These days, following food news can feel like you’re just sitting on the front porch and watching the sky. The recent Midwestern floods aside (registration required), droughts are drying up farmland across the world, and in Australia, where harvests have been dramatically smaller recently, the government has just issued a report saying, roughly, we haven’t seen anything yet. According to the Australian, the agriculture minister “described the higher-level projections in the assessment as ‘more like a disaster novel than a scientific report.’ He said the report found extreme temperatures that used to occur once every 20 to 25 years ‘are now likely to occur one in every one to two years as we move towards the year 2030.’”
And in Iraq, the Boston Globe reports that “an acute drought [has] slashed agricultural production and threatens to destroy livestock. In the worst-hit northern provinces, areas that were covered with golden wheat fields and verdant pastures have become dust bowls.” For a country where 25 to 40 percent of the workforce is in agriculture, the desiccated fields are potentially devastating.
Here’s a nice scary quote to end with:
‘Ninety percent of the people in Hawija live off farms,’ said Mohammed Hussein, a mayor in the area. ‘If the farmer can’t work his land, he will have no choice but to be a terrorist to support his family.’