Session 7

  Climate Change and the Evolution of
Global Agriculture

As water is distributed in new and unforeseen patterns within the global ecosystem, agricultural production will be altered on a world-wide scale. Prolonged droughts and tragic floods may compromise food production for hundreds of millions of people at the same time that some of the world's agricultural production will be increasingly devoted to growing bio-fuel crops. Resulting food shortages may lead to repeated patterns of food-"price spikes" and local instability, fueled by hoarding and food futures speculation in market-dominated economies. These foreseeable impacts of climate change will be discussed in class with examples of the patterns unfolding on a global scale.

Support Material

Lester Brown Address to Cambridge Forum - ENVR E130 - Class Session 3 - Support Material (2012).


Previous Talks at Cambridge Forum: 22 February 2008 and 5 April 2006
and, directly related current events... from


Food-Matters.TV - the global food system the logic of solar sustainable agriculture.


Jennifer Carpernter, "Climate to wreak havoc on food supply, predicts report," BBC News Online, (3 June 2011 Last updated at 02:33 GMT).
Meadu, Vanessa, "Study Reveals Future "Hotspots" of Risk for Hundreds of Millions Whose Food Problems are on a Collision Course with Climate Change," Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), (3 June 2011).
CGIAR Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Mapping hotspots of climate change and food insecurity in the global tropics, (Washington, D.C., CGIAR, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), 3 June 2011).
Justin Gillis, "A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself," The New York Times, (4 June 2011).
"UN rapporteur talks about the global food crisis," YouTube - Al Jazeera, (28 April 2008)..

Supplementary Material
  David B. Lobell, Wolfram Schlenker, and Justin Costa-Roberts, "Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980," Science, (5 May 2011).
  The Guardian,"Global food crisis: the US speculators playing with our daily bread," The Guardian, U.K., (2 June 2011 19.26 BST).
  Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Climate, agriculture and food security: A strategy for change, (Washington, D.C., CGIAR, December 2009).
  David Brough, "Hunger crisis worsens, food system broken: Oxfam," Reuters, (31 May 2011).

Return to Home Page