Continued Cold Puts Food Supply at Risk

One of the consequences of a Grand Minimum coupled with a Little Ice Age is the long term impact on food production. As the cool settles in and the ground freezes food-producing land becomes scarcer, food-growing seasons become shorter, and the world becomes a much more arid and less hospitable place. Food shortages and social unrest has followed previous cold periods and will again.

As I have written before climate change in America’s food basket will be one of the early indicators that the next grand minimum has arrived and the consequences are emanate.

The continental U.S. has been cooling over the last 16 years, at a rate of minus 3.8°F per century rate.

corn belt cooling

The NOAA/NCDC climate record reveals, the breadbasket areas of American have been cooling for a longer period – 17 years. The images below reflect the empirical evidence for the primary U.S. corn growing areas., which is cooling at a minus 4.0°F/century rate.

 

 

Corn belt Map

If this cooling trend were to continue, it would spell disaster for the world’s hungry. Let’s hope ‘the pause’ in global warming does not last much longer as it unfortunately seems to project a cooling regime over the U.S.

 

Here is the February forecast:

cfs_anom_t2m_conus_2014012400_m2

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

4 thoughts on “Continued Cold Puts Food Supply at Risk”

  1. Although local regions don’t have to match, cooling over the past 16-17 years, since 1997-1998, fits the turning point for global temperatures as well (even if those have been cooling at a lesser rate), seen along with much else in http://img103.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=28747_expanded_overview3_122_966lo.jpg . Greater global cooling should be after this cycle’s solar maximum finishes, as it doesn’t appear strong enough for very much of an echoing El Nino afterwards in the subsequent minimum.

  2. This is a copy of an old very long comment. You may use it as you wish.

    Note GMOs because they are genetically identical either ALL survive or ALL fail, at least in theory. This is devastating if the seed companies and the farmers guess wrong, if pests invade or the climate is bad. Loss of genetic diversity is the reason I do not like GMOs especially broad regions relying on identical genetics.

    FOOD and POLITICS

    The second reason I absolutely HATE corn=> ethanol biofuel is it has caused starvation while the fat cats pocket the profit. (some of the links are old.)

    THIS WAS THE SET-UP
    Amstutz was VP of Cargill. He wrote the WTO Agreement on Ag in 1995. (Even Clinton admitted that agreement lead to starvation and riots of 2008) Amstutz then wrote the Freedom to Farm act in 1996. This law was later called the Freedom to Fail act as US farmers over produced and grain prices dropped like a rock. Grain traders used the surplus of very cheap grain to bankrupt farmers around the world. This was actually a KNOWN US policy as Clinton has just admitted.

    President Bill Clinton, now the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, publicly apologized last month for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized US rice during his time in office. The policy wiped out Haitian rice farming and seriously damaged Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient. http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/1/clinton_rice

    Amstutz was also responsible for wiping out the US grain reserve system. How to fight a food crisis: To blunt the ravages of drought and market greed, we need a national grain reserve… the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act abolished our national system of holding grain in reserve.

    Amstutz then went to work for Goldman Sachs. This has always puzzled me until I finally ran across the last piece of the puzzle.

    That is where things get really interesting. This is stolen from WANTtoKNOW. Info: Excerpts of Key Financial News Articles in Major Media

    The first articles states:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission judge says colleague biased against complainants

    ..Painter said Judge Bruce Levine … had a secret agreement with a former Republican chairwoman of the agency to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency. “On Judge Levine’s first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant’s favor,” Painter wrote. “A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow….

    Levine had never ruled in favor of an investor. Gramm [wife of former senator Phil Gramm (R-Tex.)], was head of the CFTC just before president Bill Clinton took office. She has been criticized by Democrats for helping firms such as Goldman Sachs and Enron gain influence over the commodity markets. After leaving the CFTC, she joined Enron’s board.

    NOW we know WHY Goldman Sachs hired Dan Amstutz!

    The second Article states:

    How Goldman gambled on starvation

    This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.” Through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations [controlling agricultural futures contracts] were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into “derivatives” that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in “food speculation” was born. The speculators drove the price through the roof.

    Here is the real attitude of these sons of syphilitic jackals:

    In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends…very attractive.” Food shortfalls predicted: 2008 http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/dancy/2008/0104.html

    Recently there have been increased calls for the development of a U.S. or international grain reserve to provide priority access to food supplies for Humanitarian needs. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) strongly advise against this concept..Stock reserves have a documented depressing effect on prices… and resulted in less aggressive market bidding for the grains.” July 22, 2008 letter to President Bush http://www.naega.org/images/pdf/grain_reserves_for_food_aid.pdf

    Dan Amstutz was president of the North American Export Grain Association.

    They even named an award after the B@$t@rd!

    The Amstutz Award is given by the North American Export Grain Association in honor of Dan Amstutz and in recognition of his outstanding and extraordinary service to the export grain and oilseed trade from the United States. Appropriately, the first recipient of this distinguished service award was Mr. Amstutz… http://naega.org/?page_id=301

    More on Biofuel, starvation and profit:

    Biofuel starvation wasn’t “unforeseen consequences”

    The U.S. corn crop, accounting for 40 percent of the global harvest and supplying nearly 70 percent of the world’s corn imports…

    Congress required that biofuel use increase five times…

    wheat prices have tripled, corn prices doubled and rice prices nearly doubled…

    …. there were real warnings about possible starvation as a consequence of the law Sarasohn refers to [the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 ].

    The possible consequences were clearly communicated in a Senate briefing a week before initial passage of the Senate bill and 6 months before final approval of the final House-Senate bill.

    Here’s a bit from a June 13, 2007 Senate briefing given by Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute:

    The U.S. corn crop, accounting for 40 percent of the global harvest and supplying nearly 70 percent of the world’s corn imports, looms large in the world food economy. Annual U.S. corn exports of some 55 million tons account for nearly one fourth of world grain exports. The corn harvest of Iowa alone exceeds the entire grain harvest of Canada. Substantially reducing this export flow would send shock waves throughout the world economy.

    In six of the last seven years, total world grain production has fallen short of use. As a result, world carryover stocks of grain have been drawn down to 57 days of consumption, the lowest level in 34 years. (See Data.)

    To add insult to injury Congress did not even see if biofuel actually saves on the use of oil. It does not! David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell found it takes more fossil fuel to produce biofuel than is recovered:
    * corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
    * switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
    * wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
    * soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
    * sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

    WHO PROFITS?

    Being Like Soros in Buying Farmland Reaps Annual Gains of 16%
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-10/being-like-soros-in-buying-farm-land-lets-investors-reap-16-annual-gains.html

    [US] Farmland reaps high investment returns
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/19/us-column-yourmoney-farmland-investment-idUSBRE82I0SZ20120319

    Credit Suisse: The Hunt for Land Has Already Started
    https://infocus.credit-suisse.com/app/article/index.cfm?fuseaction=OpenArticle&aoid=284894&coid=162&lang=EN

    Rothschild cashes in by Investing in Farmland
    http://davidgarnerconsulting.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/rothschild-cashes-in-by-investing-in-farmland/

    ———-

    Archer Daniels Midland Co (who capitalized on ethanol manufacture)
    Starvation, Obesity, and Corporate Welfare: Archer Daniels Midland and U.S. Policy
    http://www.emergingmarketsoutlook.com/?p=1469

    ADM’s Largess Preserved Ethanol Break, Study Says
    Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), the single largest beneficiary of a controversial federal ethanol tax subsidy, contributed more than $3 million in unregulated “soft money” to Republican and Democratic national party committees during the past 10 years
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/keyraces98/stories/keycash061198.htm

    Mother Jones: Dwaynes World
    …For all ADM’s size, the question now is not whether the government can survive without ADM but whether ADM can survive without the government. Three subsidies that the company relies on are now being targeted by watchdogs ranging from Ralph Nader to the libertarian Cato Institute.

    The first subsidy is the Agriculture Department’s corn-price support program. Despite ADM’s close association with corn, this is the least important subsidy to the company….

    Of more benefit to ADM is the Agriculture Department’s sugar program. The program runs like a mini-OPEC: setting prices, limiting production, and forcing Americans to spend $1.4 billion per year more for sugar, according to the General Accounting Office. The irony is that, aside from a small subsidiary in Metairie, La., ADM has no interest in sugar. Its concern is to keep sugar prices high to prevent Coke and all the other ADM customers that replaced cane sugar with corn sweeteners from switching back. “The sugar program acts as an umbrella for them,” says Tom Hammer, president of the Sweetener Users Association. “It protects them from economic competition.”

    The third subsidy that ADM depends on is the 54-cent-per-gallon tax credit the federal government allows to refiners of the corn-derived ethanol used in auto fuel. For this subsidy, the federal government pays $3.5 billion over five years. Since ADM makes 60 percent of all the ethanol in the country, the government is essentially contributing $2.1 billion to ADM’s bottom line. No other subsidy in the federal government’s box of goodies is so concentrated in the hands of a single company…..

    The grease–or perhaps oleo–that helps keep these kinds of programs going is the money Andreas, his family, his company, and his company’s subsidiaries provide politicians who have influence over agricultural policy.

    More on ADM: So You Want to Buy a President?
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/president/players/andreas.html

    Ethanol: The latest Incarnation of Snake Oil
    http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Biofuels/Ethanol-The-Latest-Incarnation-Of-Snake-Oil.html

    Analysis: U.S. bankers say, love or hate it, ethanol here to stay
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/us-usa-ethanol-farmbankers-idINBRE88413O20120905

    ADM profits soar 550 percent as ethanol margins improve
    http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2010/08/04/adm-profits-soar-550-percent-as-ethanol-margins-improve/

    Cargill (Privately held Grain Trader)
    Record profits for Cargill
    http://www.familybusinessmagazine.com/index.php?/news/single/record_profits_for_cargill/

    Monsanto

    New report shatters GE crop myths
    The study carried out by the UK Soil Association, shatters industry myths that GE crops produce higher yields, reduce herbicide use and benefit the economy. Included in the report is the revelation that between 1999 and 2001, GE crops actually cost the US economy up to US $12 billion dollars.
    http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/media_seedsofdoubt.asp

    Monsanto (85% held by mutual funds)
    Monsanto Extortion Letter
    http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Monsanto-Extortion-Letter12nov98.htm

    2012: Monsanto posts record $8.6B in sales
    http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/10/08/daily35.html

    2012: Monsanto posts record second quarter, sales jump 15 percent
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/04/us-monsanto-results-idUSBRE8330JI20120404

    2012: Monsanto 3Q profit soars, maintains year view
    http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/monsanto-q-profit-soars-maintains-year-view/article_9cf34af6-c053-11e1-bf24-0019bb30f31a.html

    Food fight: The business of biotechnology
    http://themolokainews.com/food-fight/food-fight-the-business-of-biotechnology/

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