The global food system is broken. As a consequence of this brokenness, a disturbing paradox arises: billions of people are either overweight, or they are underfed, hungry, or starving. The faulty food system is also driving our planet deeper into climate chaos.
Those grim statements are not my personal curmudgeonly observations, but rather the considered opinion of 130 national academies of science and medicine from around the world. In late 2018 – under the aegis of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – the 130 academies issued what they termed a “wake-up call.”
You can add IAP's wake-up call to the thousands of other calls that scientists, environmentalists, and nature itself have been ringing out for the last several decades. As we move further into 2019 we are confronted with the news that insect populations are in perilous decline globally, with industrial chemical agriculture fingered as the prime culprit.
As scientists from NASA, NOAA, and the UN worded it in January 2019, “We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future. It’s here. It’s now.”
In this context, food production is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events, according to researchers publishing in the journal Nature Sustainability (January 2019). They report that the intensifying scale of weather disasters worldwide is related to climate change, and is in fact having a steady, unsettling impact on global food systems and markets.
This time, I feel it would be a grave mistake for any of us as individuals – or as families, communities, and nations – to ignore these shrieking wake-up calls, and to smash down the snooze button again. Stay woke.
Most readers of Mother Earth News have long been awake, and long seen the inexorable development of these daunting circumstances. From that alertness has come a plentitude of clever, insightful, clean, wise, and cooperative adaptations and innovations for sustainable living. In this manner, the collective consciousness that is Mother Earth News has pioneered healthy responses to the reality we all face. Much more now is needed. Time for a massive scale up.
In the context of all the foreboding alarms concerning our turbulent reality, the sustainable and local food movements are revealed to be keenly shrewd and resourceful responses.
Internationally, the term used to describe the broad and growing range of sustainable farm and garden movements (which include the organic and Biodynamic systems) is “agroecology.” That word is just now becoming more well known in America. I hope we will hear much more of it in the future. Agroecology is a cleaner, healthier, more humane and more egalitarian approach to agriculture. I regard it, and deep agroecology, as our main chance.
On land and at sea, the thousand ringing alarms summon us all to action. Now. As I see it, agroecology and deep agroecology are our next natural, intelligent, and essential actions and evolutionary steps. It’s time to pick up the pace.
More to come…
Photo credit: Pixabay
Journalist Steven McFadden is the author of 15 nonfiction books dealing with the land and our lives upon it. His most recent book is, Awakening Community Intelligence: CSA Farms as 21st Century Cornerstones. Links to all of his blog posts for MOTHER EARTH NEWS can be found here.
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