Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Cheap food, like cheap oil, may be a thing of the past..."

Posted by A. at 7:47 PM


Democracy Now:

"In Bangladesh at least 15,000 garment factory workers went on strike earlier today to call for higher wages to cover the soaring price of food. In South Africa, the country’s main union has kicked off a series of protests over increasing food prices. In recent weeks food riots have also erupted in Haiti, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Protests have flared in Morocco, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mexico and Yemen....Here in the United States, food inflation has reached the highest level in seventeen years, and analysts expect it to get worse.


The Telegraph:

"A new Cold War is taking shape, around energy and food. The world intelligentsia has been asleep at the wheel. While we rage over global warming, global hunger has swept in under the radar screen.”


The Independent:

"The global food crisis became official yesterday."


Krugman:

"[I]t’s not clear how much can be done. Cheap food, like cheap oil, may be a thing of the past."



[image courtesy of FT.com]

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putting an end to the corn-based ethanol sham and ending subsidies to agribusiness would remove almost all of the current upward pressure on food prices. High food prices in countries which peg their currencies to the US dollar also have a lot to do with broken American economic policy.

For the moment, high food prices are the result of political problems stemming from Republican inability to govern rather than any kind of hard physical limits.

4/15/2008 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger goatchurch said...

This is a far far bigger problem than that! The scientists -- you know those guys we've been ignoring because we couldn't believe their words -- have warned of climate change and water scarcity and all the inevitable consequences. And contemporary SF in its utter decadence has failed to stretch people's minds so that they are capable of imagining it.

Sure, maybe technology could have helped avoid this crisis, as has been the faith. In fact, many scientists have pointed out that we do have all the technology and engineering capability necessary -- if not for the fact that it's generally been misallocated towards the manufacture of, say, SUVs, war and the Space Shuttle rather than wind turbines and smart infrastructure.

Our science and engineering base is very effective at solving problems, but that's not enough. The acknowledgement, reality-based assessment and courage to solve the problems is absolutely essential.

Current SF fails dismally to promote these factors. Instead we've got this myth of the Singularity, where we're all taught to be in a cargo cult, because the technology is somehow going to be built for us as long as we carry on shopping.

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