GREEN REVOLUTION OR FOOD REVOLUTION ?

The global population is skyrocketing, the climate is changing, and diets are shifting. So how do you tackle the problem of feeding 9 billion people by 2050?

It’s only 2017 and we produce enough food for 10 billion people, so why are we defaulting to a scientific solution? Science can address the technical aspects of food production — yields, shelf life, etc. — but the technical aspects of food production aren’t the problems when it comes to feeding nine billion people, or dealing with the agricultural impact of climate change, or accommodating shifting diets. These problems are, almost exclusively, social and political.

“Twenty-first-century challenges require 21st century approaches,” said Sally Rockey, executive director of FFAR. While many people tend to view agriculture as a tradition-bound system, “it really is a cutting-edge science.”

This may be true, but nowhere is it written that a 21st century approach MUST involve advanced technology, precision-everything, and patching together a broken food system with duct tape made out of patents.

We have an intractable food problem because it’s a people problem, not a technological one. Its solution will involve deliberate choices to do with less quantity and fewer options in a world where the supermarket and its infinite bounty and instant gratification are regarded as a global ideal.

“Revolution” is agriculture oriented toward locality, diversity, redundancy, seasonality, mass participation, and ecological integration. Revolution is farms, and the technologies for distributing food, focused on producing food for a community or region instead of the gaping maw of a global marketplace. Revolution is communities around the world largely independent of food products, methods, and technologies owned outside of those communities.

A Green Revolution would be a fundamental re-engineering of the way food is produced and consumed around the world.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Earth is getting hotter.

Not something we are unaware of.

From Agriculture to Infrastructure to how humans consume energy, the National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee spotlights how a warming world may bring widespread disruption.

Agriculture feeds and clothes the world. Although the long-term effects of climate change are still largely unknown, scientists can observe short-term effects of climate change on crops and animals. In addition, scientists can prognosticate about the changes that are likely to occur in agriculture if global climate change causes changes in temperatures and rainfall. Farmers will see declines in some crops, while others will reap increased yields.

With rapid climate change, aside from yields, climate change will also affect food processing, storage, and transportation—industries that require an increasing amount of expensive water and energy as global demand rises—leading to higher food prices.

The future course of global food production will depend on how well societies can adapt to such climatic changes, as well as the influence of other pressures, such as the competition for land from biofuel production. The IPCC concluded that in the poorer, low-latitude countries, climate change could seriously challenge the capacity to adapt for a warming of more than 3°C. The richer, higher latitude countries are likely to have a greater capacity to adapt and exploit changing climatic conditions.

But we can’t ignore the potential for “surprises” down the line. There are many uncertainties in such predictions. The world has not seen such changes in climate for millennia, and so it is impossible to know how our agricultural systems will react in the real world.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE IN INDIA

It is a controversial question to learn whether the emerging war with Pakistan and China poses a greater threat to India or the changing climate. No one can answer what future they hold for India.

We might not be familiar with what future holds but we do understand that currently global warming is causing loss to Indian environment. The reality can be seen in melting glaciers, disintegrating polar ice, thawing permafrost, changing monsoon patterns, rising sea levels, changing ecosystems and fatal heat waves.

Scientists are not the only ones talking about these changes. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, every part of India is struggling with the impact of climate change.

But this is just the beginning. We need to act to avoid catastrophic climate change. While not all regional effects are known yet, here are some likely future effects if we allow current trends to continue.

Impact on Indian economy:

  • Late or Early monsoon affect the agriculture. And if agriculture affected whole Indian economy is affected. It is the major demand generating sector. So, Low production will lead to shortage of food, inflation in food, change in interest rates, low sells of items like TV, mobiles, car, bike and so on because of people need food now, not luxury. So, every sector will be affected, hence they will also lower their production. It may also start job cut.
  • Floods (because of manmade reasons, urbanization etc. affect the climate) can lead to destruction of roads, railways and many other infrastructures. Its renovation prices are in billions. So, direct impact on GDP and account from any natural hazard. And life loss is also there. It also leads to short term inflation because of shortage of food. Climate change can cause a decline of 9% of India’s GDP.
  • Heat Wave or extreme rain may lead to stopping the daily production in factories and holidays in companies. Direct impact on production.
  • Due to climate change, many tourism places are also affected.
  • More usage of fertilizer and all that because of decreasing fertility of soil.

Never before has humanity been forced to grapple with such an immense environmental crisis. If we do not take urgent and immediate action to stop global warming, the damage could become irreversible.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE TO HINDER AFRICA’S GROWTH?

 

Africa has been dealing with the impacts of climate change since the 1970s. The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the African continent as the one that will be most affected.

The economic landscape of most Africa countries depends essentially on the dynamics of climate change. Key sectors driving their economic performance and livelihoods such as agriculture, forestry, energy, tourism, coastal and water resources are highly vulnerable to climate change. The geographical location of most African countries on the lower latitudes has already put the region at a disadvantage where about 80 percent of damages from climate change are concentrated.

Over the past five decades (1960-2009), many countries in Africa (e.g. Sudan, Chad, Uganda, Botswana and Tunisia) have experienced substantial rise in temperature – ranging from 1o to over 3o Celsius. The increasing knowledge that the continent contributes least to carbon finger print but experiences the most severe impact of climate change provides incentives for Africa to understand the costs of climate change to its economy and development prospects with a view to informing policy decisions. This is not only as a result of losses to the economy that might be linked to reduced agricultural productivity and labor losses but also from increases in morbidity, mortality and social instabilities. These indirect impacts such as death and disabilities associated with climate change have irreversible economic and welfare consequences. When countries spend some resources to adapt to climate change, they incur opportunity costs of not spending it on research and development and capital investment (e.g. infrastructure) that is a binding constraint to growth and development.

IMPACT ON AFRICA:

  • Between 75-250 million people exposed to water stress in the next 10 years, and as many as 1.8 billion by the end of this century.
  • Agriculture fed by rain could drop 50% in some African countries by 2020. The IPCC report predicts that wheat may disappear from Africa by 2080, and that maize—a staple—will fall significantly in southern Africa.
  • Arid and semi-arid lands are likely to increase by up to 8%, with severe ramifications for livelihoods, poverty eradication and meeting and maintaining the Millennium Development Goals.

In future, whether the issue is climate change or development at large, the challenge is the same—human capacity is critical. One perquisite for this is good, solid internet connectivity. And for the depth and breadth of challenges that Africa faces with climate change, the country desperately needs frontier/leap-frog science and entrepreneurship.

ARE POLAR BEARS NEXT IN LINE OF EXTINCTION?

Polar bears evolved from brown bears over 38 million years ago. Today there are around 19 known species of them around world.

We all know polar bears live only in Arctic region where they use sea ice as a platform to walk and hunt. Now imagine that platform dissolving in sea water. How are they going to survive?

Simple, they’ll adapt to land just like their brown cousins. Right?

Wrong.

The first problem is time. They took over 10,000 years to evolve from brown bears to big, white ice dwelling creatures we know today. Even if they do somehow “Re-adapt”, the pace would be too slow compared to the warming climate trend.

This brings us to second problem. Polar bears are highly specialized, both physically and physiologically, for a world of sea, ice, and meat: shorter, stockier claws to better grip prey and ice; smaller, more jagged molars and larger, sharper canines, better serving an almost exclusively carnivorous diet; all-white coats to provide camouflage while stalking prey; larger, thicker bodies to increase the ratio of surface area to body mass, helping the bears conserve energy and body heat; and a more elongated body, skull and nose to enhance streamlining and better enable the bears to thrust their heads through snow and ice into seal denning lairs and breathing holes.

These changing adaptations are affecting their reproduction system.

A female polar bear can give birth only once in every three years. And if the female bears are stressed regarding living environment or lack of food, they do not engage in reproducing at all. And at the top of that, 60% of the cubs do not survive more than a year due to changing climate. In 2001-2010, their population has decreased 40% from 1500 to 900. Today there are less than 25000 polar bears in the world.

Ultimately, whether polar bears can adapt to land may be irrelevant.  Polar bears are defined by the sea ice ecosystem they inhabit.  Without it, polar bears will cease being polar bears.  Even if they could somehow manage to persist on land, they would quickly encounter and hybridize with their brown neighbors (as they have already begun to do), and the iconic, white sea bear we recognize so readily today would disappear.  For all practical purposes, the species would be lost.

Fortunately, NRDC and others are working hard to prevent that from happening, by combating climate change, protecting polar bear habitat, and working with the international community to ban the global trade in polar bear parts.  Through these efforts, we hope to curb rising temperatures, decelerate the loss of sea ice, and buy these emblematic bears as much time as we can.

Will polar bears adapt to land? Or they will just disappear in next 100 years?  Let’s do everything we can to make sure we never have to find out.

 

 

TAKE ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE.

“Action speaks louder than words”. That is something we have been learning since ever.

But what steps did we take to look after our earth from the worsening climate? Every month campaigns are supported by various societies to increase awareness about this issue. But do you think only creating awareness is enough? Do you believe people go on taking action on it, even when they are aware this the problem?

The easy response to these the questions is NO.

Melting glacier, reducing rainfall, increasing drought; these problems are immense that might need ages for us to reconstruct. But does that mean we could just sit back and let the NASA and other scientist do the job?

Again the response is NO.

We can take easy and simple steps to stop climate change.

Reduce, recycle and reuse. Three steps to start with the action against climate change. Reduce consumption of energy and increase more efficiency. Take advantage of second-hand markets, give new life to items you don’t use anymore or find something that someone else has gotten rid of but you need. You’ll be saving money and reducing your consumption. Bartering is a practical solution. Recycle waste made of packaging and electronic items. You can save over 730 kilos of CO2 each year just by recycling half of the garbage produced at home.

70% of world’s population prefers consuming meat for their diet. Livestock is one of the biggest contaminators of the atmosphere. We can’t turn into vegetarians over night. Maybe never. But by consumption of low carbon diet we are taking step against climate change.

Take one baby step against climate change. Be subject to act and leave the talking for others.

ICCE has taken their step against climate change; Green (R)evolution. This initiative is helping others to understand their responsibility towards this problem. Join ICCE to save the environment.

 

 

 

SAVE WATER TO SAVE CLIMATE.

With increasing heat, our desire to take a shower every hour increases too. We prefer taking long leisurely showers, and that is probably the worst thing we can do to the environment.

The relationship between water and climate has always been significant and day by day this relationship is falling out of shape. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon levels have increased 2.5 times to more than 400 parts per million at present, said Michael Freilich, Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, in a call with reporters Thursday. That is higher than it has been in the last 400,000 years.

As the earth’s temperature continues to rise, we can expect a significant impact on our fresh water supplies with the potential for devastating effects on these resources.  As temperatures increase, evaporation increases, sometimes resulting in droughts. The US is currently in one of the most severe, multi-state, multi-year droughts in decades.

In addition, rising temperatures are melting glacial ice at an unprecedented rate. Glaciers are an important source of freshwater worldwide, and some, like those at Glacier National Park, are in danger of disappearing within the 21st century.  Once these glaciers have melted away, they can’t be restored. Areas that previously depended on glaciers for freshwater will then have to seek other sources.

Did you know every year 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity each year?

With increasing carbon footprint, the shortage of water is bond to increase even more in till 2025. 68% of carbon footprint is generated while water filtration due to the amount of electricity used for the process is very high.

How can we save water?

Answer is quite simple. Every day the amount of water wasted after our showers and other daily activities needs to be taken under control. Water your garden early morning so the water does not get absorbed. Make sure there is no leakage in your pipeline. Such small steps in our daily life can help us save environment. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns. Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Install a rain barrel at your house. Rainwater harvest is a great way to keep your plants hydrated without turning on the hose or sprinkler.

These small initiatives taken by every individual can lead us towards a better future. One such initiative taken by ICCE is Green (R)evolution that aims to spread awareness about the climate change problem. Join us to save the environment.

 

TRUMP’S BAD DECISION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

For the historic breakout of Paris Agreement, tremendous credit was given to one nation who brought the world together- THE UNITED STATES.

The Trump’s presidency though marks a new era. Being one of the largest economies, President Donald Trump’s decision to exit from Paris Agreement brought chaos in the country. This decision is believed to hurt America more than any other nation as it is a sign of withdrawal from the role of world leader. And providing China an opportunity to step up for the role. According to President Trump his responsibility is only towards the citizen of America and their well being, not towards the world. But the real question is does Americans feel the same way?

The mayors of 82 cities, including Los Angeles, Boston New York and Chicago, have together pledged their support for the agreement – as have the states of California (by itself the sixth-largest economy in the world), New York and Washington have shown their disagreement towards Trump’s by claiming their democracy and taking the responsibility towards their environment and supporting Paris Agreement.

Trump’s misguided decision can fuel resentment toward the U.S. and make things more difficult for American business.

Businesses want to locate where their markets are. By pulling out of the Paris climate accord, Trump sends them clear signal that clean energy companies should look elsewhere. That being the reason many investors and CEOs tried urging the president to stay in.

Companies such as Citigroup are already stating the private sector should be able to participate in the Paris climate deal. Many of them have emissions reductions targets similar to the Paris commitments made by nations.

Women and men alike are determined to stand up for their children and adopt clean energy in their own lives, they will join the myriad cities, states, companies and nations around the world who are leading the way to a cleaner, healthier future – even as the president tries to go backward.

Where Paris Agreement has decided to go with the change with or without America, it is our duty to support the commission by making small changes in our lifestyle for a better future.

To fight against climate change on initiative taken by International Center of Culture and Education is   Green (R)evolution. This initiative encourages us towards a better future and makes aware about our problem and solutions to fight with them. Join us and be a part of our initiative.

Killing a Tree, just to save ourselves??

Walking through my street yesterday, I realized it was too open, something too wide enough to see the building’s beside the lane. It was a noticeable gap that startled me. Soon, I came into a realization that the Ashoka Trees that once stood large and tall reaching the height of the building and leaning out from the crowded cement jungle were been vanished. Not only the Ashoka trees but many other’s too. I have always noticed this each and every year before the monsoon. So today morning, I decided to ask the watchman of our building what made them do so. His answer was “Beta, It’s just to stop them from swinging down during the storm and hurting people”.

Okay, I understand the urge and the need about taking them down because Trees may cause a major mishap if it comes down during a windy day. But I felt a bit uncomfortable with the answer because it didn’t do the justification for the concept we teach our future generation of “How to plant more trees”.  And guess what! The cutting of trees also bought plenty of litter spread on the street unattained.

Is it a solution?? Don’t we have another option??

Yes!! we do have the option available.

Cut the branches instead, let it grow again. Let them bloom, with their joy.

“In the morning of rainy drops let the nature burgeon again with a delight of a new life.”

How Honeybee Population Decline could lead to your favourite foods disappearing forever.

beestuffHoneybees are one of the world’s leading pollinators, for they are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops, and we depend on them and other pollinators for one-third of our food supply. Without bees, our produce sections in supermarkets would look bare- with up to 50% less fruit and vegetables- and our favorite foods, such as apples, coffee, avocados, carrots, lemons, onions, broccoli, and not to mention honey, would become a luxury of the past.

As the scientific genius Albert Einstein once said – ‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’ One can understand the gravity of the situation from this quote.

Beginning in 2006, beekeepers began to notice an unusual decrease and disappearance in their honeybee colonies. It seemed as if thousands of honeybees were vanishing into thin air. As worker bees would die, entire bee colonies would collapse. This is called the Colony Collapse Disorder. There are many proposed causes for this syndrome, including: the use of pesticides and insecticides, such as neonicotinoid; the influx of the varroa mite; the spread of diseases and viruses; poor nutrition; habitat loss; and stress factors, such as migratory stress.

Farmers need to stop using chemical based fertilizers and insecticides and there needs to be a movement towards organic food. The responsibility also lies with us by using organic foods and creating a demand for the same so that agriculturists take note of the same and move towards organic farming.
It’s time we take notice of this seemingly trivial but grave issue and act to save the bees before it’s too late.