2012 has been a year of extreme weather. Expected solar storms will add to the feeling of being part of a Hollywood Blockbuster. The Day after Tomorrow and the movie 2012 both spring to mind. The strange weather has cost the planet dearly in loss of life and structural damage but there could be worse to come.
Early in the year the UK was said to be experiencing a severe drought. Crops were affected. Then came a period of increased rainfall. Once again crops were affected, negatively. The US however has struggled with a seemingly never ending drought. Extreme heat has caused a multitude of problems. The US is no stranger to diverse weather, as it covers such a vast area of land. Even by US standards though 2012 has been exceptionally bad.
At last concerns are being voiced publicly. No doubt the hope was that a break in the weather would save the day. However it is becoming close to the point of no return. A time when if the weather breaks it will be too late. In fact an extreme change in the weather could simply add to concerns.
The USA is the leading producer of Soya beans and Corn. Both of these are used extensively in developing countries. This will often be in countries already experiencing food shortages. They cannot afford a dip in their provisions.
As half of the USA is affected with prices soaring at home and away. You may disagree with some of the theories on climate change and global warming but there is no denying weather patterns are changing. Discovering the root cause and planning for further changes must be a priority.
Whilst half the world seems keen to blow each other to kingdom come and take us once more into war, you have to wonder just how much more Mother Earth can take. We have battered her and abused her yet expect her to bounce back unscathed time after time. In truth we all know that everything has its breaking point.
In the US President Obama has asked that everyone does their bit to ease drought problems. The White House said, An Administration-Wide Response to the Drought, " Throughout much of the country, communities are struggling with one of the worst droughts to strike the U.S. in decades. And President Obama has directed the federal government -- from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Army Corps of Engineers -- to provide assistance to farmers, ranchers, and small businesses wrestling with this crisis.
The President has described this as an "all-hands-on-deck response." Yesterday, he said, "We're going to continue to solicit ideas from state and local organizations, faith-based organizations, not-for-profit groups, the private sector, and most of all, the farmers and ranchers that are directly impacted, to find additional ways that we can help -- because when there’s a disaster like this, everybody needs to pull together."
If extreme weather continues it will cause an increase in food prices, plus a shortage of crops. It will mean that most countries will have to re-think many of their policies. It will after all affect how we all live.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog