Ross Gelbspan | February 24, 2007 By Ross Gelbspan • Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 07:43 Tweet MAIL PRINT The place where most of the world's people could first begin to feel the consequences of global warming may be in the stomach. A group of agricultural experts are increasingly worried that global warming will trigger food shortages long before it causes better known but more distant threats, such as rising sea levels. Tweet EMAIL PRINT SUBSCRIBE Ross Gelbspan's blog ‹ PREVIOUSAnd the Oscar goes to.....NEXT ›DeSmog founder hits the radio waves View the discussion thread. Comments Oisín replied on Sun, 2007-02-25 04:26 Permalink australia Good article and MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT goes someway to redeeming himself for the awful lowbrow attack on David Suzuki’s bus. I would counsel readers not to look at the comments submitted below either of these articles if they want to keep black depression at bay; a greater example of raging stupidity would be hard to find. I’d like to draw readers’ attention to these articles: Drought to slash summer crop production The drought will slash Australia’s summer crop production to its lowest level in more than 20 years. After running a scythe through the winter grain harvest, the big dry is set to take a huge toll on water-intensive summer crops like cotton and rice. The federal government’s rural economic forecaster, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), says summer crop production will fall 59 per cent in 2006-07 to 1.9 million tonnes - the smallest haul since 1982-83. Rice production will plummet 90 per cent to just 106,000 tonnes, and cotton production will be down 42 per cent at 250,000 tonnes. ABARE is tipping grain sorghum production to fall 51 per cent to 996,000 tonnes. Scorched earth an insecure place Australia: Unless carefully handled, tensions between the developed and developing worlds over responsibility for a deteriorating climate, already in evidence, may escalate. Climate change will also raise anxieties about food and energy, and increase the likelihood of destabilising competition for scarce resources that could be a particular problem for our region because of Asia’s high levels of energy dependence and growing demand for food and water. Supply of key agricultural products such as wheat, rice and corn is set to drop by one-third in China because of forecast temperature rises. Although these sobering statistics should be a wake-up call for action, complacency should not be replaced by alarmism or defeatism. Why wheat is luring the breadwinners Wheat, according to the commodity dealers, is the new gold. After making millions from pumping up the price of copper, zinc and other metals to record levels last year, speculators are piling into “soft” commodities such as wheat and corn amid drought warnings and global shortages. …and to think that green activists get accused of manufacturing the crisis for their own profit… Kevin replied on Sun, 2007-02-25 20:37 Permalink Malthus Lives! Eco-Malthusianism here we come. What’s it going to take to demonstrate that food shortages are not very likely with current production methods? Malthus has been wrong for centuries. DEW replied on Mon, 2007-02-26 05:54 Permalink Malthus was wrong, and Malthus predicted food shortages. Therefore any theory relating to food shortages is wrong. That’s some good logic, Kevin. Anonymous replied on Tue, 2007-02-27 04:00 Permalink food shortages Do a little reading. Travel. You’ll wake up and see food shortages even now. They will get worse. David Hemming replied on Tue, 2007-03-13 08:40 Permalink Rice and global warming might interested in a blog article A Role for Rice in Causing and Tackling Climate Change? and a related paper, “Irrigated rice production systems and greenhouse gas emissions: crop and residue management trends, climate change impacts and mitigation strategies” from CAB Reviews.