Episode 301. Starvation and Conflict Averted?

This is The ChangeUnderground for the 6th of June 2022.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

Winter has arrived here in Tasmania. We were out for brunch with some in-laws, the wind howling outside and I checked the weather app. 10.3 but feels like -3.3. A very chilly -13 degree wind chill factor. 

But the rain has started. We are considered to have a Mediterranean climate here in Tassie. Autumn took a while to wide up. Warm, above averagely warm with more forecast. La Nina is still pumping moisture onto the mainland which meant we were a little on the short side at some times last year. The predictability of weather is not what it once was. Climate change is affecting us all, to greater and lesser degrees. The early heat waves in India this year are far more serious than a latish start to the winter rains in Tasmania. The former has killed people, the later has not. 

And this is a matter of concern. The richer the country, meaning: a country that has a long historical record of GHG production the richer they’re likely to be and that means they’re more likely to have the resources to deal with the vagaries of climate change. I see the insurance industry in the more affluent societies driving change as much as government policies. Given the disasters we’ve lived through since 2019, fire, floods and a pandemic, certain properties, household and commercial, will become uninsurable. No insurance pretty much means no mortgage and, therefore, stranded assets. The paradox of the affluent is this: much household wealth is lodged in the family home. In this wide brown land, it is not subject to property tax if it’s the primary residence. Combine that with a runaway real estate boom and the percentage wealth held in the family home has grown significantly. In poorer societies, a roof over one’s head is just as important but as a percentage of wealth, especially when land titles are questionable, means less is invested in that structure. Now the difference between the average home price in Australia and a developing economy are truly staggering. And the idea that a property may be a stranded asset is a problem many in the world would be glad to have. I see our privilege. This though is little consolation to the individual whose home has been flooded three times in the last 18 months and can no longer afford the insurance, if they can obtain it.

Into this background of rising global temperatures we must add the conflicts around the globe. 

From the website, Global Citizen

Quote

According to the Council on Foreign Relations’s Global Conflict Tracker, there are currently 27 ongoing conflicts worldwide. The tracker categorizes conflict into three groups: “worsening,” “unchanging,” and “improving.” Right now, there’s not a single conflict described as “improving.”

Of those worsening are the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Afghanistan, political instability in Lebanon, the war in Yemen, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, and the conflict in Ethiopia.

End Quote

Food is, as ever, the underpinning of life. 1906 Alfred Henry Lewis stated, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” Three days without food, maybe nine, and social order is disrupted. I’m assuming Lewis is referring to the anarchy the bourgeoisie consider disorder rather than the Anarchy that filled Barcelona during George Orwell’s early days in the Spanish Civil War but either way hunger will lead to great suffering.

We have been through this, as a species, too many times. And as reported in Politico.eu in an article entitled:  Experts say Ukraine war shows we need a new way to feed the world

Longish Quote – 

Quote:

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

World leaders are scrambling to contain a food crisis spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but experts say that their response is gravely flawed as it repeats the failures of a broken model, setting countries up for similar crises in the future.

They believe that as policymakers look to simply farm their way out of the crisis, they are over-relying on a few countries and a handful of companies to feed the world, leaving them ill-prepared for future shocks. More than a decade after the world emerged from the 2008 world food crisis — similarly brought on by a combination of rising oil prices, drought and trade restrictions imposed by panicked governments, including Ukraine — food experts are urging policymakers to rethink what we eat and how we grow it.

In fact, they say that the West’s response to the current crisis — which includes allowing farmers to grow on protected land — is already missing the mark, especially since farmers’ heavy reliance on fertilizers and resource-intensive crops are adding to climate change.

End Quote

The centralisation of food production and the concentration of food distribution to a small number of companies has us, as a species, trapped in a system that produces more than enough food to feed everyone but is a system perverted by the need to deliver shareholder value above all else.

To give you some idea as how this concentration is putting human suffering in the sights of a global disaster,

Quote:

The supply system has been built in such a way that over two dozen countries depend on a combination of only Russia and Ukraine for at least a third of their wheat. In some countries like Lebanon and Egypt, that figure is 80 percent, while Eritrea last year sourced all of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

End Quote

We must restart our gardens, we must grow locally. We must demand this of our political leaders. Grow, grow and grow some more. Join in this with others, swap, sell, barter and buy. For we can, in those areas not in conflict, grow food of some sort. Veggies, herbs, eggs, rabbits, chooks and larger animals and grains on bigger spaces. Find a community garden and grow with like minded people. 

If you’d like help, the discount is still on for the No-Dig garden Course over at World Organic News. It’s currently selling for $17 dollars not the usual $149 until the world starts to return to a little more normality. 

So if you have been put off in the past, now is the time to jump in and learn. If you know anyone would be interested and the more people we can get growing the better, please let them know. I’ll have a link in the show notes or you can go to the World Organic News.com website and click the course tab. Please spread the word, we need to get as much food happening as possible as close to the people eating it as we can. The best time to move from consumption to production was probably 50 years ago, the second best time is now.

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

Thank you all for listening and I’ll be back next week.

~~~~

LINKS

No Dig Quick Start Course

https://worldorganicnews.com/courses/no-dig-gardening/


buymeacoffee.com/changeug

email: jon@worldorganicnews.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1546564598887681

 

10 Heartbreaking Facts About Ongoing Conflicts Around the World

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/facts-about-world-conflicts/#:~:text=There%20Are%20at%20Least%2027%20Live%20Conflicts%20Right%20Now&text=Of%20those%20worsening%20are%20the,and%20the%20conflict%20in%20Ethiopia.

Experts say Ukraine war shows we need a new way to feed the world

https://www.politico.eu/article/expert-ukraine-war-need-new-way-feed-world/

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