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View Diary: MIT team: global economic collapse by 2030 (246 comments)

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  •  see that's the thing (1+ / 0-)
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    some areas will get increased rainfall while others get drought.

    which areas those are is key.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:45:21 PM PDT

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    •  Yep (6+ / 0-)

      If it works out, we might be o.k.

      Of course, it isn't the warming per se, it's the variability.  If the favorable zones for crops are jumping around wildly year to year, it may be really hard to consistently grow a big crop every year.

    •  Agriculture is adapted to location (9+ / 0-)

      Farms are adapted to their local climate as it was for the last hundred years or so, so it's unlikely variation is going to present an upside to existing farms.  While it may open up new cropland in places previously too dry or wet or cold or hot, it will take significant time for new farmers to move to those places and establish farms.  That process will probably be much slower than the downside impact on existing farms. - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

      by barath on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:55:01 PM PDT

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      •  don't know yet (2+ / 0-)
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        zett, virginislandsguy

        there has been what about 30% increase in crops in america over the past 15 years or so.

        of course a lot of that is because of crop changes, government subsidies and what not.

        i am not saying warmer weather will yield crop increases but so far the current temp. increases have not caused a significant drop in crop production.  

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:05:07 PM PDT

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      •  Diaries have been written on DKos about (5+ / 0-)

        the temperature limit above which photosynthesis shuts down--predicting that many areas will not support crops as global temperatures rise.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 04:52:43 PM PDT

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    •  One problem with that: (4+ / 0-)
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      wonmug, YucatanMan, ivote2004, Nulwee

      Sudden climate change is almost always a short-term loss, even from less favorable climates to more favorable.  

      For example, if central North Dakota's annual precipitation rose from 18 to 23 inches over a few years and its growing season lengthened a few weeks, farmers could grow crops more reliably and the cropland/ranchland line would move west as soon as they were sure the new normal was a permanent normal.  

      The problem is that the infrastructure of the state and the farmers' experience is in growing wheat and cattle, not corn.  The Red and Missouri would flood more frequently; fairly large swaths of river cities would need to be shored up with dikes or abandoned.  It would take several years and favorable markets for the farmers to feel safe planting corn instead of wheat.  Ranchers would not want to sell out just because they get 22 inches of rain where once they got 17.    

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:13:28 PM PDT

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    •  Yeah, so if the rain increases over the mountains (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tacet, ivote2004, Nulwee

      or the oceans, and there is drought throughout the grain belt, exactly how does humanity survive?

      And it doesn't take complete collapse of crops to cause disaster.  We're talking percentages.

      What happens if the world is 10% short of the food necessary to feed all the humans?  20%?   Before the numbers are up into a few percent. wars will break out.  Rebellions.  

      Hell, the price of bread went up and there were food riots in many developing nations in recent years.  That was just the price.  Eliminate 10% of the food in developing nations and see what happens.

      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

      by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:37:55 PM PDT

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