UN Climate Report: Change Land Use To Arable To Avoid A Hungry Future?

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Aug 10 12:47:02 BST 2019

UN Climate Report: Change Land Use To Arable To Avoid A Hungry Future?

- <http://tlio.org.uk/author/tony/>TONY GOSLING - 

[NOTE: Arable is a more efficient use of land, 
food health, protein and calorie wise, than 
livestock farming except on marginal land like 
hills. So for that reason alone the UN are heading in the right direction.
But hunger has little to do with land use or 
climate, its much more about 
<http://tlio.org.uk/aims-2/>land ownership and 
the financial system, incentives and subsidies. ed. TG]

UN climate report: Change land use to avoid a hungry future


GENEVA (AP) ­ Human-caused climate change is 
dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the 
way people use the land is making global warming 
worse, a new United Nations 
report says. That creates a vicious cycle which 
is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.
“The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate 
scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a co-author of the 
report. “The threat of climate change affecting 
people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”
But if people change the way they eat, grow food 
and manage forests, it could help save the planet 
from a far warmer future, scientists said.
Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the 
globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as 
a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing 
problems in the atmosphere, the land has been 
less talked about as part of climate change. A 
special report, written by more than 100 
scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats 
from nations around the world Thursday at a 
meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings.

“The way we use land is both part of the problem 
and also part of the solution,” said Valerie 
Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who 
co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. 
“Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.”

Scientists at Thursday’s press conference 
emphasized both the seriousness of the problem 
and the need to make societal changes soon.

“We don’t want a message of despair,” said 
science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at 
Imperial College London. “We want to get across 
the message that every action makes a difference.”

Still the stark message hit home hard for some of the authors.

“I’ve lost a lot of sleep about what the science 
is saying. As a person, it’s pretty scary,” Koko 
Warner, a manager in the U.N. Climate Change 
secretariat who helped write a report chapter on 
risk management and decision-making, told The 
Associated Press after the report was presented 
at the World Meteorological 
headquartersin Geneva. “We need to act urgently.”

The report said climate change already has 
worsened land degradation, caused deserts to 
grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more 
vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. 
That’s happened even as much of the globe has 
gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in 
the air. Climate change has also added to the 
forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth.

“Climate change is really slamming the land,” 
said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly 
Levin, who wasn’t part of the study.

And the future could be worse.

“The stability of food supply is projected to 
decrease as the magnitude and frequency of 
extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.

In the worst-case scenario, food security 
problems change from moderate to high risk with 
just a few more tenths of a degree of warming 
from now. They go from high to “very high” risk 
with just another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 
degree Celsius) of warming from now.

“The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure 
is increasing,” NASA’s 
“Just to give examples, the crop yields were 
effected in Europe just in the last two weeks.”

Scientists had long thought one of the few 
benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the 
major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants 
grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. 
But numerous studies show that the high levels of 
carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops.

For example, high levels of carbon in the air in 
experiments show wheat has 6% to 13% less 
protein, 4% to 7% less zinc and 5% to 8% less iron, she said.

But better farming practices ­ such as no-till 
agricultural and better targeted fertilizer 
applications ­ have the potential to fight global 
warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% 
of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said.

If people change their diets, reducing red meat 
and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, 
vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much 
as another 15% of current emissions by 
mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said.

The science panel said they aren’t telling people 
what to eat because that’s a personal choice.

Still, Hans-Otto Pörtner, a panel leader from 
Germany who said he lost weight and felt better 
after reducing his meat consumption, told a 
reporter that if she ate less ribs and more 
vegetables “that’s a good decision and you will 
help the planet reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Reducing food waste can fight climate change even 
more. The report said that between 2010 and 2016, 
global food waste accounted for 8% to 10% of heat-trapping emissions.

“Currently 25%-30% of total food produced is lost 
or wasted,” the report said. Fixing that would 
free up millions of square miles of land.

With just another 0.9 degrees F of warming (0.5 
degrees C), which could happen in the next 10 to 
30 years, the risk of unstable food supplies, 
wildfire damage, thawing permafrost and water 
shortages in dry areas “are projected to be high,” the report said.

At another 1.8 degrees F of warming (1 degree C) 
from now, which could happen in about 50 years, 
it said those risks “are projected to be very high.”

Most scenarios predict the world’s tropical 
regions will have “unprecedented climatic 
conditions by the mid-to-late 21st century,” the report noted.

Agriculture and forestry together account for 
about 23% of the heat-trapping gases that are 
warming the Earth, slightly less than from cars, 
trucks, boats and planes. Add in transporting 
food, energy costs, packaging and that grows to 37%, the report said.

But the land is also a great carbon “sink,” which 
sucks heat-trapping gases out of the air.

 From about 2007 to 2016, agriculture and 
forestry every year put 5.7 billion tons (5.2 
billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the 
air, but pulled 12.3 billion tons (11.2 billion metric tons) of it out.

“This additional gift from nature is limited. 
It’s not going to continue forever,” said study 
co-author Luis Verchot, a scientist at the 
International Center for Tropical Agriculture in 
Colombia. “If we continue to degrade ecosystems, 
if we continue to convert natural ecosystems, we 
continue to deforest and we continue to destroy 
our soils, we’re going to lose this natural subsidy.”

Overall land emissions are increasing, especially 
because of cutting down forests in the Amazon in 
places such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru, Verchot said.

Recent forest 
changes in Brazil “contradicts all the messages 
that are coming out of the report,” Pörtner said.

Saying “our current way of living and our 
economic system risks our future and the future 
of our children,” Germany’s environment minister, 
Svenja Schulze, questioned whether it makes sense 
for a country like Germany to import large 
amounts of soy from Latin America, where forests 
are being destroyed to plant the crop, to feed 
unsustainable numbers of livestock in Germany.

“We ought to recognize that we have profound 
limits on the amount of land available and we 
have to be careful about how we utilize it,” said 
Stanford University environmental sciences chief 
Chris Field, who wasn’t part of the report.

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'From South America, where payment must be made with subtlety, the 
Bormann organization has made a substantial contribution. It has 
drawn many of the brightest Jewish businessmen into a participatory 
role in the development of many of its corporations, and many of 
these Jews share their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided with a specially 
dispensed venture capital fund. I spoke with one Jewish businessmen 
in Hartford, Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown several 
years before our conversation, but with Bormann money as his 
leverage. Today he is more than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits earmarked as always for 
his venture capital benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how Bormann's people 
operate in the contemporary commercial world, in contrast to the 
fanciful nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much "literature."

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish participation in Bormann 
companies that when Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the Jewish and German 
communities of Buenos Aires. Jewish leaders informed the Israeli 
authorities in no uncertain terms that this must never happen again 
because a repetition would permanently rupture relations with the 
Germans of Latin America, as well as with the Bormann organization, 
and cut off the flow of Jewish money to Israel. It never happened 
again, and the pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an Argentinian safe haven, 
protected by the most efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'


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