Climate change and food wars: FEMA projections
Nafeez Ahmed has an interesting article at Motherboard. It seems evident that climate change will have a major impact on food supplies due to crop failures from drought, flooding, and other effects of changing climate, but that is not much discussed, this article being an anomaly.
The US national security industry is planning for the impact of an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade, according to reports by a government contractor.
The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030.
The simulation, titled ‘Food Chain Reaction’, was a desktop gaming exercise involving the participation of 65 officials from the US, Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and key multilateral and intergovernmental institutions.
The scenario for the ‘Food Chain Reaction’ simulation was created by experts brought in from the State Department, the World Bank, and agribusiness giant Cargill, along with independent specialists. CNA Corp’s Institute for Public Research, which ran the simulation, primarily provides scientific research services for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Held from November 9-10 in 2015, the “game” attempted to simulate a plausible global food crisis triggered by “food price and supply swings amidst burgeoning population growth, rapid urbanization, severe weather events, and social unrest.”
By 2024, the scenario saw global food prices spike by as much as 395 percent due to prolonged crop failures in key food basket regions, driven largely by climate change, oil price spikes, and confused responses from the international community.
“Disruptions affected developed and developing countries alike, creating political and economic instability, and contributing to social unrest in certain areas,” the project’stechnical report states.
The report notes that at the end of the simulation, the teams highlighted the important role of “extreme weather events” and “food insecurity” in exacerbating “instances of significant internal and external migration and social unrest.” These, in turn, greatly “contribute to conflict.” . . .
The use of the term “social unrest” seems to be a euphemism along the lines of the tactful phrasing used by doctors and dentists, that a procedure may cause “some discomfort,” which can refer to (for example) excruciating pain.
I’ve read that the uprisings of the Arab Spring were due to increased food prices caused by crop failures due to drought, but some dispute that. Still, one remembers Lenin’s dictum that every society is three meals from chaos.