by Michelle Ajamian

On the eve of the autumn, where day and night are equal for a day, I find myself wondering how we might pivot out food systems, particularly the way we choose, grow and consume staple seed crops, in the face of increasing climate disruptions? I think of Al Gore’s analogy in the film, An Inconvenient Truth, in which he describes that a frog will not jump out of water that slowly increases in temperature. Eventually, the water’s rising temperature would kill it.

Gore goes on to explain that if tossed into hot water, the frog would immediately jump out and survive.

Several summaries of the Intergovernmental Report on Climate, in which it is predicted that if we were to stop the release of carbon at current levels today, those brakes will not fully engage and turn for 2-3 decades. How can we act quickly enough and avoid the fate of that first frog?

Perhaps the tables have turned for those who enjoy social and financial advantage. That privilege is blinding those who consume most of the world’s resources, while those in the two thirds world–the global majority–have been more dramatically affected by drought, rising sea levels, and high temperatures, where turning on the AC or driving away for a vacation is not an option.

Can we find ways to grow the food we eat or even look to more perennial sources of food in our diets? Can we fill the majority of our plates with food that’s available in our region and replace fossil fuels now used to grow, process, preserve and transport our food?

The Intergovernmental Climate Report predicts that 3-4 regions on the planet will be able to grow enough food for ourselves and those regions that will be besieged by floods, drought, and dangerous temperatures. Can we prepare for the level of production that is needed without further contributing to the problem? Big agriculture solutions are not going to work, and while there are answers in Regenerative Farming and Permaculture, we need to jump to whole systems solutions now that are whole systems change to move us away from monocultures, King Corn, and towards polyculture based regenerative food production that mixes perennial food with annual crops and grazing.

See the articles below and our Learning Links section elsewhere in this issue for more information.