UN Warns of Food Shortages Worldwide, Pres. Candidates Remain Mum on Climate Change
Thanks to extreme weather wrought by climate change, officials are worried that the planet faces a massive hunger crisis.
The United Nations has issued a warning that grain reserves across the planet—including in the U.S.—are dangerously low, and continued severe weather in the U.S. or any other food-exporting nation could lead to food shortages worldwide.
"We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year," Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told The Guardian.
So add starvation to the long list of problems we can expect thanks to global warming, which gets worse each day while the leaders of the world do almost nothing about it. In the U.S., neither President Obama or GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are discussing the issue on the campaign trail or promising to do anything about climate change. Romney in fact has called climate science a hoax.
We've been trying to get the moderators of the presidential and vice presidential debates to ask the candidates about climate change, but so far we've come up short. We did get the attention of ABC News after the second debate, when we filled their Facebook wall with complaints that they didn't ask the veep candidates about the issue.
Tomorrow night on Oct. 16, we have another chance, in the second of three presidential debates. This week the moderator is CNN's Candy Crowley. Visit CNN's Facebook page and Crowley's Twitter feed and send messages asking that she include a question about climate change in the debate, before it's too late.
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One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.
Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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In December of 1924, the heads of all the major lightbulb manufacturers across the world met in Geneva to concoct a sinister plan. Their talks outlined limits on how long all of their lightbulbs would last. The idea is that if their bulbs failed quickly customers would have to buy more of their product. In this video, we're going to unpack this idea of purposefully creating inferior products to drive sales, a symptom of late-stage capitalism that has since been coined planned obsolescence. And as we'll see, this obsolescence can have drastic consequences on our wallets, waste streams, and even our climate.
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