Italian Pasta – The Next Victim of Climate Change?
Hello! My apologies for having slacked of blogger duties for the last couple of days. I had a deadline to meet and a plane to catch, but am back on the ground now, albeit on the other side of the Atlantic. So if you are looking for the daily news roundup of DC sustainability news, my apologies again! Please come back next Tuesday, when I will return to the District and the local beat.
For the rest of this week, I will be reporting from the GreenAccord environmental journalism conference in Italy. This gathering of reporters, writers and editors from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States is organization each fall by an Italian nonprofit group. This year’s subtitle is Climate is Changing, stories, facts and people. Later on, we will be hearing from a farmer from Uganda, a Mongolian herdsman and other local people facing dramatic changes to their lives and lifestyles as a result of global warming. But today, the meeting kicked off with a sobering assessment from a couple of policy wonks who stressed the need for the world to take rapid measures to reduce carbon emissions and stave off the worst impacts of global warming.
Leena Srivastava, the executive director of The Energy and Resources Institute, who helped preparing the 2007 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, opened the conference up with a speech the international climate politics. While everyone was talking about the December Copenhagen climate negotiations, she looked beyond the summit, saying what happens with pending US climate legislation could spark a wider international mobilzation in the coming months if Copenhagen fails to yeild results. Still, the forecast was pretty bleak.
Next, Janet Larsen, from our very on DC-based Earth Policy Institute, launched into her presentation by reminding everyone that rising temperatures caused by climate change may completely decimate Italy’s durem wheat crop used to make the country’s famous pasta. Climate change is also expected to take a heavy toll on corn, potato and a wide varety of other crops. But since we’re all particularly enjoying the wonderful Italian food at the conference, the impending loss of pasta was most solemly received. After grabbing our attention, Larsen launched into a brief description of her colleague Lester Brown’s latest in the series of Plan B books that offer solutions to our mounting climate woes.
Well, gotta go! It is lunchtime here and I don’t want to miss out on the pasta while its still around. But I will write up a more detailed report later today.
Until then, Ciao bellos!