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Climate change and agriculture
by Patricio Ananayo

Untitled Document Just like any other serious socio-economic problem in the world, Climate Change is one of the current alarming global concerns of all countries considering its effect to the present and future human existence.

If we look back at the ancient religious history, the Holy Bible reveals that God created the world perfect, putting in place a well balanced ecosystem where each creature perfectly depend on each other in order to sustain their existence. However, various researchers revealed that even in less populated and forested areas, there are various extinct as well as endangered plants and animal species. This may be attributed to Charles Darwin’s theory on the Survival of the Fittest. But the extinction of many plant and animal species can be due to the unfavorable impacts of Climate Change. It should be noted that the extinction of one living organism will affect the sustainable survival of the other.

Basically, Climate Change started from man’s clearing the forest with the goal of helping improve his own life from his traditional ways to modern ways of living. But even before modernization started, serious Climate Change happened during the dawn of civilization. The Holy Bible further revealed that various plagues affected man’s lives during the ancient times while the like when Great Flood almost wiped out mankind during the time of Noah.

In today’s generation, while man is enhancing his knowledge and modernizing his ways of living, various studies show that the global climate is fast changing. Old folks who noticed the changing climate attributed this to anger from the Almighty God or from spirits due to the fast destruction of the forest. These are shown by strong typhoons, floods, landslides, tidal waves, pest and disease outbreaks directly and or indirectly affecting man, plants, and animals.

But what are the relationships of Climate Change with agriculture and population? Basically, man lives on food. Foods directly produced from the forest. As what God said to man, “Go ye and multiply,” man then continues to multiply. Due to the fast increase of population, more and more food is needed. And man’s only source is his old world that he has to develop in order to survive.

Hence, man has to encroach on the forest, cut trees and develop the earth’s surface for food production, and expand forest clearing for his housing needs. In today’s generation, activities include the development of road networks, public conveyances, recreation facilities, dams, and similar structures that require fo-rest clearing. And as man continues to increase, these facilities need to be further expanded. At the end, man will be losing his natural environment, completely destroying the ecosystem. And since the environment is not balanced, climate then is affected.

In agriculture, productivity and profitability are seriously affected – not only due to typhoons, but also due to soil erosion and depletion, as well as changes in the ecosystem. Displaced insects and other wild animals living in the thick forest migrate to the developed farms for survival. Others go to houses and cities not only for shelter but also to scour for food.

What man should be very much concerned is his sustainable existence in this planet. It may depend on how far he can develop practical and applicable technologies that will immediately help restore ecological balance. Even without an official statistical figure, it is common knowledge that out of the present billions of world population, not even five percent are actively involved in environmental conservation. Hence, environmental destruction happens so much faster than rehabilitation due to the uncontrollable population growth.

Man may not have been seriously concerned on the proper conservation of his environmental resources but he is now concerned on how to help prevent disasters affecting human survival. As long as the environment will continue to be damaged, Climate Change will continue to happen. Before our world leaders raised the issue of the changing global climate, our old folks have already been talking about the Climate Change especially during Christmas season and summer – where typhoons are already happening.

Today, pest and disease outbreaks have been regularly observed and crop productivity went down. Global temperature drastically changed. Gone were the days when we feel the natural cool temperature and fresh air from the forest. With these many emerging environmental problems caused by the disturbed and angry nature, the historians’ common statement that “history repeats itself” is true because what has happened during the biblical period, is happening again.

But what could be the probable causes? Various environmentalists say that the changing climate is attributed to the various environmental destructions caused by man’s socio-economic activities within the earth’s surface. One of the basic answers is a morally accepted birth rate control not abortion, sustaining a specific population which this Planet Earth can sustainably support without causing too much damage to the environment that may induce Climate Change. Through this approach, man should not go beyond using technologies that will destroy ecological balance or else, population control is of no use if even a small population will seriously destroy ecological balance.

At present, there has been a serious concern on increasing food production. But apparently, productivity of various crops and even livestock has been affected by the drastic effects of climate change. As a result, many experts are recommending new technologies to help enhance food production. Genetic engineering as well as other biotechnology innovations are being continuously developed and introduced in the field just to help increase food production. But there are no safe justifications that these technologies will help restore better and sound environment. Health-conscious and morality conscious individuals as well as organic agriculture movers are totally against the production, commercialization, and consumption of genetically engineered crops and livestock knowing that these seriously contribute to unwanted Climate Change. Yet these people cannot also provide the answer to increasing needs of the ever increasing population. Sustaining pure organic agriculture practices without sustaining a level of world population which organic agriculture can feed will also result in serious hunger and malnutrition.

Hence, increasing food production is almost equal to inducing global Climate Change. Whatever the future consequences are, only nature can tell. But the saddest part of it is that man, who is improving his way of survival are the very victim of unfavorable Climate Change. If you develop your environment, man may go hungry. But if man increases food production, he suffers all the consequences of natural calamities as a result of Climate Change. But it is always nice to note that, Climate Change started from man’s greediness to improve and modernize his selfish ways of living. Hence, this Planet Earth also found the opportunity to fast-track her own ways of restoring its natural climate by taking thousands of human lives every year to fertilize the dying soil that abundant plants and animals will again subdue the earth and restore its original climate.
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