Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Can We Afford To Ignore Global Warming

An article put out by the Press Association on Yahoo news caught my attention. I found it interesting but also slightly concerning. It highlighted the fact that global warming goes much deeper than whether our summers will get hotter and our winters much milder. One of the biggest problems we have today is having to deal with too much information. That in turn makes us trivialise matters about which we should be concerned. When we read that one of our favourite foods is bad for us we tend to ignore it thinking someone tomorrow will say the opposite. It may well be that the following Press Association article on global warming will be shot down in flames by those with a different point of view. However, if the facts set out in the article have a grain of truth in them then we should ask the question 'can we afford to ignore global warning?'

Climate change 'to hit food prices' Press Association

Soaring food prices could leave UK consumers forking out almost £6.50 for a loaf of bread and more than £18 for a pint of beer by 2030 unless urgent action is taken to avert dangerous climate change, environmentalists have claimed.

A study for Friends of the Earth examining how warming temperatures could affect food supplies said the price of basics like bread, rice and pasta could all spiral in the next two decades leaving millions hungry in the UK.

Yields of staple crops are predicted to fall as global temperatures rise, while climate change will also put extra pressure on land and resources such as water with more droughts, floods and extreme weather events expected.

The report by Ray Hammond, who studies how future trends will affect society and business and is a visiting lecturer at Oxford University's Institute for the Future of Humanity, warned food prices could rise well above inflation by 2030.

His research, based on previous price hikes recorded by the World Bank and projections by the International Food Policy Research Institute, suggested an 800g loaf of white bread which currently costs 72p would rise to £6.48 - as opposed to the £1.44 it would cost under normal inflation.

A litre of corn oil would rise from £1.99 to £17.91, a kilogram of basmati rice would increase from £1.69 in today' prices to £15.21 by 2030 and 500g of cornflakes would shoot up from 78p to £7.20. Even beer would increase, with a pint of Pilsner lager rising from £2.05 to £18.45.

The study comes after a map of the impacts of a 4C rise in global temperatures published by the government warned rice yields could drop by up to 30% in China, India and Bangladesh and maize and wheat yields could fall by up to 40% in Africa, the Americas and Asia.
Friends of the Earth is calling for a strong climate deal in Copenhagen in December, when it is hoped countries will agree to reduce global greenhouse gasses to limit temperature rises to 2C and avoid the "dangerous" climate change which would occur with greater temperature increases.
The environmental group's head of climate, Mike Childs, said "The vision of life in 2030 shows that life with climate change won't be pretty. It'll be pricey - the cost of simple foods like bread and rice will rocket and millions more people will go hungry here in the UK alone."
But he said: "There is still time to avert this nightmare scenario. At the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in just 40 days, rich countries must show leadership by stumping up hard cash for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change already putting millions of lives at risk.

British Post Cards

Witty Bits

It is your concern when your neighbours wall is on fire.
In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
It's amazing how nice people are to you when they know your going away.
I am erotic. You are kinky. They are perverts. We protect. Our allies enforce. Our enemies oppress. Congress appropriates. Microsoft lobbies. Citizens steal.
Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.
Love is staying up all night with a child, or a healthy adult.



For each of the pairs of words below, insert a word in the blank space between them to form two separate words such that the inserted word finishes the first word and begins the second.

(For example: MAN ______ ON, you would insert the word GO to form MANGO and GOON).

Got it? OK, now try these!

BOW ______ AGE



DIG ______ SELF

PAR ______ ATE

Answers in tomorrows Journal.