Not only will climate change have a differential effect on ecosystems in the tropics due to their already warmer climates, but also poor farmers in the tropics will be less able to cope with changes in climate because they have far fewer options in their agricultural system to begin with. – Molly Brown and Christopher Funk, Science, February 2008
Could a culture that has derived its sustenance from rice or wheat for millennia be convinced to switch to millet or sorghum? History dictates that such shifts occur gradually, over generations. Rapid transitions, while possible, are rare. Yet such a shift may lie at the heart of providing food security to needy populations as conditions worsen due to climate change.
This week PisaSPEAK is pleased to present a special correspondence from PISA director Linda Yarr
In his interview with the BBC, James Lovelock, who formulated the ”Gaia Hypothesis” in the 1960’s and whose most recent book is The Vanishing Face of Gaia, used a particularly masculine metaphor, stating that “we’ve pulled the trigger.” Gaia, the earth-as-organism, named after the Greek goddess of the earth, has been wounded. There will be no recovery, but massive consequences to the human population that Gaia will no longer be able to nourish. He envisages a sharp decline in the world’s population as wars, disease, and starvation take their toll. The wealthy will build their redoubts in the northern latitudes, where agriculture will continue to thrive, but will have to fend off migrants from less fortunate climes. What is Lovelock’s advice to us? “…enjoy it while you can.”