How the climate crisis will change your plate in 2050

Really, between not very much and none.

In her new book, Amanda Little explores what it will take to continue feeding 7.5 billion people in the world

Grow exactly the same crops but perhaps 100, or 200, miles further north or south of their current locations.

Next problem please……

60 thoughts on “Not a lot”

  1. I thought the world population was going to be at least nine, ten or eleventy billion by then? Why can’t these apocalyptic doom-mongers get their story straight? Is it because it’s entirely fictitious?

  2. “But the through-line in this story was about ingenuity and adaptation and survival. Story after story. Whether I was writing about robotic undersea lasers or GMOs or AI and robotic weeders or farmscrapers – along the way these were stories of adaptation and ingenuity in response to real problems.”

    So I guess we haven’t a problem with climate change. At least as far as food’s concerned.

  3. We have 8 “everyday” dinner plates, and probably break one every two years. So by 2050, we’ll have replaced each plate twice. Although this is normally due to dropsies rather than the weather.

  4. Bloke in Germany

    By then we will have vibrant diverse efficiency in our farming. No imperial imposition of white methods on the global south.

    The World Government, under the Snowflake Party, will have banned all animal husbandry, except where necessary to fulfil cultural vibrancy needs. You will be able to get squirrel on the black market, and halal stuff, at €400 a piece.

    The World Government will also have banned all travel and transport more than 3 miles from your home, to save the climate. You will eat what is grown within that radius. Which means, a lot of the time, you won’t eat.

  5. I thought that most of the population was going to be wiped out by mass starvation in less than twelve years time. Of course we in the UK will starve when our government forces farmers to plough with battery powered tractors.

  6. It’s not as easy as shifting north/south as length-of-day is also an issue with most crops. According to Jared Diamond this is one of the reasons Eurasia had an advantage compared to America, in addition to us having most of the cool crops 🙂
    It probably is doable but might take some genetic engineering to achieve.

  7. “this is one of the reasons Eurasia had an advantage compared to America, in addition to us having most of the cool crops ”

    Odd, therefore, 3 of the world’s staples first came to Eurasia in the Columbian Exchange.

    (Also known as pseudo-eco-science bollox)

  8. “Stonyground

    I thought that most of the population was going to be wiped out by mass starvation in less than twelve years time.”

    Indeed, that will happen but you must remember that it is always “in less than twelve years time” from now.

    In 1990 it was going to happen by 2002, in 2000 by 2012 and so on.

    Today it will happen by 2031 but luckily, in 2031 it won’t happen until 2043.

  9. Except the temperature isn’t currently rising.

    Temperatures were hotter in the 1930’s. Dust bowl anybody?

    Adaptability? See Human Progress (Cato Institute).

    https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1145541797847994368

    Every fright the alarmists publicise is dismounted in days. Ah, but that is not sprayed across front pages.

    Give me a recent fright: walrus suicide, ‘unprecendented’ heat wave in Europe, polar bears or the sledge crossing water: total BS every one. And nobody talking about snow storms in the States in June and ski stations open through August….

    Increased CO2 is greening the Earth and will continue to do so. Satellites are marvellous things and we have been measuring this for over 15 years.

    CO2 does not control the climate. It represents 0.04% of the atmosphere and only 5% or less of greenhouse gases. It’s radiative effects are limited and it’s contribution is drowned out by sea current cyles, solar cyles, earth tilt… you name it, everything is more important than CO2.

    If CO2 controlled the temperature, this would rise continually as CO2 is doing so and it hasn’t done so. Temperature has risen irregularly and at times dropped.

    18,000 years ago we came close to extinction levels of CO2. We are still way below optimum levels for plants. Farmers buy machines to pump CO2 into greenhouses for God’s sake to get better crops. Check them on internet.

    Oh and you mouth breathers need to change to nose breathing. Efficient use of oxygen in our bodies requires a higher level of CO2 in the body than you have due to shallow upper chest breathing. Yes, we need more CO2. (It’s true but we don’t need it in the atmosphere).

    The whole thing is an enormous scam as several people in the UN have admitted: -It´s about redistribution of first world wealth to the third world – You don’t believe me? Internet is wonderful and yes I am aware of fake news.

    And this process has led to crazy people offereing crazy solutions to a non-problem. And we are poorer in the West as a result. Renewables mean unreliable supply and high prices. Unreliability in electricity kills economies.

    Meanwhile in the real world, China and India are currently building 1,000 coal-fired generating plants.

  10. “one of the reasons Eurasia had an advantage compared to America”

    Something like 80-85% of all food eaten in Europe is native to the Americas only (potatoes, tomatoes, etc).

    This may be why some North Americans can look a little over-fed.

  11. So, here’s a question: do we have any data to show that the the best places to grow peaches, wheat, wine grapes have moved?

    I know wine producers like Gallo do analysis of temperatures below an acre. Presumably the very best field has moved over the past 30 years as the place with optimum rain and sun has moved, right?

    It hasn’t happened with fine wine. It’s still Pauillac and Vosne-Romanee that have the high prices they had 30 years ago. That may just be about reputation, though.

  12. Off topic but Murphy shows his illiteracy in tax once again when talking about Facebook’s cryptocurrency ‘Libra

    “an issue about Libra that I had overlooked. And that is that because since Libra is not a currency as such, because it inot issued by a nation state, it is very definitely an asset on which gains and losses can arise every time that it is exchanged for other goods or currency. The result is that a capital gains transaction has to be undertaken on every such occasion to prove whether tax is owing or not.”

    Well done to Spud for noticing that dealing in Cryptocurrencies might be a CGT issue.

    Bear in mind he’s been moaning about them for years.

    HMRC issued their view that CGT could apply as far back as March 2014.

    I expect Spud will next claim that he brought it to HMRC’s attention.

  13. You might have to store your dinner plates on a higher shelf, Matt, due to the ocean waves which will be gently lapping at your door.

  14. @BoM4 – At the weekend, I tried a bottle of wine made in North Wales. It wasn’t bad (although not worth the price).

    However, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Roman garrison at Hadrian’s Wall grew grapes to make wine, so the answer to your question might be ‘not really’

    We already grow enough food to feed another billion people, but much of it is lost (in the 3rd world) due to inefficient supply chains. Until quite recently, half of everything grown in India perished before it reached the consumer.

  15. DocBud,

    I’d expect large, professionally run growing companies to have abandoned some fields, and taken on some others, as we’ve had 30 years of this and it’s supposed to raise temperatures by 2 degrees by 2100.

    Like I read a thing about sea level rises in the Seychelles with people complaining that this is really happening, but no-one mentions how much it’s risen already. And I’m pretty damn sure that if it had risen, if a bit of the beaches had been eaten away by the tide, they would have. What’s been the changes in Seychelles land prices recently? Have the hills gone up in prices as they’ll be closer to the coast in a few decades? Has land near the coast fallen as it’s more like a 50 year lease? Is the population of Bangladesh moving?

    How have non-virtue-signalling, ruthless capitalists responded to climate change?

  16. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Rooftops, Tim, haven’t you heard ?
    We are going to convert all the rooftops on flat-roofed city buildings into cultiviable spaces and the local produce will feed the community. It will increase our fertile acrege by 10000000000%.

    I have just had the misfortune to hear this guy speak on German TV. It was a speech he made in 2015, so i won’t bother to link it, but suffce to say that it was full of the usual circular logic that these eco-loons express, especially the shortage of raw materials and available land and above all on human inability to adapt ( ie we are all hooked on anti depressants, ‘cos we can’t handle the modern world).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niko_Paech

  17. Andrew C
    “Well done to Spud for noticing that dealing in Cryptocurrencies might be a CGT issue.”

    This is pretty basic stuff that anyone who is/was a bog-standard tax adviser should know from first principles, let alone a person who holds himself out to be one of the UK/World’s foremost experts on tax.

    He’s a dangerously incompetent cretin.

  18. bilbaoboy pretty much nails it but I would like to add a few points.

    First: Climate changes. It’s more or less in the in the job description. Climate changes.

    Second: It won’t have changed much over the next thirty years.

    Third: We have no real idea which way it will change over the next thirty years. Many scientists believe it will get warmer but there are quite a few that are convinced it’s going to get colder. These include Dr Svensmark who is doing experiments at CERN to prove his theories about Galactic Cosmic Rays causing more clouds thus causing a drop in temperature. And since the Sun appears to be entering a minimum at the moment and that means its magnetic field is weaker which means we get more GCRs and therefore more clouds, we might want to be prepared for colder temps. And note that the good doctor is not some internet scientist ‘denying’ the ‘consensus’.

    Fourth: Since all we can be sure of is that climate will change, but we don’t even know if it will get hotter or colder, but we do know that there will be no global agreement to limit CO2 emissions, it is absolutely stupid to hobble our energy sector with a load of idiotic regulations which will have no effect on the climate but will make our energy production much more expensive, much less efficient and dangerously unreliable.

    And as for Tim et al’s idea of a Carbon Tax, this is a tax on energy production and energy is an input to wealth creation so a Carbon Tax is just another tax on wealth creation and YTF would you put a tax on wealth creation!

    The only way we can cope with climate change is to adapt. And adaptation is much easier if you have wealth. So taxing wealth creation is not the way to go.

    And one last thought: Imagine a cold winter’s day in 2035 with a large anti-cyclone over Europe meaning the sun’s too weak and there’s no wind, but we in the UK are well on our way to a carbon free society.

    Then the eco freaks take over Drax and shut that down because they finally figure that burning imported American forests is not exactly green.

    What would a three day power cut in a city like London look like?

  19. It is a breezy day here in East Yorkshire but there are several stationary wind turbines nearby. I can remember the power cuts in the 1970s when we all lit candles and carried on. Does anyone think that power cuts will be as easy to deal with in the present age?

  20. BoM4,

    I don’t think there is a major company in the world that does not virtue signal these days, both in terms of climate change and, diversity and inclusivity.

    I recently experimented with being employed, but jacked it in at the end of April (MrsBud observed to a friend “Paul doesn’t play nicely with bosses”). Despite being a global mining company, with major interests in coal and big plans for expansion in that commodity, the board in London has still set a goal of drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The site management and workforce are generally sceptical, but you have to play lip service to what the big bosses want, and at no small cost to the bottom line. Employees are screwed with derisory pay rises and shareholders with lower profits, all for nothing.

  21. Where are you in East Yorkshire, Stonyground? We were in Beverley for six years in the late 90s, early noughties. It is still one of many possible retirement locations, loved the Westwood and some great pubs, including in the surrounding villages.

    In the UK from Saturday for a month, taking the mother-in-law to Filey next week.

  22. When Amanda Little was on tour to promote her 2010 book Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy

    Presumably the dozy mare didn’t travel by rickshaw, or don a hair shirt and traipse the highways and byways of the United States while flagellating herself for exhaling CO2 though.

  23. What would a three day power cut in a city like London look like?

    All those Jolyons and Arabellas idly pondering how to turn their lunch into yet another tiresome virtue-signalling contest would quickly find themselves on the menu.

    Well, I’d certainly say she had marvelous judgment, Albert, if not particularly good taste.

  24. On this supposed rise in sea level thing: If you go up the mountain from where I’m sitting, you can clearly see Gib & the Strait. The Med, here, takes the run-off from half the Iberian Peninsular & Pyrenees. A whole swathe of Central France & all of Italy Greece & the Balkans. A large portio0n of Russia. A big slice of Africa via the Nile. And I’m supposed to believe that climate change & changing rainfall patterns, the melting of the Alpine glaciers, evaporation & the Atlantic inflow/Med outflow, thermal expansion of the Atlantic, have all neatly cancelled themselves out so the sea level down on the playa & the currents through the Strait are all exactly what they were in Roman times Yeah, right. Changing sea levels. Where?

  25. We are going to convert all the rooftops on flat-roofed city buildings into cultiviable spaces and the local produce will feed the community. It will increase our fertile acrege by 10000000000%.

    BnLiA, how are we going to do that when all available roofspace will be covered in solar panels?

  26. Isostatic rebound. Was there any ice cover in southern Spain in the last ice age?
    Hmmm, a thought – Africa is still moving towards Europe, that would result in the area between being uplifted. Would that result in the Gib/Med area rising enough to cancel the local effects of sea levels rising?

  27. MC,

    “@BoM4 – At the weekend, I tried a bottle of wine made in North Wales. It wasn’t bad (although not worth the price).”

    There’s the problem with any sort of measurement about climate change in relation to it. Anyone who is looking for value for money isn’t buying it. It’s bought as a bit of a novelty, patriotic, localist thing. It tells you nothing about the effect of climate change.

    Oh, and many of the owners are already rich people who have set up a winery like other rich people throw money at a football club or racehorses.

  28. So we convert old office buildings to multi level farms. Fresh food produced in quicker time and transport costs minimal. Pick the food and have it in the shop 2 hours later.

    Considerable amount of food can be grown quickly in cubic volume rather than square footage.
    With a lot fewer pests and with variable weather out of the equation.
    Multiple crops a year too.

    So, no crisis. Just a change in methods.

  29. @BoM4

    Wine. There has been a remarkable improvement in the quality of the output of Bordeaux, and to some extent Burgundy, over the past three decades. Some of this has been technology and technique, but some can be ascribed to it becoming warmer. Back in the 80s, lots of bad years – recently not so much.

  30. We had a bottle of St. Georges St. Emillion 2012 at the Bommie restaurant at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club last week. Great value wine to accompany excellent food.

  31. Thought yo were talking about the famous Barossa, there, Ken. It’s mostly a housing estate.

  32. Bravefart/ Andrew C

    The post on Libra was one of those which had me thinking that the whole of TRUK might actually be some kind of elaborate spoof. Surely anyone with even the vaguest understanding of tax would have figured this out. As you say, how long before he takes the credit for identifying this?

    What an absolute moron. Truly beyond parody!

  33. ‘How the climate crisis will change your plate in 2050’

    “if I am dead as dead I well may be”

  34. @Bloke on M4

    There’s the problem with any sort of measurement about climate change in relation to it. Anyone who is looking for value for money isn’t buying it. It’s bought as a bit of a novelty, patriotic, localist thing. It tells you nothing about the effect of climate change.

    This is interesting. A claim that investors are betting on more hotter than colder days.
    The market is betting on climate change

  35. @BoM4 – English sparkling wine is excellent; I’ve tried a few which were as good as champagne at the same price level.

    I heartily approve of rich people subsidising my drinking.

  36. You will all buy quick-frozen meat and flour (packed separately) from Siberia instead of corn beef from Uruguay.
    Siberia proper (excluding the Russian Far East) is the same size as Canada and has the potential to replace the slightly smaller USA as the world’s largest food exporter.
    The land area in Siberia and the Russian Far East that will become arable is greater than the area around the equator that will become unfit to grow food as a result of global warming.

  37. DocBud, I am in New Ellerby, a village about halfway between Hull and Hornsea. Incidentally there is exploratory drilling for gas going on a couple of miles away at West Newton. Quite a few of my neighbours are exhibiting posters in front of their houses that say “Green fields not gas fields.” They might as well have put signs up saying “I am an imbecile, an ignoramus and a steaming hypocrite.”

  38. Amen, Stoneyground.

    I had a neighbor who had a rather large sign in his yard that he was using solar energy.

    A short discussion determined that he gets his electricity from the same substation as I do.

    The local electric co-op had a special deal where, if you paid more for your electricity from them, you could put up the sign showing you cared more than other people and you were using solar electricity. Something about you get to claim ownership of their solar production, though you didn’t recieve any more/less than anyone else. It was so transparently stupid I had to laugh. Haven’t said much more than, “Hi,” since then.

    And the sign was gone the next day.

  39. I have a mate who will curse the name of her divine Thatchness for closing the mines, yet is firmly against any fracking as a crime against nature.

  40. @Henning July 1, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Actually it is easy now and will become easier as tech improves.

    Iceland – the island: firms are growing fruit & veg in giant greenhouses lit by LEDs with wavelengths specifically tuned to optimise growth, ripening etc.

    .
    @Andrew C

    Like fission, battery tech etc

  41. Aren’t Ocado starting to build huge greenhouses beside their logistics’ centres, so as to grow produce?

  42. Green fields not gas fields. I am impressed by the amount of sheer idiocy that can be condenced into just five words. First, it is a false dichotomy. Second, a gas field is a natural occurrence, if there is a gas field a mile and a half below the green fields, your stupid poster isn’t going to change the fact that it is there. Third, these people all use gas to cook and heat their water and their houses. Where do they think that it comes from if it isn’t drilled out of the ground? Presumably the effing gas fairy brings it. Yes these idiots make me really angry because the idiots in our government listen to them.

  43. If fracking was a big industry and then govt closed it down, there would be much protest about loss of high paid, skilled jobs.

    Whereas shutting it down before it gets really going,the noise is far quieter.

    An informative counterfactual about the way we treat opportunity costs, I fear?

  44. I have a mate who will curse the name of her divine Thatchness for closing the mines, yet is firmly against any fracking as a crime against nature.

    Makes me think of Jezza’s plan to remove the ICBM’s from nuclear subs but keep them operational as really expensive underwater gay discos.

  45. How will we feed the world’s population? Well, anecdotal evidence but if you are old enough you will remember what Indian Cricket crowds looked like in rare old footage; compare them to today’s well fed, even plump denizens. The only thin Indians you see these days on TV are professional athletes.

    Somehow that food appeared from somewhere, with a rapidly increasing population.

  46. ‘How will we feed the world’s population?’

    We? Not my job, Mon.

    As George Carlin said, “If we can’t feed 8 billion people, there won’t be 8 billion people.”

  47. MC,

    “@BoM4 – English sparkling wine is excellent; I’ve tried a few which were as good as champagne at the same price level.”

    But why not just buy sparkling wine that are better than Champagne at the same price level? “Champagne” sticks a fiver on the price of a bottle compared to any other sparkling.

  48. MC,
    I wonder if your mate is aware that Wilson and Benn closed more mines than closed during Margaret Thatcher’ s government. They did this so they could import cheaper coal from Poland while showing solidarity with their Communist colleagues and overlords.
    Also, when Scargill brought the miners out on strike (without a ballot), he insisted that the engineers who maintained the machinery that prevented flooding, also come out on strike. This resulted in some mines that were not due to be closed, having to be abandoned because the anti flooding machinery was under water.
    I bet they don’t mention that in Nottingham, Yorkshire, or Durham!

  49. ” Of course we in the UK will starve when our government forces farmers to plough with battery powered tractors”

    Wash your mouth out! Don’t you know that the plough is now considered one of the biggest causes of climate change? Ploughing the soil is akin to raping Gaia or something.

    Anyway, no-till cultivation and sowing is the way forward we are told by our betters. It unfortunately does need quite a lot of glyphosate weedkiller to make it a productive system though, which given glyphosate is also on the shortlist for a ban (by the same people who don’t like ploughing) means that the future is extremely poor yields of cereals and a lot of hungry people……………..

  50. @BoM4 – wine produced with the champagne method (wherever it is made) tends to be more expensive and in my experience well worth it.

    All those “don’t waste the extra money on champagne, buy cremant, Prosecco or cava etc etc and it’s just as good” campaigns are rubbish. There are great sparklers made all over the world, but none of it is cheap. Having said that, I bought some champagne recently for £19 a bottle and it is fantastic.

    @Penseivat – I have certainly told him that, but I sincerely doubt he is aware of it; because them Tories are evil, Thatcher ruined the mines and the car industry and the NHS is the wonder of the world.

    I find factual arguments tend to make lefties either lose their temper, glaze over and blank it all out or decide (and I have come across this countless times) that you are arguing just for the sake of it but don’t believe anything you’re saying.

  51. @MC
    Most Crémant, Prosecco and Cava, and the better types of Sekt are made ‘sparkling’ by secondary fermentation in the bottle (méthode classique in EU parlance) in exactly the same way as Champagne. It’s only the very bottom end where CO2 is added directly, like a fizzy drink. There are plenty of Cavas and Crémants (I can’t speak for Prosecco, as I don’t drink it, not being a housewife of a certain age) that are just as good as many champagnes for less than half the price.

    Champagne is generally a Veblen good, with all that entails.

  52. @Jim July 2, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    It’s a shame Stuart Agnew (UKIP) is now no longer an MEP. A voice of sanity on agriculture, farming, glyphosate, nic..oids etc

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