Climate Change Impacts on Sustainable Intensification

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21A (San Jose Convention Center)
William Easterling, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
All pathways toward sustainable intensification of agricultural production must take into account the possibility of change in comparative advantage caused by climate change.  The conceptualization of sustainable intensification is strengthened by thinking about climate as a natural resource with clear and enforcable property rights the same as any other factor of production, including other natural resources such as land.  Agricultural products embed climate resources such as water and heat.  The concept of virtual water is used to show how embedded water from precipitation in crops and livestock is transported to relatively more arid regions thus "importing rainfall."  Once embedded into crops and livestock, climate resources transform from common property to private property.  Traditional natural resource concepts like scarcity and substitution can be applied to climate resources to add rigor to the concept of sustainable intensification.