Is a choked up Suez Canal just a taste of the future?
By Mike Hoffmann
Losses owing to the blockage of the canal were estimated to have reached $9 billion a day, and now that ships are again using the canal, a backlog of about 400 ships are now arriving at ports that can’t handle all the traffic at once.
The increasing risk to choke points poses regional and even global food security concerns. For example, 25% of global soybean exports pass through the Strait of Malacca on their way to China for animal feed. The Panama Canal, through which 15,000 ships passed in 2018, is running out of water because of less rain and more evaporation, the result of higher temperatures.
The global trade system is already vulnerable, and getting more so with intensifying climate change. A number of American cities are now considering storm surge defense options—such as Boston and New York—and Biden’s proposed massive investment in the country’s infrastructure emphasizes resilience to climate change. These efforts and countless more will be required to keep our global food supply flowing and the foods we love and need on the menu.