Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Climate Change and Rising Fuel Prices Equals Political Instability and Rising Food Costs Worldwide
John Holmes, the UN’s top humanitarian official, points to a worldwide 40% hike in food prices since mid-2007, as a contributing factor to the protests and clashes over food in Haiti and Egypt. To say that a lack of food causes political instability is nothing new. Starving people have been a catalyst for change many times over history. Up until now however, the food shortages have always been localized.
Rising fuel prices combined with poor crops due to the extreme weather associated with climate change, are giving rise the “perfect storm” of food shortages. The average gas-guzzler driving, slightly chubby North American may not be feeling the pinch yet but if current trends continue we may be very soon.
In Canada, wheat shortages have caused the price of flour to double in the first two months of 2008. "It's a very, very tight situation," said Canadian Wheat Board analyst Bruce Burnett. "World production has been under [its] consumption in the last couple of years, so we have been drawing stocks down … and we've finally hit levels that have made the market very, very concerned about supplies and rightly so."
Soaring food costs threaten world's political stability: UN official
Wheat shortage sends bread, pasta prices soaring