The demonstrations and riots across North Africa and the Middle East are just a sample of what’s in store for the world. The complaints are that food is scarce, food is too expensive, and jobs are not available so citizens can buy food and live the life that others in the developed world enjoy.
Whether or not you have money to buy food won’t matter soon, as the world’s supply of food will continue to shrink while demand continues to grow from over two billion more people who will be born over the next 40 years. This will happen if your nation is governed by a dictator or a democracy.
For the last two years nations have been trying to lock up food sources by buying or leasing foreign agricultural land. Now, with prices mostly going up from now on because of a number of constant factors, some nations are taking actions to alleviate the problem temporarily by going on a buying spree to acquire surplus food and avoid price hikes in the near future.
According to Martin Walker, UPI:
“Arab and Islamic governments have been desperately buying up wheat on world markets. Algeria paid top price for 800,000 tons of wheat last month. Indonesia is buying 800,000 tons of rice. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya and Bangladesh are all scouring the world markets for more, spurring the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization appeal against panic buying that would ‘aggravate the situation.'”
China, a large user of grains as well as a producer of 20 percent of the world’s wheat, has the ability to cause global shortages and price rises if they have a bad year for crops. The latest report is that this is “China’s worst drought for 60 years… Shandong Province, the heartland of Chinese grain production, was facing its worst drought in 200 years unless serious rains come this month.”
“…The land is so dry from Beijing south through the provinces of Heibei, Henan and Shandong to Jiansu province and Shanghai that trees and houses are coated with dust–the topsoil that has blown off the drought-parched farmland.”
The Chinese are capable of making it a disaster for all nations with their large bank deposits, partly a result of the United States’ eternal trade deficit with them. In a shortage, the Chinese can buy as much as they want and bid up the price until they get it. Before long, Egyptians and other similar nations won’t have any money left to buy food, whoever is in charge of the country. Now you can talk about uprisings and civil unrest without a solution.
Walker says the U.S. and Europe should step in and guarantee Egypt’s food supply. In fact, the largest importers of wheat are Arab and Islamic; including Egypt, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria and Turkey.
If we attempted to support these nations, it would be an unending aid program since we would be adding never-ending costs to our deficit. The supply of food will not catch up to the population explosion. That aid would merely be a delaying tactic, hoping to keep our oil pipelines open to globalization, a brilliant plan to run the world on global trade agreements, using cheap labor and cheap oil. The investors and CEOs saw this as a chance to run this scheme and make huge profits from low expenses forever. Well, flawed plans usually fail. And this one is carrying the knockout punch.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome said:
“…the drought (in China) has affected 12.75 million acres out of the 34.5 million acres under winter wheat…The drought, which has also created a drinking-water shortage, has affected 2.57 million people and 2.79 million livestock…The FAO said world food prices rose for the seventh month in a row in January, warning that the trend may continue.”
When you consider the factors involved in providing food for the world, most having a negative effect on food production, the only conclusion is that food supply will continue to drop and prices will continue to rise.
According to Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute:
“But whereas in years past, it’s been weather that has caused a spike in commodities prices, now it’s trends on both sides of the food supply/demand equation that are driving up prices. On the demand side, the culprits are population growth, rising affluence, and the use of grain to fuel cars. On the supply side: soil erosion, aquifer depletion, the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses, the diversion of irrigation water to cities, the plateauing of crop yields in agriculturally advanced countries, and-due to climate change–crop-withering heat waves and melting mountain glaciers and ice sheets. These climate-related trends seem destined to take a greater toll in the future.”
An excellent example of inexcusably bad judgment concerning food supply: “The third major source of demand growth is the use of crops to produce fuel for cars. In the United States, which harvested 416 million tons of grain in 2009, 119 million tons went to ethanol distilleries to produce fuel for cars. That’s enough to feed 350 million people (Americans) for a year.
“Rising food prices have driven nearly 44 million people into poverty since June, according to World Bank estimates released this week, pushing the number of chronically hungry toward 1 billion.
“Global food prices rose 29% in the past year due to weather shocks such as the Russian drought and subsequent export ban, as well as the growing appetite for biofuels and rising demand from emerging economies such as Brazil, India and China.
And “when Rachid Rachid was Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister, he personally combed the world for wheat–with visits to Russia and Central Asia–attempting to meet the domestic demand of six million tons a year.
“The fact you know that you need this much quantity to feed the people in Egypt and knowing that there is not that much quantity around the world makes you really scared.” (Consider that Egypt now needs 10 million tons of wheat a year. Multiply this and other commodities by the whole world. And the world’s population is growing. Now we have something that should really frighten everyone.)
There is something new under the sun. We have never been here before. Our planet, burdened by over population and the irresponsible way we have treated the earth has brought us into our final phase, going back in time to a simpler, basic life style. It’s called survival.
And our biggest mistake was our leaders giving the money lenders and corporations carte blanche to run the world. As a result, CEOs from Canada, Mexico and the United States have advised the leaders on how to integrate North America. Last month President Obama announced that a North American perimeter would be completed in order to speed up the movement of people and commerce throughout the continent. This “common security perimeter ” around North America is designed to be the “key” to a European Union type of arrangement with open interior borders that allow the ability of all “North Americans” to “live and work” anywhere on the continent.
This is a new border for America and Congress must pass legislation to make it legal. Both current comprehensive immigration bills in Congress, H.R. 4321 and S. 3932, have mandates to build this perimeter but neither has passed yet. If one passes, America could add several hundred million people from the third world to greet, and add to, the approaching crisis. I would suggest you make some plans for the very near future.
Is there a problem? Yes, there is. A big problem.