Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Global Food Prices May Double by 2030
Oxfam is warning that the already record-breaking price of staple foods could more than double by 2030. It says we're embarking on an era of permanent food crisis that will hardest hit the most vulnerable, the poor, and spark unrest.
Research to be published on Wednesday forecasts international prices of staples such as maize could rise by as much as 180% by 2030, with half of that rise due to the impacts of climate change.
A devastating combination of factors – climate change, depleting natural resources, a global scramble for land and water, the rush to turn food into biofuels, a growing global population, and changing diets – have created the conditions for an increase in deep poverty.
...[Oxfam] said global food reserves must be urgently increased and western governments must end biofuels policies that divert food to fuel for cars.
It also attacked excessive corporate concentration in the food sector, particularly in grain trading and in seed and agrochemicals.
The Oxfam report followed warnings from the UN last week that food prices are likely to hit new highs in the next few weeks, triggering unrest in developing countries. The average global price of cereals jumped by 71% to a new record in the year to April last month.
It's tough to come to grips with this. We all have an image, an understanding of our world that we've each pieced together over a few decades. That world, the world as we knew it in the 70s, 80s and 90s, is no longer. It has been transformed, shifted into a new reality, and that transformation continues and accelerates. Our climate is changing and it is changing our very civilization, rendering old ways, old wisdom, old rules utterly obsolete.
For most of my lifetime the future was something we had the power to shape to our liking, something through the elixir of knowledge and technology we might grow to suit our needs and wants. But we overreached and now the future has turned into something we no longer control and to which our primary option is to adapt, if we can.
Adaptation, however, will not be on the priority list of our Ruler as he sells out our country and our people for his dream of fossil fuel energy superpowerdom. It's filthy lucre our Ruler covets, so shamefully filthy that he deliberately conceals it from the United Nations. Adaptation is the last thing on a mind that perverted for any meaningful and effective action on it merely shines a giant spotlight on the very thing Ruler works so hard to keep in the shadows - Athabasca.
And so Ruler sails off to Afghanistan to declare our mission a "great success" in the war against terrorism unaware that he's fueling conditions that may give rise to terrorism on a scale he cannot begin to imagine. Numbnutted fool.