Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 10 months ago

Is famine from volcanic winter largely a worry for the third world? Would central heat and greenhouses and such help in developed countries?

If a volcanic winter were to happen where ash clouds caused massive global cooling, I assume very few would freeze to death in developed countries. Central heat is ubiquitous, fruits and vegetables could be grown in glasses in greenhouses that were heated, food could even be grown like we currently grow dope ( in houses under grow lights ) such foods would be expensive, but likely still easily available in the developed world for the upper and middle classes. For the lower classes they would be available but a relative strain to afford and the whole crisis could be likened to the Great Depression for the first world. Could the first world likely avoid societal breakdown that would rock the third world?

The first world also has remarkable resilience to drought with in ground sprinklers and center pivot irrigation that would be partially able to keep up with any disruption of rainfall.

The third world without all these technologies would not be so lucky due to the lack of infrastructure? The developed countries would likely cut back on food exports to make up for any crop failures, and most of the third world population that wasn’t royalty couldn’t afford food?

Is this a likely scenario? Is this why the US doesn’t have a decade worth of grain in reserve as a civil defense food reserve?


Costly modes of production become viable if the aggregate price is high enough, could high food prices make costly modes of production viable and would these systems potentially ramp up? 

6 Answers

  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    If a volcanic winter hit like 1816, "the year without a summer, it might cause societal breakdown.  I think the US would likely survive it but we are talking a year or two of low production. We definitely wouldn't have enough for more than a year IMO.  We would have to have some serious attention to growing crops in bad conditions.  

    If we had something like a super volcano go off, I suspect a billion people would likely die and it might even be worse.  The good news is that it isn't very likely in the next 1000 years but it will happen eventually.  

    Most crop production is in first world countries and these are in colder climates that would be more drastically affected.  I don't know how cooling would affect Indian or African crops.  China might be in trouble since they have a huge number of very poor people (and quite a few relatively wealthy people too).  

    I think our wealth would keep us alive.  We would be able to spend a great deal on food production.  Currently we spend a very small percentage.  It would probably make us all much poorer.  

  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Hunger is the result of politics, not inability to grow and get food.

    We live in the most abundant times in human history.

  • 10 months ago

    Greenhouse crops would be too expensive for 99% of people to buy in a store. The world is on the edge of famine all the time, we're just keeping ahead of it with crops shipped around the world. Anyone who doesn't have a large storage of food would be starving and killing for food within a month.

  • Cowboy
    Lv 6
    10 months ago

    LOL, sorry volcanic winter would mean extinction for all of humanity - developed countries will kick more violently in the end but there will be an end.

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  • Daro
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    3rd w. famine is generally the result of corrupt socialist systems. Those are prevalent in Africa which has plenty of resources but huge disparity in the classes of people.


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  • 10 months ago

    we do grow a lot of would make sense that we could turn to this tech to grow fact if you look at it that way, we already have a worst case scenario option available...and it came thanks to marijuana...the human race would survive...but as you pointed out all the poor people would probably die trying to kill all the rich...or even succeed.

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