It’s now glaringly obvious that climate change is having a serious impact on everyday human life. We’ve recently witnessed devastating floods in Pakistan and India, and scorching drought in most of Europe. Every month seems to bring more news of severe calamity brought on by mother nature.
Such severe weather systems used to pummel a different part of the world on about a yearly basis, at most two or three times. But in recent years, the data shows that this has increased as much as five fold!
Scientists are now arguing that while we desperately need to prevent further damage to our climate, and if possible even roll it back, it is also time to start adjusting and adapting to the planet’s new weather systems. Extreme weather events like floods, category 5 storms, deadly tornadoes, wildfires, drought and famine are now almost an annual reality for most of the world’s population, and this means drastic adaptation is required.
One of the areas that humanity needs to rapidly adjust its current processes is in food production and supply. Mass areas of global agricultural land and second to this marine fishing zones are fast becoming inhospitable for the supply of human food production.
While it’s difficult to make accurate estimates as to just how much of the global food supply is vulnerable to devastating loss, one UN estimate believes that food production will need to increase by as much as 60% in order to mitigate these negative effects of the climate-induced losses.
Billions of hectares of land are plowed every day for the seeding of potatoes, rice, maize, wheat, and cattle feed - the staples of human diets. But these hectares of land are now critically exposed to increased temperatures, parched soil, and in wetter parts of the world: underwater flooding (yes, floods are becoming so severe that they are putting entire crops underwater for weeks at a time).
The only possible solutions to the vulnerable farmland conundrum are relocation to less vulnerable areas, and genetically modified crop fortification. Dutch and German researchers have recently made breakthroughs in producing crops that recognise the likelihood of flooding via atmospheric pressure, and thus prepare themselves to survive on less oxygen for a short period of time. But feasibility studies have not been carried out yet, and time is not on our side in our race against securing the global food supply.
Relocation of crops is a far greater challenge to tackle, as most farmers have invested their entire livelihoods, including their wider family units, into the land upon which they harvest. The US Department of Agriculture recently put out a “Risk Management Concept Report” for private farmers in the US, providing potential solutions in identifying climate risk and making the necessary adjustments.
Protein supply is another very serious challenge for humanity. Approximately 3 billion people worldwide rely on fish as their primary source of protein, that’s just under half of the global population.
Not only are we seeing less fish being caught, but climate change also impacts the access to food markets for the fishermen. There are powerful correlations between the effects of fishing and the effects of our changing climate due to how fishing reduces the age, size, and geographic diversity of populations and the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. These factors make both more sensitive to the additional stresses of climate change.
The frequency and intensity of extreme climate events is likely to have a major impact on fisheries future yields in both inland and marine systems, and while many fishermen are venturing further out to sea, scientists firmly believe that reducing fishing mortality in the majority of fishing zones, which are currently fully exploited or overexploited, is the primary feasible way to reduce the impacts of climate change.
These sources of human fuel found on the plains of the globe’s farmlands and in the depths of our oceans are the principal way by which the human population receives its sustenance. The necessity of adjusting our farming practices, both inland and offshore, have never been more stark, with scientists sounding the alarm across industry as loud as they possibly can. Activists such as Robin Wall Kimmerer and Kisilu Musya are awakening farming industry bodies to the solutions that are available, and are already seeing adjustments being made.
These adjustments are still far from the gargantuan changes we need as a species, but they are a start.
Another start that must be implemented is that of reducing the planet’s global CO2 output as fast as we possibly can. If we can reach the Paris Agreement targets of 55% emission reductions by 2030, there is hope that we will prevent a 1 degree celsius average increase in global temperature, and thus at least somewhat mitigate extreme weather events impacting the planet’s food supply.
This is exactly the goal that EcoWatt has embarked on, and by leveraging the power of blockchain technology and NFT novelty, corporations and individuals can offset their carbon footprint by purchasing EcoWatt tokens which can then be used to stake and burn for carbon certificates, and in so doing invest in our two portfolios of renewable energy and reforestation projects. Find out more about how to invest in the future of our climate here, and what EcoWatt’s mission is truly all about.
There has never been a more important time to act in the face of horrifying climate extremities. And that is why we do what we do.
Drought in Europe:
Extreme weather events increase five fold:
60% Food production increase required:
GMO Flood-proof crops:
Managing Risk in Farming Report:
Global fish reliance:
The Honorable Harvest with Dr Robin Wall Kimmerer:
Kisilu Musya’s mission to change farming in Africa: