Life with rising food prices -one poor harvest away from chaos

Celsias Team

Lester Brown, founder of both the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute(EPI), warns that the world is in danger of global food insecurity.

In his latest book "World on the Edge,"Brown warns of a planet sitting  on the brink of "politically destabilizing food price rises."

"The new reality is that the world is only one poor harvest away from chaos," Brown told reporters on a conference call to launch his new book. If a heatwave on par with Russia's struck the U.S. — the world's largest grain exporter by far — it would trigger "chaos in world grain markets," he said.

The world is creating a "food bubble," he says, which could theoretically burst "at any time now."

The rapid surge in staple food prices in 2008 that sparked global riots and sent millions into poverty is back.we have seen this as one of the causes of riots and demonstrations in places such as the Middle East. It sill impact especially harshly in those countries which are net importers of food, such as the Middle East. We have also seen countries such as China and Saudi Arabia leasing huge tracts of Africa on long term leases for food production because they can see that political destabilisation follows food price increases.Many organisations are predicting no let up in food price rises.

 Worldwatch Institute, based in Washington, D.C.,  gave warning last month that if current trends continue, extraordinary weather events like last year's Russian heatwave that wiped out 40 percent of the nation's wheat crop will recur more frequently, with effects felt everywhere and especially in the world's poorest regions.

"The frontlines of this crisis are occupied by the world's 925 million undernourished people," the group said in its annual State of the World report. The report highlights the vulnerability of the world food supply, and how that becomes increasingly vulnerable in a time of climate change.

For Other good stories ,check out Celsias 

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  • Posted on March 25, 2011. Listed in:

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