Global Issues – SOC450 Assignment 1
The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security
The United Nations (UN) has hired you as a consultant, and your task is to assess the impact that global warming is expected to have on population growth and the ability of societies in the developing world to ensure the adequate security of their food supplies.
As the world’s population nears 10 billion by 2050, the effects of global warming are stripping some natural resources from the environment. As they diminish in number, developing countries will face mounting obstacles to improving the livelihoods of their citizens and stabilizing their access to enough food. The reason these governments are struggling even now is that our climate influences their economic health and the consequent diminishing living standards of their peoples. Climate changes are responsible for the current loss of biodiversity as well as the physical access to some critical farming regions. As such, these changes in global weather patterns diminish agricultural output and the distribution of food to local and international markets. These difficulties will become even more significant for these countries as the Earth’s climate changes for the worse. Temperatures are already increasing incrementally, and polar ice caps are melting, so the salient question is: what does this suggest for developing societies?
The issue before the developing world is not its lack of food, but rather how to gain access to food. Simply put, changes in our climate are affecting the global food chain, and hence, the living standards of entire populations. Added to this is the fact that food is not getting to where it is needed in time to prevent hunger or starvation. In many developing countries, shortages are due to governments’ control over distribution networks rather than an insufficient supply of food itself. In effect, these governments are weaponizing food by favoring certain ethnic or religious groups over others. When added to dramatic climate changes that we are experiencing even now, the future for billions of poor people looks increasingly dim.
You are to write a minimum of a 5 page persuasive paper for the UN that addresses the following questions about the relationship between atmospheric weather patterns and food security in the developing world:
- Climate change and global warming are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same phenomenon. What are the differences between the two concepts and what leads to the confusion between them?
- In 1900, the average global temperature was about 13.7° Celsius (56.7° Fahrenheit) (Osborn, 2021), but as of 2020, the temperature has risen another 1.2°C to 14.9°C (58.9°F). According to the Earth and climate science community, if the Earth’s surface temperature rises another 2°C (3.6°F), we will suffer catastrophic weather patterns that, among other things, will raise sea levels, cause widespread droughts and wildfires, result in plant, insect, and animal extinctions, and reduce agricultural productivity throughout the world (Mastroianni, 2015 and Lindsey & Dahlman, 2020). How much credibility do you place in these projections? Why?
- There is no question that the Earth’s food sources are threatened by changes in its weather patterns, but what specific challenges does climate change pose to the food security of people in the developing world?
- There is currently a debate among some multinational lending agencies like the International Monetary Fund, UNICEF, and AID over the financial support for food security has been misused by recipient government officials. On the other hand, U.S. authorities insist that misuse of its assistance is not occurring because it has strict monitoring oversight in place. What is your position on this matter? Is there evidence that financial assistance to developing governments is being widely misused by government officials?
- This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). For assistance and information, please refer to the SWS link in the left-hand menu of your course and check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- In order to earn full credit, your paper must be divided into at least four full pages of content (one page to address each of the four questions above), and include at least a one-half page introduction and a one-half page conclusion – making a minimum total of five full pages of text.
- You must use at least seven credible sources (excluding Wikipedia, dictionaries, and encyclopedias) that are appropriate for the subjects under discussion.
- You must use only double-spacing and not place extra spacing between paragraphs or section headings.
The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is as follows:
- Evaluate the impacts that climate changes are having on the growth of global populations and the security of their food sources.
Liz Osborn. 2021. History of Changes in the Earth’s Temperature. https://www.currentresults.com/Environment-Facts/changes-in-earth-temperature.php
Brian Mastroianni. 2015. Why 2 degrees are so important. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paris-un-climate-talks-why-2-degrees-are-so-important
Rebecca Lindsey and LuAnn Dahlman. 2020. Climate change global temperature. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature
- Chapter 2, “Wealth and Poverty,” in your textbook discusses the Millennium Development Goals, which were created to provide developing countries support through the partnership of developed countries. The first goal is to “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” in the world.
According to the textbook, the population is still increasing in the world’s poorest regions. Take a look at The Millennium Development Goals Report [PDF].
- The report notes that progress in reducing extreme hunger is uneven across regions of the world. Looking at the graph on page 21 of the report, which regions have the least reduction in extreme hunger? Which regions have the greatest reduction in extreme hunger? What factors contribute to this uneven progress? What are some possible strategies for creating more progress in these regions of the world?
2. Chapter 4, “Food,” in your textbook illustrates that there is enough food produced and available to feed the entire world every day. However, for various reasons, millions still go hungry, making food security—having consistent access to adequate nutritional food—a persistent global social problem in both developing and developed countries.
- Where do most of the world’s hungry live?
- What are two causes of hunger and two problems that result?
- What are some potential consequences and benefits of using biotechnologies in developing countries? Based on the research currently available, should developing countries pursue the use of biotechnologies? Why or why not?
3. Chapter 9, “Technology,” in your textbook discusses how technological advancements and changes may affect how we can work to find solutions for the global threats discussed so far. Technological advances can and do affect development in positive and negative ways.
- Besides biotechnology, identify one technology that seems to have the greatest potential positive effect on food security. Discuss any potential negative uses of that technology. Do the benefits of these technologies outweigh the potential negative consequences they have on food security? Why or why not?