David Lawrence is a respected presence in the energy field who has held leadership responsibilities in Texas and Europe with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell. Currently the CEO and chairman of Lawrence Energy Group, David Lawrence also served as Chairman of the advisory board for the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, which studies energy transition issues and driving mechanisms and effects of global warming and climate change.
One region currently being impacted by climate change is the Peruvian tropical Andes. With potatoes and corn a dietary staple, a changing climate dictates that farming practices may need to be dramatically rethought.
Tropical biologists recently conducted a study which found that temperature increases of between 1.3 and 2.6 degrees Celsius would result in mass death of corn crops from pests and birds. One solution is to plant the crops at higher elevations, but this appears to reduce corn yield significantly.
The potato, on the other hand, with more than 4,000 native varieties in existence, is already being farmed on Peruvian mountaintops. While the potatoes would survive the projected temperature increase, tuber production would decrease and be deformed to such a point where its market value would be negligible.
The need to analyze and rethink agricultural practices comes at a time when food insecurity is a pressing issue in much of the developing world and disruption to the status quo can have potential serious repercussions.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.