CRF Blog

The Age of Scarcity

by Bill Hayes

In The Age of Scarcity for Bloomberg Businessweek, Charles Kenny says that rising temperatures will mean the end of cheap food and proposes what the world should do about this.

The food crisis is the product of a convergence of trends. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record for the planet have occurred since 2000. Even the chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil (XOM) accepted in June that this may have something to do with the fossil fuels his company extracts. A 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report estimated that over the long term, climate change could reduce agricultural yields by as much as 30 percent. Making that problem worse will be constraints on irrigation posed by water shortages. Already, a third of the world’s population lives in regions facing water shortages; by 2030 global water requirements could be as much as 40 percent higher than the currently accessible supply, according to a study by McKinsey. [more]