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Feeding the Future: Climate Change

By Harriet Shugarman

We are thrilled to join Feed the Future’s social media campaign to raise awareness about global hunger and poverty and what we can all do to help end them.

As part of the campaign we were asked to answer the question: “How will we feed the future?” And at Climate Mama, we would add…”as we live through and with climate change.”

Our short answer: Create, develop, implement and enforce meaningful action on climate change globally, NOW.

For our “longer” answer, see below. And in the meantime, later today or at a quiet time later tomorrow, sit down and watch this short video with the kids in your life and then ask THEM how THEY would feed the future?

In our opinion, more than any other timein the history of the human race, we are living our future now, brought to us in large part by our changing climate.

Whether you live in a developed or developing country, extreme weather, including droughts, flood and wildfires, are changing the way we eat, feed ourselves and plan for how we will feed the future. Growing seasons are less predictable, which are changing the conditions for and the types of crops that we can grow.

Our food supply needs to be made more secure, and more resilient. To do this, we need to be aware of the changes climate change will bring about. We need to be equipped with the knowledge, tools, skills and supplies that will be necessary to adapt to these changing and less predictable conditions.

Feed the Future is preparing communities in developing countries in a variety of ways, in particular they are focusing on smallholder farmers—particularly women. According to Feed the Future, these women farmers hold the key to agricultural growth and transformation because increasing their productivity can fuel rural economies and create jobs and demand that, in turn, generate broader economic opportunity. Feed the Future works to reach these farmers with the tools, skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

In a recent post for Save the Children, we highlighted some of the health and nutritional problems that are exacerbated by climate change in developing countries. Here are 7 facts from Feed the Future to help you get the conversation going with the kids in your life:

  1. One in eight people around the world go to bed hungry every night. (FAO)
  2. Last year, Feed the Future reached 9 million households in developing countries to help them improve their food security. (Feed the Future)
  3. The first Millennium Development Goal aims to halve the proportion of hungry people in developing countries by 2015. That target is within reach. (FAO)
  4. People who are chronically hungry are undernourished. (FAO)
  5. Mothers can pass hunger and poor nutrition on to their children, making the first 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday critical. (World Food Program, Thousand Days)
  6. Nearly 98 percent of all the hungry people in the world live in developing countries, many in rural areas in Asia in Africa. We can help them lift their families and communities out of hunger and poverty. (World Food Program)
  7. Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined*. Hunger and poor nutrition can make people more susceptible to contracting a disease in the first place. (*World Food Program)

So how would we work to feed the future?

Recognize, accept and educate people to understand that climate change is real, happening and now. We are the primary drivers of climate change through the creation of human created greenhouse gases. We need to realize that the burning of fossil fuels is a huge contributor to anthropogenic climate change and we need to transform our energy supplies away from our reliance on coal, oil and gas towards a clean renewable energy future that comes from the wind, waves and sun!

Because climate change is global, what we do in our home, town and community, can impact and affect people around the globe. As such, those living in developing countries are incredibly vulnerable, with no lines of defense.

We need to support initiatives like Feed the Future and organizations like Save the Children that are working to help build up local skills and build resilience so that food security, ending hunger, and reducing poverty are not a “dream for the future” but a fact that happens now!

Let us know what you would do…

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. This post is inspired by and in solidarity with The Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good. Climate Mama is proud to be part of a team of women bloggers around the country, who are raising awareness around global social issues, which impact us all!

About the author: Harriet Shugarman is the executive director and founder of ClimateMama, a mentor and climate leader for the Climate Reality Project, and a “mom activist.” 

This post originally appeared on the Climate Mama Blog. This is part of a series of guest posts answering the question “How will you feed the future?” 

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