I couldn’t escape the grand political irony exposed in this recent story entitled “New Crops Needed to Avoid Famines” from the BBC on climate change. The basic thesis is that the expected increases in global temperature will shift the regions amenable to fertile crop production northward. Worse yet, in the absence of any replacement crops, or the adoption of massive farming infrastructure in the newly fertile regions, broad famines will ensue. The shift has reportedly already begun with rice yields in Asia declining 10% per degree of average annual temperature increase.
Then it struck me. The cornerstone of political support for the Republican party lies in America’s breadbasket, the Red States. The following map from the BBC article says it all.
One would think think that such a clear and present threat to their core constituency would get a little more attention. But sadly, the Republican platform is currently opposed to both efforts at mitigating global warming AND genetic engineering which could develop more climate-proof crops. It is almost as if they are trying to guarantee the economic ruin of their constituency (and the rest of the US with them) within a couple of generations. Liberals take heart!