Scientists calculate that temperatures will keep rising for the next 50 years, no matter how drastically we cut greenhouse gas emissions. Open Society Fellow Mark Hertsgaard and Sara Scherr, founder of Ecoagriculture Partners, discuss the implications of this somber reality for food production and global hunger.
The panelists assess the severity of the problem, which is worsened by widespread soil erosion and dwindling rainfall in crop-growing regions. They also identify cause for hope. New farming techniques can boost crop yields while enabling plants to store carbon.
The event is moderated by Ross Gelbspan, author of two acclaimed books on climate change: Boiling Point and The Heat is On.
Ross Gelbspan is an American writer and activist. He has written two books relating to global warming: The Heat Is On (1997) and Boiling Point (2004). The Heat Is On received national attention when President Bill Clinton told the press he was reading it. Boiling Point was the subject of the lead review in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. That review was written by former Vice President Al Gore.
Prior to his involvement in the climate issue, Gelbspan worked as an editor and reporter at a number of newspapers, including The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post and the Boston Globe.
Mark Hertsgaard, an independent journalist based in San Francisco, is the author of five books that have been translated into sixteen languages. He covers climate change for Vanity Fair, The Nation, Time and Die Zeit and has written for many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines.
Mark Hertsgaard is the author of five books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future and On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency.
A correspondent for Link TV and The Nation and L'espresso magazines, he has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, The Guardian, Die Zeit and other leading publications around the world. His next book is called, Hot: Living Through the Storm: Surviving the Next 50 Years of Global Warming.
Sara J. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist specializing in land and forest management policy in tropical developing countries. Founder of Ecoagriculture Partners, she now serves as its President and CEO.
From 2001-2005, she also served as Director of Ecosystem Services for Forest Trends, an NGO that promotes forest conservation through improved markets for forest products and ecosystem services. She is a member of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Scherr's previous positions include: Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA; Co-Leader of the CGIAR Gender Program; Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; and Principal Researcher at the World Agroforestry Centre. She was previously a Fulbright Scholar (1976) and a Rockefeller Social Science Fellow (1985-87).
Dr. Scherr received her BA in Economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her MSc and PhD in International Economics and Development at Cornell University in New York. Dr. Scherr has published 26 articles in refereed journals, 2 annotated bibliographies, 9 monographs, more than 50 book chapters, and 11 books, including Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity (with Jeff McNeely), A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction: Making Markets Work for Low-Income Producers (with Andy White and David Kaimowitz), and Farming with Nature (with Jeff McNeely).
Key carbon-based molecules in the life processes:
* Proteins, which are the building blocks from which the structures of living organisms are constructed (this includes almost all enzymes, which catalyse organic chemical reactions
* Nucleic acids, which carry genetic information
* Carbohydrates, which store energy in a form that can be used by living cells
* Fats, which also store energy, but in a more concentrated form, and which may be stored for extended periods in the bodies of animals.
Mark Hertsgaard makes some really great points about the dangers of climate change. I like that he brought attention to the fact that we have to not only reduce the carbons being released into the atmosphere but also deal with what is there now. I don't think a lot of people realize that. I found a related article, http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008...ate_change.php