When the climate threatens!

Norway and the rest of the world felt the effects of climate change in 2018.
A long and intense drought in this country led to, among other things, forest fires and parched agricultural areas. When the rains came in late summer, they caused flooding and once again destroyed agricultural land. In this country, it was the areas south of Trondheim that were hardest hit. The consequences have been destroyed production of winter fodder for livestock and destroyed production of potatoes and vegetables. Climate change is a reality and we must expect extreme weather all year round. But, are we self-sufficient in food so that we can cope with a long-term crisis?

Norway faces major challenges in the future as a result of climate change. Extreme weather in the form of prolonged drought or cold, torrential rain and temperature changes in the sea mean that food safety is changing. China has bought up large areas of arable land abroad and Russia has limited the export of grain several years ago. Why? The authorities in these countries probably expect food shortages as a result of climate change and/or population growth. Where does Norway stand in this matter? Trade in the world has become globalized within a relatively short time. Selling live king crab or day-old salmon to Japan is not unusual. This globalization is highly polluting and could also increase the extent of the spread of alien species.

Import of for
Norway imports each year approx. 200,000 tonnes of soy and 153,000 tonnes of rasp (2015) from Brazil. Both soy and rasp are included in the production of concentrated feed for our livestock or salmon feed. The soy is produced on areas where the rainforest has been cleared for the purpose. This in itself is a very serious environmental issue. As a result of crop damage this year, Norway must now import 60 % of the year's consumption of food grains. What happens if important grain and soy exporting countries stop or limit exports? Even though we are a rich country, we cannot eat money if there are restrictions on soy or grain. In earlier times, a large number of grain silos were established around the country. These were discontinued several years ago. Could it be an idea to restore these emergency stocks? Norway cannot count on being allowed to import grain, soy and breadcrumbs if the world enters a global famine. With the current population growth in the world, climate change could quickly cause a global famine. Then you have to be self-sufficient.

Top soil
Norway, a country with many small agricultural properties scattered throughout the country, must look after the topsoil and not demolish it. The topsoil is a particularly important resource that will be necessary in the event of a crisis.

Alien species
This year, Norwegian farmers have had to import winter fodder for the animals. So far, we have heard of farmers who have been mugged for, destroyed for. The feed was imported from Eastern Europe and controlled by the Norwegian Food Authority. Although in this case it was about mold, one can be very critical of the import. If the Norwegian Food Safety Authority did not discover the muggle, they probably didn't see alien species either. There would be a real crisis if the farmer also got foreign species in the bargain through such pre-importation. It could significantly damage agriculture.

Changes in the sea
The temperature rises in the sea. This causes the marine resources to migrate. Some are less heat-loving than others and migrate north. Could this be the reason for the herring migrating north. The mackerel, a species that used to be common in the North Sea, has become common in the Norwegian Sea. In fact, large quantities of mackerel have been observed in Greenland. It has become a problem in the north, as it feeds hard on both herring fry and capelin.

The mackerel must be considered a regional alien species, climate-related. Along with the mackerel, there are probably several Southern species that have taken over the northern sea areas with the consequences they must represent for the fishery resources in the North. There is no guarantee that we will be able to harvest as much from the sea as we do today as a result of climate change.


Tromsø 01.04.19

Orjan Holm
Political deputy
Green Warriors of Norway

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