Individual Approaches to Addressing Climate Change – United Nations Documents on Food Security, Climate Change, and Adaptation (Reading)

Required Reading: United Nations Documents on Food Security, Climate Change, and Adaptation

Estimated time: 10 Minutes

The following links provide some resources from various global initiatives to combat climate change, poverty, education, and sustainable development. You do not need to spend much time on looking at these resources but if you are interested, I would suggest that you pick one and investigate the various policies that have been proposed. I like the third link on the sustainable development goals. The second link is to a journal that provides several good articles on various topics that may interest you for your further knowledge goals. Even the first link may be of interest to some of you. Secondly, I provide a link to a journal article that I found interesting. If you have time, please have a read. As many of you know, academic journal articles are not quick reads…sometimes taking a full day for a really deep reading of the longer ones. This article is only to guide you further in your knowledge goals and aims. Simply look at the resources that are here for you. Just looking at them will take about 10 minutes. You can decide which one you would like to take a deep dive into during your spare time πŸ™‚


The following journal articles problematize the question of supporting local. There is a somewhat small food holder aspect to efforts to focus on the local – local currencies, local food, etc. – that ignores the fact we are wealthy and those developing countries that we buy stuff from are impoverished. To me, one of the big challenges humanity faces is the challenge of doing something about climate change; how to get over our small scale thinking and view ourselves as one large global community. What are your thoughts?

Graham, Jesse, et al. “Centripetal and centrifugal forces in the moral circle: Competing constraints on moral learning.” Cognition 167 (2017): 58-65.

The above article describes how we have a tendency towards being more supportive of those we are closer to typically, family, then friends, then acquaintances, then people we have no connection with, then animals. We are social beings, and our health and wellbeing is better when we have good relationships. However, if our social circle and our circle of commerce overlap, will that harm our fellows in other parts of the world whom we don’t know? I.e., we know the farmer, and therefore since we are acquaintances or friends, we pay a somewhat higher price at the farmers market, instead of buying the cheaper, imported equivalent at the big box store. This reduces the income of farmers in other parts of the world. The studies of agricultural trade barriers typically show that the biggest beneficiaries are farmers in developing countries, and yes farmers in developed countries will suffer. However, we in the developed countries can afford to help farmers transition out of agriculture, while developing countries cannot. So, perhaps reconciling a landscape preference which includes more compact, walkable and bikeable communities with abundant green space and local food production, with my concern for justice on the international level and the need to think of we as one world is not simple. We live in a complex, interconnected web of life on this planet. In complex systems there are a multitude of feedbacks working at a variety of scales. Seldom is anything purely local, and I fear that an emphasis on local can ignore the larger scale connections, and the moral implications of these connections. What do you think?


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Food & Water Security by Dr. Joanne Taylor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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