As we described earlier, going into the cataclysms the weather will become unpredictable, with torrential rainstorms where not expected, and droughts likewise where not expected. Extremes of temperature will be experienced. Unusually warm winters, where the trees and shrubs will start to bud, thinking spring, and then be subjected to frost. Similarly, frosts will come late in the spring, almost into summer, killing the buds which have already put forth their tender shoots. Where today the world balances these situations, shipping produce around the world, during the years coming close to the time of the reappearance of the 12th Planet, the giant comet, all parts of the world will experience extremes. Of course, leading up to the cataclysms, not all produce will fail. Greenhouse crops will come through. Backyard gardens, tendered carefully by watchful eyes, will survive. But the large cash crops that supply crowded population centers will find little to market, and the prices will go up accordingly.
At first, stores put up against such times will be tapped. After a bit, these stores will run down, and governments will get nervous. Helping handouts, from countries better off to those in desperation, will stop. Friction on these matters will fray at already frayed nerves. Up until the cataclysms, humans in the main will struggle on with the farming and fishing methods they are familiar with. In general, the resistance against change is immense, and warnings about the pending pole shift will be brushed aside by the vast majority who will choose not to notice the signs about them or contemplate anything so awful. Consequently, the cataclysms will catch almost all of human society unaware.
Those groups who have prepared, and are relying on themselves and their own carefully tended gardens, will not find themselves pinched between starvation and hostilities. Fortunately, the easiest produce to grow is that most economical as foodstuffs. Humans have but to return to their recent past and relearn these lessons. Except for those few who have prepared, humans surviving the cataclysms will find themselves without food. In the cities this will happen quickly, as fresh or frozen foods will spoil due to total power failure, and canned and dried goods will only go so far. Then what? Rural areas, where one would presume to find gardens put in and livestock in abundance, will not be much better off. The drought and irregular weather will have taken their toll, to say nothing of the cataclysms themselves. How long will a hungry farmer hand grain to his livestock? He will eat the grain himself and the livestock, and when he gets hungry enough will eat his last breeding pair and his seed stock. Gone.
Should the reader think that planting and harvesting will go on as before, they should realize that the gloom that follows a cataclysm is devastating to vegetation. If vegetation survives the droughts that precede the cataclysms and the hail and firestorms and high winds that occur during the cataclysms then it must next survive an almost continual deluge and lack of sunlight. The comeback after a cataclysm is not, in the main, from domesticated plants and animals, although some dedicated farmers will bring their breeding pairs and seed stock through. The comeback is from wilderness areas, from sturdy roots that keep on trying and scattered seed that keeps on sprouting. In the meantime, humans starve.