Food riots in the street could soon be a reality in nations around the world if food prices continue to climb and food production dwindles due to extreme weather.
That’s according to a computer model run by the CNA Corporation, a government contractor, that involved 65 government officials and policy makers from the United States, European Union, Brazil, China, Africa and India in November that went unreported until June 26.
CNA is a nonprofit research organization that operates the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research.
In the computer model – which takes place in 2020 — extreme weather and political conflict undermine food production and create a food shortage and social unrest. All 65 of the officials and policy makers took part in the computer model, which had food prices shooting up by 395 percent in some places.
“Instability and volatility are the ‘new normal,’ and both are inevitably linked,” a report that summarized the computer model and findings read. “The global food system is heavily networked and complex, making it vulnerable to a variety of risks and disruptions. Demographic changes, increasingly degraded natural resources, climate pressures and political crises will continue to challenge food security.”
The computer model was called “Food Chain Reaction” and was first reported by MotherBoard.
“The game begins in 2020 with a reasonably healthy global economy and oil prices that have now rebounded to $75 a barrel,” the website reported. “Food prices climb steadily due to ‘weather-related disruptions to agricultural production,’ affecting South and Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America. Global crop production falls 1 percent short of expectations leading to decreases in stock and further modest price increases.
“Things get really rough after 2023 due to serious droughts and heatwaves in China, India, Russia, and Ukraine, coinciding with oil prices that rapidly increase to above $100 a barrel.
“By 2024, heat and drought hit the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine, while subsiding elsewhere, triggering a food price spike ‘reaching 395 percent of long-term averages,’ and a global economic slowdown.
“By 2027, these conditions begin to calm only because an economic slump has diminished demand, while high prices stimulate food production. A respite from weather-related disruptions allows food stocks to be re-built, and prices then come down gradually.”
The report found that there is no one solution to prevent a future food crisis.
“Solutions lie in more innovative collaboration among governments, business, civil society and multilateral institutions,” the report read. “Information sharing systems can be improved, so that decisions can be made with accurate, real-time and trusted data. Investments across the agricultural value chain are essential. And by evolving attitudes from reactionary to visionary, a future crisis can be as visceral and motivating as an actual present day catastrophe.”
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