfect storm and the threat to our food security involve political and economic solutions as well. The end of cheap supermarket deals(more expensive food, can't have it cost too little now can we?), restraints on water use and the need to change farming practice have all been touted. In the case of farming practices, economists argue that small farms are too inefficient and should be incorporated into larger outfits, for example. Owners of small hill farms oppose the idea, however. Gee, why would someone object to the government seizing their property and letting someone else take it over, hmmm? Those non-progressive kulaks have to be dealt with!
In the last paragraph we have this jewel: However, it is now accepted that science will play the principal role in Britain's battle to ensure the nation can rely on food security in the future. Whether it has the funds to do so remains uncertain. A total of £600m was cut from the nation's science funding last week. Scarcely an auspicious start to our battle to survive the perfect storm.
Translation: "Holy Science of the PC kind will save us, but only if we take more of your money away from you and gift it to the Scientists of the Approved Kind; so get ready for more taxes."
And every researcher who has pushed AGW and lied about or hidden data and slandered anyone who questioned the idea has a hand in pushing this crap on us.