Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Cynical lies designed to pressure big food companies
Warming would make great new areas of Northern Canada and Siberia suitable for grain farming. So the problem would be TOO MUCH food, not too little. And if some of the soils there are poor, adding supplements of various sorts is already routine
The price of cereals such as Corn Flakes could surge by as much as 44 percent in the next 15 years because of climate change, Oxfam has warned.
The charity has claimed the 'Big 10' food and drink companies combined emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia, and has warned these firms could face financial ruin if they do not do more to tackle climate change.
Oxfam says were companies Associated British Foods, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestl‚, PepsiCo and Unilever a country, they would rank as the 25th most polluting.
In its new report Standing on the Sidelines, the international agency says these firms emit 264 million tons of greenhouse gases, according to the latest available figures, more than the combined 250 million ton total for Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.
Oxfam says food supplies are being affected by storms, floods, droughts and shifting weather patterns caused by climate change, which is leading to more hunger and poverty.
It has been predicted that by 2050 there will be 50 million more people made hungry because of climate change, and Oxfam has suggested that the price of key products like Kellogg's Corn Flakes could rise by 44 percent by 2029.
In its critical report, the charity has called on the firms, which is says generate œ650 million a day in revenues - equivalent to the total gross domestic product of all the world's lower income countries - to cut their combined emissions by 80 million tons by 2020.
'By failing to cut emissions adequately the 'Big 10' are putting short term profits ahead of the long term interests of both themselves and the rest of us,' said Oxfam's director of UK campaigns and policy Sally Copley.
'Their influence and wealth are the perfect ingredients to stop putting their businesses at risk and making climate change worse.
'They need to look at the whole picture from how their ingredients are grown to how their goods are produced to cut emissions.
'They also need to pressure businesses and governments to do what is needed to tackle climate change and help build a future where everyone has enough to eat.'
Oxfam says that the food industry drives around 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and that these emissions are growing as demand for food rises.
'Experts say that if the world is to avoid warming of more than 2C, rising emissions from deforestation and agriculture need to be reversed by 2050 and agriculture and forests need to together become a carbon sink - effectively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,' said an Oxfam spokesman.
'Their influence and wealth are the perfect ingredients to stop putting their businesses at risk and making climate change worse'
Oxfam says some of the companies, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Nestle, had taken steps to tackle climate change, and that Pepsico UK had committed to reduce emissions from its agricultural supply chain by 50 percent in five years.
But it singled out Kellogg, which produces cereals including Corn Flakes and Rice Crispies, and General Mills, which encompasses brands including Haagen-Dazs and Jus-Rol, as two of the 'worst' on climate.
In its report the charity called on these companies to lead the other firms towards more responsible policies and practices. Oxfam also urged the firms to disclose their agricultural emissions and biggest polluting suppliers, and set targets to cut emissions from their supply chains.
A spokesman from Kellog told MailOnline: 'Kellogg is committed to doing what's right for the environment and society. As part of this commitment, we are working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - along with energy use and water use - by 15-20 percent at our manufacturing facilities by 2015.
'We're pleased to see that Oxfam has recognized our commitment to working with global palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable. We've also made continuous improvements in the areas of Land, Women, Climate and Water.
'We value continued engagement and discussion with Oxfam, and other external stakeholders on the important issues of environmental and social sustainability.'
A General Mills spokesperson added: 'Climate Change is a serious issue, and as a food company we are very aware of the impact that climate change could have on agriculture and the world's food supply.
'General Mills has been actively engaged in positively influencing climate policy and has been taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations for many years.'
Comment by William Happer received by email: Meyers is an "instructor in medicine" and research scientist at the "Harvard Center for the Environment." This is not a very prestigious position. But if Meyers continues to produce horror stories like this for the establishment, it will soon bring him fame and fortune, just as environmental fanaticism has done for so many already, including Obama's Presidential Science Advisor and Al Gore. As for content, Meyers's paper sounds like rubbish to me. As best I know, grain is not the main source of nutritional zinc and iron anyway. And somebody should get the environmental enforcers after the growers of hothouse tomatoes, cucumbers, etc., who persist in doubling, tripling and quadrupling the CO2 levels in their greenhouses.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).